Live Review: In Flames – KK's Steel Mill, Wolverhampton
22nd March 2022
Support: Defects, Vexed
Words Cat Finch
Photos: Tim Finch
The trickle of gigs through February has turned into a raging torrent come March, the barren lands of live music over the pandemic period makes way for the life blood of so many of us, live fucking music!
Tonight at KK's Steel Mill sees the return to the U.K. of the mighty In Flames with a show that has been postponed numerous times over the past two years. The anticipation for this tour is high as the crowds pack into the main room at the now legendary venue.
Opening up the evening are Noisy British newcomers Defects. Blasting their way through the darkness comes an angst filled set of modern metal aggression. Frontman Tony Maue (formally of The Raven Age) is a hyperactive whirlwind on stage and this new project sees a more powerful change in direction for him. The passion of the band is evident, and even if they are unfamiliar to most, the sheer energy is enough to get the crowd going. The bruising half hour set comes to a close far too soon, they will be back I’m sure.
Up next are a band that form the cornerstone of the next generation of British metal. Vexed along with the likes of Malevolence and Conjurer are the bands that are going to be huge festival headliners in ten years time, so catching them now before the reach those heady heights is a must.
Vocalist Megan introduces the band as a bunch of chavs playing metal, but honestly this does them a disservice. The landscape of the genre is changing and their new style and vision is at the forefront of it.
Their set it’s a mix of brutal riffs, knock out blows of pure power and Megan’s almighty raw of a vocal assault. A barrage of strobes highlight the band blending perfectly with the aural mugging the fans are receiving. This is the future shape of the music we love and Vexed are a band we encourage you to see now before they really make it big!
Leaving barely fifteen minutes for the fans to recover, it’s soon In Flames turn to shine. A band that should need no introduction having been plying their trade delivering stunning melodic death metal for over thirty years.
Exploding onto the stage with ‘Everything’s Gone’ followed by ‘Call My Name’ the set gets off to a blistering start. Even at this stage in their career the band still mean business and have not lost any of their power or energy. The dual guitar attack of Björn Gelotte and Chris Broderick pummels the fans present, the packed Steel Mill pit whipped into a frenzy!
The set spans the bands career ‘Where the Dead Ships Dwell’, ‘Cloud Connected’ and ‘Behind Space’ through ‘The Hive’ and ‘Colony’ before the set is closed off in style with ‘Take This Life’. Never resting on their laurels, In Flames put on yet another barn storming show much to the appreciation of us all!