Impericon Festival @ Manchester Academy – 4th May 2015

Impericon Festival @ Manchester Academy – 4th May 2015Impericon Festival @ Manchester Academy – 4th May 2015Impericon Festival @ Manchester Academy – 4th May 2015Impericon Festival @ Manchester Academy – 4th May 2015Impericon Festival @ Manchester Academy – 4th May 2015Impericon Festival @ Manchester Academy – 4th May 2015Impericon Festival @ Manchester Academy – 4th May 2015Impericon Festival @ Manchester Academy – 4th May 2015Impericon Festival @ Manchester Academy – 4th May 2015Impericon Festival @ Manchester Academy – 4th May 2015Impericon Festival @ Manchester Academy – 4th May 2015Impericon Festival @ Manchester Academy – 4th May 2015Impericon Festival @ Manchester Academy – 4th May 2015Impericon Festival @ Manchester Academy – 4th May 2015Impericon Festival @ Manchester Academy – 4th May 2015Impericon Festival @ Manchester Academy – 4th May 2015Impericon Festival @ Manchester Academy – 4th May 2015Impericon Festival @ Manchester Academy – 4th May 2015Impericon Festival @ Manchester Academy – 4th May 2015Impericon Festival @ Manchester Academy – 4th May 2015

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Impericon‘s yearly festival celebrates its tenth year in 2015 and brings with it a truly impressive and diverse line-up of bands from the metal and hardcore world to celebrate a decade of mosh pits. And, even at 1:30 in the afternoon, there’s an impressive queue outside Manchester’s Academy, making sure they don’t miss a minute of the action.

Swedish metalcore band, Adept, kick things off in serious style and their all-too-brief set proves they’re worthy of further investigation.

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Desolated‘s Paul Williams has plenty of Liam Gallagher posturing and attitude but makes for an engaging frontman as his bandmates lay down some heavy-as-concrete, downtuned riffs. Calls of “move this fuckin’ room” encourage some of the first circle pits of the day but it all gets somewhat one-dimensional after a few songs.

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Manchester’s Ingested bring their pulverising death metal to a home crowd and take things up several notches. Frontman Jay Evans has an impressive power to his vocal and his bandmates are suitably immense throughout. They rename their home city “”Slamchester”, to roars of approval from the crowd. This band should be bigger!

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California hardcore band Being As An Ocean may look a little out of place on such a heavy bill but their set goes down a storm, partly thanks to the crowd interaction of Joel Quartuccio who spends as much time off the stage as on it.

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Things turn more serious with the arrival of deathcore heavy-hitters, Carnifex, who deliver a masterclass in all things brutal. “Slit Wrist Savior”, “Dark Days” and “Die Without Hope” see the crowd going suitable nuts, before they close with two of their most popular songs, “Lie to My Face” and the frighteningly heavy “Hell Chose Me”. Magnificent!

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Australia’s Deez Nuts may have a dumb band name but their performance is all about having fun and bringing the crowd together. Every song they play is uplifting, yet scrappy and genuinely down-to-earth. No pretensions here folks, just good old fashioned rock n roll with energy and attitude to spare. They finish ten minutes early. The crowd wouldn’t have minded if they’d carried on, that’s for certain.

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Yet another California band, Stick To Your Guns, start as they mean to go on with energetic hardcore that has more depth to it than most, frontman Jesse Barnett grabbing your attention throughout the set, while his bandmates refuse to stand still for a second around him. They’re heavier than on record and play with a slickness that suggests they’ve won over a slew of new fans here tonight.

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Whitechapel are evidently a band that have an enthusiastic following in the room tonight. Well before any musician nears the stage the chants of “White-chap-el” fill the air and the atmosphere is high on anticipation as the opening chords of The Saw Is the Law rip through the now-packed Academy.

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Frontman Phil Bozeman must be the best vocalist in the deathcore genre, bathed in green light, looking suitably menacing as he delivers his intense guttural growls. The musicianship on display is equally impressive, technical and precise yet with ultimate ferocity. Tonight Whitechapel deliver the set of the festival with a performance that one fan says makes “every band ever look weak and silly”.

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The Ghost Inside could well have headlined this festival. Their reputation and prowess means they have the crowd in the palm of their hands from the word go, and years of touring has resulted in an accomplished and slick performance. They’re almost too polished in fact, but tracks like Avalanche and Engine 45 have all the energy to suggest The Ghost Inside are only just beginning to show their true potential.

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Nobody would argue that Suicide Silence have earned their place at the top of tonight’s bill. To return with such strength following the loss of enigmatic frontman Mitch Lucker in 2012, the California five-piece are now held in high regard throughout the deathcore world, although the fans’ chants of “Eddie! Eddie!” results in new singer, Eddie Hermida, reminding fans that the band’s name is Suicide Silence, deflecting the attention back to his worthy bandmates.

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Whitechapel’s Phil Baseman joins them on stage for Unanswered, and, when they call for a “Crawl Of Death” (a wall of death conducted on hands and knees), the remaining fans prove they’re still up for some carnage, ten hours after this festival began.

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A hint of Korn’s Blind leads us back into the full-on attack of set-closer, You Only Live Once, before 2015’s Impericon Festival comes to an almighty climax.

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All in all a magnificent line-up of bands and a timely way to celebrate a decade of Impericon Festival. Long may it continue…

Review & photos – Steve Gerrard

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