Surrey based metalcore mavericks Employed To Serve seem very much the frontrunners of the UK’s heavy scene right now, having made two brutally brilliant albums and terrorising audiences around the world with an ear bursting live show. It makes total sense the quintet have signed a major label deal to release their third album, which drops in May. Tonight we are at a packed out Rebellion Bar in Manchester for an exclusive headline show to kick off a busy year of touring in support of this highly anticipated release.
The band enter the stage all dressed in matching windbreakers donning the new album cover on the back and the band’s initials on the front. Although everything is impressive about tonight’s set, it’s the fact all members make it through still rocking the windbreaker that I find especially impressive. But down to the tunes. The set opens with ‘Force Fed‘, the first track we’ve heard from the new LP and it sounds as ripping live as it does on record, with an intro that reminds me of early Slipknot, breaking into a proper tough guy hardcore riff that gets the pit moving immediately.
I must admit I was desperate to hear as much new material as possible from ‘Eternal Forward Motion‘, but the band keep us on our toes with three new tracks including recent single release ‘Harsh Truth‘ and another cut which I didn’t catch the name of. Everything new we hear sounds fucking crushing, the riffs are as sharp as hell, the breakdowns make me wanna put my head through a glass door and the vocals are as fearless and heartfelt than ever. I have a feeling that this new album is going to go heavier and deeper than before and I can already hear this becoming the most important metal record of the year.
For the rest of the set we get straight bangers, mostly lifted from their faultless sophomore effort ‘The Warmth Of A Dying Sun‘. I saw the band a few times during the promotional run of this record but it still sounds ridiculously fresh and exciting, from the sky scraping ‘Lethargy‘ to the thunderous groove of ‘Good For Nothing‘, the whole room is lost in a barrage of head banging or screaming their lungs out back to vocalist Justine. They never let the energy get lost though as guitarist Richard punches the air and screams along with the front row whilst other guitarist Sammy demands circle pits and, along with Justine, makes sure the room is constantly moving while they deliver these Metalcore monsters.
I’m almost a little bit sad when the set finishes tonight as I could easily hear the whole thing again. Employed To Serve not only put on a solid live show but they have a whole army of brilliantly written tunes that go from soaring melodies to fucking punishing breakdowns. Particularly with these new tunes, tonight they seem unstoppable. I predict seeing them tear apart a room twice this size on their next visit up north!