Tag Archives: melodeath

Trivium, Bleed from Within and Orbit Culture Tear Down Sheffield’s 02 Academy!

Now, for long time readers here at Overtone, it is no secret that I am a huge fan of Trivium (and by extension Matt Heafy). Their 2021 album Court of the Dragon landed in the top five of our albums of the year list. And Matt’s solo work, Ibaraki, landed in the top 10 last year, too. So, I’m sure it’s as insane to y’all as it is to me that it’s been 11 years since I’ve seen a full set from them. Outside of a couple of songs at Download the other year, I haven’t seen them since that same festival back in 2012. And I’ve never seen them at their own show. So, to say that I was excited was an understatement.

Supporting them were also Scotland’s own Bleed from Within, and Swedish death metallers Orbit Culture. To put them into perspective; the former put out one of the best metal albums of last year, and the latter currently sit at #3 on my best albums of this year. So yes, this was one hell of a line-up.

Right from the offset my first comment has to be… fuck was it loud! Like, I’m writing this a couple of days after the gig and I’m surprised I have my full hearing back, loud. I swear at times my clothes were vibrating even from the bass of it all. It’s what a rock gig should be like!

Now, I am a newcomer to the opening band. I’d seen the name about but hadn’t truly listened to their music until Decent (review here). Goddamn though, they are one of the best new metal bands out there today, and looked right at home up there with the other two bands. Their talent and playing ability is off the charts, sitting somewhere between Gojira and In Flames in terms of sound. All of them put on an energetic show, headbanging nearly constantly, and we even got that smoke pyro stuff! Niklas Karlsson’s vocals hold up amazingly, both clean and harsh.

My only slight issue is that the band didn’t have nearly enough time. At half an hour, they could only squeeze in six tracks. However, they gave it their all throughout, playing a host of new great tracks alongside older favourites ‘North Star of Nija’ and ‘Strangler’. The crowd weren’t too familiar with the band, it seemed, but they have definitely come away with some new fans, I’m sure!

Next up were Glasgow’s metal heroes Bleed From Within. Suddenly the crowd was a lot more packed as they took the stage, and everyone seemed a lot more receptive. Heck, a HUGE pit opened up across most of the front of the floor, and they got a couple of great wall of deaths. It made me feel slightly bad for Orbit Culture, however, BFW are the bigger band and the slightly more local band.

Bleed From Within killed it, too. They didn’t really have much more time than the opener, but with everyone going nuts throughout it felt like they were on for longer. Much like OC, too, they played a new-songs-heavy set. We still got ‘Pathfinder’ and the epic ‘End of All we Know’ from Fracture. However, they didn’t touch on their earlier albums at all. As much as I love Shrine and Fracture, it would have been nice to have had just one cheeky track from Empire or something! Still, the crowd loved every second and there is no doubting the band put on one hell of a performance for us. Scott Kennedy had everyone in the palm of his hands from the first note until the last!

And then, how could we forget about the mighty Trivium. 10 studio albums, nearly 200 UK shows and huge tours with some of the biggest bands on the planet. And with Matt openly stating this is the last time the band are touring together for a little while, this was set to be big.

And big it was. It felt like a celebration of their music, touching on just about every album they’ve released. However, not only that, but this year marks 15 years since the release of Shogun. An album many would argue isn’t just Trivium’s best, but one of the best metal albums of this millennium. An album that, alongside BFMV’s The Poison, got me into the heavier side of metal and into metalcore in 2009. So, for them to play nearly half the album in celebration, was truly fucking special for me. Tracks like ‘Kirisute Gomen’ and ‘Insurrection’ were outstanding. And clearly the crowd were all for it as each of the five tracks whipped them into a frenzy.

Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of excellent songs from other albums, too. Opening on recent album opener ‘In the Court of the Dragon’, and slotting in crowd favourites like ‘Strife’, ‘Heart from Your Hate’ and forever-set-closer ‘In Waves’. We even got tracks like ‘Becoming the Dragon’ and ‘Entrance of the Conflagration’ from The Crusade. It was one of the most varied and interesting sets I’ve seen them playing in a while, on this tour. Heck, my only issue is that we didn’t hear more newer stuff. I love the last three albums they’ve done, so to only hear one track off each was a bit of a bummer. Clearly, they need to do a three-hour, evening with tour when they’re back!

I still cannot get over just how good a frontman Matt Heafy is these days, too. He’s always being good, but this was on another level. I had the crowd eating out of his hand and doing whatever he asked of them throughout the entire set. Be it moshing, headbanging, jumping, singing along or even one of the better Jumpthefuckup’s I’ve seen not done by Slipknot. I’d put him up there with some of the greats at this point; Bruce Dickinson, Rob Halford, even Ozzy!

And there we have it folks. Three bands who are leading the charge for metal music and doing a tremendous job of it. Orbit Culture are going to be huge, as are Bleed from Within. And honestly, Trivium should be headlining festivals worldwide with their show and back catalogue. Hopefully when they return from their absence, they’ll get the love they truly deserve!

Negative Energy: Are Vexed the Futures of the UK Heavy Scene?

British alt metal/deathcore band Vexed returned last week with their sophomore album. After setting the underground scene on fire with their debut back in 2021, the band return with even more anger, heaviness and drive. Without further ado, let’s dive into the review!

After a brief, perfectly building intro track, the album explodes in with the lead single, ‘Anti-Fetish’. A sludgy, modern deathcore riff leads to some fantastic heavy growls from Megan Targett. Despite the heaviness, the chorus is surprisingly catchy, the vocals cleaning up slightly at times. This heavier edge than their previous sound reminds me a lot of Darko US, which is fine by me. It definitely has the same quirkiness and energy; aggression and talent and passion.

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‘We don’t talk about it’ is pretty similar in feel and structure to the previous track. However, it does have a slightly more radio friendly feel to it. The spoken work stuff was cool, too, adding an almost Marylin Manson quality to it all.

‘X my <3’ is a banger, despite it’s cringy (albeit clever) title. Opening with the catchy, almost radio-friendly chorus was a great call. The guitars are a little less out there and technical, too, it being more of a sludgy, groovy wall of heavy. The fully clean vocals were a nice touch too, only making the screams even heavier. The breakdown was tasty too, the bends being amazing and reminding me a little of early Architects. It’s one of my favourite tracks on the album and easily makes the playlist.

The chuggy opener of ‘Panic Attack’ is fun, the drum tone almost giving off Slipknot vibes with that massive hit between guitar notes. The quick vocal delivery almost confirmed the sound too, while the brutal screams for the chorus backed by the rather open groove-metal instrumentation made for an interesting dynamic. It somehow fits the subject matter perfectly too, the claustrophobic, fast riffing combining with the slower(ish) drums making everything feel close and anxious. Another amazing track.

Alpha Wolf lends their talents perfectly for ‘Lay down your flowers’. The added male screams added some fun variety, especially when they are higher and more metalcore. The whole track has a metalcore style to it, from the quick guitar runs to the quieter interlude in the middle. It was a nice way to break-up the album after a few fairly similar tracks. Clearly, I need to check out more Alpha Wolf, as his vocals were great!

Unfortunately, ‘There’s no place like home’ is where I start to really feel the album. While Overtone has helped me get into the heavier end of music a lot, like this band and album, I’m a sucker for variety. My brain gets easily distracted and if a lot of tracks sound similar, it’ll want to check out something else. As much as I love this album and love each individual track, it did start to wear on me a little by the halfway mark. 45+ minutes of balls to the wall melodeath is a bit much for me, where’s the ballad, Vexed? Still, as I’ve said, I loved each track individually, and feel like this all would be INCREDIBLE live.

Ironically, I’m obsessed with the following track ‘Extremist’. The way everything was stabbing on each beat, the drums, vocals and guitars all working in sync together, was AMAZING. It’s so incredibly written and packs one hell of a punch. The whole track is great, but those verses are somthing else. It’s another massive highlight of the album, and another track that makes the playlist!

Tracks like ‘Default’ and closer ‘Nepotism’ are similar to a lot of the rest. However, to Vexed ‘s credit, single ‘Trauma Euphoria’ and ‘It’s not the End’ both mix it up a bit. Both feature more of a focus on cleaner vocals and slower, radio-friendlier sections around the heavy, harsh screams. The former is a very good choice as a single as it combines the bands trademark heaviness with a genuinely huge, anthemic and catchy chorus. Oh, and it also has a fantastic guitar solo, something I have only just realised now have been absent for much of the album. It only made this one hit harder, though, it was awesome. The track could be massive off that chorus alone, and it should, as it’s amazing. Playlisted!

Meanwhile the latter feels the closest thing to a ballad the album has. It opens slow and clean, decending into a very angry chorus. The ambient sounds behind it though is so beautiful and so Spiritbox. Controversial opinion though, Vexed do it better than Spiritbox. It’s another highlight track of the album, and I only wish it was put earlier on to break things up a little more.

Overall: I LOVED THIS. While the whole album was amazing, there’s a good 5/6 tracks here that are going to stay in my frequent rotation for the rest of the year, guaranteed. Given that I am typically not as into this style as a lot of others are, I couldn’t get enough of it. They’re the sub-genre leaders after this, in my opinion, and they are going to be a massive deal in the years to come. They have a big new fan in me, and now I just need to see this live!

The score: 9.5/10

Dealing With Demons Vol. II: How Does Devildriver ‘s New Release Compare to its Predecessor?

Californian groove metallers Devildriver are back with their tenth studio album on Friday, and a follow up to 2020’s Vol. I. I have to admit, though I like the music I have heard from the band, I can’t say that I’ve checked out much. The odd song here and there as opposed to a full album. That all changes today, and boy am I excited. I love all things groove, thrash and melodeath, so let’s dive right in!

The album opens with a slow build into a fantastic, heavy, sludgy riff. It’s Devildriver to a T and I love it. Dez’s awesome scream comes in over the awesome verse riff and amazing drumming. It gives off heavy 2000s Machine Head vibes, which I cannot complain about at all. The chorus doesn’t change the formula all too much, but still manages to be pretty catchy and memorable. There’s an awesome guitar solo in the middle too, even if it is a little brief for my liking. A pretty simple structure to open but it was a good choice and a good track. Great riffs, overall great playing and some amazing vocals.

‘Mantra’ keeps the heaviness going with the evil opening riff. It leads to another full-on, heavy verse. The riffing is really excellent, a massive highlight of the album as a whole, to be honest. The chorus is great and crushing, it all being brutal so far. The bridge/breakdown riff is also AWESOME. It’s another simple structured track but I loved this. It makes our playlist.

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‘Nothing Lasts Forever’ again opens on a great, heavy riff. The drums are the real highlight of this track, between the double-pedal and cymbal work, it’s all amazing. Davier PĂ©rez is a pretty underrated player! I like them adding some dynamics for a moment with the stripped-back, clean vocalled parts between the verses and choruses. It broke things up nicely, especially when so far the whole album has been a violent punch to the nose. It’s another fantastic chorus and ear-worm; it’ll be stuck in my head for days to come. Another great track and another highlight of the album.

The quieter start to ‘Summoning’ was a nice change of pace. It also led to another fantastic, evil, groovy riff. The slow chug of the verses was awesome, and again the drumming is top notch. The chorus has a bit of a power metal edge to it, much like Parkway Drive’s last couple of albums. It’s a massively fun track and another that makes the playlist!

‘Through the Depths’ is another slower opener, the clean chord progression reminding me a lot of ‘Seasons in the Abyss’. It then hits into a huge riff that is just pure black metal, before easing off a little into melodeath. The track also has just a touch of the chaotic energy channelled by the likes of Tallah, though that may just be me. It drops back down to the cleaner chord progression for an outro too, which was a very nice touch!

‘Bloodbath’, and the rest of the tracks, for that matter, are more of the same. That isn’t a complaint at all, there are some fantastic riffs, melodies and moments throughout the four tracks. It simply means that there isn’t a huge amount of variety for me to write about in my review, so I’d end up repeating things and it’d get boring. Again, I shall repeat, all are fantastic tracks if you are into the sort of noise that Devildriver produce. And ‘This Relationship, Broken’ is one hell of a closing track.

Overall: This was a great heavy album! If you’re into Devildriver, or groove/thrash/melodeath in general, this will be right up your street. I have to admit, I was hoping for slightly more diversity in the music, it felt like a one note album at times, but maybe that was because of how close they are to Machine Head and how spoilt we have been by them over the years. This is a great album in its own right and has definitely gotten me into Devildriver more!

The Score: 7.5/10