Kicking off the Impericon Never Say Die Tour 2013 at the club academy in Manchester is the Australian hardcore band Hand of Mercy [7/10]. Rather similar to their Aussie brothers in Parkway Drive, they get the crowd moving immediately with their breakdown-filled set getting the crowd into the mood for the long night of music to follow. Their energy and passion on stage attracts quite a large crowd for the first band of the night – an amazing feat due to their relatively unknown status in Britain, however after tonight’s impressive set, it is clear that Hand of Mercy have gained quite a number of new fans! Giving a well polished performance with their synchronized jumping and heavily addictive tunes, Hand of Mercy open the Impericon Never Say Die Tour in style!
The much anticipated debut appearance of the mighty Northlane [9/10] in England does not disappoint tonight. Filling the modest venue, Northlane plays a short but sweet set tonight, made up of mainly tracks off their new album Singularity which includes the likes of ‘Scarab’ and ‘Quantum Flux’. Seeming to interact with the crowd more frequently than the other bands on tonight’s billing, Northlane manage to encourage a plethora of crowd surfers and pits to open, making their set one of the most insane of the night! They end a spectacular set with one of their older tracks, ‘Dispossession’, and although their short 20 minute set is soon at an end, they leave Manchester foaming at the mouth and begging for more!
Showing true hardcore spirit Hundredth [8/10] whip the crowd into frenzy from the word go. Opening with ‘Weathered Town’, and encouraging all the hardcore dancers to get moving from the moment the first song kicks in, the band perform an aggressively intense set, getting the crowd screaming along to all the lyrics from their 2011 album entitled “Let Go”. The band get a good response after they announce their support slot on the August Burns Red tour which should prove an eventful gig from the impressive and brutal set they gave tonight!
Betraying the Martyrs [9/10] are up next tonight and from the moment the rip-saw like riff of ‘Because Of You’ kicks in, to the moment last track ‘Man Made Disaster’ fades away; they manage to start some of the most brutal and biggest pits of the night. Something a bit different compared to the previous bands on tonight’s billing, Betraying the Martyrs are all about the immaculately tight live show, using the strobe lighting at the Academy to their advantage as they stalk and throw themselves round the stage in time to the demonic riffage they are spewing forth. Once again like previous band Northlane, Betraying the Martyrs are on stage little more than 20 minutes before they have to call it a night, leaving the crowd tonight wanting more from this incredible French powerhouse.
Perhaps the oddest billing of the night is I Killed the Prom Queen [6/10], a band who hasn’t been very active since their 2006 debut, “Music for the Recently Deceased”. However, with a new album set to drop in early 2014, they take to the stage with full force, delivering a fair decent set of straight up metalcore hits that try to win back fans both old and new. Although there is nothing special in their performance compared to the other bands on tonight, I Killed the Prom Queen give it their upmost best, plowing through a set of generic, breakdown filled material that includes tracks such as ‘Your Shirt Would Look Better With a Columbian Necktie’ and ‘Say Goodbye’. Hopefully the songs off of their new album when released will make a better impact than those performed tonight.
It is time to kick the brutal into overdrive with next band Carnifex [10/10], who completely blow tonight’s headliners off the stage! Replacing Miss May I on the tour, Carnifex could not have been a better choice for main support on the Impericon Tour, opening with ‘In Coalesce With Filth and Faith’ and going on to storm through a truly magnificent set that includes fan favorites ‘Slit Wrist Savior’, ‘Dead But Dreaming’ and ‘Hell Chose To Me’. Hands down one of the most intense performances that anyone in the venue tonight will ever hand beheld, Carnifex put 110% into making their live show as tight as possible, spewing forth riff after riff, blast-beat after blast-beat until every single person in Manchester Academy was up on their feet, throwing down to what can only be described as the brutal incarnate! Giving the crowd a taste of new song ‘Die without Hope’, Carnifex leave Manchester well and truly destroyed, tearing the roof down and leaving no survivors!
Emmure [8/10] are a band who the hardcore scene have been bumming like crazy for the past few years now, and with their most recent album, “Slave to the Game”, unfortunately being a bit of a flop, it was up to the New York 5 piece to bring the thunder tonight… They did exactly that! Opening up with the anthem laden tracks ‘4 Poisons, 3 Words’ and ‘Solar Flare Homicide’, Manchester Academy erupts into hysteria, tearing the place up in a fit of breakdown educed rage as the band plough through an incredible set that includes amazing renditions of older tracks ’10 Signs You Should Leave’ and ‘I Thought You Met Telly and Turned Me Into Casper’. Hands down the loudest chant of the night is “I WANNA WATCH YOU SUCK HIS DICK… AND FUCKING LOVE IT… BITCH”, as fan favorite ‘Drug Dealer Friend’ tears Manchester a new one, however it is slower and more surreal ‘MDMA’ that brings this insane set to a close, leaving the crowd tonight, broken and battered and bruised due to the onslaught of metal mayhem that has just taken place. Outstanding!