Betraying The Martyrs, live in London

Support: Polar, More Than A Thousand, Upon This Dawning

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The Leicester via Paris deathy metalcore troupe came to Camden Town for a night of beatdowns and Disney covers. Yeah, you heard.

There’s Some Strong Metalcore-Meets-Electro Being Crafted In Italy

Although traditionally associated with the US and UK, this tour acts as a shining light showcasing a whole host of European up-and-coming metalcore. Openers Upon This Dawning’s metal-meets-electro schtick may have been done to death, and often done quite badly, but they happen to be one of the bands nailing it. Big riffs meet big choruses with guitarist Matteo Botticini’s clean vocals being full of melody while still having enough grit to make this lot a hard hitting proposition live.

More Than A Thousand’s Vasco Ramos Gets The Mix Of Pop And Metal Just Right

Continuing the metalcore Euro Cup evening is Portugal’s More Than A Thousand. While man mountain of a frontman Vasco Ramos may surprise some with the big poppy melodies he belts out, not to mention his speeches of representing your scene’ and ‘following your dreams’ making him sound like the metalcore goody two-shoes equivalent of Hulk Hogan telling you to say your prayers and eat your vitamins. Still, the nice guy persona does little to deter the crowd, with the hooks he roars on those choruses getting an impressive number of early doors punters pogoing along.

Despite A Passionate Display From Polar, The Crowd’s Reaction Is The Polar Opposite

The crowd noticeably thins out and calms down for Polar, and while vocalist Adam Woodford remains a volatile frontman, this is a far cry from the exciting band they were breaking onto the scene a few years ago. While Glasscutter is superb, the vast majority of the set falls flat in a big way. The band attempting the old ‘everybody sit down, everybody jump up’ trick to about 30 people, Woodford hitting the deck because there aren’t enough people to catch him when he stagedives, and a pin drop silence when the band stops and he screams for the crowd to make some noise, all paint a rather bleak picture of a band not meeting their early promise.

Betraying The Martyrs’ Set Is Plagued By Unnecessary Bells And Whistles

When at their heaviest, Betraying The Martyrs are really fucking heavy. It produces some undeniably big mosh pit moments tonight – it’s just a shame there’s so much faffing around from the band that distracts from this. Acts like choreographed jumping and the guitarists playing each other’s guitars feel more like cheesy distraction than rockstar spectacle. Not to mention the band committing the sin of including a fucking drum solo, something that should have stayed in the ‘80s and something even the biggest arena bands struggle to make interesting these days.

All Is Forgiven When They Play That Cover

It’s undeniable that a large part of the crowd are here for one reason and one reason only, and that reason is the band’s ridiculously over the top cover of Let It Go from Frozen. To their credit, it sounds huge tonight, a sense of grandiosity added to their unhinged aggression, and is bolstered by the biggest singalong of the night. Not to mention seeing a host of rabid metal fans engaging in a wall of death to a Disney song is something that can’t help but a smile on your face.