Review & Photography by Sian Connolly for MPM
As the whole of the UK soaks up the sun, it’s not long before an ‘ice’ warning is issued… pack your bags because we’re off on the ‘Wurst Vacation’. All puns aside, the metal-core beasts from Boston, who have been taking the world by storm since 2000, are here in Manchester ready to put on the horror show of a lifetime. Please welcome, the one and only, Ice Nine Kills.
First up are Thai alternative metal band, Defying Decay. Hailing all the way from Bangkok, these guys certainly did not disappoint. Delivering an unforgettable performance and even a circle pit, the energy of the crowd was immaculate.
With the unique blend of post-hardcore and alternative rock, everyone, including myself, can definitely agree that for the first support out of four bands performing tonight, Defying Decay made their mark.
Lead singer, Jay Poom Euarchukiati, effortlessly connects with the crowd as his powerful vocals echo around the venue, with the passion and enthusiasm of the band making their presence remarkable. Amazing performance.
Next on the stage, we have US rockers, Lansdowne. Now this performance was nothing short of electric, a high-energy show that had the crowd jumping and singing along to every song.
With raw energy that was hard to ignore, lead singer, Jon Ricci, showed off his gritty vocals whilst the band’s powerful, hard-hitting rock sound all blended perfectly together.
The blistering guitar solos (Shaun & Josh) and incredibly tight rhythm on the drums (Glenn) proved that Lansdowne are definitely a force to be reckoned with.
For the third support of the night, we’re off over to the other side of the world to see the highly anticipated, Australian, gothic band, SKYND.
As two anonymous members of the band take to the stage in masks, already I’m loving the vibe. The lights go dark as lead singer, Skynd, appears on stage. The crowd goes wild. You would think that SKYND are the headliners from the number of cheers in the room.
The whole performance was hauntingly beautiful; a mesmerising show that kept us entranced from start to finish. Skynds vocals were perfectly complimented by the brooding sounds performed by multi-instrumentalist, known to the world as Father.
Flawlessly switching between two very different tones at any given moment, SKYND have the ability to sound dark and menacing one minute and sweet and childlike the next. Her movements mimicking a puppet being controlled by its master’s strings. Between songs, short clips of true crime news stories played over the speakers before seamlessly diving into their next hit. Definitely a show for anyone who loves their music with a side of serial killers.
It’s now time for the moment all 2,600 of us have been waiting for. The gig that has been sold out for months; Massachusetts metal heads, Ice Nine Kills. Get ready, the most theatrical, mind-blowing, thrilling performance is about to begin.
Smoke fills the stage as each member of the band appears in suits and bow ties, very appropriate attire for the first song on the setlist. Kicking off the night with “Funeral Derangements”, a song based on the horror film ‘Pet Sematary’, lead vocalist, Spencer Charnas emerges from the wall of smoke wielding an axe pointed to the crowd.
With signs in the background saying ‘Welcome To Horrorwood’ (the title of their 2021 album), the fans go wild. INK are here and to Horrorwood we go.
Things took a more gruesome turn for the second song, “Wurst Vacation”, a track based on the film ‘Hostel’, as Spencer appears in a butchers-like apron covered in blood, clutching a hatchet in his right hand.
He began ‘chopping off’ a scared actor’s arm, followed by ‘severing’ his head to which Charnas proceeded to show the crowd, holding them high and then throwing them to the side of the stage. Aside from feeling as though I’ve got a front-row seat at a murder scene, the musical experience was just as phenomenal as the theatrics and it was obvious the crowd agreed.
The audience passionately sang along to every single song, back to back as well as saving the time to have a good old mosh and have plenty of crowd surfing.
Throughout the night, the quintet performed several songs from their albums ‘The Silver Scream’ and its sequel ‘Welcome To Horrorwood: The Silver Scream 2’. INK also took us on a trip down memory Lane playing hits off their 2015 album ‘Every Trick In The Book’.
Overall, one of THE best shows I have ever been to. An incredible, thrilling, unforgettable night performed by an indescribably talented band.