One of the best touring lineups to hit Bristol in quite a while. Bury Tomorrow, 36 Crazyfists, Cane Hill and the Tokyo based ensemble Crystal Lake are currently touring the U.K. and made a stop at the SWX in Bristol on December 11th. The varying styles of music on this bill made it one of the must see tours this Winter. From top to bottom it was beyond exciting.
Sharptone Records latest signing Crystal Lake kicked off the night. Hailing from Tokyo, Japan and damn! Straight away they started off with their drummer just ripping on his kit and wow can Gaku play the drums. Cheeky little 1 minute drum solo then finished to an all mighty cheer either he was sound checking his kit or it was planned, either way it was awesome in every way. An epic way to kick off their set. Immediately after the solo he started shouting at the audience to warm them up and then straight into performance. They had so much energy, truly outstanding. Once again hat off to Sharptone Records, it looks like they are snapping up all the good bands at the moment.
Being the first band on and asking for a circle pit, the fans responded and joining in the carnage shows what sort of following they all ready have. Vocalist Ryo moves quickly around the stage, storming around using the whole stage and delivering amazing vocals to boot. The set consisted of tracks like “Appollo”, “Omega” and “The Circle” where the whole audience put their hands up in circles, it was a great moment. Just unfortunate they did not play the new single “Aeon.” Not sure why it wasn’t included in their set. All I can say to finish things up is if you get the chance to check Crystal Lake out live do it now before you struggle to get tickets to their shows because this band is going to explode in popularity.
Cane Hill was next up to perform on this amazing night of celebrating metal. Bass player Ryan Henriquez was absolutely insane to watch along with guitarist James Barnett, with their deep sounding riffs and drums pounding along with finesse and ease to make you move, even if you are seeing them for the first time. Tunes from bands nowadays with guitar solos are a plus in my book and Cane Hill includes plenty of them.
Vocalist Elijah Witt was striding around the stage coming up front to deliver growls and screams with so much passion you could tell they love every minute they perform. Truly outstanding. The drum sound was one you won’t soon forget, hitting you in the chest like a right handed haymaker. The guitars at times had a very similar sound to Pantera with the squeals and harmonics which in no means is a rip off, just with my guessing he’s a big Dime Bag Darrell fan for sure. All in all I was very impressed.
36 Crazyfists, well what can I say about these guys. I’ve been a fan since the release of their debut album ‘Bitterness the Star’ in 2002 and I’ve waited far too long to catch them live. I mean its been absolutely fucking ages since they first reared their head in the metal world. Vocalist Brock Lindow’s unique vocal style cannot be mimicked. I was hoping he would be as good of a vocalist as he is on the albums and he did not disappoint, truly amazing. If anything, I feel as the vocals are less polished live and that raw sound comes off even better in a live setting.
The fact they played a lot of the old material felt like I was listening to them back in the 2002. There was a lot of fans here tonight to witness 36 Crazyfists for sure and with fans singing along to nearly every lyric Brock delivered it was outstanding. This just proves they still have a great presence in the metal scene and the tracks sounded as fresh today as they did back then. The highlight for me was them ending their performance with “Slit Wrist Theory” truly a magnificent moment.
Bury Tomorrow are one of the U.K.’s finest acts right now! Kicking straight in with “No Less Violent” from the new album ‘Black Flame’ was an awesome touch with the eerie intro playing before the band came out. Then they all emerged one by one with Dani Winter-Bates last who stood up high on the platform over the monitors and delivered the opening words to “No Less Violent.” BOOM into the heavy riffs and crunshing guitars by Kristan Dawson and Jason Cameron. Rhythm Section by bassist Davyd Winter-Bates and drummer Adam Jackson supplied some awesome double bass drum skills for this beaut of a track, which has all the elements needed to get a crowd going from the start. With the heavy growls, screams and fast riffs and blasting drums to the tamed back choruses with singing and softer style to the band it was exciting to behold.
This was enough to get the crowd bouncing to this opening track and to warm the fans voices up with them singing along to the more melodic parts, smart move by the band. The lights then dimmed when the first track finished then after a few seconds, the cymbal crashes and guitar solo intro to “Earthbound” rang out through the SWX. This got all the fans attention with crowd surfers doing their thing from the get go. Its amazing to see how Bury Tomorrow has grown over the years. The last time I witnessed them they was playing small venues like the Joiners in their hometown of Southampton back in 2008. Now seeing them headlining a tour with most of the dates sold out in venues of this size with the line up they have, is truly well deserved. It shows how much this band is grown and with no end anytime soon. They are taking over, today the U.K. tomorrow the world.
Dani is a genuine all round nice guy and to hear him speak between songs and the way he describes how he appreciates all the fans, you can tell he is 100% genuine. A few quotes from Dani throughout the gig were:
“whether there are 5 people, 500 people or 1000’s or even 2 people at our shows, we will be there.”
“If you know these lyrics just sing along and if you don’t then MIME and jump!”
“You know when you’re in the UK because people shout, go on mate.”
“I don’t care if you think you’re too old, to cool, I want to see this whole room fucking moving.”
“We are here to play metal music and make sure you Bristol bastards go home knowing you got your moneys worth.”
In total they played 13 tracks, some old beauties and if my math is correct 7 of those tracks from the new album ‘Black Flame’. When they played “Cemetery” and Dani did hand gestures to split the crowd for a wall of death without saying one word, it was mesmerizing to see it unfold. Another stand out moment was when they played an older track like “Last Light” and 3/4 of the audience were singing along, it was inspiring to see the fans so passionate about the music. They exited the stage but to no avail returned to come back and play an encore which consisted of the songs “Man on Fire” and “My Revenge” and the latest album title track “Black Flame”. Well as Dani’s quote said we want you to feel like you got your moneys worth then in my opinion I wish I gave them more. It was a great way for me to end this year watching one of the U.K.’s finest acts kicking serious ass. I personally wish them all the best for 2019! We also have an in depth video interview coming soon with Bury Tomorrow vocalist Dani Winter-Bates, so stay tuned for that.
I would like to end by saying to Metal Nexus readers have an awesome and safe Christmas and a Happy New Year. Remember don’t drink and drive but get out to live shows to support bands, get there early to watch the support acts and look after each other, see you in 2019!!