Live Review: Impericon Festival - Manchester Academy 2 - 17/4/17

It's left to debate, and personal preference whether an outdoor or indoor festival is better, granted the toilets might be better at an indoor festival, but does anything beat seeing a band smash a main stage slot in front of tens of thousands of people? Maybe not, but Impericon Festival comes about as close as you can get.

With only the one UK date at Manchester Academy 2 this year, there was some speculation that the lineup was not as strong as previous years, with the likes of Suicide Silence (pre self-titled) headlining in the past, however the diversity in genre between the incredible bands that took the stage this year was something different.

First to the stage, Leeds hardcore band, Higher Power [6]. Being first on the bill comes with a lot of pressure to set the tone for the day, and they suited the opening slot perfectly, with tonnes of confidence and energy. They took control and managed to entertain those awake enough to get in the pit (if that's what we still call kids spin-kicking and pretending to be windmills whilst keeping a 5 foot distance from anyone else)

Next up - Casey [8]. Words can not describe how talented these guys are, musically they are storming the melodic hardcore scene, lyrically they are, in my opinion, unmatched in the genre. With a poetic beauty, lead vocalist Tom Weaver may not show as much confidence as Higher Power, but the emotion and connection that breached the barrier between fans and band was something unforgettable.

Casey - Photo Credit: Bleeached Photography

Napoleon [7] took to the stage, and just as people were done wiping their eyes and emotionally recuperating from the last set, the crowd was engulfed with brutal screams and excellently intricate solos, forcing themselves into spectators memory.

The energy definitely started to rise as Brutality Will Prevail [6] began their set, however for most the crowd their sat was slightly upstaged by the brawl that broke out between two guys beside the pit, and it seems that, contrary to their name, brutality doesn't always prevail as one of them very quickly found himself in the back of a police van outside.

Although their sound might have not been entirely for everyone in attendance, Broken Teeth [5] were received very well by the crowd, with many screaming the whole set word for word back up to the stage, unfortunately it was yet another set of windmill wannabees and invisible fighting, much to the distaste of everyone else in attendance, but what can you do?

Okay, let's talk about In Hearts Wake [8]. What a band. Putting in a performance that both die hard and casual fans would be entertained and endeared by, it seems only a matter of time until the band on their way to headlining 1,000 cap venues. From crowd surfing on an inflatable crocodile, to shaking the floor with his incredible screams, vocalist Jake Taylor, had the confidence and stage presence to match the very best in the genre.

In Hearts Wake - Photo Credit: Kane Hibberd

As always, Miss May I [7] put on a show that can be reminisced upon through the bruises and marks left. Playing some songs from their upcoming album was a calculated risk, that payed off beautifully as it gave an insight to the quality tracks that will feature on Shadow Inside. They kept the energy and atmosphere high for deathcore masterminds, Carnifex.

Now for real, when was the last time you saw a band cover Slipknot, and actually pull it off? It doesn't happen right? Well Carnifex [7.5] proved it more than possible as metal fans lost their mind to The Heretic Anthem with a slight deathcore mix thrown in through Scott Lewis' insane vocals! With some quality songs of their own, it's about time we see these guys progressing festival bills.

Okay, Being As An Ocean [8.5] are the best band in the world. No dispute. As always, they put their all into what was a set on the edges of perfection, with lead vocalist Joel Quartuccio as energetic as ever, spending almost the whole set either on the barrier or in the crowd. The clean vocals, provided by Michael Mcgough, are bone chilling and simply beautiful. Performing a new song off their upcoming album, Waiting for Morning to Come, it fitted in perfectly to a set that held testament to this bands 5 year career of producing beautiful, emotional, and just brilliant music.

Maybe we should start hoping for vocalists to leave bands more often; because CJ Mcmahon has returned to Thy Art Is Murder [9], and he sounds more brutal, demonic, and damn better that ever. Opening with crowd favourite, Holy War, it took seconds for the space in the middle of the room to clear in preparation for the pure carnage that was to be orchestrated by the 5 piece Deathcore legends. From the moment they walked on stage they were in full control, the whole audience at their feet, and the thought of pure chaos and destruction in their minds. A set that proved their arguably unmatched dominance in the Deathcore genre, leaving all in attendance not only aching, but yearning for more.

Thy Art Is Murder - Photo Credit: Jake Owens Review by Jay Kirk