Tonight’s support To The Rats And Wolves are a German six piece electronic metalcore band from Essen. Their individual brand of futuristic tinged heaviness gets the crowd moving early on. Blvckout is a particular highlight that translates perfectly to a live setting. Suburban Romance showcases the band’s infectious energy, which is hard to deny from an audience perspective. Closing their slot with Anywhere For You, this band definitely leave an impression with this final synth-driven chorus.
Asking Alexandria have had a tempestuous couple of years to say the least – yet judging by their newest release, they’re coming out on top. Opening with Into The Fire, the first song from their new self-titled album was always going to be a bold start, and the anthemic swelling chorus seems to have exactly the desired effect. Killing You harks back to the last album the band released before vocalist Danny Worsnop left, whilst To The Stage is exactly the kind of stuff everyone has been waiting for, bringing the first old school Asking vibes of the set to life with its jagged riffs and rolling tumult.Taking it truly all the way back, The Final Episode earns the biggest sing-along of the night. However, it’s easy to tell that Danny is far more comfortable with the bigger, rockier tracks having spent the last few years fronting a rock band. He still does this older material justice though, again treating the fans to some sophomore Asking in the form of Not The American Average. The mix of old and new tracks on tonight’s setlist is definitely at the right balance.
Acoustic number Vultures takes things down a notch – giving Worsnop the perfect opportunity to show off raw vocal skill, which has been hidden behind years of breakdowns and screams. After explaining that Someone, Somewhere has been given a new lease of life, the fans are presented with an upbeat country tinged track which puts a different spin on things, but definitely works well. Probably the biggest hitter of their new offering Where Did It Go? proves its worth with its rapid vocals and its stomping chorus – this track is definitely a stand out of tonight, especially of the new material. A Prophecy is just the last jolt the crowd needs before Asking bid them all goodnight (pre-encore of course).Obviously saving the most rousing, behemoth tracks for last, the emotion and power behind Moving On adds some necessary dimension to the end of the show, topped off perfectly with that eagerly awaited key-change. Controversial though the choice may be, the rock mix version of The Death Of Me works far better as a set closer tonight than the original, making it more of an anthem rather than another heavy-hitting metal jam. At their roots, Asking Alexandria were just a metalcore outfit, out to drop some riffs that people could groove to. But these days, and judging by shows like tonight, they have it all. The riffs, the grooves, the hooks are still there- but just bigger and better, proving that this is a band that have come into their own and aged pretty well.
Photos by Erin Moore at Forte Photography UK