Live Review: Trivium, Bleed From Within, Orbit Culture – Stylus, Leeds 03.09.2023

The anticipation and excitement for this one was palpable from the moment I hit the outskirts of the city and the metal shirt clad figures came into view with the majority sporting the varying designs of the headliners, who had rolled into town for this fairly rare and unique intimate show before they take a much-publicised hiatus from the touring circuit.

The bill for tonight was stacked with a trio of heavyweights in their own rights and that was evident from the moment the doors opened and the eager moshers cascaded down the many stairs and levels into the pit that is fondly known as the Stylus.

As soon as Orbit Culture hit the stage, their crushing brand of Swedish Melodic Death Metal orchestrated chaos within the venue that stood before them. Each track was delivered with battering ferocity and soaked up eagerly by the increasingly sweat drenched hordes that were worshipping before them. An absolutely pummelling ‘From The Inside’ was unleashed and incited absolute carnage and non-stop swirling pits while the vocals from Karllson were commanding and dominant, authoritative with a passion that was visible from whichever angle your vantage point saw you at. ‘Vultures Of North’ helped the band sign off and I’m fairly confident in saying that an impression will have been stamped on every soul stood before them in the oppressive venue tonight. Orbit Culture had now just become my new band of the moment and their back catalogue has pretty much been on my speakers on repeat ever since.

Up next were a band who were no strangers to the UK live gig touring circuit with my last encounter with them being in Wolverhampton when they supported the colossal Vikings Amon Amarth, and they never ever disappoint. The crowd was pretty much overflowing now with the stylus bursting at the seams and then Bleed From Within hit the stage and the whole venue just exploded. The energy the Scots brought with them was electrifying and didn’t let up one iota from the opening chords of ‘Stand Down’ to the closing bars of ‘The End Of All We Know’. The set was punctuated with mesmeric highlights, controlled aggression and ferocious power tenfold, the vocals from Kennedy were toxic yet loveable, each word spat out with caustic delight. The amount of sweat generated from each fraction of the band was testament to the effort and dedication they each poured into every moment of the set and the rendition of ‘Levitate’ was flawlessly sublime, inciting a pulsating riot that reached every crevice of the packed-out crowd. Again, absolutely crushing, another gig, another venue, another crowd well and truly entertained ………. tick, a huge God damn tick indeed. The only thing missing this evening was Davie, lets hope he is back up on stage delivering his pummelling bass lines as soon as possible.

So on to the main event, the Floridian mega force that is Trivium, and from the moment we catch a glimpse of Heafy et al all hell broke loose. ‘In The Court Of The Dragon’ set the intentions straight and that was to teach us all a lesson in post millennium metal, and deliver it with the swagger that they undoubtedly can as the kings of that particular castle. Heafy was engaging with the crowd at every available opportunity and the vocals he delivered were precise and passionate, served up with an element of angst and venom which was all packaged up in a genuinely endearing way that only Matt seems to know how. Paolo took up residence stage left and tamed his bass with evident ease and passion which provoked a need for it to be housed on a stand rather than be strapped across his chest, meanwhile, the windmill duties were in safe hands with Corey commanding his neck to rotate at warp speed, pretty much non-stop.

The set was brimming with barn door highlights, the colossal ‘Becoming The Dragon’, the anthemic ‘Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr’ and a titanic ‘A Gunshot To The Head Of Trepidation’. The set was then closed with a massive ‘In Waves’ which saw the most movement and vocal appreciation that the crowd had mustered all evening, and that’s saying something because they weren’t stagnant or silent for the rest of the evening by any means, far from it.

As I made my way up the stairs and out into the night sky I was left with an overwhelming feeling of bittersweet, so so privileged that I had just been a part of an intimate evening with a huge band who are used to playing on the biggest festival stages all across the world, yet a with a heavy heart that god only knows when we will get another chance to lock eyes with the band that so many hold dear to their hearts.

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