If it feels like it's been an eternity since After The Burial bruised there way through this side of the water, that's because it has been. Outside of their support slot on Thy Art Is Murder's 2017 UK tour, the Minnesota brutes have been relative strangers to this side of the world. Though almost laughably small to contain an evening of this ferocity - The Flapper's dingy, claustrophobic basement walls seem somewhat ideal for the occasion, metalcore in a sweat box: what could go wrong?
Local band Overthrone  continue to make the kind of strides which suggest that sooner rather than later this quintet are certain to outgrow the 'local band' moniker. For a band still in their infancy they're almost astoundingly well refined, and having already supported the likes of Blood Youth and Make Them Suffer this year - their explosion to the masses is a ticking time bomb. When the inevitable implosion occurs it will be more than justified too, 'Forever Frozen' balances its melodies off against its vicious rhythms with perfect symmetry, while new single 'Omissions' is just a straight up metalcore banger whichever way you choose to look at it. One of the more energising sets of the evening - Overthrone are a success story waiting to happen.
Adding more straight up hardcore elements to the evening, Ghost Iris  delivered a thumping set with aplomb. Their brand of djent may be rough around the edges, but its delivered with the kind of slick apathy that can't help but capture your attention. Though three albums in it still feels like this is a band that are yet to truly master their sound - and that's the most exciting aspect of the outfit. Tracks like 'Virus' cause a sonic storm, and the idea that the best is yet to come from this band spells intriguing doom.
Though a little cleaner in their output, From Sorrow To Serenity  are an apt main support for tonight's proceedings. Standing as an ideal precursor for the eruption that would imminently take place after, the Scots poised, ravenous djent tones go down a treat. The bands new record Reclaim does wonders for the bands stature and the tracks that do make an appearance off the record here are received with a pulsating bounce. A solid set from a quartet that seem certain to cause some waves in the scene.
There's only a small list of bands that deliver the same kind of shock and awe factor that After The Burial  bring to the table. Such is the bands incredible, blood soaked chord progression, that regardless of how many times you see the metalcore titans - you can never quite believe they're a four piece. Their level of technical intensity is nigh-on unmatched in the genre, and this evening was yet another example of their rhythmic force.
The opening trio of 'Lost In The Static', 'Collapse', and 'Behold The Crown' is an cosmic avalanche of skin shedding metal. As the crowd become unglued the sets solidity remains at granite level, this is controlled chaos - and the solo of 'Collapse' in particular is one of the many moments throughout the bands performance where the crowd violence stops to take in the awe of guitarist Trent Hafdahl's genuinely staggering ability to shred you into oblivion.
Vocalist Anthony Notarmaso is on top form here too, the growls of 'Berzerker' and the closing 'Wolf Amongst The Ravens' are as disturbing as they are vicious, and a lot of After The Burial's manic intensity is down to Notarmaso's vocal versatility. It's all perfectly suited to the almost microscopic size of The Flapper too, every high pitched beckon from the front man sounds utterly deafening within these sweat ridden walls.
It sounds like a juxtaposition to suggest this was a professional performance from After The Burial, but the bands quality and stance in metalcore made this just another night at the office. Even with that considered though, this was a brutal, proficient performance from one of the genre's absolute shining lights. Though the formula for ATB rarely diverts, what we have here is a band that have made a living from their ability to spin a breakdown that border's on musical assault, and judging from tonight's proceedings - they'll be causing riots for quite a few more years yet.