Underoath - Manchester Academy 2 - 6.9.08

Underoath continue their unrelenting tour schedule in Manchester flying the flag for their newest release titled “Lost in the Sound of Silence”. With a legion of black dyed, double belted fanatics at their disposal, the Academy queue reaches easily out of eyeshot – a testament to the ever popular Christian metalcore act that is Underoath.

Texan dark metallers, Oh Sleeper, play their first show on this side of the pond which despite their best efforts is a little disappointing. Their mild hardcore is spiced with dramatically operatic keys, technical bass drum flickers and wide open, airy interludes. Their pessimistic and destructive material fails to make the impact they were presumably hoping for.

One of the most promising new acts on the scene, Envy on the Coast, are an absolute pleasure to see although something of a mismatch in the lineup. A worthy adversary to fill the void that Glassjaw left, they are a band with a great deal of expression, masterfully employed technicality and seemingly an extra dimension to their sound. Their vocally driven, crescendo filled songs are astoundingly atmospheric with graceful vocal melodies and poetic justice to knock the venue silent with awe.

On with a bang of firey half-screams and seizurely light strobes, Underoath hit big from the starting blocks with “Breathing in a New Mentality” and between the lines, promise the fans a punishingly great set. The vibe is apocalyptic, the action brutal and the sound voraciously heavy. A couple of numbers in and the energy is starting to fizzle. The band play on target – a slow dance of vicious breakdowns and battery - but lacking the attitude that would ice the proverbial cake. That is to say, a precise but bland set execution, including memorable tunes like “Young and Inspiring” and “Desperate Times, Desperate Measures”.

After a few camp handclap and classic spasmtastic (courtesy of keys player Chris Dudley) moments, the set closes on an honest heavy note, free from encore with “Everyone Looks So Good from Here”. From the fans’ point of view, the set was missing antics and energy but built on a strong backbone of much appreciated, efficiently delivered tracks and therefore a success nonetheless.

Words: Benicio Herbert
Photos: Mark Forrer www.markforrer.co.uk

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