Bullet For My Valentine, with support from Killswitch Engage and Cane Hill, at Ironworks, Inverness on the 1st of December, 2016. Review.
The triple bill of Cane Hill, Killswitch Engage and Bullet For My Valentine has been the talk of the town (at least amongst metalheads) since the gig was announced earlier this year and the Ironworks appeared to be sold out as a result. It was a hugely impressive announcement for the venue, Killswitch and Bullet’ have between them sold over 3 million albums, the bulk of those belonging to BFMV although Killswitch are no shrinking violets on the album sales front. To see these heavyweights grace a stage in Inverness is hopefully a sign of things to come.
New boys Cane Hill from Louisiana open the night and are, for want of a better word, brutal. Some genuinely angry men up on the stage batter the Ironworks ears and hold nothing back. They demolish a set of industrial-tinged metal and power through some utterly savage riffs. As supports go they are the perfect set up for what’s to come.
It’s an utter triumph
Killswitch Engage could have filled the Ironworks in their own right, but there’s no intent here from them to play second fiddle to the headline act. I’ve seen them a number of times so far and I suspect this one will live in the memory for some time to come. Jesse Leach and co are in superb form and treat us to a quickfire set of hits. There’s a brief interlude where Jesse calls a halt as an audience member is taken ill. Huge respect to the man for looking out for his fans and to the majority of the Ironworks punters for giving the staff room to assist.
Incarnate is one of the best albums to be released this year and tracks like ‘Alone I Stand’ and ‘Strength of the Mind’ sit well with older material. ‘My Curse’ predictably goes down a storm whilst the stewards struggle to contain the flailing bodies that crowd surf their way towards the stage. It’s an utter triumph and they have the Ironworks eating out of their hands before they’re even half way done.
Bullet themselves are in clinical form
Bullet For My Valentine have a hard job on their hands to match the formidable energy and pace set by Killswitch and an expectant audience are more than fired up for the final act. Touring their debut album ‘The Poison’ which they are playing in full on this tour, the setlist is as about as predictable as you’re likely to get. That doesn’t stop the high level of anticipation and roars of approval as ‘Four Words…’ and ‘All These Things I Hate…’ are performed. The pit and crowd-surfers up the ante as a whirlpool of sweaty bodies create one of the biggest circle pits I’ve ever seen in the Ironworks in time for the finale and it’s a wonder they have the energy to demand an encore.
Bullet themselves are in clinical form, polished and nothing short of excellent. ‘Hit the Floor’ in particular is very well received, apparently being played for the 5th time live since the album was released in 2006. It’s a cracking tune and the band themselves seemed mystified as to why they’d left it off their sets up till now. There’s no denying that ‘The Poison’ has cemented its’ reputation as one of the finest debut albums by a metal band of the last ten years, tonight’s performance reinforces that.
There is very little filler and what could have come across as being self indulgent is instead a triumph of metal at its finest. New song, ‘Don’t Need You’ is performed in the encore and shows that the band still has plenty of ammunition left in their armoury.