Internal Conflict / Deified / Inhabit
The Pilgrim, Liverpool, United Kingdom
Internal Conflict, a band signed to Bloodstock founder Simon Hall's label FATangel Records, are currently touring the UK in support of their latest album The Rising Tide. We at Mute Print stopped off at their Liverpool date to see what all the fuss was about, intrigued by an array of some of Liverpool's finest local talent in support, including Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses winners Deified, fresh off their critically acclaimed set on the festival's New Blood Stage, and Inhabit, a band who have been causing a stir on the local scene as of late, and themselves made it to the semi finals of the same competition.
By the time Inhabit hit the stage, we're already two bands deep into the night, following blistering sets from the groove laden veterans Kimura, and the raw, Architects-like noise of Escape Arcadia. Inhabit, however, are a completely different prospect. Passionate and melodic in equal measures, but not without a hefty breakdown or two, comparisons are easily drawn to bands such as Bring Me The Horizon, for the bands ability to blend heavy guitar driven riffs with twinkly synth elements, but adding in a nu-metal edge similar to bands such as POD and, more recently, Issues. Vocalist Karlis Martinsons is a whirling dervish of dreadlocks and untamable energy, somehow managing to balance the tricky task of maintaining an energetic stage show with some incredibly taxing screams comparable to In Flames' Anders Friden. By far the stand out moment of their set was the singalong that erupted out of a previously quiet crowd to one of the bands few released tracks, Own The Moment, with the entire crowd roaring "What, what? Yeah we got the magic!" in unison. Although the band haven't really played shows outside of the North West area, if ever there was a band we'd put money on to break out in the next few months, Inhabit would be a pretty safe bet.
Almost as soon as Inhabit leave the stage, the weather outside started to turn sour. Rain poured, and lightning crackled in the sky. An almost fitting introduction for the thunder groove metal titans Deified were about to bring. Fresh off their Bloodstock performance, the bands confidence was clear to see, and despite some sound issues, the band remained composed and managed to pull off a tight set. The duelling guitars of Alastair Blackhall and Matt Pike were particularly on form, barely missing a note between them for the entire set, whether it be newest song Shitwreck's Protest The Hero-esque tapping intro, or the chunky, Gojira inspired riffs of Ascend, the entire band remained precise, despite claiming that they could barely her each other on stage. Vocalist Jamie Hughes seemingly veered at the flick of a switch between death metal gutteral lows, into growls and shrieks reminiscent of Lamb of God's Randy Blythe, and genuinely seemed at home on stage, one of the most confident frontmen I've seen in a long time.
When the time came for headline band Internal Conflict's set, the compact space upstairs in The Pilgrim had started to fill up nicely, including members from the support bands, and a selection of familiar faces from within the Liverpool scene. Metal/hardcore crossover is a genre that has been done to death by everyone from Biohazard to Unearth, but Internal Conflict almost give it a new lease of life, with original, technical riffs, crushing breakdowns and breakneck speed solos being the main driving force behind the band. Unsurprisingly for a touring band, the energy with which they threw themselves into their entire set was awe inspiring, and refreshing in an age where bands seem to think that playing good music is enough to get them by alone. The only downside to their set was the seemingly limited range of vocalist Adam Kyle, with every note a mid-range, hardcore tinged roar. Whether this was a choice made by the band during songwriting, or just the limits of Kyle's ability remains to be seen, but little more variation, some higher or lower screams, would have taken this band to the next level, but an extremely lackluster vocal performance really held the band back on the night. If this matter is addressed, however, we at Mute Print feel that this band have a very bright future, and remain eager to see what they come up with on future releases.