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Memphis May Fire, We Came As Romans, Miss May I, Cane Hill @ Electric Ballroom, Camden, London (UK)

MEMPHIS MAY FIRE / We Came As Romans / Miss May I / Cane Hill
in Tuesday, 31 May 2016 at Electric Ballroom
by Anton Sanatov

In this new world of ours, bitterness is the new definition of taste. As much as one would like to dip the tip of their tongue into a saccharine cup of optimism, it is hard to do when everyday you awaken to wilting fields of buoyancy. In the modern age, anywhere we go we are often greeted by laments of impending scarcity; be it the decline of natural resources or the plummeting gauges of emotional sustenance. And I believe that is why we should cherish the rare bursts of energy that we do happen to witness as we travel through the grey plains of modernity; for they are slowly falling victims to the 'red book'.

It is quite baffling that sub-genres in the likes of Metalcore are often dismissed by some as lacklustre constituents of the Metal scene. Yes, they may not be overly intricate, exceptionally brutal, or the most pious - as some might consider - in relation to the more established and revered directions of the genre; but they nonetheless share the same values, that same emotional charge that can reignite our paling existence into a landscape of seven colours. And that Wednesday night, at the Electric Ballroom in Camden, London, I had the opportunity to witness four modern bands that not only possessed the hard, jagged spirit that this esoteric genre is famed for, but also another element that with every waning moment become subject to extinction; that element being simple ‘joy’.

The first act to gather the flock around the stage and open up the plains of exultation were CANE HILL. Cracking the skies open with their DEFTONES inspired grooves, they riled up the crowd like few opening acts can; stirring in the emotions of those gathered. Vocalist Elijah Witt channeled the most intimate of Chino Moreno's tones and mannerisms, reaching the highs of ecstasy whilst the band backed him with lewd metal grinds.

The next to grace the stage were MISS MAY I; a band that your truly personally ached to see. The Ohio-bred five piece tore through their set with a beautiful display of raw feeling and fidelity, urging the masses to pull away from bartenders to have any impending alcoholic numbness be dissipated by the gravelly screams of Levi Benton and the saintly accompaniment of bassist Ryan Neff; a truly authentic and solid band. (Their t-shirt now rests in my drawer.)

Following that upstanding performance were the electronically tinged WE CAME AS ROMANS. The band proved to be just as esteemed by the audience as the headliners, and their gushing rays of energy sprayed the crowd and ignited the room with an electric performance; igniting a sea of hand-held lights in the process. The band were untameable, leaping around the stage as if in attempts to avoid being captured by the camera lens and trying to scrape the skies with their catchy tunes. Yet albeit their rabid traversing, the band managed to deliver pitch-perfect performances worthy of far more experienced and esteemed groups.

And then it was time for the main event, the discharge that everyone had been jonesing for all night. MEMPHIS MAY FIRE took to the stage to set off a bonfire of jubilation, rolling into their set on all cylinders. Vocalist Matty Mullins was met with a Beatle-maniacal obsessive greeting from male and female fans alike and proved himself to be the one of the ultimate frontmen in his field. Mullins delivered his vocals with pure emotion and first-rate technique, and more importantly - with a smile on his face. The rest of the band punched into their lines with the force and grace of equestrian champions, galloping through riffs and rolling over rhythmic obstacles…leaving the crowd surfing in a sea of elation.

Given that I had to lave the venue before the encore, I can only imagine the vibrant current which blanketed those who were present that night to support a sub-genre that is so often overlooked for it's superficial qualities. It was evident that above everything, what it manages to do is lift the spirits of those who are still trying to find some rays of light in this darkened age, and that, is an undeniably commendable feat.

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