Thrash metal is on offer in the form of support act Evile. The English four-piece are certainly no strangers to the live circuit, touring excessively and allowing most metalheads to have seen them in the flesh many times over. This has its disadvantages though; certainly, the crowd do not appear particularly overwhelmed by the Northerners' performance but this could be attributed to not playing hardcore. Still resolutely waving the banner for retro-thrash that no longer retains the 'cool' factor that it did back in 2008, Evile continue to retrace patterns designed by thrash icons Metallica, Slayer and even Destruction thirty years ago with the traditional headbangers' vigour. Their setlist is interestingly plucked from debut 'Into the Grave' (which amassed strong reviews for these Huddersfield lads with critics proclaiming them to be the next big thing when it was released in 2007) and this year's 'Skull'.
The anticipation is thick in the air for Suicidal Tendencies or Suicidal as they are frequently affectionately referred to. Fans are itching to ignite a mosh pit when the Americans come on stage before launching into 'You Can't Bring Me Down', one of their new-ish numbers that incite the red-blooded aggression that can be expected from music that hybridises hardcore with thrash metal. There are those that doubt the credentials of the current Suicidal Tendencies line up, with vocalist Mike Muir being the mainman but 2012 recruits Nico Santora and Tim 'Rawbiz' Williams are able to maintain the bounding energy that Suicidal are known for.
Given the breadth of their career, it is unusual yet understandable that Suicidal only play 'Smash It!' and 'Who's Afraid' from new album '13' but this leaves more rooms for the classics that they must clearly be aware the fans know and love. The sadistic 'I Saw Your Mommy', the relentless 'Subliminal' and the rabid 'Possessed to Skate' contribute to appropriately representing the first two intensely beloved albums (the omission of perhaps Suicidal's most well-known number 'Institutionalized' is highly surprising). Meanwhile, 'We Are Family', 'Send Me Your Money' and 'Cyco Vision' showcases the progression of the band through the more recent years of their discography, with a particular focus on groove and less aggressive than the earlier material. Temperatures in the pit remain stubbornly high as dense beads of sweat lubricate vast portions of the crowd.
The highlight of the night is undoubtedly when Muir invites the audience to invade the stage during closing number 'Pledge Your Allegiance' and, despite security's failing efforts to hold the wave of sweat-stained fans back, the band are swamped by their loyal supporters a typical but perfect ending to a Suicidal show. Sadly, there is no encore but Suicidal have done more than enough to plaster smiles on the faces of tonight's attendees. It feels as if this band do not come to England often enough, especially since they trekked around Europe but avoided these great isles only last year. If you didn't make it this time, you should be crying.
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