Arena shows command arena lineups, but any show opening with a band as energetic as Thy Art Is Murder is bound to be a success. Those unaware of quite how heavy the Aussie deathcore quintet are seemed somewhat shocked, but the technical riffs of Dear Desolation and The Purest Strain of Hate soon won over any doubters. Throw in some gutturals and some c-bombs and out comes a Thy Art Is Murder set. Giant pits paved the way for the chaos to ensue - a worthy opener for a heavy show.
With very little warning, Killswitch Engage burst straight into Strength of the Mind and The End of Heartache with no introduction needed. Metal influences are everywhere throughout Nottingham, so somewhat unsurprisingly the 00s heavyweights gathered a raucous reception from the very off. A near career-spanning set culminating in usual set closer In Due Time ended a regular Killswitch Engage set with energy levels ridiculously high for the headliners.
The setup for the headline set made it pretty clear Parkway Drive were not messing around for their biggest UK headline show to date: risers, stage blocks, pyro and copious numbers of strip lights were all set to be unleashed. Being led from the back of the room by burning torchlight, the metalcore titans made their way to the stage in a room that was completely under their control. The new material opened the set with Wishing Wells and Prey giving some gang vocal excitement rippling through the enormous crowd, and a visibly ecstatic Winston McCall slowly ventured back towards the crowd.
Despite technical difficulties interrupting a first attempt at Karma, they proved to all why they had got to this point; they have huge songs and their showmanship is second to none. Everything had been immaculately thought through, from the string quartet joining for Shadow Boxing and Winston's performance of The Colour of Leaving on the sound desk with the cellist to a molotov throw to mark the fiery eruption of Crushed in an encore. Closing with Bottom Feeder as always, the five-piece pledged to be back soon. An unbelievable show from a band ready to snatch the crown of metal music.