10 years after releasing their seminal sophomore Messengers, August Burns Red return to London to play the album in its entirety.
It’s always encouraging to see a venue that’s filling up nicely when the opening band is on, and Napoleon  certainly try their best to take advantage of the situation. There’s definitely a strong element of passion and soaring melodies that evoke Architects at their best, whilst the tech guitar noodlings of guitarist extraordinaire Sam Osborn should surely satisfy the throng of metalcore hungry fans in attendance. Their performance is spirited and energetic, so its a real shame that the crowd response is somewhat apathetic and only garners a few raised hands and the occasional punter jumping up and down.
As soon as August Burns Red  take to the cramped confines of the Underworld stage bodies swarm forward and the temperature rockets. Storming out the gates with a hard-hitting “The Truth Of A Liar”, the band smash through Messengers at pace as the dizzying fretwork and pummeling breakdowns from JB Brubaker and Brent Rambler energize the packed crowd. Frontman Jake Luhrs is on fine form as he paces the stage and delivers each throaty roar with heartfelt sincerity- the audience respond in kind with jostling mosh pits and crowd surfers in kind. Album highlight “Composure” ups the intensity as every voice in the venue shouts back every gang chant and impassioned lyric in euphoric unison.
Even a slightly indulgent drum solo between Matt Greiner and Dustin Davidson cannot derail the momentum that the band has built- new single “Invisible Enemy” (which was only debuted within the last 24 hours or so) is greeted with as much delirium as any hit from the band’s back catalogue. An encore of “Empires” and “White Washed” squeezes every last drop of energy and interaction from the audience to create a triumphant finish to top-notch performance from one of the finest metalcore bands in the game. Lets hope that they can provide the same brilliance for Constellations in two years time- I know I’d love to see that.