“Where’s my circle pit?” Bury Tomorrow frontman Daniel Winter-Bates hollers at the sweat-soaked crowd crammed into the University of Leeds’s Stylus venue. He is duly rewarded moments later with a moshing throng that barely abates across the following hour or so.
It’s the Southampton outfit’s first show in Yorkshire well over a year, with a Main Stage slot at Reading and Leeds set to follow their current tour in the summer. After a decade ensconced in the metalcore niche, they are on the cusp of a coming-of-age in their evolution; their beguiling riffs and yelped vocals hit all the right notes to suggest an imminent hike in the heavier side of music’s pecking order.
Support comes courtesy of Japanese electronicore mainstays Crossfaith, whose brash blend of breakbeat synths and downtuned guitars has helped them to carve out a cult following. Under strobing blue lights, their brand of outlandishly humorous dance metal is big and bombastic, frontman Kenta Koie swearing like a trooper throughout the ragged Xeno, and calling for a wall of death during the charmingly-titled Countdown to Hell.
An energetic rampage through The Prodigy’s rave anthem Omen ignites a joyous singalong; their laser-focused riffs drive the turbulent industrial crush of Leviathan forward like a juggernaut. The band return to Leeds next month for Slam Dunk Festival; hordes of new fans may be inspired to pick up a ticket on the merits of their performance here.
Bury Tomorrow’s live pedigree is perhaps not as renown as that of their support band but they turn in an admirable performance of their own. Last year’s Earthbound – the five-piece’s fourth album – is arguably their most accessible outing yet, and it shows in the classic NWOBHM stylings of Memories and the pulsating 301 that cleave away from traditional hardcore templates.
This too is a homecoming-of-sorts for the group; three of the band were born locally, across the region, which they acknowledge to cheers and the beery chant of “Yawkshire!” from their audience.
Older cuts are not waylaid either; Knight Life and the power-metal intricacies of Waxed Wings, both acerbic rock gems, are dispatched frantically, and Her Bones in the Sand is like a jackhammer to the face, Winter-Bates howling like a wounded beast.
Bury Tomorrow’s ambition matches their rapidly rising star; perched precariously on the edge of bigger things, they very well could be the shape of metal to come.