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I’m going to be straight and up front; going into this show I was not a fan of Malev (that’s Malevolence to you commoners), but this is also someone who hasn’t been to one of their headline shows before. It’s a night of hardcore music meaning stand to the side or accidentally end up in the most intense mosh pit you have ever been in. The front of the Ritz has a queue wrapped around the building with a giant tour bus branded with Malev’s tour poster on the side.

A night with 3 support acts, first band on the bill Justice For The Damned from Sydney, Australia takes to the stage with zero introduction, just a face full of heavy bass and riffs from the get go. The pits open up within seconds. The energy is high and there are hands and legs being thrown all around the place. The vocals from frontman Bobak Rafiee are another level he knows how to bring a crowd in and get a room full of people going. It’s rare that the first support has this big of a crowd but the entire place is already packed out it’s actually insane how quickly they’ve filled a room up.

I don’t feel like you’ve lived without seeing a hardcore mosh pit, you can take your Slipknot pits and Parkway Drive pits and put them away because these guys have got the energy so high the crowd is on another freaking level, there’s even mad ones doing back flips in the middle of the pit with a girl two stepping right next to him. If you need a band to head bang to then these guys are there. The breakdowns are so satisfying, they got the “metal head riff of approval” head bangs from me. If you know, you know. The guys exit the stage with barely a goodbye with a soft voice completely opposite to what we’ve heard during their set, and the crowd floods to the bar like they didn’t just almost get hit in the face two seconds ago. Hardcore fans are a different breed but not to be messed with lightly.

Next on the bill are Manchester born Guilt Trip! Again, like the first band there’s no introduction needed it’s just straight into breakdowns and riff madness! If you want a fast tempo you’re getting it with Guilt Trip there’s no stopping them from start to finish with this set.

Within seconds I’m blown away by these incredible intense breakdowns, another band getting the metalhead, head bang of approval.

By the second song of the set their touring bassist is already getting a lot of love from the crowd! Her riffs are beyond amazing and she makes it look so effortless when she stands in front of this crowd. The crowd is hyped up with security having their work cut out for them with the amount of crowd surfers making their way over the barrier, with a mosh pit going on in the centre that had no chance of calming down the crowd surfers will definitely make the effort throw it’s way in!

The crowd is going insane over Guilt Trip and it’s not hard to see why! Every single second of this set is incredible and intense, everything that you could ever want!

Final support of the night SYLOSIS, the reaction from the crowd was as if they weren’t the supporters but the main act of the night. This place is going absolutely insane, I swear I can’t keep up with what’s happening right now.

Compared to the other bands of the night it’s like the calm before the storm, everything is still as heavy it just feels a little toned down.

There’s less movement but there doesn’t really need to be high crazy energy 24/7, the performance alone makes up for all of that. The amount of head swings from guitarist Josh Middleton is something you lose count of all too easily. These guys know how to throw in a riff in the most satisfying way possible, to the point where you feel it convulse into your chest.

Setlist:

  1. Poison for the Lost
  2. Pariahs
  3. I Sever
  4. The Blackest Skyline
  5. Sands of Time
  6. Cycle of Suffering
  7. A Sign of Things to Come
  8. Worship Decay
  9. Deadwood

Finally the band of the night, the entire room files with Yorkshire chants. If you’ve been living under a rock, any artist from Yorkshire at their shows tends to be a sea of chants from fellow people from Yorkshire, even for bands that aren’t from there if it’s in a town in Yorkshire the chant is heard. Right before the guys came out Oasis’ “Wonderwall” was played across the PA and met with a large amount of boos from the crowd and it filled the room of the Ritz tonight. The guys come out to the chants with smiles on their faces taking in everything in front of them.

When I say these guys go hard, they go hard with their performances from intense breakdowns to soft and angelic moments. They know how to do it and how to deliver it beautifully. They began their set with the pulsating “Malicious Intent” followed by the raucous “Life Sentence” and with the band in full head banging/body swaying together mode, the crowd went insane. They follow this up with “Waste of Myself”, which is full on hardcore beats and tempo drops which features a killer solo which keeps the energy insanely high and increases the aggressiveness in the pits.

Taylor is like he’s conducting the crowd from the stage and gets whatever he wants by the mass amount of people looking up at him. Sheffield definitely takes over in this room as the chants for Sheffield and Yorkshire take over once again showing the supremacy of the city. The surreal moment kicks in when he tells everyone with a lighter or torch on their phone “to light up the room like a Justin Bieber concert” before the amazing “Higher Place” kicks in, slowing the tempo down very quickly, giving everyone a much needed rest.

They executed their set really well, with a massive mix of old and new songs, some even taking it back to the early days of the band, ten years ago. The band have a small breather before they come on for their final two songs “Keep Your Distance” and “On Broken Glass” which has the entire room going crazy, you can see those upstairs in the Ritz going nuts as they watch the chaos unfold. Malevolence are doing a festival exclusive at Bloodstock festival next year and I would recommend seeing their set if you want to go absolutely insane.

Setlist:

  1. Malicious Intent
  2. Life Sentence
  3. Waste of Myself
  4. Still Waters Run Deep
  5. Above All Else
  6. Self Supremacy
  7. Higher Place
  8. Serpent’s Chokehold
  9. Condemned to Misery
  10. Remain Unbeaten
  11. Turn to Stone / Wasted Breath
  12. Karma
  13. Drum Solo
  14. Keep Your Distance
  15. On Broken Glass

Words: Jacob Robinson & Lauren Allard

Images: Lauren Allard