Reivew: Cancer Bats – Phoenix, Exeter 15 Jan 16

Two years after their last UK tour, the mighty Cancer Bats return to the South West for a show at the Exeter Phoenix. We expected chaos. Chaos there was.

 To open up the night were American shredders, Incite. Starting their set in front of a select crowd, they took us through a punishing set of their finest back catalogue. Tracks like ‘Fallen’, ‘Up In Hell’, and ‘Hopeless’ all getting the crowd going. Half an hour of pure riffs, and one that had the Phoenix filling up in no time.

 To follow, were our UK representatives on this tour. Palm Reader have certainly been creating a name for themselves with their insane live shows. Palm Reader are not a band you can prepare for. Nothing is predictable with this band. This was a set full of passion, anger, and energy. Each member giving it 100% throughout. Do this band warm up? No. It’s 0 to 100 in the hit of a skin, ‘I Watch The Fire Chase My Tongue’ being one of my personal favorites from the set. My first introduction to the band, and one that I will be following up. Even if the music does not suit your taste, the pure energy will leave you stunned.

 Before Cancer Bats took to the stage, we had our last support. Lord Dying were formed to provide the darkest of riff-based metal. A band that certainly had fans in Exeter. Plenty of support and devoted fans singing along with Erik Olson’s lyrical tales. After Palm Reader, this was a much more restrained set, but the band’s more traditional metal sound grabbed the attention of the older crowd. This set was tight and was well received, but I fear it is not a genre that is prominent in Exeter, and one that is certainly on the down low in the metal genre worldwide.

 To conclude the nights proceedings are a band that we last witnessed at Hit The Deck Festival 2015. They tore apart the O2 that time. This time it was the Phoenix in Exeter that felt the destruction from the mighty Cancer Bats. As soon as they tore onto the stage, the atmosphere in the room changed. They are a band with such a powerful presence, and one that immediately fills a room, no matter how big or small. Playing the likes of ‘Beelzebub’ and ‘Hail Destroyer’, the crowd engaged through every track. Early on in the set, photographers were prevented from entering the pit due to it being unsafe. A good decision from security, as mic stands and stage monitors went flying around. Over an hour of chaos, which left fans more than satisfied… some leaving with beer stained clothes and a bloody nose. My second experience of Cancer Bats,and certainly not my last. This is a band to see, and one that will no doubt be gracing our shores once again when festival season hits. The tour now makes it way around the country, covering all corners of the UK until the end of the month. Be sure to catch a show near you. You wont regret it.

Review and Photography: Siôn Roe

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