For years, Malefice have been going up and down the country (as well as over seas) flying the flag proudly for British metal and doing what they do best.
For a first time attending a show in London I’m slightly underwhelmed by the size of the crowd at the Islington Academy this evening. It’s Friday night and one of the most exciting and reliable British bands are headlining the capital to only a half full room.
Anyway, after a few beers with super-producer Justin Hill (ex-SiKth) it’s time for opening act WHEN OUR TIME COMES.
Justin tells me these guys have a bright future (he produced their debut EP, available from their Facebook page now) and their performance shows it. WHEN OUR TIME COMES are nothing new, but they go about their techy-groovy style of metal with…well, style and passion. Each member brings something to the table and they stand as a beacon of solidarity. Joe Carter-Hawkins has all the tools to be a great front man, a little more crowd banter between tracks wouldn’t go a miss but nothing wrong with his stage performance, having all the energy of a cracked up squirrel. Good show lads!
Next up are Liverpudlian 5-piece CARCER CITY. Bracing myself for a full-on hardcore style set, it was pleasantly surprising to see Carcer City more on the ‘metal’ side of the hardcore spectrum and their full on, in your face live performance is as infectious as it is downright brutal. It’s obvious that a lot of the crowd in the Islington Academy tonight are here for these scouse nut jobs as the pits range from violent to outright insane and Carcer City leave the stage, sweaty, mullets matted and with giant grins on their faces.
Back to the bar I reckon!
SILENT SCREAMS have a lot to contend with after that performance, and while they burst out of the traps with all of the enthusiasm of the fabled hare, the set doesn’t quite reach the heights of the bands that have previously hit the stage this evening. The Hertfordshire metalcore act do nothing wrong, it’s a wonderful beatdown fest for those in the crowd who hang on to every word and every riff however, the energy levels from Silent Screams tonight don’t match those of their cohorts.
MALEFICE, as previously mentioned, are one of the most exciting and reliable metal acts in the country right now and their live show has always been something of a master class. Opener ‘Awaken The Tides’ is enough to make the Islington Academy lose it’s crud and the perfect blend in to out and out pit-song ‘Delirium’ is seemless. When you can throw out songs like ‘Dreams Without Courage’, ‘Risen Through The Ashes’, ‘Sickened’ and the monolithic anthem that is ‘Minutes’ without so much of a blink of the eye you know you’re on to something special and it’s an absolute tragedy that these tunes aren’t being played to a sold out venue.
However, as the tour name says, Malefice persevere and play as if they’re headlining Wembley Arena and this is what makes the Reading 5-piece so special. Whether to 7 people in a basement in Leicester or on the second stage at Download, they give it their all. As the final echoes of ‘Omega’ ring out Malefice have done what they always do, be simply one of the best.
Reviewer: Kevin Ashburn
When Our Time Comes Online:
Carcer City Online:
Silent Screams Online: