Live Evil: Killswitch Engage & Trivium At Brixton Academy, London (Setlists Inside)

Posted: February 3, 2014 in Metalhammer
Tags: , ,

KsE’s Jesse Leach and Trivium’s Matt Heafy: on the road

Killswitch and Trivium come to London for one of the biggest double-headers ever.

While this may well have shaped up as the kind of bill that’d be selling out the Astoria on Roadrunner Roadrage over a decade ago, it’s hard not to feel excited by the idea of seeing Killswitch Engage and Trivium – two generation-defining metal heavyweights – sharing a headline spot on a lineup that’s pretty stellar from top to bottom.

Michigan melodeath crew Battlecross are a great fit to open up the evening’s proceedings, providing some solid, no-nonsense metallic shenanigans for the slowly filling Academy to nod its collective head to. It’s far from show-stealing, but it’s fair to assume there’ll be a few new fans won over tonight – even if time limitations mean that the four-piece have to cut their set a song short.

Miss May I are due a big year in 2014, and they do their reputation no harm whatsoever with a bold and muscular showing tonight. Levi Benton remains a commanding presence up front, and with certified bangers like Relentless Chaos and hallmark anthem Hey Mister in their back pocket, their anthemic metalcore (which owes more than a little to tonight’s headliners) goes down a treat with an increasingly enthusiastic audience. New track Gone sounds ferocious and bodes very well indeed for that imminent, Terry Date-produced new album. Watch this space…

It’s clear that Trivium have some pretty immense spectacles planned as soon as their icy, prop-filled stage set is wheeled out, paying obvious homage to Iron Maiden’s Seventh Son… era and raising the anticipation around the Academy to tangible levels. What follows, then, is somewhat frustrating, as while the band themselves are as confident and bombastic as ever, there’s an unshakeable sense that their delivery is a tad sterile by their own lofty standards. It doesn’t help that newies like Brave This Storm and Strife are a noticeable step-down from the likes of Down From The SkyLike Light To The Flies and In Waves, but even with some of those modern classics in tow, it never really quite clicks as a Trivium show normally does. Yes, the set looks amazing, with arena-worthy lighting, smoke cannons and even a spot of snow making for some memorable images, but even Matt Heafy’s onstage patter seems a bit subdued, with the end result being one of a truly great metal band going through the motions a little. Perhaps it’s just not their night, but on their A-Game, Trivium are unstoppable.

As it happens, Killswitch Engage are most definitely on their A-Game right now. Last year’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire show was one of the all-time great metal gigs, and tonight their unbeatable catalogue of anthems is finally given an environment in which it can thrive. Since his return, Jesse Leach has calmly but quickly gone about the business of establishing himself as one of metal’s most formidable frontmen, and it is his work tonight that elevates this gig from simply decent to flat-out spectacular. Whether he’s leapfrogging the drum riser, bounding from one end of the stage to the other or simply engaging a ballistic Academy with a roof-tearing roar or a goosebump-raising singalong, he is a certified star, continuing to breath new life into Howard-era numbers like My Curse and The Arms Of Sorrow while stamping his identity back into classics like Fixation On The Darkness and a show-stealing Last Serenade. Moments and songs like these are life-affirming and a welcome reminder of just how powerful heavy music can be. There were four great bands in London tonight, but this was one band’s gig and one band only.

Review by Merl


Killswitch Engage:

A Bid Farewell
This Is Absolution
The New Awakening
The Arms of Sorrow
This Fire Burns
Beyond the Flames
Rose of Sharyn
Rise Inside
My Last Serenade
Turning Point
Fixation on the Darkness
In Due Time
The End of Heartache
My Curse


Brave This Storm
Like Light to the Flies
No Way to Heal
Shattering the Skies Above
Through Blood and Dirt and Bone
A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation
Down from the Sky
(Capsizing The Sea)
In Waves
Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr

Miss May I:

Relentless Chaos
Masses of a Dying Breed
Our Kings
Day by Day
Refuse to Believe
Hey Mister


Force Fed Lies
My Vaccine
Get Over It
Flesh & Bone

from Metal Hammer
via Merlin


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