Opening up the US-Australian hybrid bill was Aussie nu-metallers Ocean Grove who released their debut album The Rhapsody Tapes back in February. Unfortunately, the boxy venue did their sound no favours as the sound bouncing off the walls muddied their thick tones to the point of being an indiscriminate sludge. Not a particularly good impression from the band, but hopefully they can come back to the UK for a better run in 2018. [5/10]
Invent Animate were next to hit the stage, playing songs from both of their albums. They had a lot of energy for their performance and seemed to be raring to go, but they just seemed a bit lacklustre throughout. The vocals were sounding good for the mostpart but like Ocean Grove the sound was sludgy. The highlight of their set sadly was a below-par guest appearance from ERRA clean vocalist/bassist Jesse Cash – a slot which unjustly gave the crowd a bad first impression of his performances of the night. Unfortunate, but one show isn’t everything – especially when it’s the last night of tour. [5/10]
ERRA started to turn the show around. Kicking off with Luminesce from 2016 album Drift, the US metalcore mob proved they were a cut above the bands playing before them as they blasted the Nottingham crowd with their heavy riffs. What seemed like a set filled with breakdowns turned the crowd from being supportive to being active in the mosh and the atmosphere built immensely from the start of the set to the end, leaving the headliners with a crowd chomping at the bit for more downtuned barrage. [7/10]
Closing up the night came headliners Northlane who haven’t touched UK shores for a headliner since before the surprise drop of their latest album in March. Taking to the stage with a crushing rendition of Colourwave, the five-piece made it clear from the off they were going to put on a good show; the guitars were tight with very little aide from backing tracks, drums mixed into the PA perfectly and vocals perfectly weighted. They didn’t hold back at all as they fired out material from all four albums with absolutely no trouble; Marcus not only performs his own songs to perfection but through his time fronting the band has made all of former vocalist Adrian’s parts seem his own to mix seamlessly in with new music. The set as a whole contained eight of the eleven tracks from Mesmer which is a thoroughly impressive and somewhat bold choice for Northlane, but the gamble seemed to pay off with fans from all eras causing havoc in the somewhat intimate venue. A highlight of the set came in the performance of fan favourite Quantum Flux which caused some kind of hysteria to wave across the crowd which stepped up the rest of the show to another level. Ending the night with Paragon seemed to sum up the feeling of the night in its cathartic, reflective nature while retaining just how heavy Northlane can be.
A stunning performance from a band on the top of their game – Marcus Bridge is one of the finest frontmen around right now and he proves it every single night. [9/10]