Early doors were on the agenda tonight and with good reason, we were in for a night crammed full of Deathcore crammed with four stalwarts who were all crushing in their deliverance of the brutal genre. As I approached the Academy I could already hear the aural assault which was battering its way through the cracks and crevices surrounding the fire escape door which only acted as a catalyst to propel me to quicken up my pace, secure my pass and head straight into the riot that was besieging Manchester within the confines of the Academy.
As soon as I had traversed the foyer and the bar area I was into the thick of it, the gathered crowd was already of a respectable size for the openers Spite, and the crowd only grew with every minute that passed. It was clearly evident from the off that the Californians had brought with them an arsenal of strong guitar riffs and chunky bass lines which backed up the absolutely mauling drum swagger and the caustic and venomous vocals from Tehrani. No sooner had I secured my spot on a wing of the venue than Spite were delivering their final chords to the energetic crowd thanking them for their attendance and witnessing their brief set tonight.
With the stage being turned round with uber speed it was then time for some more mauling Deathcore, this time courtesy of New Jersey crew Fit For An Autopsy, and a mauling they certainly provided. A higher level of endearing hate hit us like a freight train and the intensity and toxicity didn’t relent one iota throughout the whole of the set. Badolato stalked the stage like a man possessed, spitting out his vocals with charming and engaging malice and bitterness, encouraging the massive crowd to ramp up the stakes on the energy front and oblige they certainly did, pits broke out all over the floor and this only seemed to intensify with each track that was laid down before us. ‘Black Mammoth’ was monumental, and ‘Hellions’ was a spectacle which will have surely been ingrained on every retina and ear drum which bore witness to it in all its glory tonight. As the final track rang out from the speaker stacks, it could only be surmised that this had been a set of true celebration and great success and one which only went to corroborate the fact that Fit For An Autopsy need to return to our shores and waste no time about it.
Whitechapel are a band that I have had limited exposure to in the live setting in the past, my only previous times had been at Bloodstock 2013, 2017 and Download 2019, so I was excited to be able to catch them again, and in an indoor setting, as I had been blown away all these other times. So as the house lights diminished, and the band entered into sight, it was aggression and calculated violence from the off. Bozeman was antagonistic with his vocals, each word delivered with intent and purpose, forceful and insistent that the crowd matched the passion with which the band were plying their trade. ‘We Are One’ and ‘End Of Flesh’ were absolutely colossal and really allowed the gathered hordes to open up the pit and generate an absolute frenzy of movement for the orchestrating Deathcore missionaries. The set was a lesson in how brutal extreme music should be constructed and delivered with inch perfect precision, and the assembled flock reciprocated the vigour and verve which they served straight backstage wards towards the obviously humbled American uber core giants.
As the house lights extinguished for the final time and the deathened core warriors appeared the whole venue totally erupted, Thy Art Is Murder were in the city and they were here to absolutely destroy. ‘Destroyer Of Dreams’ was clinical in its execution and was brutal and caustic in its make-up, ‘Blood Throne’ was battering and ‘Holy War’ was mesmeric and tantalising from the opening chords to the closing beats, absolutely majestic and extravagant in their liberation. Miller was the conductor of the highest order, working the crowd with obvious ease and pleasure, while Delander was hypnotic and compelling with his fretboard and strings, injecting a real hunger and appetite into every single riff and down pick. The amount of Thy Art Is Murder shirts being adorned tonight was also worthy of note as it really was a testament to the thriving scene on which these trans-Atlantic stalwarts are currently sitting proudly atop, together with the noise being generated inside the Academy were points on which anybody in attendance could be hugely proud of, it was completely deafening at times.
A Monday evening in a time when the nights are drawing in could have fallen a little flat but tonight was the polar opposite, it was an evening which was packed full of love and adoration for a scene which is going from strength to strength and tonight was simply a brutal example of flawlessness personified.