The Defiled, live in London

Support: Avatar

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There’s something about Avatar [6] that doesn’t quit sit right. It goes without saying that everything they do comes with a metric shit tonne of theatricality and even though you’re not supposed to take this band too seriously, the stench of Deathstars and 69 Eyes about what they do is unavoidable.

The opening one-two combination of Hail The Apocalypse and Let It Burn gets the large contingent of tonight’s crowd that seem to be here for them bouncing like a fish up a tree but it all comes off a little too Spirit Of Jazz for its own good.

There’s no denying the credibility of the usually mighty The Defiled [7] as they plough into a building-shaking As I Drown but the usual conviction and belief that they are the biggest superstars that aren’t superstars just isn’t with them tonight. Everything seems a little more laborious and workmanlike about them in comparison to when they steamrollered this same venue at the beginning of the Daggers cycle. There’s all of the crazy, wide-eyed gurns and rock ‘n’ roll bravado that comes with tracks as ballsy as Black Death and Unspoken but the sheer belief that the world is theirs for the taking is noticeably absent.

There are moments of greatness as new track Five Minutes sounds every inch a colossal stadium ballad and the industrial clattering of Call To Arms is always a bullseye but there are also some pretty bizarre moments going on onstage. While the members of The Defiled are always pretty full-on with one another, there’s some oddly venomous bickering between Stitch and The AvD that makes the room more uncomfortable instead of feeling like you’re watching something special.

There’s also a lack of gusto tonight that’s a strange fit. They usually look like they’re having more fun than the craziest audience members and to feel like that’s lacking puts a dampener on the show overall. Maybe it’s being a little jaded at the end of an album cycle but this is the first time The Defiled haven’t looked like these kinds of venues are too small to house a talent this large.

It’s still a decent enough showing by the average band’s standards but you can’t help but feel that The Defiled can do much better than what they showcased this evening.