Crossfaith & Blood Youth - Rock City, 16/10/18

Show openers GroundCulture came out to a crowd quite unaware what to expect - a mass of people who were quick to learn this Geordie hardcore quintet are not messing about. With melodic hardcore anthems Confessions and Sculptures in their arsenal, the explosive soundscape created can blow away an entire room. Leaving the stage with a freshly won audience, few could wish for a more impressive opening act?

The arrival of Blood Youth to the stage came with rumbling, atmospheric trap beats blasting through the PA before Kaya jumped into the crowd for a blasting rendition of Failure to open their show. As the first full tour since the release of latest single Starve, the band are visibly different onstage. Bassist Matt Hollinson has fully embedded into his relatively new permanent role in the band, and the energy the four-piece have going into their sophomore album cycle is unstoppable.

The heaviness of the songs available to them combined with the soaring choruses has already won them a close following through their three years to this point, but there seems to be something about the band that is wholly fresh - almost an itching desire to perform the new material before they should. The result is astonishing though, with pits taking up a large proportion of the room and interaction from the whole crowd proving that Blood Youth are arguably the best British band around right now, period.

Both support acts put on phenomenal shows, but it was clear through both that Crossfaith was the common denominator in the venue. Coming out with a sense-overloading flurry of lights and waves of Deus Ex Machina, Japan's finest metalcore outfit burst onto the stage. Very few alternative artists have the power to completely set a room alight in the first song but the grinding scream leading into Catastrophe proved these five are absolutely one of those bands.

With a career-spanning setlist, few members of the crowd were left without anything for them and their expanse of synth-packed sound could lend itself to any number of songs for a cover; it is perhaps of little surprise then that a rendition of The Prodigy's Omen fit seamlessly into their pulsating setup, with an added surprise factor for the onlookers.

Crossfaith have proved on this tour they have as much energy as ever before, not least from their latest album Ex Machina. An artist to see before they ever finish, without a doubt.