The Metal Hammer and Mathew Heafy of Trivium curated line up of this run of UK dates has been one that has had metal fans talking. Matt has always been very vocal on his social media and other outlets about pushing new bands and supporting them, and does a great job of finding new music. Which is probably why he specifically chose 3 of the most upcoming genre pushing bands to support Trivium on their sold out run of UK dates; Venom Prison, Power Trip and Code Orange. Now onto the show! As I approach the o2 academy in Bristol, all I can see is eagerly awaiting metal heads waiting for doors to open. As I walk past the hundreds of fan queuing up the road and head straight to the 02 priority queue you can tell the atmosphere is electric and for a Monday night it’s going to get heavy.
As I’m pondering the merch booth at the entrance of the venue I hear this savagely heavy death metal come from within and with that I knew Venom Prison [4.0] had taken the stage. I rush in, grab a beer and descend into the chaos that is the standing area. Now I’m not familiar with their back catalogue but understand that the set mainly consisted of songs from the debut album ‘Animus’ and that I have not stopped listening to it since. Venom Prison are clearly here to impressive and they certainly sound incredible, especially the absolute banshee that is their vocalist Larissa Stupar, her vocal and overall performance were bat shit crazy. A massive shout out to Venom Prison for opening the show, the level of insanity in the venue for the first support band was insane, the fans were certainly out in there legions.
With the venue slowly but surely packing up, I make sure I get closer to the stage to experience this show properly as up next is the one of the leading new bands of thrash metal Power Trip [4.0] Now being a big thrash metal fan Power Trip are a band that I listen to frequently, and there most recent album ‘Nightmare Logic’ is a certainty for any thrash metal fan. They open with ‘Soul Sacrifice’ the opening track to the latest record and the venue goes nuts; the pit widens and consumes half the crowd within it. The highlight of their set is next and is easily one their biggest songs ‘Executioners Tax (Swing of The Axe)’ the riff is just unfuckable, and with the matching guitar tones it sounds massive. The crowd certainly love it. The rest of the set keeps the energy and momentum high but I can’t help feel that the biggest reaction was ‘Executioners Tax’ and it deserved to be the closer of the set. That doesn’t deter from the fact that thrash metal is in a safe place, especially with power trip at the helm.
I’ve been looking forward to this moment ever since the tour was announced, and with their latest album ‘Forever’ being my number 1 album of 2017, I knew Code Orange [5.0] were going to be my highlight. The band take no time in making the crowd go fucking crazy, the energy they have on stage is really next level and puts 90% of bands to shame. Before the first song has even kicked in they are already putting the venue through its paces. ‘My World’ opens the set, easily my favourite off of their debut album ‘I Am King’ and as the songs builds in the crowd completely split and the floor becomes a pit of pure chaos. Throughout the set all members of the band are on form and never drop in energy, the bassist Joe looks like he’s ready to kill everyone in the front row and is bleeding from the face to add to the insanity. Their set mainly comes from ‘Forever’ with a few songs added in from their debut. However Code Orange aren’t ones to do things normal and with them dropping a new track at the start of the year and with hints that they’ll be doing that more often the newest song ‘Only One Way’ is a mix of nine inch nails synths with heavy riffs and incredible vocals and for a new song it goes down particularly well with the crowd. The whole set was completely phenomenal and I struggle to think any gig will beat it this year, an incredible performance from an outstanding band.
Now onto the headliner; the veterans and masters of modern metal Trivium [5.0]. As the venue goes completely black and ‘Run To The Hills’ by Iron Maiden rings out across the venue, the crowd knows it’s moments until Trivium grace the stage. The ear shattering screams and cheers roar as they open with the opening track to their latest record ‘The Sin and the Sentence’, Matt Heafy is barely audible as the crowd are bellowing the vocals back to him and you can see on their faces that they are as excited as us for the show. The set is very much focused on the new record with 6 songs in total being played out of 15 but Trivium aren’t stupid and no exactly what the UK’s favourite album is, their debut ‘Ascendency’. After announcing this fact the band unleash into ‘Like Lights To The Flies’ a favourite off of the debut, the crowd goes into a whole another level and the vibe is completely electric throughout the song. Trivium are on insane form and for a band that have been playing some of these songs since they were 18 years old, they have no intent of slowing down and show the same levels of enthusiasm as they did back then. As the cliché one more song left announcement is made, we know that they haven’t played 2 of their biggest songs and of course in typical gig fashion the encore opens. Up there to be the biggest song of their career ‘Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr’ opening drum fill sounds massive, as they shred through the song I can’t help but notice that all the members are putting in a flawless performance, not a wrong note was played throughout. The last song and the closer of tonight’s incredible line up of bands is of course ‘In Waves’ Matt tells us all to sit down and get ready to jump as the song kicks in and there is not a single person standing still, the venue is giving every last bit of energy to this band are they definitely deserve it. An incredible night for metal music, all I can recommend is to give all these bands your attention, it is well deserved.