Looking back on a decade of heavy music, Metalcore has been an unwaivering, dominating force. For better or worse, with every formulaic chugging verse that leads into an arena sized chorus, the sub-genre tightens its grip on the hearts of its listeners. There have been a lot of bad metalcore bands, a lot of average and few genuinely brilliant, but on this night in Nottingham, Bury Tomorrow proved that they’re absolutely within the very best of the genre, and what a way to prove it.

Blood Youth

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Most people around the British metal scene will have had ample opportunity to see Blood Youth, and the band are becoming your reliably great safe bet at a gig. Making the perfect support to most metalcore bands or being the excellent mid-lineup festival act means that Blood Youth have this talent for getting in and out in 30 minutes with the perfect blast of hardcore energy.

Their brand of melodic hardcore sees them amping up the audience and providing moments for crowd pleasing wall of deaths or circle pits: they’ve done it so many times it starts to feel routine, but never repetitive in the set. Blood Youth are a watertight 7/10 support consistently, but it would be so good to see them coming into their own over the next few years and prove that they can be an even better headline band. 7/10

Employed To Serve

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Employed To Serve might just be the best metal band of recent years. Their acheivements both musically and critically are a much needed reminder that good music will speak loudly and hard graft pays off. They annhailated Rock City with their unforgiving beefed up aggro metal and tailored their setlist so not a single moment was wasted. ETS are at the point now where they can fill a 40 minute support slot with outstanding material, thier live show is so relentless you’ll want to smash a can of monster over your head and run around the ceiling.

Shout out to Employed To Serve’s lighting tech too, they trascended the show into something that shouldn’t have to remain contained in Rock City’s walls. This band are like flint and steel, full of sparks now but one day soon they’re going to blow. It’s inevitable and it’s going to be glorious. 9/10

Bury Tomorrow

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It’s a bit daunting to follow Employed To Serve, but not when your a band with choruses like Bury Tomorrow and 2000 fans in the room begging to scream them. Sometimes bands are onto an easy win with a great setlist, sometimes the crowd make the gig worth it, but when all factors come together, magic is made effortlessly. Playing their 2018 album, Black Flame in full, the band quite literally had the crowd in the palm of their hands, and the crowd new every damn word.

There was an elation around the venue that comes from people being so passionate about Bury Tomorrow, and it’s easy to see why. With every crowdsurfer that came over the barrier, singer Dan Winter-Bates would should gratitude in the form of a smile or hand grab. It’s clear the band genuinely see the fans as equals, taking time to speak to everyone after the gig or putting on a free DJ set after party for anyone wanting to attend. Attitudes like this create community, they create live shows like this and they turn bands into genuine class acts. Bury Tomorrow are good because they’re great musicians and songwriters, but being good people in addition to this means that one day they’ll hopefully be selling arenas like their brothers in Architects and Parkway Drive. We’ve got all the good will for them, and they’ve got the songs worthy of it.