You would normally expect a Tuesday night at any gig venue to be half-filled, even large city venues. However, the o2 Academy in Bristol is opening its doors to a sell-out crowd.
Opening band, Tenside from Munich, Germany have a big job to do, warming up the stage up for Killswitch Engage. The main floor is already filling up and the atmosphere is buzzing.
The crowd is treated to AC/DCs “Shoot to Thrill”, as the bands chosen walk on track. Wasting no time Tenside tear onto the stage opening with “This Is What We Die For” from the 2017 album Convergence, it’s definitely captured the attention of a very busy venue, the crowd makes Tenside feel very welcome from the outset.
Daniel Kuhlemann is delivering every lyric with precision, his storming lead vocals are accompanied by superb playing from every corner of the stage.
The tracks continue to come from 2017’s Convergence album with the band charging straight into “Unbreakable” which gets any reluctant heads nodding across the entire room, brutal riffs, and sonic attack vocals have certainly made everyone here aware Tenside are here to open for Killswitch Engage and the music speaks volumes that they intend to do it well.
If you weren’t a Tenside fan before this evening the chances are you will leave as one judging by the number of fixed eyes on the stage the guys have conquered this loyal army of Killswitch Engage fans in the first 3 songs.
The band have been in the studio so they debut a new track from the new album tonight and it is welcomed with open ears, the brutality is ripping through the rafters at the O2, this is heavy s**t, it would be fair to say the room has just been hit with a semi-automatic 50lb cannon on rapid-fire and everyone is loving it.
The guys tear straight into I Will Rise Again, barely catching a moment for breath. Tenside has ripped through an absolutely cracking brutal set, before leaving the audience hungry for more they deliver one more crushing track from 2017’s Convergence album, “Faith over Fear”.
Mission complete for Tenside, the pit, and the stage is well truly open and warmed up.
For more information on the band head on over to https://tenside-music.de/
Next up Revocation – having just finished the leg of their North American tour – have the sandwich filling band job to do, keeping the momentum going from Tensides brutally delivered set and ensure the room stays warmed up for headliners Killswitch Engage.
Entering the stage with dramatic StarWars themed style music, Revocation is ready to destroy the room with full blast beats of industrial cyber growls. The band waste no time in keeping the jam packed o2 warmed up. David Davidson vocals/ guitar and Dan Gargiulo guitar/ vocals are doing a blinding job delivering these vocals together on stage. Close your eyes and would think you have just been dropped into a science fiction war zone, these guys are the ultimate in cyber death metal and the audience has been won over without question.
David Davidson is delivering the vocals with expert timing to the audio backdrop of space-age brutality from Dan, Brett, and Ash who are enjoying this industrial blast as much as the audience.
Four songs in, Revocation want the room moving and the request is met as the first mosh pit is kicked off without question.
The venue is a sea of nodding metalheads cheering happily after each track is sent to attack the crowd. Revocation are brutal and heavy in their own style, not really your wall of death style band, but more of a consistent grind of heavy cyber style metal.
Later on, the crowd are treated to some new material from the newly released album which definitely sees a change in the band’s heaviness, both in playing and on vocals.
From time to time David Davidson stands back and gestures towards 5 string bass player Brett Bamberger who’s distinct playing is very clear throughout all songs in the bands set, helping give them a very unique sound.
The brutality is stepped up a gear as David shouts out I know you guys in Bristol know how to do a good circle pit and the audience happily participates charging around like a happy crazed NASCAR race on a Saturday afternoon whilst Revocation deliver more chugging cyber industrial tunes.
A fantastic job has been done by the Revocation guys keeping this crowd going for Killswitch Engage, an absolute credit to them and respect from the room as the applause is just as energetic as songs.
For more information on the band head on over to http://www.revocationband.
Killswitch Engage was last seen and heard on our shores back in February when they supported Parkway Drive on the Reverence Tour where they were welcomed by old and new fans alike.
As you can imagine the loyal fans have been eagerly waiting for this Killswitch Engage headline tour for a while. The Bristol o2 is now packed to the rafters with a sell-out crowd ready to hear classic and new Killswitch tracks from the latest album Atonement, which features many great guest vocalists working alongside Jesse.
With the two support acts Tenside and Revocation doing an excellent job this crowd is ready for Killswitch Engage.
The band is all doing final checks on gear, checking kit, no flash bullshit or dramatic entrances here, this is met with cheers from the crowd who spot them. The lights drop and the Killswitch guys are on side of stage giving each other a last pat on the back. Before entering into the stage the crowd is given a blast of Europe’s final countdown as they walk on.
Wasting no time Jesse screams out “Unleashed” – the opening from the new album Atonement and the crowd goes wild, they are pleased to be here the atmosphere is on fire, the band knows it, the audience knows it. They don’t come up for air and charge straight into “Hate By Design” from Incarnate, received with big grins and horns all around.
The set continues to blast through classics with “Last Seranade” from 2002 Alive or Just Breathing, Jesse calls out “come on you
know this one, let’s go” the room is definitely charged with energy.
Wasting no time between song the guys charge straight into “A Bid Farewell” from the 2004 album The End of Heartache and quickly follow up with “Beyond The Flames” the mosh pit is ecstatic and alive.
As Jesse catches his breath, Adam gives the audience a little banter and chat before they launch into “I Am Broken Too” this is very well received by the crowd and Jesse sings every word with absolute passion, a powerful song dealing with mental health.
“Open up the circle pit” shouts Jesse before ripping into “Rose of Sharyn” the place is hot, sweaty and moving fast as the Moshpit is moving frantically. Wishing to keep the pit moving “Self Revolution” and “In Due Time quickly follows back to back.
Back to the Atonement album and Jesse steps up his vocal power a few notches and screams “this one is dedicated to (Light The Torch) lead singer Howard Jones, the most pit goes wild for “Signal Fire,” fans scream, many may have been hoping for Howard Jones to rock up and duet with Jesse but KSE still deliver perfectly.
This is followed by the deep and very heart-grabbing “Always,” this is sung and delivered with such emotion and passion it pulls on the heartstrings of those who get this song. I hope you have come to have some fun screams Jesse before launching into “My Curse,” “This Is Absolution” and “The End of Heartache.”
The room is hot and heaving and everyone has had a cracking evening but Killswitch isn’t just ready to head home and instead deliver the very supercharged “Strength of the Mind” which Jesse dedicates to all the fellow headcases, this is met with loud cheers from the audience. Jesse calls out the last song “Holy Diver” with a dedication to Ronnie James Dio, the room erupts and joins in on a mass metal sing along to conclude an absolutely mind-blowing set.
For more information on the band head on over to http://killswitchengage.
Review by Metaljase
Photography; Emma Painter
Pacific Curd Photography