It was a cold, wet December evening when I found myself heading down to one of Birmingham’s best live music venues, the O2 Institute, to see the Gothic-Industrial Metalcore titans Motionless In White on the end leg of their UK tour. Being the first time I’ve ever seen the band, to say I was excited would be a massive understatement, as I was standing in line for the box office, you could feel just how happy and excited every single person around was, with this energy feeding into the room as the crowd quickly grew just before the opening band hit the stage.
First on the bill were Defying Decay. For those reading who don’t know the band, Defying Decay is a Thai Alternative Metal band, formed in 2010 in Bangkok, Thailand. They got the crowd exactly where they wanted them with little trouble thanks to the incredibly tight yet energetic performance and the fantastic cover of Linkin Parks ‘Faint’ that made the crowd go wild so early into the night. All in all, for a band I’ve never heard of until this show, I was incredibly impressed with the performance given and the pretty unique sound which blends elements of Deftones, The Dillinger Escape Plan and even Trivium. My favourite part though had to be when Bassist Pleng Itthiphol Thongboonma jumped into the crowd to play in the middle of a pit. To anyone who hasn’t heard them, I cannot recommend highly enough checking them out. A band to keep an eye on for sure.
After a quick breath of fresh air in the smoking area, I headed back in for the main support of the night. Sköld was up next, and I was incredibly excited to see the performance after hearing about his back-catalogue of bands that he has been a member of/produced including the father of gothic-industrial metal Marilyn Manson. What proceeded was 40 minutes of Industrial Metal that while wasn’t the most unique sounding, was still mesmerising. Their set was more subdued in terms of energy but made up for it in professionalism and insanely tight performance. Despite this though, about halfway through I found myself slowly craving a little more due to the lack of range in the band’s sound and performance. If you’re a fan of early Marylin Manson, definitely check out Sköld, but if you’re not an industrial fan these won’t be the band to change your mind.
After another quick cigarette, I hastily headed back in for the headline act, Motionless In White. Over the last few years, few bands have made such big waves with the younger generation of Metalheads as the American Goth-Industrial Metalcorers, and with the release of their latest album just a little earlier in the year, I was incredibly excited to see just what made this band so loved. The band hit the stage in a musical onslaught, starting the set with ‘Undead Ahead II’ and ‘Necessary Evil’. What proceeded was an hour and a bit of non-stop aggression with a mix of fan favourite classics such as ‘Black Damask’ and ‘Devils Night’ as well as some of the most well-received songs off the newest album including ‘Another Life’, ‘Brand New Numb’ and ‘Disguise’. While the entire band were fantastic, Chris Motionless stood out the most to me. He showed exactly what it takes to be a frontman for a band, giving not only a ridiculously tight performance but doing so with energy and charisma that had the audience in the palm of his hand.
All in all, this was an insanely good show for the band to send off the midlands with, for this decade, and I can see all the bands on the bill making even bigger waves and becoming some of the most-watched in their respective genres without fail.
Review & Photography: Daniel Stapleton