LANDMVRKS - O2 Ritz Manchester

LANDMVRKS - O2 Ritz Manchester

Outside the O2 Ritz, a storm is brewing. It’s been a hot day in Manchester but judging by the clouds, that could all be about to change, but it’s nothing compared to the storm that’s about to hit the O2 Ritz. Tonight, LANDMVRKS' ‘Creature Tour’ comes to Manchester, with a stacked line up including some huge names. This is sure to be a heavy night! 

The first band of the night is Guilt Trip, and it’s a hometown show for the Manchester metalcore band. Following the release of their latest album, the band has been on multiple tours including a huge tour supporting label-mates Malevolence. The band waste no time as they burst into their first song ‘Fallen At My Feet’ before diving straight into ‘Surrounded by Pain’. If the crowd wasn’t ready for movement, they sure are now as the pit opens up and the hardcore dancers take to the centre of the room. This is an 'all stops pulled' set and the band are on fire as they burn through ‘Sweet Dreams’. Midway through the song LANDMVRKS vocalist, Florent Salfati, leaps onto the stage to join Guilt Trip and perform his part of the song; something that creates further chaos within the circle pit. 

Throughout their set, vocalist, Jay Valentine keeps interaction with the crowd high, even jumping down to the barrier during the end of their set. It’s easy to see why Guilt Trip are making such big waves at the moment. Whilst sounding fresh, their sound is still familiar, at times it’s even comparable to that of early Machine Head; most noticeable on ‘Severance’. The band also brings a lot of energy to the stage which they transfer to the crowd with ease. As the set comes to an end it’s safe to say this was a brilliant start to the night. 

Next up to the stage is American metal core band, Like Moths To Flames. Within seconds, vocalist, Chris Roetter has already done 10 laps of the stage and there is no signs of slowing as the band tear through their set opener ‘Angels Weep’. The frantic energy continues into the second song ‘Habitual Decline’. "Last time we played Manchester only 7 people showed up" says Roetter, clearly happy with tonight's turn out. The band released their latest album, ‘The Cycles Of Trying To Cope’ on Friday. However, this set delves into their back catalogue, making sure to include some of their biggest songs; based on crowd reactions this was a smart choice to make. As the set draws to a close the band leaves the stage to much applause, if anyone in the crowd wasn’t a fan, chances are they are now.


Outside the venue, a thunderstorm rages but that is nothing, compared to the storm that is about to descend onto the stage. The penultimate band of the night is none other than metalcore titans 'The Devil Wears Prada'. It’s been a while since the band has played in the UK so their appearance on this tour is a highly anticipated one. As the lights dim, the atmosphere in the room is electric. The crowd roars as the band takes to the stage, with guitarist and vocalist Jeremy DePoyster posed upon a stage block. Guitars squeal and drums thrash and in seconds the room has descended into chaos as the band rips through ‘Watchtower’, bringing loud singalongs during the choruses before laying waste to the room as the breakdown hits. Lead vocalist, Mike Hranica sounds great tonight, his screams sounding brutal and at times tinged with sorrow, as he takes control of the stage. The crowd are in for a real treat as TDWP take things right back to their early material with their second song ‘Danger: Wildman’. This is a display of 2009 metal core at its finest and a real crowd-pleaser. 

Mid-set, the band brings their latest song 'Ritual' to the stage. It’s exciting to finally hear this live. It sounds fresh whilst never straying to0 far from the sound that fans have come to love. DePoyster’s vocal capabilities really shine through on this one as he takes a more lead-role for this song. A set highlight is ‘Outnumbered’ taken from the critically acclaimed ‘Zombie EP’. This is easily some of their heaviest material and with it comes a frenzy of moshing and spiralling circle pits. As the set nears its end, DePoyster disappears from the stage, first heading to the bar before making his way to the sound desk. He cheers fans and exchanges fist bumps before continuing to shred. Once the set has ended the band jump down from the stage handing out guitar picks and set lists to the eager crowd waiting at the barrier.

Excitement in the room is at breaking point, as the lights dim one final time. As ominous music plays a V at the centre of the stage begins to flicker and slowly fill with light. As it changes to a deep red a drum track begins to play and vocalist Florent Salfati takes centre stage and begins to rap in his native tongue as the rest of the band take their places. French metal band, LANDMVRKS, are finally here! With a thunderous scream, they burst into their latest single ‘Creature’. Its fast-paced blistering drums and shredding guitars bring the mosh pit once more. Wasting no time in keeping their momentum, the band quickly move into their second song ‘DEATH’. By the third song, ‘Blistering’, the crowd are going full force and putting security to work as waves of crowd surfers flow over the crowd, encouraged by Salfati.

As the set progresses, the band showcase their musical capabilities, taking multiple elements from across the metal and punk genres and blending them together. At times their sound is filled with fury and aggression whilst other times it's melodic and filled with emotion. The live set really showcases this as they work through their extensive setlist, covering all their albums to date. ‘Visage’ also shows off their writing skills and the use of their mother tongue, allowing words to flow over electronic beats before switching up to booming drums and melodic riffs, also bringing back the English language. LANDMVRKS' live show also shows off Salfati’s vocal skills as he switches between clean vocals and screaming with ease.

As the set reaches its finale, the energy in the room isn’t letting up and neither is the momentum on stage. And like that, the night is over. It can be extremely difficult for bands to keep the crowd going on tours with such big line ups but Landmvrks made it look easy. Last time landmvrks played Manchester, it was in a much smaller venue to a much smaller crowd. Tonight, they’ve nearly sold out the O2 Ritz. It shows how far the band has come and how far they’re likely to go, especially, if they continue to perform on stage at such a high standard.

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