Live Report: Killswitch Engage, Trivium, Miss May I & Battlecross @ 02 Academy Brixton, London – Sunday 2nd February 2014

The gig to see two of my favourite bands got off to an annoying start. Firstly, the doors were meant to open at 6pm. When I arrived at 5:30pm, the queue was right around the block and to accommodate to this, the doors had opened early. It was also in this queue I had found out that the late great Philip Seymour Hoffman had died. This meant that the opener Battlecross were put on early, making me miss the first two songs from their set. While I could not experience the entire set, the three songs I saw did not impress me. I did feel sorry for them as their set was shortened, meaning their most famous song (‘Push, Pull, Destroy’) was unfortunately cut. Their first ever gig in London on their debut European tour was memorable for all the wrong reasons. Even though I did not enjoy their set, I wished the rest of their tour went well.

Force Fed Lies
My Vaccine
Get Over It
Flesh & Bone

After buying my merch I went back to my seat to see rising metalcore starlets Miss May I. The band from Troy, Ohio is clearly starting to become a big deal as they have been recently announced as the band to open the main stage for the Friday at Download 2014 and with their new album Rise of the Lion due out soon, the band is certainly set to make waves. Their fans in the front rows loved them while the rest of the audience were either satisfied or disgruntled. For me, they played a satisfying set which ended with their hit, the energetic anthem ‘Hey Mister’. It was a phenomenal end to their set which put the audience in a great mood for what was to come.

Relentless Chaos
Masses of a Dying Breed
Our Kings
Day by Day
Hey Mister

An iceberg-styled stage setup was placed around the stage as Trivium started to set up. The excitement levels for this nostalgia fest were reaching fever pitch. Trivium are one of my favourite bands and one of the bands that got me into metal. Their Shogun album is one of the best releases of the 00s and it truly is a flawless album, a work of master craftsmen. When the intro music kicked in and their backdrop fell, I roared a mighty roar as Matt Heafy and co ran on stage and launched into ‘Brave This Storm’,  from latest album Vengeance Falls. Playing a mixture of material new and old, Trivium simply killed it. Their frontman (wearing a Bathory t-shirt), was a commanding presence as I hoped. The set was fantastic even though I wished they played more old material, especially songs off Shogun. Speaking of Shogun, they played the album’s title track, all 12 minutes of it. It was a great experience, especially as artificial snow fell from the stage during the slower parts of the song, creating a haunting atmosphere before “it all came crashing down”. It was a rare treat but part of me would have preferred to see two songs in its place, especially as they played no material from the unfairly criticised The Crusade album. But the band played amazingly. ‘Down from the Sky’ (my favourite Trivium song) was amazing to hear live as well as hearing a sold out Brixton Academy yelling ‘In Waves’ at the top of their lungs. The classic ‘Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr’ was a suitable ending. As the band finished, smoke machines shot out in a V section across the stage; Trivium came, saw and conquered.

Brave This Storm
Like Light to the Flies
No Way to Heal
Shattering the Skies Above
Through Blood and Dirt and Bone
A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation
Down from the Sky
Capsizing The Sea/In Waves
Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr

During the interval, Killswitch Engage’s banner came down to a massive cheer and a man who had been shouting Slayer throughout the entire show started getting progressively drunker, and more irritating. I was hoping he wouldn’t ruin the set of the headliner. For many fans of Killswitch, this would be their first time seeing the band with frontman Jesse Leach. I first got into Killswitch Engage with the material of second singer Howard Jones. I was not a fan of Jesse at first but I soon warmed to him and welcomed him back into the band.

The wait was over and Killswitch opened with ‘A Bid Farewell’, rumoured to be played as a farewell to Howard Jones. This speculation didn’t matter as I was too caught up in the crowd vocals. The band showed no signs of slowing down for the hour and a half they were on stage. When a bottle was thrown at Jesse Leach on stage, he calmly replied “you missed punk”. Guitarist Adam D was hilarious and his banter with Jesse was amusing. At one point Adam tried to get people in the circus pit to hold hands while running. Three songs in though the fat man who started to yell Slayer decided to take his top off and pour beer down himself. Unsurprisingly when he went to get another drink he did not return.

The rest of the set was surprisingly emotional, ‘Rose of Sharyn’, had the audience singing every word of the chorus with Jesse, while his dedication and gratitude to his bandmates for taking him back into the band with ‘In Due Time’ was touching, as was classic song ‘The End of Heartache’. The new material such as ‘The New Awakening’ was strong, while Jesse handled the classics such as ‘My Last Serenade’ and ‘Fixation on the Darkness’ really well. The band didn’t do an encore to save time so they went straight into the final song of the night, the thunderously epic ‘My Curse’ – singing every word with 5000 people was a magnificent experience.

I always dreamed I’d see Killswitch Engage live with Howard Jones. While I will probably never see them with Howard, I can sleep easy in with the fact that Jesse Leach can sing Howard’s tracks extremely well. Seeing Killswitch with Trivium was simply a great night out at a great value. Finally getting to see two of the most important bands that got me into metal music made me feel like part of my metal life was complete. But in regard to exploring metal as a whole, well it’s a journey that has no end in sight but one I will gladly ride out till the end of times.

A Bid Farewell
This Is Absolution
The New Awakening
The Arms of Sorrow
This Fire Burns
Beyond the Flames
Rose of Sharyn
Rise Inside
My Last Serenade
Turning Point
Fixation on the Darkness
In Due Time
The End of Heartache
My Curse

Miss May I
Killswitch Engage

About Jack (819 Articles)
I am a recent graduate from the University of Essex in Colchester where by the luck of Odin I met the editor, Dom. I first got into metal when I was 13 and now I am 22 and own an uncountable amount of band T-shirts. I also regularly attend gigs (local and in neighbouring areas) as well as festivals. My musical taste is varied; I like nu metal (my first love), thrash, black, death, doom, folk, sludge (my favourite genre), symphonic and many more of the multiple genres that metal has to offer, I even like some metalcore (I know it's a dirty word within some metal circles but some of it is outstanding). One of my most memorable metal moments was meeting Grand Magus at the Bloodstock signing tent and having the whole tent to myself, spending a few minutes talking to them.

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