@ Newcastle O2 Academy, September 20 2011

On a night of plenty of metal for your money Atlas kicked things off. But for all of their tight musicianship a lack of energy underpinned a mediocre set and the indifferent crowd reflected a lack of on-stage presence.

The Safety Fire stepped things up with a passionate set spoiled only by a dire mix. With fans struggling to hear anything beyond the drums and guitar it was impossible to get the full picture. Next time we might get a sense of the real Safety Fire sound… 

Bleed From Within are seasoned pros and no such glitches were ever going to spoil their metal masterclass. Blinding on-stage banter coupled with all of the trademark tunes made for a superb set. Big drops and loads of sub-bass encouraged the crowd to drive forwards into a barrier suddenly feeling the pressure.

Rise To Remain had been well and truly warmed up and the headline act didn’t hang around in a bid to get a baying crowd on their side.

Frontman Austin Dickinson launched himself into the pit from song one – modern anthem The Serpent from the band’s irresistible debut album City Of Vultures – and his performance never dipped.

Impressive fills and jaw-dropping guitar work thrilled those more than familiar with the metalcore heroes’ best work.

And despite a disappointing Toon turnout those who were present were whipped into a frenzy by a band with big licks and even bigger ambitions.

Save for one minor disaster – when the bass player’s strap snapped during a bristling rendition of City Of Vultures – this was a triumphant showing from one of metal’s buzz bands.

Next in town with Trivium the advice is this: get there early. Rise To Remain are making waves in the media for one very good reason – they’re a fantastic example of why British metal is the original and the best.

Dan Johnson