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Bullet For My Valentine & Killswitch Engage (Ancienne Belgique)

Some time ago metalcore titans Bullet For My Valentine came to the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels, Belgium. With them they brought as very special guest the godfathers of metalcore and an inspiration to them: Killswitch Engage. The support band of the tour was American Cane Hill. After a short talk with "Padge" from Bullet For My Valentine and a very interesting chat with Jesse Leach from Killswitch Engage (both to be read on our site soon) and waiting in a 2 blocks long line, we set up shop to enjoy an epic show brimming with energy...

Cane Hill (**1/2) is a young band from New Orleans, USA. Not shy of some controversy and with music schooled in the big nu-metal and metalcore names, it was interesting to see these guys. They definitely have energy to spare, looking at how they were jumping around the stage throughout their whole show. Since they're influenced by bands like Slipknot and co, we get a whole bunch of samples thrown into the mix, some more succesful than others. Sometimes the music sounded like a mess and noisy, but there was a certain undeniable groove to most of their songs. I got somewhat reminded of a young Korn with their raw nu-metal. Elijah Witt's vocals regularly sounded really close to Jonathan Davis and supported by the rumbling bass and guitar, the comparison isn't too far off. I think they got something going for them and if they clean up their sound just a touch they could climb high up the metal ladder... They seemed to have convinced most of the people already present at AB, looking at the movement and head nodding. That Elijah sincerely apologized for his country and called out to the crowd to shout along to "Fuck Trump!", might have helped a bit as well to get into our good graces. Definitely a band to keep our eyes on, they could become a big thing!

Setlist
True Love
Mggda
(The New) Jesus
St. Veronica
Cream Pie
Fountain of Youth
Gemini
Time Bomb

Killswitch Engage (***1/2) is a name to be reckoned with. I've seen them before with their former vocalist Howard Jones at Graspop Metal Meeting some years ago and they were heavy, great and funny. This was the first show seeing them with their original vocalist Jesse D. Leach filling in the front position. I was personally looking forward to this show since I got to know them and became a fan in the Jesse-era. As soon as they kicked off the gig, they came in hard, heavy and emotional with Alone I Stand from their latest album Incarnate.

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 The whole show they were able to maintain the same level of energy and passion. They brought a combination of some older work like Rose of Sharyn and Vide Infra, interlaced with songs from their recent release like Cut Me Loose and Hate By Design. Jesse was as always very passionate in delivering their songs and Adam D was his own wacko self with, what I call, a muppet voice and random lines and jokes in between songs. A personal highlight was near the end when they played their breakthrough hit My Last Serenade for the old school fans, not shying away from playing My Curse from the Howard period and one of the better songs on Incarnate, Strength of the Mind. I really liked how thankfull and positive Jesse was inbetween songs, preaching love and understanding to counter the messed up shit in this world.

Setlist
Alone I Stand
In Due Time
Rose of Sharyn
Daylight Dies
Beyond the Flames
Cut Me Loose
Hate by Design
Vide Infra
My Last Serenade
The End of Heartache
My Curse
Strength of the Mind

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Headliner Bullet For My Valentine (****) is quite a big name in the world of melodic metal/metalcore as well. It was quiet around them for awhile 'till they recently released a new single Don't Need You. As intro to their set at AB they put on Ace of Spades from Motörhead, which got the crowd going quite much already. The Welsh band came on stage dressed in their Don't Need You music video outfits backed up by some really cool lights that set quite the atmosphere.

5W5A5297They played some heavy hitters from their latest full release Venom, which got the moshpit and crowdsurfers going in a heartbeat. Shouting and singing along was also never far away, which got really obvious during Scream Aim Fire. I have to say that I was a bit sceptic about seeing them live, cause years ago I heard a Matthew Tuck with really poor vocals. That issue was totally not a thing this evening, with the only remark is that the mixing could have been better. When Matt sang the more calm parts of certain songs, the music drowned his voice, a bit of a pity. But despite this small thing, the show was near flawless, groovy and with times atmospheric whenever the crowd sang along to their more calm, emotional songs. Padge had his moments to shine in which his love for Pantera was never far away and bassist Jamie proved his qualities as second vocalist. Their setlist was pretty awesome, playing quite some tracks from debut The Poison and seemingly "forgetting" about their critically badly received Temper Temper. They simply blew the roof off the building and even went beyond with their breakthrough hit Tears Don't Fall followed up by The End and a strong finish with the brand new Don't Need You single. I'm convinced of their talents, they've clearly grown up to become serious musicians.

Setlist
No Way Out
Skin
Your Betrayal
Scream Aim Fire
Venom
4 Words (To Choke Upon)
You Want a Battle? (Here's a War)
The Last Fight
Alone
Worthless
Waking the Demon
Hand of Blood
Encore
Tears Don't Fall
The End
Don't Need You

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For more pictures of the gig by our photographer Gillian Pieteraerens, go see our photo coverage here.



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Vaim

Music addict - DJ - Editor-in-chief/Journalist/Photographer/Gatekeeper @ GRIMM Gent - Suomi lover - Geek - Science nut - Nature worshiper/Pagan