Skip to main content

Crossfaith, live in London

Support: Silent Screams, Coldrain

Osaka Japan’s finest rave-metal exports rocked into London to record their first ever live DVD. Here’s what we learnt from the experience...

Koko Is A Great Venue… But With Shitty Stage Times

Ever since the legendary London Astoria was shamefully ripped down to build a tube station there has been an aching void in the capital to be filled in the venue stakes. Those bands in the interim between smaller club shows and Brixton O2 Academy have been pushed from pillar to post, but now they may have a home. Koko is a beautiful, historic venue and, unlike many theatres of this size, you can get a decent view from anywhere and the sound is, for the most part, crystal clear.

They could do with extending the curfew times though, as Hammer are still admiring the view outside as openers Cytota exit the stage just before 7pm… what’s all that about?

Coldrain Are Primed To Do Big Things

There’s a bit of a billing error tonight. Whoever decided that Crossfaith’s fellow countrymen Coldrain should go on before Silent Screams needs their head examining. The former are a huge draw in their homeland and are clearly drilled and slick as any headliner you’d see in this venue. They have a set of catchy and futuristic sounding rock anthems that enthral the early birds, and, in singer Masato, they’ve got a frontman that can easily command crowds far bigger than the one they play to tonight. They seem to be the perfect warm up for Crossfaith, but poor Silent Screams have to follow them with their meat and potatoes mosh. This is a young British band, still learning their trade, and putting them after Coldrain is more than odd. It’s downright cruel.

The Crowd Are Here To Party

Fifteen minutes before Crossfaith come on there is a full-blown rave happening on the floor. Chants for the band nearly drown out the electro music blasting from the speakers, and when they do finally arrive onstage it’s pure chaos from minute one. Numerous walls of death, too many circle pits to count, one ‘jumpthefuckup’ and gallons of beer and sweat are dispatched all over the venue. This crowd are nuts!

Crossfaith Are Pulling Out All The Stops

What with it being their DVD recording you can understand why Crossfaith want to put on a big show. But, holy shit, do they put on a big show. Stage ramps and lasers and glitter cannons and smoke machines and massive drum risers and downed bottles of Jägermeister… and… it’s all too much for the human eye to take. This is like watching Mötley Crüe, Metallica and Faithless onstage all at the same time! Get this on blu-ray when it comes out. It’ll be worth it.

The Band Aren’t Aware Of The Concept Of Standing Still

Despite all the prop-based shenanigans it is still the five members of Crossfaith that really command your attention. Do they ever stand still? It certainly seems not as they scale every nook and cranny of Koko’s stage… and everywhere else. Even if you are getting used to seeing ‘crazy’ onstage antics from a great many bands, not many of them do it with the same level of intensity and panache as these guys. And drummer Amano Tatsuya’s drum solo is a rarity; what with it being totally engaging due to his inability to keep his bum on the stool.

Dance Music Can Actually Be Really Fucking Heavy

They may embrace a lot of elements of electronic music, but Crossfaith are a metal band… and even if they aren’t they are damn heavy anyway. Sure the guitar parts of The Evolution and Eclipse are total rippers and vocalist Kenta Koie’s screams could strip paint, but when the throbbing synth bass line to Monolith kicks in the entire building starts to shake. If you had fillings they would probably come loose. This shit is heavy… maybe not ‘heavy metal’ but definitely heavy. As the band end with their cover of The Prodigy’s Omen you’re spent. Visually, sonically, breathlessly. This, as Ken says from the stage as they leave, is just the beginning. Get yourself the DVD for proof, but really, do yourself a favour, next time Crossfaith are in the UK be there as well.

Setlist

We Are The Future Hounds Of The Apocalypse The Evolution Countdown To Hell Gala Hala (Burn Down the Floor) Jägerbomb Scarlett Photosphere Madness Eclipse Stars Faded In Slow Motion Monolith Omen Leviathan

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.