Date: Tuesday 26th November 2019
Venue: Stylus, Leeds
Supports: Void of Vision, Polaris
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After releasing their brand new album ‘Alien’ to a great reception back in august this year, it was now time for Northlane to take it out on tour and with their ability to put on a world class show it was time to see how their newer tracks would fit in with this show. Unfortunately just before the tour kicked off in the UK, Silent Planet had to drop out which just left the three bands to turn the tour into an Aussie takeover and really showcase the phenomenal level that metalcore is at in Australia at the moment.
First to take to the stage tonight were Void of Vision. Having not heard of these guys before it was great to have a new band to check out. Bringing a similar style to tonight’s headliners gave a nice taste of what was to come from the rest of the night and worked well to open up the show. The band nicely covered the whole range of metalcore from the crushing slow breakdowns during ‘Babylon’ to the and technical guitar work and fast drums on ‘If Only’. It took a few attempts to get the crowd on board dancing along tonight for Void of Vision but the band persevered and eventually won the Tuesday night crowd over with pits opening nicely towards the end of their set. Finishing their set of with ‘Ghost in the Machine’ gave the audience a real show to end their time in Leeds. With the similarities to Northlane it was a clear taster that the band were following nicely in their shoes and with a solid performance throughout the night, hopefully the band picked up plenty of new fans in the process.
Next to take to the stage were up and coming metalcore mob Polaris. Attracting a huge crowd despite still being fairly early in the night gave the right impression of how crazy and impressive their set was going to be. Holding nothing back, Polaris broke out early single ‘The Remedy’ early on to cause carnage in the crowd from the very beginning with the pits opening up and bodies flying over the barrier. About halfway through the set the crowd were treated to a play through of unreleased new track ‘Hypermania’. I will say that if that and other new track ‘Masochist’ are anything to go by then exciting times lie ahead for Polaris. Not long later in the set, previously mentioned track ‘Masochist’ came crushing through with huge singalongs throughout and it had clearly been on peoples speakers since its release as the reaction was huge. Going out for one last hurrah in their set, Polaris ended with possibly their most well know song and a favourite of mine ‘Lucid’. As huge pit filled the floor of stylus and everyone surrounding it bounced along it was clear that it wouldn’t be too long before Polaris were headlining venues this size by themselves. With the band playing the set to perfection and a fantastic mix, there wasn’t a step put wrong from the band tonight. To put it bluntly this band are definitely going places and those places are all upwards. If you aren’t familiar with Polaris already then you definitely need to get them on your radar!
With the crowd well and truly warmed up it was time for the Aussie takeover to hit its highest level with Northlane taking to the stage. A band known for their eclectic and intense live shows, this was sure to be a spectacle and having seen them perform a couple of times before this was definitely going to be a treat. Prior to the gig I hadn’t had too much time to sit down with the new album ‘Alien’ and really listen to it so with it being the ‘Alien tour’ I was sure I was going to be hearing songs I didn’t really recognise for quite a bit of tonight.. The older cuts during the set such as ‘Rot’ and ‘Citizen’, while few and far between, gave the crowd a huge release and drew an insane reaction with the crowd going mental and bouncing all over the place. Not letting it stop them Northlane ensured that the newer tracks hit just as heavy with ‘4D’ and ‘Vultures’ being standouts for me on the night. As the night drew on, their main set was brought to an end with lead single ‘Bloodline’ and this was a masterstroke as the crushing riffs really built this up towards the climax and after the monstrous breakdown things went wild. By the time it reached the encore break everyone was grateful for a few seconds break to catch their breath. New track ‘Sleepless’ opened up the encore tonight but the slower nature of it seemed to take away from the energy ‘Bloodline’ had created. It did however work to show off technicality of music that Northlane can produce and the insane ability in vocalist Marcus Bridge’s voice. Luckily the lack of energy was forgotten in an instant as the band stuck to all traditions and finished the night of with the one the only ‘Quantum Flux’. Shouts of “Set me free” rang out across stylus as the track came flying in and carnage came back to the floor to really end the night with a bang. Despite me not knowing a few songs from tonight this set definitely made for a good introduction to ‘Alien’ and with the crowd at full energy the show didn’t suffer from my lack of knowledge with me loving every moment. As is true with all Northlane performances there was a real energy flowing off the stage and everyone played with pinpoint accuracy, you really would struggle to find a tighter band out there. This was certainly a defining tour and showed that ‘Alien’ definitely had a lot of success for the band, if they continue on their upwards trajectory they’ll be one of the big dogs of metalcore in no time at all.