On a night when American hardcore punks Nails were headlining at a sold out Camden Underworld, you’d be nervous at the attendance figures of any other gig happening within a 5 mile radius. However, following the success of previous years, the Impericon Never Say Die! tour once again rolled into London's Camden Electric Ballroom with a deservedly large following and what promised to be a brilliant line-up which at most didn't disappoint.
The 7 band bill meant an early start for New Jersey’s Lorna Shore opening up proceedings with their distinct blend of symphonic deathcore which seemed to wake the rapidly filling venue up nicely, meaning that once Polaris took to the stage the venue was over half full. The five piece metalcore group from Sydney, Australia seemed genuinely grateful to be on the stage and played a brilliant set with the majority of material taken from their newly released debut record The Mortal Coil. Frontman Jamie Hails engaged the crowd really well and succeeded in orchestrating the first wall of death of the night. One things for sure, they deservedly left London with a hell of a lot more friends than when they came in.
Watch a crushing live video of Parkway Drive's "Crushed".
Third up was Texan metalcore tribe Kublai Khan who have been a band I've wanted to see live for a long time and hitting the stage with the ultra heavy monster riff of "Eyes Up" followed by "The Hammer" things sounded promising; however, their set seemed to fall decidedly flat with the slow heavy breakdowns becoming increasingly predictable, coupled with annoying delays between songs which were filled with long anecdotes from Matt Honeycutt, which led to an unfortunate drop in audience connection of an otherwise good set.
The lull in proceedings meant there was an eager anticipation for Illinois quartet Sworn In, however, I’m really struggling to take the positives from an otherwise well-received set. It's maybe that they were having an off show, but vocally this band were way off the mark tonight, which certainly could not be said for the brilliant Chelsea Grin who delivered a solid show, technically flawless and highlighting cuts from their new Self Inflicted record, it was great to see them back in London encouraging some great pit moves from the hardcore crowd.
I was worried about Deez Nuts on an otherwise death/metalcore heavy bill. How wrong could I be. First song in and the “Deez Nuts, Deez Nuts!” chants began from the healthy sized gang down the front. The hardcore quartet from Melbourne, Australia came to start a party, and this is exactly what they did to great aplomb. Guitarist Matt Rogers bouncing around the stage whilst frontman JJ Peters led the crowd in glorious singalongs to a seamless blend of old favourites like "Shot After Shot", "What's Good" and "Band Of Brothers" was great too watch, whilst newer more heavier cuts from the solid new record Binge And Purgatory were equally well-received. The band are rumoured to be heading back this way in March 2018 and I for one will be joining the party when they do.
Check out the trailer for the Impericon Never Say Die! Tour 2017.
There’s no doubt most people were there for headliner Emmure. After two cancelled UK tours there seemed to be a great sense of anticipation to see them back in London, doing what they do best with a refreshing new line up and promoting for me what is a clear contender for album of the year in Look At Yourself. Hitting the stage with the crushing combo of "You Asked For It" into "Shinjuku Masterlord" it's clear there is a lot of love out there for Emmure in 2017. Amongst the new material was a batch of songs for the old school fans, with the likes of "Sunday Bacon", "Children Of Cybertron" and "Solar Flare Homicide" getting a refreshing new feel due to the sometimes forgotten musical brilliance of drummer Josh Miller, guitarist Josh Travis and bassist Phil Lockett.
However it's the endearing presence of Frankie Palmeri commanding the stage which will always capture the core vibe of Emmure, making it clear that after well published issues with previous line-ups, he is back stronger than ever, with a real sense of passion which translated in full to the mosh pit frenzy in front of him during new fan favourites like "Flag Of The Beast" and "Torch". According to Frankie himself: “Emmure is actually the best it's ever been, it's just a fact.” By the crushing finale of "When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong" featuring an appearance from Lorna Shore’s Tom Barber, it’s impossible to disagree.