The Forum – London
To those not versed in the ways of modern hardcore, the scene greeting them on the dancefloor tonight would have their jaws thudding to the floor. It’s still early in the evening and already a gang of thick-necked hardcore motherfuckers are performing a bizarre dance ritual that involves flaying their feet and fists around as violently as possible while Boston’s THE RED CHORD provide the ideal soundtrack to the rampant displays of aggression. Unbelievably tight and powerful, their Dillinger Escape Plan meets Slayer metalcore is a damn sight more preferable to the cringe-inducing rock posturing of BLEED FROM THE SKY that follows them. Frontman Noah Robinson’s habit of switching between grunted vocals and tuneless supposedly melodic wailings is horribly irritating and his stage raps to hot chicks and hard drinking would be better suited to a Motley Crue show.
BORN FROM PAIN are from Holland, not that you’d know it from the ridiculous fake American accent frontman Che Snelting insists on talking in. Their music doesn’t fare much better either, rarely breaking out of the same chugga-chugga tempo that so many metalcore bands get trapped in.
NAPALM DEATH are the daddies of extreme music. Grindcore? They invented it. Blastbeats? They invented those too. Fake American accents? No chance! Everything Napalm Death do is genuine and honest and they roar through a set that shows these young metalcore pups how it should be done. From the short sharp shocks of their groundbreaking early material (‘Scum’ and ‘Life’ sound as brutal as ever) to the title track of this years ‘The Code Is Red‘ album, their entire set is a lesson in brutal power and speed, climaxing with a glorious white noise cover of the Dead Kennedy’s anti-fascist classic ‘Nazi Punks Fuck Off‘.
AGNOSTIC FRONT were one of the first bands to bring the then very separate worlds of hardcore and metal together, a fact they are keen to celebrate by devoting a large chunk of their set tonight to their ground-breaking mid-eighties ‘Cause For Alarm‘ album, before Barney from Napalm joins them onstage for a riot inciting stomp through ‘Blind Justice’. Pure hardcore perfection.
All that’s left now is for HATEBREED to level the place with one final punishing hardcore attack. Although not the most original band around, they are so ferociously heavy it’s impossible not to be knocked out by their sheer brute force. ‘Nobody stand still, let’s turn this place into a Warzone,’ bellows frontman Jamey Jasta and the audience respond accordingly bringing the night to an end with a vulgar display of testosterone that threatens to bring the entire venue crashing to its foundations.