Gig Review

Heart Of A Coward, As Lions
Bristol, Academy
23rd March 2016

Photo Of As Lions © Copyright Robert KnightI will just get this straight out there, this time last year I was never a fan of Trivium. While I had heard of them through various ways; Internet Radio Stations, Music Magazines, YouTube, Festival Appearances and Friends. 

I just never really got into them, if their music was being played I would listen to them, but I would never call myself a fan of Trivium.

That all changed last summer when myself and Trigger attended a Metal Festival in Derby called Bloodstock.

Trivium was the Headliners for the first night of the festival, from the time they got announced, I was in 2 minds about them playing. With a few months left till they graced the mighty Ronnie James Dio stage, I took it upon myself to get their back catalog of albums and educate myself in all things Trivium.
After several listens of their albums and finally seeing Trivium for the first time at Bloodstock as Headliners, I became a fan!

Photo Of As Lions © Copyright Robert KnightSo when the opportunity came for me to attend their UK tour, I was without hesitation up for seeing them.

The band are nearing the end of their tour in the UK, touring under their recent album Silence In The Snow which was released in October 2015, with support from As Lions and Heart Of A Coward. 
Stopping in at various venues across the United Kingdom such as York, Leicester, Oxford, Portsmouth and Bristol.

The Silence In The Snow Tour, rolled into a cold Wednesday night at the O2 Academy in Bristol.

With 20 minutes before the doors open, the queue was already past the nearby multi-storey car park about a 5-10 minutes walk from the venue. While I thought the big turnout so early was for Trivium, walking alongside the queue it was noticeable that many had turned up early to see the support bands As Lions and Heart Of A Coward, as all the band shirts gave it away.

Photo Of As Lions © Copyright Robert KnightOnce myself and fellow fans had made it through security and had a quick look at the bands merchandise stall, I went through to the main room for tonights show.

With 10 minutes left before the first band hit the stage, it was soon apparent that I was in for a good night of Rock and Metal as the venue was almost 3/4 full (which at times can be rare). 

As the lights dimmed the cheers and shouting soon followed and the first band of the night hit the stage, As Lions.

As Lions are a newly formed Rock band, which started in 2015. A lot of people will recognise some of the members from As Lions, from another band which split in 2015 Rise To Remain. As Lions are a London based band, consisting of Austin Dickinson on Vocals, Conor O'Keefe on Guitar, Will Homer on Guitar, Stefan Whiting on Bass and Dave Fee on Drums.

Photo Of As Lions © Copyright Robert KnightIt was clear from the start of As Lions set, that regardless of the band starting out in 2015 that over the past year they have got such a strong following.

During my time photographing the band and then listen to the remaining songs on their set, I can understand why they have such a strong following. From the point that all the band starting playing, shortly 2 minutes into the set I was hooked.

From start to end, the band did not let any energy slip away from them, even during the performance a mic issue could not stop the band from playing; as the mic failed, Austin Dickinson got guitarist Connor O'Keefe to give it the kiss of life, like a bit of magic or luck the mic started work, to which the crowd cheered and Austin continued singing as nothing happened (a personal highlight of the night)!

As Lions have yet to release a album, they have provided a free to download track for their fans via their website "The Fall". Which I must advise readers of this to listen too. Hearing the song live with the double bass pedals Photo Of Heart Of A Coward © Copyright Robert Knightbeating your chest and the deep bass thuds from the bass, complimented with the guitars leading the assault on the ears, then to top it perfectly with the vocal talent of Austin Dickinson, it was really a great song live and was pretty much what has made me a fan of As Lions.

The band played songs which will hopefully end up on their debut album, if they do, listens all over the world will be in for a treat. All the songs As Lions played on the night where all top, each song made you tap your foot to the drumming, while wanting to hear more.

Up until the gig I had never heard of As Lions, as the band finished with their last song, I wanted to hear more from them. The energy they brought to the stage got a mega boost from the already packed O2 Academy, that had turned up early to see the band and for the fans that all attended early they was not disappointed.

If I have the chance to see As Lions again, without hesitation I will go along, they have a Photo Of Heart Of A Coward © Copyright Robert Knightgreat and tight sound when playing, as I mention before the energy they have is something to see live, all the members give everything they got and the passion they have for this band is something I have massive respect for!

After a few little changes to the stage, Heart of A Coward was up next!

Heart Of A Coward was formed in 2009, this Metal band are from Milton Keynes. The band are currently touring under their latest album Deliverance.

Heart Of A Coward are - Jamie Graham (Vocals), Carl Ayers (Guitars), Steve Haycock (Guitars), Vishal "V" Khetia (Bass) and Christopher "Noddy" Mansbridge (Drums).

With the O2 Academy pretty much filled to the brim ready for the arrival of Trivium, Heart Of A Coward hit the stage and open their set with their first song off the new album Hollow.

Photo Of Heart Of A Coward © Copyright Robert KnightSoon as the main guitar riff kicked in the crowd went into a frenzy, what a song to kick off a set with. During my time photographing the band they played Miscreation and Turmoil 1: Wolves, which are also very heavy songs. As soon as Turmoil 1 ended, they went into Turmoil 2: The Weak Inherit the Earth. This song  had a slight erie feel to it with the clean guitar opening the song, then with Jamie Graham getting the crowd chanting along with him, the band took the clean sounding guitars, switched them off and unleashed a catchy heavy distorted guitar riff and a catchy drum beat. With the crowd feeding off the riff's and the drums, the song took a turn that had all the moshpit ready fans waiting and the band made sure none of the moshing fans where disappointed.

As the song ended the crowd gave back to the band all the energy that the band put into that performance with a loud cheer and roar.

Heart Of A Coward ended their set with Shade and Deadweight.

Photo Of Heart Of A Coward © Copyright Robert KnightShade had a very Killswitch Engage / Trivium vibe to it, which the crowd had no issue with getting into, I myself really enjoyed this song. As with one song left, this had got the crowd in Heart of A Cowards hands. To which they reply with a heavy closing song Deadweight.

Deadweight open with a catchy drum roll and guitar riff, then Jamie screamed Deadweight down the mic to ensure that everyone in the crowd, started headbanging  along with the main riff. Song featured a lot of opportunities for the crowd to get the dust out of the necks, various times I found myself headbanging along a lot. This was a great song to the end set with and to get the crowd ready for the mighty Trivium!

 Photo Of Trivium © Copyright Robert KnightI had never heard of Heart Of A Coward before, I missed the opportunity to see them when they supported Machine Head which was also at the O2 Academy in 2014. Heart Of A Coward tonight provided a solid set, the first 4 songs they played came from their recently released album Deliverance, while the set was closed with 2 songs off, Dead Sea and Severance albums.

I really enjoyed Heart Of A Coward set, I would recommend anybody who is into Killswitch Engage or Five Finger Death Punch to check this band out.

As Heart Of A Coward exited the stage, a small army came on to the stage to unveil the stage set for Trivium!!

With the venue almost at its capacity the support bands for tonight; As Lions and Heart Of A Coward, delivered the goods and got the fans ready for the mighty Trivium.

After a set change of 20-25 minutes, the lights went out and the intro from Trivium's latest album Silence In The Snow, Snofall blasted through the speakers and the crowd went crazy with the impending arrival of Trivium. The Photo Of Trivium © Copyright Robert Knightsmoked filled stage at the O2 Academey was lit up with the blue lights, with the silhouettes of the bands members entering onto the stage, fueling the demand of the fans even more to hear Trivium!

As snofall came to a close the members of Trivium took their places on stage, the packed out venue replied with screams, roars and cheers.

Trivium was founded in 1999, they are a Heavy / Thrash Metal band from Orlando Florida. Trivium is made up of; Matt Heafy - Guitar, Lead Vocals, Corey Beaulieu - Guitar, Vocals, Paolo Gregoletto - Bass, Vocals and Paul Wandtke - Drums.

Photo Of Trivium © Copyright Robert KnightThe band opened their set with the title track from their latest record Silence In The Snow. As soon as the first guitar note sounded, the crowd just sang the parts of the guitars until Matt began singing. At time's you was hard pressed to hear the band playing over the loudness of the crowd putting in all the energy that they had stored in themselves ready for Trivium.

Once that song had come to a close and a quick guitar swap over, newly recruited drummer Paul Wandtke took the lead and started off the 2nd song Into The Mouth Of Hell We March, when the main riff had blasted through the PA system and the deep sounding vocals of Corey Beaulieu, myself and the crowd knew that Trivium had arrived and we was in for a night that a lot of us won't forget anytime soon!

Photo Of Trivium © Copyright Robert KnightNext up was Strife, without hesitation I knew that the crowd had out done themselves before, but as soon Matt Heafy introduced the song, the crowd was back to singing the guitar parts of the intro, they literally blew out their performance with the band on the first song! 3 songs in and the energy from the Bristol crowd was like a unstoppable train! After Strife, Matt took the time to tell the crowd that tonight was loudest night of the tour and only being 3 songs in, he knew, like myself that this crowd of Trivium fans weren't going to disappoint him and the other guys in the band!

Next 2 songs up was Rain from the Ascendancy album and Blind Leading the Blind from the latest record Silence In The Snow. Both songs are personally favourites to me and hearing Rain live was something Photo Of Trivium © Copyright Robert Knightthat was a personal highlight of the night, once that drum beat in the middle of the song kicks in the headbanging follows swiftly!

Anthem (We Are The Fire) was next. Matt's introduction for this song was great, he said this song was for the fans who attended tonight, the support bands and for metal in general as we are all a family, which is highlighted in this song. I really can't say anymore how much the crowd was on fire tonight for Trivium, as soon as the mid section of the song hit, the crowd nailed the sing along with Matt (bit like a Freddie Mercury sing a along moment) perfectly and once again drowned out the instruments!

Built To Fall, Like Light To The Flies and Dying In Your Arms continued the Trivium assault on the Bristol fans, to which the crowd continued to put in all the energy and passion that they came with and not lost one bit since the guys from Orlando turned up on stage! Dying In Your Arms toned down the set just a little enough that as soon as the song had finished Matt took the time to give the crowd a little gift or could say surprise.

Photo Of Trivinm © Copyright Robert KnightThat gift / surprise was in the form of playing, Requiem for the first time ever since 2007. For people that don't know this song is off the debut album Ember To Inferno, with the deep vocals from Matt and the 80's style thrash riff's, this was a great song to play for a crowd that put everything so far into every song!

After getting a huge response from the crowd after playing Requiem, Trivium wasted no time in blasting out Dead and Gone, Throes of Perdition and Down From The Sky.

Probably my song of the night was Until The World Goes Cold, this gem is from the Silence In The Snow album, it has been getting a lot of rave reviews from many people and to hear it live was a highlight for me, as it shows that even with heavy guitars, deep sounding bass and drums, that you can have clean vocals and still can class it as a heavy metal song, even though its not a fast paced song.

Photo Of Trivium © Copyright Robert KnightTo finish off what was probably the highlight of their tour, Trivium ended the night off with Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr and In Waves, both are Trivium's popular songs, liked by so many for the heaviness and the deep vocals from Matt and Corey.

The guys from Orlando, took that moment they hit the stage at the start and in no time wasted the energy and passion that the fans in attendance had brought and gave everything back to them, from being showing appreciation for being the loudest crowd of the tour, to the first play since 2007 of Requiem.

As the set came to a close all the members took their place on the stage for a finally bow and to take in the final burst of energy from the crowd before leaving, in doing so they left the stage with Motorheard Ace Of Spades playing in the background.

As Lions 4.5/5
Heart Of A Coward 4/5
Trivium 5/5

Review By Robert Knight


Matt Heafy
Corey Beaulieu
Paolo Gregoletto
Paul Wandtke

Latest Album - 'Silence In The Snow'

 Heart Of A Coward

Jamie Graham
Carl Ayers
Steve Haycock
Vishal "V" Khetia
Christopher "Noddy" Mansbridge

Latest Album - 'Deliverance'

 As Lions

Austin Dickinson
Conor O'Keefe
Will Homer
Stefan Whiting
Dave Fee

Latest Song - 'The Fall'

 Band Related Links
Trivium Facebook
Heart Of A Coward Facebook
As Lions Facebook
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?