"They also introduced pyro to proceedings."
Detractors boasted circa 2005 that metalcore would be a shortlived trend. Although certainly having creative and commercial ebbs and flows, the sizeable turnout at this gig loudly proclaimed a degree of staying power.
American heavy-hitters The Word Alive's unremarkable but evidently popular fare quickly proved a hit with moshers and anyone partial to a singalong. Memphis May Fire's outspoken mainman Matty Mullins has previously exhibited a knack for attracting unwanted media attention, but the fellow US crew's set was crowd-pleasing, if inoffensive musically. Participation levels noticeably increased as they ran through Stay The Course and Vices.
Church-baiting hometown heroes Thy Art Is Murder injected a more brutal edge, but had just half an hour to unleash their pulverising deathcore with typical vigour and flurry of blast-beats. The Purest Strain Of Hate dished out bloodier beatdowns than an incensed Brock Lesnar. Meanwhile, the floor opened up further as the headliner's vocalist Winston McCall guested on Coffin Dragger.
Thy Art returned the favour somewhat, as their guitarist Andy Marsh ably substituted for injured Parkway Drive axeman Jeff Ling throughout the Byron Bay outfit's set. The latter's unique energy was noticeably absent, but there was no shortage of enthusiasm. They also introduced pyro to proceedings. However, it was the party-starters such as Sleepwalker, Idols And Anchors and early favourite Romance Is Dead (that infamous pit cry and ensuing breakdown can still create a seismic-like shift in any room) that the faithful were most enamoured with, not window dressing. Cue numerous pit ninjas practicing their karate kicks. Cheesy but likeable recent single Vice Grip was lambasted for stadium-metal ambitions, but with numerous likeminded fans belting it out with gusto translated effortlessly.
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After Home Is For The Heartless sent all packing, sweaty and grinning, it became apparent that although Parkway Drive have taken a few polarising risks on new disc Ire, their ability to engage their audience remains impenetrable.