After being distributed over two different venues and cities last year, both London and Manchester, Impericon Festival have decided to keep the UK part of the altering touring bill to its British mothership of Manchester for 2017 and, packed with a bill of ten across from across the heavy music community from several areas of the globe.
Unfortunately, due to unavoidable commitments and what not, we weren’t able to catch the first half of the bill, pulling into the venue just as the latter half began to kick off.
Environmentally conscious metalcore unit In Hearts Wake  are over in the UK to support While She Sleeps on their headline run, but with such a long journey from their home back in Australia, why not check in to Impericon Festival? ‘Healer’ and ‘Warcry’ are punishing and uplifting in equal measures and, if all goes well with new album ‘Ark’, they may be following in the footsteps of their comrades in Northlane very, very soon.
Known for their riffs, roars and screams, and generally just keeping the general ethos of heavy music and being a metal head as their penchant, Ohio’s Miss May I  have got quite a stockpile of material under their belts nowadays. The room erupts in circle pits through the likes of ‘Hey Mister’ and ‘Deathless’, and headbangers collide for new offering ‘Lost In The Grey’.
Things get cranked up a few more levels of heavy once Carnifex  step up to the plate. Scott Lewis is an absolute monster of a vocalist, and with blackened eyes and inhumane vocals as his tool to call-to-arms the crowd before him, the crowd go into a frenzy for the likes of ‘Slow Death’ and ‘Drown Me In Blood’. Somehow they manage to make Slipknot‘s own ‘The Heretic Anthem’ even more hellish, and with closer ‘Hell Chose Me’, they stand as a crushing highlight.
Other than earlier appearing act Casey, California’s Being As An Ocean  are easily the most melodic act on the festival bill this year, and right away they burst right into their two freshest cuts, ‘Ok’ and ‘Dissolve’. Joel Quartuccio barely stays on the stage, jumping to the barrier to scream and sing into the faces of their fans, and that’s when he’s not surfing across them whilst bellowing into the mic. Michael McGough‘s voice is crisp and smooth in equal measures too, with ‘L’exquisite Douleur’ being a particular highlight. Come album four in June, Being As An Ocean could reap a lot more from the seeds they’ve sewn.
They’re considered to be one of, if not the best deathcore bands on the scene today. Paraphrasing Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign slogan, Thy Art Is Murder  proclaim that they’re here to “make deathcore great again”, and if we’re judging it off this headline slot alone, they certainly succeed. Tonight’s the UK debut of frontman CJ McMahon‘s return to the group back in January, having stepped down in 2015 to focus on other aspects of his life. He states at one point during this set that rejoining the band was one of the best things he’s ever done, and it’s hard to argue with him here.
McMahon sounds more demonic and more of a product of hell than ever before. ‘Holy War’ starts proceedings, and right away the crowd detonates into a flared up flurry of limbs. Within just a few songs, one member of the crowd even has to get carried out to the bar after fainting from exhaustion. ‘The Purest Strain Of Hate’, ‘Dead Sun’, and ‘Absolute Genocide’ all follow suit in a similar fashion, delivery bludgeon after bludgeon after bludgeon.
The reintroduction of McMahon has really brought some reinvigoration into the fold. Upon his live return, he stated that it was a “celebration that is me coming back to join my brothers in world domination.” Dominate on, brothers.
Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)