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Review: Taste Of Chaos – O2 Academy, Bristol – 28/11/09

Event: Taste Of Chaos Tour
Bands: Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster, Every Time I Die, In Flames, Killswitch Engage
Venue: O2 Academy, Bristol
Date: 28th Nov 2009

Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster : This was the main reason I was so excited for this gig, Maylene have been one of my favourite bands for a long time now, and I knew they would not disappoint on the Taste of Chaos tour. To start off Maylene are a southern metal/rock band from Alabama. The image is everything to the band, its what makes them what they are. In there videos they play on the whole ‘hillbilly’ theme so much, and its hilarious, kids play banjos, throwing down in the barns. It’s all great stuff. However i was upset when half of the band came onto stage in just t shirts and jeans, it seemed half of the band really made the effort for the image and the other band couldn’t be bothered. I really thought they could have done something hilarious on stage with the whole hillbilly theme, anyway to the overall sound. The band pack a stupidly gritty sound, they have 3 guitarists, a bass, vocalist and drummer. Its a huge line up and the sound was just epic, there were a lot of 80’s hair metal riffs being thrown around and they sounded intense. The band had no space to move at all, firstly because of the size of the band, but secondly because all the following bands back-lines were behind them, so stage presence was limited. It was a special gig for Maylene as well because Schuyler Croom (he is legend singer) filled in for the vocalist. Overall maylene killed it, the sound was intense and they offer something completely different to all this generic metal out at the moment, all i want to see now is Maylene doing a uk headline show and then ill be pumped!

Every Time I Die : Before this show I had heard a fair few ‘Every Time I Die’ songs, but not enough to call myself a huge fan. However this gig completely changed that. They came onto stage with a huge intro of the track ‘roman holiday’, the crowd were a lot more psyched for this band, there was a huge energy about them. As soon as the intro dropped into the song i was hooked, i watched from the balcony above and was blown away for the 30 minutes they were on stage. The lead singer is one of those guys, that just has something about him. Whilst he’s on stage, everyones focus is on him, he has huge stage presence and you can tell fuckin enjoyed being up there. Half way through the set the crowd really got into it, and the pits started to break out. The whole band were brilliant to watch to be honest, wether it was the bassist climbing on top of the cabs, the singer jumping into the crowds or the drummer playing standing up, it was awesome to watch. The only criticism i have with this band is, once you’ve heard the first three songs live, your not going to hear much else different. Because Progressive Hardcore is such a full on style, it rarely takes a break. If they had mixed things up with a cover, or slower song it would have mixed up the pace of the show, and kept people interested. Having said that if you ever get the chance go and see this band live, do it without hesitation! Although expect to be in a dark place in the morning, im just thankful i was on the balcony thats all im going to say.

In Flames : Right before i start this off, reviewing this band was really tough for me, because i genuinely hated this band before hand, and i thought everyone at taste of chaos would be in the same boat as me. How wrong i was though……. As soon as word reached round a techie had walked on stage in-between every time i die and in flames, the place just erupted. I honestly could not find a place in the whole arena to see the band, i tried my luck on the balcony again but by now it was 6 rows back, i finally found a spot on the stairs i could just about see the band. The set up was huge, the drummer had a huge recliner chair set up with 4 toms, 2 bass drums and more cymbals than i could count. Suffice to say just because you have good equipment, doesn’t mean your going to be great. It was unreal to see this kind of metal has the following it does, i genuinely thought this died out when the new wave of bands like ‘bring me the horizon’ and ‘architects’ came along, but the place was packed with metal heads going nuts. As for me as a reviewer i cant say i enjoyed it at all, i was really bored, its just a style of music i cant get to grips with, i genuinely didn’t know the differences between the songs they were playing one after another. The image of the band was great though, the lead singer was really going for it, his dreads looked amazing. Overall it wasn’t my cup of tea, i think if you know your an in flames fan, then go the fuck down and make your own mind up. But if your not sure if you like them or not just take my advice there nothing special at all and go watch something different with passion.

Killswitch Engage : Now then somewhere along the lines, everyone has found themselves drunkenly singing along to a killswitch song on scuzz. So i was pretty excited to see these guys live and rekindle some old memories. By now i genuinely couldn’t see the band, i’ve never seen the o2 this packed, not even when klaxons played a few years back. Its weird how much the lead singer looks like ainsley hairriot, but that aside his screams were absolutely awesome, his singing was pitch perfect and his stage presence was second to none. This a band that know what there doing, everything was on que from stage banter to audience participation, this was a thoroughly thought out set, apart from the backdrop, which looked liked theyd put on the windows media player graphics. Inevitably they mostly played tracks of there new album, now im not sure where the crowd standed with this, it was a little bit too emotional for my liking, the clean guitar breakdowns were all very pretty, but not the killswitch we came to love. The fans didn’t seem to know what to do when they toned down the metal, however as soon as they played the classics the place erupted again. I think in time people will see there new stuff as epic and sing it straight back at the band, but as the cd has only just come out it was all new territory for them.

The thing i love about killswitch, is that its the type of music that brings people together, sure there just as metal as any other bands out there at the moment, but you wont find people flailing there arms around trying to kill the person next to them, you get a good old fashioned mosh pit. There’s a lot of hugging/beer drinking and good times with this music, even if its not your scene if you go to see this band you’ll find yourself drunk, singing along to the chorus of ‘holy diver’ with your arm around dave the viking metal guy. Killswitch have a lot of downfalls to there style though, again with in flames, after half an hour i did find myself getting bored waiting for them to play the next classic, good thing with this band is they have a fuckin lot of them!

Reviewer: Mark Holley

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