There’s been an abundance of talent on the heavy end of the muso spectrum coming from Japan in recent years – ticking them off we’ve got Crossfaith, BABYMETAL, Man With A Mission and Coldrain, who tonight are headlining The Borderline on the London date of their second ever UK headline tour.
Metalcore newcomers Counting Days kick things off on a deliciously heavy note, delivering neck-breaking riffs with a hint of melody. There’s a symphonic element to tracks like ‘Die Hard’ and it’s these moments that make them stand out from the plethora of metalcore offerings. The London boys certainly like a thick breakdown or two, and by the end of their set the crowd has definitely warmed up to them (you can’t help but headbang to the likes of ‘Burned By Faith’ really). If you haven’t checked out their debut album Liberated Sounds yet, do it – it’s an absolute must. Ones to watch.
Another fairly recent newcomer to the scene are Floridian metalcore mob Wage War who inject a new lease of energy with their high octane performance. Frontman Briton Bond’s visceral vocals are balanced out by guitarist Cody Quistad‘s angelic cleans, which come as a complete surprise to those who’ve never heard this band before. The band serve up a mix of heavy throwdown riffs with catchy melodies like on ‘Twenty One’, and even manage to get a pit going. There’s still life in the genre yet!
Tonight’s headliners Coldrain are a long way from home, but the crowd immediately make them feel welcome as the band explode into the skullbashing ‘Vena’ and go absolutely nuts. Their catchy and sometimes radio-friendly metalcore sounds 10 times more aggressive and explosive live than on record, and it’s all the better for it. Babyfaced frontman Masato Hayakawa glides from pitch-perfect mellifluous tones to death growls with ease, and has the crowd eating out of his hand, even after making a cock up with the lyrics on ‘Heart of the Young’ and having to restart the song.
In the space of just short of 90 minutes, Coldrain manage to pack an incredible 19 songs into their set, barely pausing for breath and remaining an energetic force to be reckoned with throughout. Highlights include ‘Gone’, ‘Runaway’ and ‘The Story’ which spur plenty of singalongs and fist-in-the-air moments. After seeing this band live, you realise just how many memorable songs they have, and their knack for a catchy melody. The band close with live favourite ‘The Revolution’ and the crowd don’t waste a single second of their last chance to lose their minds as Coldrain figuratively tear the roof off the place.
Coldrain may be relatively unknown in the UK but if tonight is anything to go by, it won’t stay that way for long.