O2 Academy Leicester 27.03.16.

I’ve loved the band Trivium for years and I’ve enjoyed seeing them play live, countless times, so to be given the opportunity to officially photograph them was pretty much a dream come true! So MASSIVE thanks to ‘As Lions’ PR, Wilful Publicity for allowing us to go down and cover the show!

We first saw ‘As Lions’ in May 2015, when they supported ‘Wovenwar’ and I think it’s safe to say, they left a lasting impression on us. Keen to see how they’d fare on a larger stage, we were itching to go down and see them again, this time supporting Trivium! Comparing tonight, with the first time we saw these guys, they were a completely different kettle of fish! They seemed more mature, more refined and I’d even go as far as saying they were more live performance savvy! What I mean by that is that the first time we saw them they had a game plan, gave a performance that people would remember, no matter what and got people talking about them. Tonight though, that game plan seemed to have changed, as this performance was all about giving the best performance possible and they certainly did that. They still had that crowd participation thing going on, which worked in their favour, as the crowd lapped it up!

Austin Dickinson - As Lions

I think its safe to say, that everyone now knows who Austin Dickinson is and yes, I was amongst the first to suggest his on stage mannerisms were familiar to his dads, which was especially true the first time we saw him and why not as it’s worked well enough for dad Bruce Dickinson, in Iron Maiden. ‘As Lions’ performance, on the whole, was flawless, they were extremely tight and in sync with each other and we thoroughly enjoyed it!

As Lions

After a very short change over, which was just enough time to get a drink from the bar, the stage was quickly set up for Heart of a Coward, and with tonight’s set was their last time supporting Trivium, they sure made it counted….WOW, INSANE! The band will now go off and tour elsewhere and many consider this band as the best live performance you’re likely to witness today, and we concur to a large extent.

Although, tonight was our first time seeing them play live, we’ve known of them for some time now, as we discovered them on Radio 1’s Rock show, with Dan P Carter – yes, it was a shock to us too as we discovered a new band we actually like! To be fair, we do discover one or two bands on that show, but the ‘rock’ element in the shows title is used very loosely indeed! Incidentally, the track we heard playing was ‘Miscreation’ – what a tune!

Jamie Graham - Heart Of A Coward

Founded in 2009, this quintet hail from Milton Keynes which is a town I’m very familiar with, as it’s close to my own home town and the band consists of the following members, Jamie Graham (vocals) Carl Ayers (guitars) Steve Haycock (guitars) Vishal “V” Khetia (bass) and Christopher “Noddy” Mansbridge (drums). The band are also signed to Century Media Records.

I seriously wasn’t prepared for how awesome these guys are live though! The dual guitars works very well for these guys and no, they ain’t Judas Priest or Thin Lizzy as these guys are metal through and through and MAN, that kick drum, when it drops, you know about it and I’m surprised Leicester O2’s windows are still intact!?!

Christopher “Noddy” Mansbridge - Heart Of A Coward

The bands latest album ‘Deliverance’ was released early in 2015 and has been doing very well indeed – tracks off it have even managed to get played on Radio 1’s Rock Show, we love it as it reminds us of very early Trivium!

As we were queuing to get in, in the bitter cold I might add, a crappy Toyota (ain’t got a clue what it was) estate pulled up at the gates, which was close to where we were standing, well, when we all saw who got out of said crappy estate car, it kinda warmed us all up (briefly) as it was non other than Trivium’s lead singer and guitarist Matt Heafy, who’d just nipped out to get a take away… I soon came over all cold again when he jokingly stated tonight’s show was cancelled but thankfully tonight’s gig did in fact go ahead…. phew!

This tour is to showcase the bands latest album ‘Silence In The Snow’ which was released in October 2015 after their triumphant headline slot at Bloodstock, I might add, and sadly, we missed that particular set. We are loving this album though, it’s not as brutal as their earlier stuff as it is in fact much more refined, almost intelligent metal, with a great amount of craftsmanship gone into it’s making. It’s worth mentioning, I got into Trivium on the release of ‘In-Waves’, which is a top personal favourite album, so I’ve been an avid fan since 2011, but they’ve been around since 1998 and are now on their 7th album release. The band, generally, are from Orlando, Florida and now consists of the following members, Matt Heafy – Guitar, Lead Vocals – Corey Beaulieu – Guitar, Vocals – Paolo Gregoletto – Bass, Vocals – Paul Wandtke – Drums.

Corey Beaulieu - Trivium

The stage tonight looked fantastic, with two massive heads with demon like eyes, looking out over the crowd. These same heads form the album art for ‘Silence In The Snow’ and someone likened them to a scene out of Spinal Tap, but I assure you, tonight’s set was delivered with perfection, which I never doubted, as these guys are true professionals and born performers!

Matt Heafy - Trivium

Sadly, most of the tour has been played but as I sit here and write this, there is only Middlesbrough, Aberdeen and Kilmarnock still left to play, so if you’re anywhere near these cities, don’t delay, see all three bands play, it’s such a great line up, show and night out, trust us!

Full set list tonight, consisted of: 1.Intro – Run to the Hills (a little obvious when you consider ‘As Lions’ where supporting!) 2.Snøfall 3.Silence in the Snow 4.Into the Mouth of Hell We March 5.Strife 6.Rain 7.The Ghost That’s Haunting You 8.Anthem (We Are the Fire) 9.Built to Fall 10.Like Light to the Flies 11.Dying in Your Arms 12.Insurrection 13.Dead and Gone 14.Throes of Perdition 15.Down from the Sky 16.Until the World Goes Cold 17.Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr 18.Capsizing the Sea 19.In Waves 20.Ace of Spades (cover)

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)