Bring me The Horizon, Crossfaith & Empress
Manchester Academy 2
April 29th 2013
I only really got into Bring Me The Horizon relatively recently, having finally gotten past the slight stigma they’ve been given by some of the more insecure members of the rock and metal community as ‘more good looks than actual musical talent’.
But when I fell for their music, I fell hard. Even better was that, securing their places in mine and many others’ hearts, their latest album Sempiternal was released on the first of April, and it is not an album that anybody’s going to forget very soon. More mature than There Is A Hell . . . and Suicide Season, the album boasts much more variety, especially with new recruit Jordan Fish’s computer-based contributions, as well as some deeply personal lyrics that cover everything from coming to terms with inevitable personal problems to anger at being told religion was the only option for recovery.
I’ve been waiting to go to this concert since about February, when I started brandishing the Kerrang! Magazine gig dates pages to anyone who might be able to get hold of a ticket. It came down to sending “have you got them?” every ten minutes to my dad/ticket-finder, but I got them and that’s what matters.
For a band as big as Bring Me The Horizon, it seemed somewhat odd that they were going to be playing Academy 2, a fair-sized venue, but one that they could probably pack out in the blink of an eyelid. But, given their mentions recently of the toll that their seemingly endless touring over the last few years has taken upon them as individuals and as a band, maybe they feel more comfortable starting small.
The evening was opened by Empress, who put all their blood, sweat and tears into their act. Next – emerging to a metal version of ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra’ – with more insane beeping noises and bright lights than a UFO crash, came Crossfaith; five cute, well-dressed Japanese guys who play metal so intense that they could have generated enough energy to power the whole building. They got the crowd going absolutely wild, starting circle pits and walls of death like they were the headlining act. They were good enough that I’d have been pretty happy just seeing them perform on their own.
After Crossfaith finished with their awesome cover of The Prodigy’s ‘Omen’, Bring Me The Horizon appeared and blew everyone away with their opening ‘Shadow Moses’, the leading single off Sempiternal, as lead singer Oli Sykes decided to set the bar for the evening by declaring that he wanted at least three people dead from moshing too hard, and that we had to mosh or “fuck off home”.
The whole show was insane, everyone screaming and diving about, with the crowd singing back the lyrics so loud and clear it could have been planned and rehearsed beforehand. There were some minor technical difficulties a few songs in, but as Oli pointed out, nobody really gave a shit. The show progressed, with at least three crowdsurfers at any given point of the show, all vying for Oli’s offer of a high five with his high-five tattoo if they could get to the front, all while Bring Me The Horizon blasted out song after song, mostly off their newest album, but with a few of their old classics like ‘Chelsea Grin’ and ‘It Never Ends’ thrown in for good measure.
They technically finished with an amazing performance of ‘Sleepwalking’, but came back on to an encore – and a very confused cheer from the crowd who couldn’t tell if it was the band or the guitar techs sneaking onstage in the darkness – to perform ‘Diamonds Aren’t Forever’, and ended the evening on the furious ‘Antivist’, with Oli calling out that he wanted to see “a few fucking broken ribs by the end of this song”.
A fantastic performance by all the bands altogether, with Bring Me The Horizon absolutely destroying it. To think, this technically isn’t even a proper tour – how much more insane will it be when someone lets them loose on a larger venue?
All words by Isobel Brierly.