Killswitch Engage – Trivium: Live at 02 Academy, Manchester, UK

Traffic is an inconvenient thing when you’re doing anything but when you’ve got somewhere to be, it always seems to take the biscuit that little bit more. Unfortunately, this was the situation that occurred as this guy made their way to the Manchester Academy and as such, the first and second acts of the night, Battlecross and Miss May I, were not seen through these writers’ eyes. Luckily a friend with usually excellent taste was on hand to witness the Ohioan five-piece and her review, so elegantly put, was “f-ing awesome,” so lets go with that. Trivium, however, was thankfully a different story and one that starts with yours truly actually getting to observe some live music in action. Having witnessed these boys before in a fashion that brought words such as lacklustre and tedious to mind, it was with surprising but blisteringly excellent style that the Floridian metallers went about their set, showing how far they’ve come in recent years.

As for the rest of the room’s reactions, they too seemed to be more than happy with the performance in front of them, ‘Down From The Sky,’ ‘A Gun To The Head Of Trepidation’ and ‘Shogun’ being of particular vocal highlights amongst the mostly blurry-eyed fans. The music however wasn’t the only thing we were treated too. Smoke bursts and lighting effects to rival the Olympics brought another entertaining if not blinding dimension to their show, an element that always appears to come to the stage when this four-piece is in town. Ending the show with the an excellent rendition of ‘Pull Harder on the Strings Of Your Martyr,’ trivium left the stage having shot many a proverbial bullet to any trepidations that I or others may have had concerning their live prowess.

For the main act, or seemingly most popular act in the Academy anyway, it was their turn to bring the noise and this time the room tinged with so much drunken and sober (ahem) enthusiasm that it even the most cynical of spectators would have been hard pushed not to be swept up in it. Coming out to ‘Eye Of The Tiger,’ Killswitch Engage (KSE) leapt on to the stage, their leader Jesse Leech brimming with confidence and front man swagger. Launching into ‘A Bid Farewell,’ the crowd wasted no time joining in with the verbal festivities, word for word being sung back to the quintet. As for the makers of the music, chugging beer on stage, encouraging female viewers to expose their breasts when on friends shoulders and generally having fun were just a few things in the KSE repertoire, showing to those who could see the love they have for what they do.

Musically it was as tight and as brilliant as we’ve come to expect from KSE, but it was lead man Jesse who, for me anyway, really stole the show. Screaming or singing, Jesse’s vocal performance was excellent no matter which way he was vocalizing it, and having being disappointed by the Howard Jones departure before, it’s safe to say I am no longer (we still love you Howard!). A wonderful set and fantastic show by the KSE boys, the Massachusetts five-piece brought tracks such as ‘The End Of Heartache,’ ‘My Last Serenade’ and closing number ‘My Curse’ to a new level of awesome, one that they managed to bring throughout and one they will undoubtedly continue to do as long as their metal-core hearts beat on.

Original article can be seen on the Ghost Cult site here