LIVE: The Defiled @ Academy 3, Manchester (11/02/2014)

Date: February 11th, 2014
Venue: Academy 3, Manchester
Support: The Killing Lights / Butcher Babies
Website: None available


Finally back on the road across the UK after several stints outside of the country here and there, London’s The Defiled are bringing a close to the ‘Daggers’ era of their career with the aptly titled ‘No Place Like Home’ tour. Let’s see if home can bring them the welcome back they need before they head back into the studio.

Californian openers The Killing Lights (*), (who may be better known to some under their former name, Vampires Everywhere!), take to the stage with a fairly decent sized crowd before them. It’s a shame then, with this tour being their first ever visit to British shores, that their set is lacking in any form of bite. The backing track of back-up vocals seems nothing short of redundant when there’s a guitarist and bassist at hand to do this, and frontman Michael Orlando‘s stage presence is overly average. Disappointing, especially for a band with the amount of experience that these currently hold.

However, Butcher Babies (***) certainly kick it up a few gears. The dual vocal attack from both Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey is hard evidence, should it still be needed, that girls can rock just as hard as the boys, Shepherd‘s shrill screams especially bringing to memory shrieks you’d rarely find outside of films like The Exorcist. Songs like ‘Magnolia Blvd.’, ‘Axe Wound’ and ‘I Smell A Massacre’ really get the crowd moving and coax out of them the first few pits of the evening.

It’s The Defiled (****) that blow the roof off of the Academy 3 venue and get the party truly going, with The AvD coming onto the stage with a bottle of Jägermeister in hand. Infact, several times throughout their set the band mention that they overdrank waiting for the show to start and apologise for any flaws. Good thing then that the amount of flaws here are slim to none, and the likes of ‘Unspoken’ and ‘Call To Arms’ show us how British metal should be done today. Older number ‘Black Death’ brings a nearly never-ending current of crowd surfers to rise to the stage, with frontman Stitch D needing to repeatedly move back with his microphone and stand to avoid it being knocked down.

Pleasant surprise ‘Five Minutes’ takes the tempo down a bit for song that The AvD dedicates to a late family member. Him and Stitch D keep jesting about how they always “fuck it up” to try and lighten the mood, but regardless this set inclusion definitely incites goosebumps. Things soon return back into chaos soon after and, when the curtains close, The Defiled leave securing their reputation as one of today’s more vital bands making up today’s UK metal scene. These guys are destined to conquer big stages, and come album number three don’t be shocked if that’s exactly what happens.

Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)