As part of the European leg of the Scream It Like You Mean It tour, four of the most promising bands from across the Atlantic come to make their names heard to their British audience. With each of the bands taking to the stage in front of a packed out venue, the London leg of this tour has the promise of a memorable night in the making.
Up first are Pennsylvania’s This Or The Apocalypse (****), and as they hit the stage they are an abundance of energy. Frontman Rick Armellino can barely keep himself on stage for more than a few minutes at a time before he launches himself back into the crowd. As the band ferociously tears through songs like ‘Charmer’ and ‘The Incoherent’, unhindered by the apparent sound difficulties, they provide the perfect warm up for what is to come.
Compared to this, The Word Alive (***) seem slightly timid in the wake of the infectious energy of the previous band. Sure, their synth based metalcore wins the crowd over from the moment they hit the stage to a crushing ‘The Hounds Of Anubis’, and they sound undeniably tight throughout. However, songs like ‘Battle Royale’ seem to lack energy or that killer instinct. The fact that singer Tyler Smith was frustrated with the crowd throughout was not aided by the fact that his clean vocals were occasionally lacking.
Miss May I (***) are a different prospect entirely. Their approach combines the best and worst of old and new metal schools to provide a sound ferociously big on record. However, this is a live show, and live they are a different band altogether. Anyone can tell that the band’s improvement has been significant, however, Levi Benton‘s screams on the likes of ‘Forgive And Forget’ and ‘Relentless Chaos’ still leave some room for improvement. Sadly this is coupled with sound problems that cause singer/bassist Ryan Neff‘s vocals to not sound half as huge as they do on record.
Fortunately, the vast majority of these sound problems appear to have been fixed by the time headliners We Came As Romans (****) roar into life with a ferocious ‘Roads That Don’t End And Views That Never Cease’. From that moment on, front men Dave Stephens and Kyle Pavone work in perfect harmony to whip the crowd into a frenzy, and thankfully for the crowd, the latter of the two manages to keep his vocals spot on all night, even through the testing task of songs like their audacious cover of Justin Timberlake‘s ‘My Love’ and the always brilliant ‘We Are The Reasons’. The effort that the band puts in, tirelessly, is apparent as it all comes to climatic conclusion with an epic run through of ‘To Plant A Seed’.
It’s obvious that We Came As Romans are destined for big things both across the pond and here in the UK, and for all in attendance this could one day become one of those “I was there” moments. For now, only time will tell.
Written by Oliver Thompson