Hell On Earth // Unearth // Misery Index // Year Of The Knife // Leach // Turbid North // Live Review // The Underworld // London

Hell On Earth curates some of the best & mixed bills as they come. Over the years bands like Terror, Earth Crisis, Broken Hope, Cattle Decapitation  & The Acacia Strain have come together to rip across Europe & the UK.

Tonight & making its comeback is one of the heaviest tours of the year. Featuring great up & coming bands like Texans Turbid North, and Swedish rockers Leach. Also joining them are death metal-influenced straight edgers Year Of The Knife, The death grinding titans that is Misery Index & finally headlining vets to the metalcore scene the mighty Unearth.

Opening up tonight with some huge riffs are Fort Worth-based Turbid North. These guys really impressed me. Mixing the doom & stoner heaviness of High On Fire & Mastodon with death metal & even some black metal moments.

Vocalist Nick “Savage” Forkel’s voice echoes & punches through the band’s wall of sound & gives the band a very different element from most heavy bands. They have the energy some opening backs lack. Mixing it up from song to song, some really fast-paced blasting sections with the slower doom-heavy moments make these guys a great listen to & really interesting opening act for tonight’s bill.

Next up are the Swedes in Leach, picking up the energy in a blend of upbeat metal, with hardcore screaming vocals with a heavy-soaked HM2-type guitar tone. They give up the party vibe, A lot of fun & they got the audience moving. Markus Wikander the band’s singer & guitarist brings that true Swedish death & roll vibe with his playing & vocal style. The most notable thing about Leach is their ability to play some really catchy choruses. Each song felt different & really surprised me with their tight playing & bangers of tracks!

Now for Delaware death metallers Year Of The Knife! I’ve been a huge fan of YOTK since their inception in 2016. One of the leading bands keeping straight edge hardcore alive. Last saw the band have a line up switch as bassist Maddi Watkins took over vocal duties for the band & they released a new EP “Dust To Dust” featuring some of the bands best material to date.

Getting to see the back after years of waiting was worth it, The band have great stage presences. Maddi keeps the crowd engaged & gets the pits going, playing tracks like “Ctrl+C” & “Victim” from the new EP sound huge live. Getting to hear new tracks like “Wish” & “Mourning The Living” are a brilliant teaser for a new album later this year. Bassist Brandon Watkins headbanging & backup vocals makes the band set even harder while brothers Aaron & Andrew Kisielewski are a tight unit, 100 mph guitar riffs & fantastic blasting makes YOTK one of the leading metallic hardcore bands ever!

Baltimore legends Misery Index are up next & boy did they destroy.

I’ve been lucky to see these guys live a few times & it’s always a great time. Opening with “Infiltrators” from their new album “Complete Control” just shows that even with twenty two years under their belt they are still writing some of the best grinding death metal. Opening with a bang straight into “New Salem” & “The Carrion Call” keeps the crowd foaming at the mouth. Circle pits ensue & the crowd are loving it.

Smaller venues like The Underworld is where Misery Index thrive. From the opening note until the very end it’s like a war, they are so tight & precise with their playing. Drummer Adam Jarvis is one of the best death metal drummers of all time & never gives a dull performance. Mark Kloeppel & Jason Netherton’s vocal back & forth is such a great dynamic & live it’s even more potent.

Rounding out either set with the staple “Traitors” sees the crowd give one last circle pit for the behemoths of death grind & by far the best performance I’ve seen from the back ever!

For the finale Boston Mass legends within the metalcore scene Unearth! Opening with the new track “The Wretched; The Ruinous” feels like it was written to be a perfect opener. Just by the first song you can feel that the band over time has gotten heavier. Where most bands over the years waiver & slowly fade out Unearth have still got it & even give more then most new bands!

“My Will Be Done” a Unearth classic still feels new & exciting even being now 15 years old! Singer Trevor Phipps keeps the crowd infused & gives every ounce of passion he has. Drummer Mike Justian is one of the most consistent drummers & smashes those skins with intensity through the whole of the band’s set.

A personal highlight was finally hearing an early track “My Heart Bleeds No Longer” in the set. A true metalcore classic & might have even came out of mosh retirement for that one!

Unearth are one of the most hardworking bands in America, whenever you see them live you know you are in for a treat & tonight was one of the best live performances i’ve seen from them in some time!

Review: Joseph Mitchell