Live Review: Killswitch Engage – Birmingham

Killswitch Engage - Birmingham. Photo Credit Tim Finch Photography

Live Review: Killswitch Engage @ O2 Academy, Birmingham
Review by Tim Finch

It’s hard to believe Killswitch Engage have been kicking around for twenty years this year. Where has the time gone? It only seems like yesterday they were breaking into the scene. Having been very much at the forefront of the metalcore movement back in its heyday they hit the U.K. this October for a fully sold out tour. An accolade few bands can say they’ve managed in these days of overcrowded gig diaries.

Killswitch Engage by Tim finch photography

Tonight The Razor’s Edge hit Birmingham to take in this sold out tour. The queue snakes around the bloke outside the O2 Academy as fans wait patiently to get in on this cold autumnal evening.

Kicking off the night are German outfit Tenside. They look quite unassuming as they walk on stage, a subtle waved hand as an acknowledgement to the crowd. But then things kick off.... raucous guitars kick in whilst Daniels guttural vocals are not we expect from the stocky German standing front and centre. Their set is an energy filled whirlwind, ‘Iron Will & Golden Heart’ the standout of the short half an hour.

Revocation by Tim Finch Photography

Revocation are an altogether different beast. A haunting intro is followed by deathly cries as the death metal outfit rear its head. It’s a set out pure, unadulterated brutality in its finest form. Aggression the name of the game as riff after riff assaults the audience. Guitar solos a plenty in a forty five minute set of technical excellence. This is not traditional death metal, Revocation are the young upstart breed of the genre building on its foundations turning the sound more extreme than their predecessors. The band are ones to watch and on this performance it won't be long until they hit the mainstream consciousness.

The stage is now set for the headline act, it’s a subtle set up, no huge drum risers, no massive overwhelming back drops. This is a band here to let their must do the taking and without doubt that is exactly what they did.

Killswitch Engage by Tim Finch photography

Straight out of the blocks with ‘Unleashed’ see’s everything go up a few notches. The sound is huge, front man Jeese Leech is mesmerising, the atmosphere is electric. The full house in a frenzy as the band rip through their opening numbers 'Hate By Design' and 'The Crownless King' with gusto.

Despite only giving themselves an hour and twenty minutes for their headline set, they still cram in seventeen songs proving the point that there is no posturing or bravado here; they are a band who believe in themselves, their talents and their music, ‘I Am Broken Too’ simply majestic.

As the set is rounded out with the cover of Dio’s ‘Holy Diver’ the fans are left battered and bruised and we are left wondering what’s next. We’ll have to wait and see, but whatever lies next, it’s going to be huge!

Photo credits Tim Finch Photography

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