BURY YOUR DEAD + For The Fallen Dreams + Betrayal. Underworld, Camden. 18.08.11

A few years ago this would have been just another hardcore show. But tonight marks the return of Mat Bruso to London, and so tonight is special. Sure, the Underworld isn’t exactly full but the buzz inside is all about the best Bury Your Dead vocalist returning to the band after a four-year absence. The excitement is understandable- while he was away BYD spiralled into a steep musical decline and his return has already brought new album and return-to-form ‘Mosh ‘n’ Roll’ with it- but that doesn’t stop them drawing the wait out a little longer.

First up and Betrayal- all big riffs, breakdowns and gang vocals- illustrate just how influential the headliners have been. They’re not going to set the world alight but you can smell the passion, and the tour sweat, pouring off them. For The Fallen Dreams inspire more mosh moves and raised hands but much less electricity in the air. As on record their metalcore is too clean and considered to truly impress. There’s nothing in the songs to suggest you shouldn’t be listening to Misery Signals instead (the bottled lightning of ‘Brothers In Arms’ aside) and nothing in the performance to separate this from a band practice. Then Bury your Dead arrive and blow them away.

Ok so the set is short (40 minutes tops) and the crowd a little quiet (It’s a recession!), but the boys in the band are loud and heavy and tight, look like they’re having the times of their lives and sound fucking terrific. ‘Top Gun’ goes off like a rocket, somehow sounding more like a crashing airliner than on record, ‘Mission Impossible’ is a joy to hear, buoyed by Bruso’s gruff tones and pure power, and ‘House Of Straw’ is huge. Then ‘Losin’ It’- as close to a theme song as any heavy band has ever got- soundtracks a massive sing-a-long, a stage invasion and the band disappearing behind hearty hugs and squealing feedback. A definitive turn from a great band back to their best.

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