Crossfaith @ Rock City 16 October, 2018

The first band onstage tonight was the hardcore geordie outfit ‘GroundCulture’, fresh on the scene after releasing their debut EP they found themselves on tour with Every Time I Die and their single ‘Confessions’ was played on BBC Radio One.

The band showed some serious confidence onstage, with lead singer Roy Watson showing some great energy and trying to motivate the crowd early on. A nice blend of hardcore esque vocals and riffs blended well with clean hooks makes them comparable to Stray From The Path, Counterparts and even ETID.

Check out their EP. I expect to see big things from this band; landing tours with Crossfaith and Every Time I Die is impressive work for an up and comer to the scene.

The second band I’ve seen before when they supported While She Sleeps last year in Birmingham. ‘Blood Youth’, are very similar in terms of style to the previous band, melodic hardcore which captivates audiences, with heavy aspects and cleaner passages all well controlled within songs.

Diving straight in with ‘Failure’ (2015), lead singer Kaya showcases his powerful screaming technique onstage, it’s nice to see some of the fans singing along too while getting the mosh pits going. ‘Parasite’ from their most recent LP ‘Beyond Repair’ (2017), has a more classic ‘raw’ hardcore vibe to it, with maybe a touch of rock’n’roll. Think early Beartooth crossed with Counterparts, with a touch of the naughty riffage of Knocked Loose.

Their single ‘Starve’ (2018) features some incredibly dark and intense lyrics such as, ‘Pull back the lip, choke on a dead tongue, there’s damage inside me now’. Kaya adds passion and conviction to the lyrics and really brings them to life.

They’re climbing higher and higher up everytime I hear them. These British lads might very well be the next While She Sleeps.

Crossfaith took to the stage in true theatrical fashion, the sound of an airhorn blasting on the dark stage with orange flood lights illuminating as a countdown took place. Saturated blue lights filled the stage and ‘Duex Ex Machina’ from their latest album ‘Ex Machina’ (2018) kicked in. EDM music slowly started building pace which saw hands in the air and movement from the packed out room. ‘Catastrophe has come to life’, the room is fully illuminated as  everyone cheers the band as they walk out onto the stage.

Lead singer Kenta assumes his position on the metal platform at the front of the stage as multiple stage lights illuminate him, headbanging and getting the crowd going, we are in for a sweaty one tonight. Crossfaith know how to throw a heavy metal infused party.

Another new one, ‘Catastrophe’ (2018), the momentum did not stop here, Kenta cheers on the crowd and they dive into another EDM/riff infused mix which again sends the crowd into rave mode. Kenta’s vocals have admirably remained heavy throughout their career with only snippets of songs which are clean; it’s great to see bands stick to their heavy post-hardcore roots. His low screams are particularly powerful.

‘Monolith’ (2012), a banger early on and one of their most popular songs. The crowd is pushed on and on every song, did we expect any less? The room is electric at this point.

‘Jagerbomb’ (2013) is one of the ultimate party songs in Crossfaith’s back catalogue. It just gets people moving in an admirably all inclusive way, ‘Forget yourself, Dance with me’ and ‘Listen up, All my friends and all my enemies, No one can put back the clock so make my day, Dance with me’, sum up their vibe and positivity. For me their style is a wicked combination of older Enter Shikari electronic post-hardcore mixed with the party metal attitude of Attila.

Leaving the ultimate one until the middle of their set, their cover of The Prodigy’s ‘Omen’ (2010), is arguably one of the songs which launched the band to success. The piercingly fierce screams from Kenta and fast synths/riffs interlaced with strong EDM elements makes it a song hard not to move to. The crowd hasn’t stopped moving since they came onstage and this song took things to another level. The sea of hands in the air continues to jump up and down and this song was like an earthquake when it dropped. Other notable tracks included ‘System X’ (2015), ‘Xeno’ (2015) and ‘Daybreak’ (2018).

Their set’s encore included an admirable drum solo from Tatsuya Amano before ending with ‘The Perfect Nightmare’ (2018), a groove metal infused, remix style hardcore throw down of a song which was born to be sung live infront of a chaotic crowd and tonight they got their chance. I’m sure the rest of the tour will not let them down on that front. Crossfaith are the kings of the party metal genre.

Until next time.

Reviewer: Neale Hayes

Photos: Chris Bowley

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