Leeds Stylus is a great 3-level venue deep in the bowels of Leeds University’s Union building, and it’s warm on a normal day – but with the hottest day all summer happening outside – it’s even warmer. Chuck in 3 fantastic metal bands and a sold-out crowd, and it’s like the last three circles of hell with people dripping in sweat before a note has even been played. But hell does have the best music, right? So, the conditions were slightly more bearable, knowing we were about to enjoy a killer show.
Orbit Culture’s heavy riffs and automatic weaponry of the drummers’ left and right feet combine to maximum effect as they plough through a delightful set of melodic death metal. The final track, “Vultures of the North” was enough on its own to warrant checking them out further, but the whole set was extremely enjoyable.
Next up were the brilliant Bleed from Within, who are always a pleasure to see on any line-up. Blasting Shania Twain over the PA before they take the stage puts a smile on everyone’s face before they swiftly wipe it off with a brutal “Stand Down.” The whole crowd began chanting “Yorkshire! Yorkshire! Yorkshire!” as they tend to do in Yorkshire, but frontman Scott Kennedy bellows back Glasgow just as loud before teasing that both the Scottish and Liverpool crowds were louder than this one, which goads them on even further.
All three levels of the venue were bouncing throughout their set – from the barrier to the back – and as they closed with “The End of All We Know” with Scott on the shoulders of the audience and sweat dripping everywhere, I’d say that this crowd may well have got the better of Liverpool and Scotland.
Now, Trivium are metal royalty, but when I first saw them open for Slayer many years ago, I almost wrote them off as arrogant wannabes with more style than substance. That would have been a major mistake, as over the years, they have made some of the best music and played some of the best shows I’ve ever witnessed.
This tour of smaller venues in places they haven’t been in a while (13 years for Leeds, apparently) is a great way to get up close and personal with their rabid fans. Unfortunately, according to Matt Heafy, it sounds as if it may be the last time we get to see them in a very, very long time as they have no plans for a new album and tour cycle as of yet and are taking an extremely well-earned break.
One person who looks like he is ready for a break is bassist Paolo. Still recovering from a recent emergency hernia operation that saw him miss several shows, he was forced to play his bass on a stand, which pretty much rooted him to the spot, and he did look like he was playing through the pain for most of the night, which deserves a round of applause in itself.
Frontman Matt is a ball of energy, like a diet Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, he pulls faces, sticks out his tongue and flexes his muscles as if he was entering a ring to give someone a smackdown.
The majority of the set is pulled from 2008’s Shogun album, with “Kirisute Gomen” and “Torn Between Scylla and Charybdis” sounding immense. As does “A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation.” “In Waves” closes the show and releases the crowd out into the fresh Leeds night to cool down a bit from what was an inferno of a metal show.
So, if this was the last time we get to see Trivium for a few years, it was a brilliant way to say bye. Hopefully, when the batteries are recharged and the creative spark lit once again, they will be back with an even hotter show!