image002@Newcastle University, April 28 2015

For most of the set Liam Cormier was a blur, raging around the stage and flying into the crowd at every angle.

The Cancer Bats frontman’s infectious energy is enough to get any crowd on side and this one needed little convincing.

Currently co-headlining a slate of UK shows with While She Sleeps, their tour rolled into Newcastle University on Tuesday night. 

As usual, the Canadian quartet delivered on their promise to provide “riffs and more riffs” in brutal style.

To open up the band tore into Arsenic In The Year Of The Snake, a song which lays bare the troubled run-up to their fifth studio album, Searching For Zero, released last month.

While recent releases have had a more serious edge, arguably to their detriment, Cancer Bats have not lost the party spirit for their brand of hardcore – especially when playing live.

Nowhere was this more evident than when guitarist Scott Middleton launched into the mighty, instantly-recognisable riff of Lucifer’s Rocking Chair.

It remains a track impossible not to bounce to and they know it.

Following it up came recent single Satellites, with Mike Peters’s drum intro leading in and whipping up the pit.

Switching seamlessly from new to old, the band went back to their first ever release to power through Shillelagh as the anthems kept coming.

Bassist Jaye Schwarzer was wide-eyed throughout and often led the backing chants with the audience involved.

A highlight was the crunching opening for Bricks And Mortar, as Middleton again displayed his ability for a huge hook.

Respite came in the form of Beelzebub, but the grungy guitar tones and Cormier’s pained growls meant it was no less intense despite the slower tempo.

Every so often he would pause for breath and light-heartedly engage the crowd with anecdotes of former gigs on Tyneside, a man at the top of his game.

Anticipation grew straight after, as the singer slowly began to tease that their cover of a certain Beastie Boys classic would be next.

As soon as Sabotage dropped the room exploded into chaos, with drinks and sweat flying under the lights.

Another firm favourite, Hail Destroyer, is a staple of the band’s live sets and ferociously set up the finale.

Cancer Bats were straight over to their fans in the aftermath and it’s difficult to imagine anyone went home disappointed.

Closer True Zero might not be the obvious choice to end on but who could argue with a show as good as this?

Mike Fuller