The first Sunday of December saw a celebration of American metal take place in Brixton, as Sevendust and All That Remains made a long overdue return to the UK for their first non-festival appearances in nine and eight years respectively, in front of a committed crowd of fans.
First up it was All That Remains, who presented the big variety of styles they are known for playing, ranging from the deathcore of ‘Fuck Love’ out of their newest album, to the anthemic melodic metal of ‘Two Weeks’. Fronted by their iconic vocalist Phil Labonte, he is himself а jack of all trades – be it deep growls, emotional cleans or ear-piercing shrieks, he can do it all.
The band paid tribute with ballad ‘What If I Was Nothing’ to their recently deceased guitarist and founding member Oli Herbert, who passed away less than two months ago. Friend of the band Jason Richardson (ex-Chelsea Grin, Born Of Osiris) has come to their aid for the tour, and performed brilliantly in his role considering the short time he had to learn the songs. Despite the clear emotional toll of being onstage without their friend and driving engine of the band, Labonte and his fellow bandmates looked determined to carry on Herbert’s legacy and get the best out of All That Remains.
The nine-year wait for Sevendust was finally put to an end as the Georgia five-piece erupted into ‘Dirty’. Their iconic frontman Lajon Witherspoon, one of the most expressive voices in metal for the last few decades, sounded on top form and was warm and charismatic in his interaction with the audience. The rest of the band supported him brilliantly on backing vocals, whether it was by interchanging lyrical rapidfire during ‘Enemy’, or layering beautiful harmonies on the chorus of ‘Denial’. Sevendust went for a setlist with a heavy emphasis on their classic records from the late 90s and early 00s, as befits a show that felt like a homecoming. The audience responded in kind by singing along to every word.
Sevendust also paid tribute to Oli Herbert with ‘Angel’s Son’, a song which was itself written back in 2000 about the untimely death of another musician, Snot’s James Lynn Strait. After encore ‘Face to Face’, Sevendust’s short but sweet reunion with the London audience came to an end, but with our hunger far from satiated, let’s hope that they return much sooner.
Sevendust and All That Remains continue their tour of the UK on the following dates, visit their official website for ticket information:
December 04: Manchester Academy 2
December 05: Glasgow Garage
December 06: Nottingham Rock City
December 07: Bristol SWX