On the back of their killer set at last years Download Festival and almost blowing Avenged Sevenfold off stage whilst supporting them on their recent UK arena tour, US radio metal heavyweights Five Finger Death Punch are back in town.
US newcomers Pop Evil (7/10) opened the night and despite opening with a gothy electronic tinged track that sounded like Lacuna Coil drifted into a grungy hard rock sound, and as if Black Stone Cherry had emerged from the Seattle scene around 1990. Their brand of grungy FM radio rock got the crowd going and even managed to get the occasional lighter in the air during the Pearl Jam-esque ballad. However, like fellow US radio rockers Halestorm, they do suffer from a bad case of OverBaringDrummeritus.
Deathcore rising stars Upon A Burning Body (6/10) followed them with their own signature brand of combining crushing breakdowns and Al Pacino/Robert Rodriguez films. They pack a lot of energy into their set and people seemed to respond well, with several circle pits and crowd surfing during their set. However, if you you aren’t too keen on your meat and potatoes deathcore, Upon A Burning Body may do little for you. The tracks don’t ever stray from the formula of basic deathcore which can become increasingly tedious as the set goes on and musically they do not have the grooves necessary to out muscle to big boys of the genre like Suicide Silence. But to give them some credit they do have a great stage presence and their none stop energy is infectious. It’s also fun to play guess the film quote from their songs as well, probably worth the ticket itself in fact.
Despite playing for only 70 minutes, the night belongs to Five Finger Death Punch (9/10) by a country mile. The band ploughed through a set of some of the most groovy, accessible songs written in the last decade, from the opening stomp of ‘Under and Over It’ to the the mass communal sing along of ‘Hard To See’. The band also have a knack of writing some of the most anthemic rock ballads since the 1980’s with ‘Remember Everything’ and the opening section of ‘Far From Home’ producing some of the best crowd singing I have heard in a long time.
The band also pulled out their cover of LL Cool J’s ‘Momma Said Knock You Out’ from their bag of tricks and supplied the audience with visions of some of the whitest rapping seen since Limp Bizkit. Tonight, Death Punch took one more step into the big leagues, establishing themselves as one of the best live bands on the circuit and surely must have edged themselves closer to that coveted festival headline slot. From tonight’s display they won’t be far off…
Photos taken by Sabrina Ramdoyal.