Parkway Drive, Despised Icon & Whitechapel - Never Say Die 2008 part 2
Because I had to miss out on last year’s Never Say Die tour in Tivoli I was happy to see 3 of the bands playing on the tour (Parkway Drive, Despised Icon and Whitechapel) at the same venue half a year later. 3 bands are on a separate festival tour right now but had a few dates open for some non-festival shows. Where the bands had little playtime on the Never Say Die tour (no wonder if you put 7 bands on the bill…), they had the chance to play a full set right now. No reason to sit at home!
After missing NOX at the Immolation gig in Rotterdam the day before because of the public transport it looked like I was going to miss out on Whitechapel as well. Luckily I arrived just in time to catch the last 4 tracks the band played. Whitechapel play a decent mix of death metal and hardcore including 3 guitarists. Where the band sounds really tight on CD, I thought the show was a bit messy. The kids loved it nonetheless and the first movement in the venue unleashed from start to finish including some singalongs and dives. Ending with ‘This Is Exile’ the band left the crowd with a satisfied feeling, but I feel like they need one guitarist less to really blow everyone away. Where bands like Beneath the Massacre can destroy every piece of a venue with only one guitarist, why need three?
I wasn’t excited at all to sit out a whole set of Despised Icon for the second time, as the last time I’ve seen them at Ieperfest, they sucked. But being a support of Cephalic motherfucking Carnage, who blew them away completely, isn’t easy. So instead of drinking beer in the hall I thought I’d give them another chance. And that was a good idea! Opening with ‘Furtive Monologue’ they completely nailed it and the crowd unleashed into one big circle of hardcore dancers. The set was tight, even though they can’t match the pigscreams they produce on CD. But the rest of the vocals, alongside with the instrumentation made it an interesting set to watch and made up for the bad show I’d seen last time. With the release of a new album just around the corner they played a new song as well, which sounded extremely good. They will be headlining the next Never Say Die tour on the mainland of Europe (Architects will headline the UK) at the end of the year, so make sure you catch them there!
Europe is suffering a bit from an overkill of Australia’s Parkway Drive, as they seem to do a tour every quarter of the year. The last few times I’ve seen them they did the same setlist as always and the vocalist’s vocal capacities were going downwards with each show. The show at Ieperfest last year was, vocal wise, an absolute disaster and as they have steadily kept touring after that, I feared the worst. I was surprised when the band opened with ‘Boneyards’ and the vocal capacities actually appeared increased, tracks like ‘Carrion’, ‘Feed Them To The Pigs’, ‘Gimme A.D’ and ‘The Siren’s Song’ actually sounded just as good as they used to. After so much movement at Despised Icon I would have never thought the crowd would go this nuts at Parkway Drive’s set as well, but the amount of stagedivers and moshers increased with each song. Shame they couldn’t resist to leave the stage after ‘The Siren’s Song’ to perform ‘Romance Is Dead’ (So cry me a fucking river, bitch!) as an encore, just like always. But quality-wise this was the best Parkway Drive set I’ve seen up until now. Time for them to take some rest, get back into the studio and record their best effort to date! I know they can do it!