Syracuse metalcore titans Hatebreed are in town for an intimate warm-up show ahead of their Ghostfest headliner and, unsurprisingly, Sub 89 in Reading is packed out by the time the band hit the stage for their career-spanning set.

First up though are Russian deathcore/grindcore combo Slaughter To Prevail who, not to put too fine a point on it, fucking heavy! To a muted response the band hit the stage and batter through their brutal material addressing the still-filling venue in their broken English. While listening to them introducing each track is quite endearing there is nothing even remotely nice about tracks like “Hell”.

Hatebreed? Well, they’re Hatebreed. Like Slayer, you know what you’re going to get when Jamey Jasta and the hardcore heavyweights hit the stage. Pulling together a set that is lifted from every point of their twenty-odd year career, it doesn’t take long before the pit is turned into a mess. “Smash Your Enemies,” “Doomsayer,” “Under The Knife” – this is a Hatebreed set that has something for fans new and old.

“To The Threshold” and “Honor Never Dies” incite mayhem as the packed room screams back every word while their cover of Slayer track “Ghosts Of War” is dedicated to the thrash titans late guitarist Jeff Hannehman. Hatebreed head off to their upcoming Ghostfest appearances with promise of a new album and a return to the UK next year. A few hundred punters shoehorned into Sub 89 tonight are already counting the days.

Check out the song “Honor Never Dies” here.

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.