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Live Review: As I Lay Dying and Suicide Silence - Koko, London - 26.11.2010

If you’re familiar with Koko then you’ll be aware that NME set up shop every Friday night for their club night, this being the reason why I missed both Sylosis and Heaven Shall Burn but was greeted on arrival to the start of Suicide Silence’s onslaught. Every other verse is a breakdown and they chug their way through the set with little need to encourage a packed out Koko which judging by the t-shirts on display housed many a Suicide Silence fan. The pit was absolutely steaming but from the edges the lack of melody and questionable song structures of beatdown followed by breakdown it’s hard to keep up with unless your wind milling your way through the set.

This is the first London show As I Lay Dying have played since the release of their latest piece of metalcore mastery, 'The Powerless Rise,' so anticipation in Koko was high, not helped by the fact that they had a curfew of 9.45, so there set time was dwindling. When they did appear, without the need for prompting the crowd instantly opened up for the classic that is ’94 Hours’.

Tim seemed real happy to be back in London and introduced ‘An Ocean In Between’ to a manic crowd. Tim didn’t hesitate introducing the new album ‘The Powerless Rise’ into the live set with ‘Upside Down Kingdom’ and ‘Beyond Our Suffering’. This is what makes As I Lay Dying so bloody good, the two new tracks slotted nice and snug into the set and the crowd reacted as though they were already classics. Every riff was tight and the band didn’t hold back one bit, storming through tracks with just the odd word from Tim who seemed humbled by the reaction to the new material.

‘The Sound Of Truth’ and ‘Within Destruction’ followed before one of the clear highlights of the night came in the form of ‘Parallels’ which sounded absolutely huge. The albums been out long enough for a sing-along to the chorus and some are guitar fingers in the ear for a perfectly executed solo. Bassist Josh Gilbert’s vocals were really strong throughout and everything feels nicely crafted now he got on board more with writing material. ‘Anodyne’ and ‘Condemned’ brought the ‘Powerless Rise’ section to an end, making way for what Tim announced as last track ‘Through Struggle’. But unsurprisingly the band within minutes teased the crowd back in with the opening of ‘Separation’.

When the opening riff of ‘Nothing Left’ begun anyone who gingerly made their way to the back of the venue turned in a flash and marched their way back to the pit, things got brutal and before ‘Confined’ Tim called for a wall of death to end the show, the crowd instantly formed and what followed can only be described as mayhem, a perfect end to a show that perhaps wasn’t long enough but one which delivered in every way, showing the pure strength of their new material and a band that over the years have just got tighter and tighter.

Connor O'Brien

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