Review by Claire Frays and Photos by Tony Gaskin
The HMV Institute is the place to be for gigging in Birmingham this evening. With Alter Bridge’s Mark Tremonti in the Library and Bastille on the upper floors of the venue in The Temple, Midlands music fans certainly had a lot of choice, but it was Trivium with killer support from As I Lay Dying, Caliban and Upon A Burning Body that scored the biggest crowds and the bigger Main Auditorium venue.
Opening bands are usually the kind that many fans seek to avoid or even miss altogether, but that was not the case for San Antonio’s rising Extreme Metal/Deathcore starlets, Upon A Burning Body who received a hero’s welcome. You know when all of the crowd are jumping 4ft in the air without being asked to do so, that this is a band on the road to big things. Tracks such as ‘Once Upon A Time In Mexico’ and set closer ‘Intermission’ are filled with skilful breakdowns, and violently paced drum beats that you can’t help but break your neck to. The vocals are stellar too! And if their Merch stand was anything to go by after their performance, where one band member was stood on table surrounded by a large crowd of fans, then it’s fair to say it was a job very well done indeed.
Setlist: Showtime, Carlito’s Way, Devil’s Advocate, Sin City, Once Upon A Time In Mexico, Desperado, Texas Blood Money, Intermission.
Well-loved in Mainland Europe and one of the top results when searching for the biggest and most aggressive Walls of Death on YouTube, it is a difficult task for German Metalcore masters Caliban to make the most of their short thirty minute set – especially as the band has no less than eight studio albums to choose from!
Caliban’s most recent album ‘I Am Nemesis’ gets the biggest look in with ‘Dein R3.ich’ and ‘We Are The Many’ kicking off the set with killer brutality and aggression. Fan-Favourite, ‘I Will Never Let You Down’, scores the biggest Wall of Death of the set, with a sea of arms bringing the last chorus home. Penultimate song ‘Memorial’ has the perfect balance between the heavy and more melodic elements that make up Caliban’s sound, with its harmonious, emotive clean vocals shining through a barrage of destructive, beasty riffs. The result is something spectacular indeed. The UK definitely needs to see more of Caliban on these shores!
Setlist: Dein R3.ich, We Are The Many, I Will Never Let You Down, Davy Jones, 24 Years, Memorial, Forsaken Horizon
With Upon A Burning Body and Caliban opening the show in style As I Lay Dying certainly had a lot to follow, but they didn’t disappoint either, which was a real testament to the sheer quality and talent of bands on the bill for this tour. Like Caliban, As I Lay Dying has quite an extensive back catalogue of records spanning some ten years, but the bands forty-five minute slot still offered fans a blistering set and a good mix of material. Proceedings were commenced in fine style with the shred-tastic ‘Condemned’. ‘Anodyne Sea’, ‘Nothing Left’ and ‘Cauterize’ get the fists pumping with their massive sing along choruses, whilst ‘Through Struggle’ and ‘Confined’ provide the ultimate headbanger anthems of the evening with their stunning drum lines and dazzling riffs, all rounded off with a storming rendition of ‘The Sound Of Truth’.
Setlist: Condemned, 94 Hours, Anodyne Sea, A Greater Foundation, Through Struggle, Nothing Left, Cauterize, Confined, Defender, The Sound Of Truth
The last time Trivium played in Birmingham was back in June 2011 with the now “infamous” low key Asylum gig, where an ecstatic mob lived up to the venue’s name and gave ‘In Waves’ the best possible launch. Could Trivium create similar carnage at the Institute? Damn right they could!
Tonight Trivium are the tightest they have been to date. Armed with giant Trivium ‘T’’s onstage (who needs fire anyway?!), fans with foam fingers way better than the ones on the 90’s Saturday night Game show Gladiators – these ones are Metal Horns \m/ – and, a setlist encompassing favourites from all FIVE albums (!), Trivium certainly gave The Institute one hell of a night!
‘Capsizing The Sea’ was the calm before the storm that inevitably happened as the band launched into ‘In Waves’. And the awesome just kept rolling with ‘Like Light To The Flies’ ‘Rain’, ‘Into The Mouth Of Hell We March’, ‘Ember To Inferno’ and set regulars ‘Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr’ and ‘A Gunshot To The Head Of Trepidation’, with the singing deafening and the jumping madness and carnage remaining constant throughout.
A surprise and verIy welcome inclusion to the set was the superb ‘Entrance Of The Conflagration’. One of The Crusade’s best loved tracks and, one that hardcore Trivium fans have constantly demanded all over the web for the past couple of tours. The guitar solo to this song is just so snazzy that you can’t help but grin in awe at the technical work up and down the fret board from both Heafy and Beaulieu showing-off with their impeccable synchronised shredding. The Metal Horns are up in approval from the Birmingham crowd who join in on the “Ohhhhhhh” parts of the song. More Crusade please!
The announcement of footage being recorded for the music video to ‘Watch The World Burn’ instantly kicked the crowd into fifth gear as ensembles of crowd surfers soared through the air, and the pits somehow took off into the stratosphere. Even the rockers on the balcony are headbanging like crazy! Apparently the video will be made up of video footage from all of the shows on the tour cycle for ‘In Waves’ so it will be interesting to see if Birmingham will feature!
Proceedings were rounded off in spectacular form with the “disco-riff” laden ‘Torn Between Scylla And Charybdis’ from ‘Shogun’. The track received its UK debut at the Manchester gig and the band thankfully kept it in the setlist for Birmingham too and it was very much adored by the Institute crowd. ‘Throes Of Perdition’ finished the night off with one big bang as battered, sweat drenched fans applauded their heroes wondering how ninety minutes had flashed by, seemingly in the blink of an eye.
Trivium continues their ascent with no sign of the momentum they have built up since their Download debut in 2005 slowing down any time soon. Bring on the next album and tour cycle!
Setlist: Capsizing The Sea, In Waves, Like Light To The Flies, Rain, Into The Mouth Of Hell We March, Down From The Sky, Entrance Of The Conflagration, Black, The Deceived, Watch The World Burn, A Gunshot To The Head Of Trepidation, Ember To Inferno, Built To Fall, Dying In Your Arms, Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr, Torn Between Scylla And Charybdis, Throes Of Perdition.
- Be sure to check out Claire’s Interview with Corey Beaulieu from Trivium and Tony’s awesome pictures from the show below: