August Burns Red and Napoleon at Underworld, London - live review

The Gospel - live

Crowd shot
(Image: © Katja Ogrin)

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NAPOLEON [6] might have released one of 2016’s most original-sounding records, but live they’ve yet to really learn how to capture the tech-metal-meets-hardcore-punk vibe. Still, there’s enough energy to suggest – particularly in their new material – that once they do they can be a force in the British metal scene. Tonight, though, is more about celebrating the past than looking to the future, as AUGUST BURNS RED [7] run through their Messengers album to celebrate its 10th anniversary. The most noticeable thing about their confident showing is the sound – ABR might just be the loudest band ever to be housed at the Underworld. Their riffs and drums relentlessly rattle your bones throughout the set, but unfortunately it leads to everything sounding fairly one-dimensional, particularly as the band have a tendency to plough through the record with little pause for breath. Save for a quick run-through of a ‘greatest hits’ set encore, this is a night strictly for the hardcore fans.

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.