Gig Review: Killswitch Engage – Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow (17th October 2019)

What do you do when you release one of the best albums of 2019? Tour it, of course! Right at the start of their UK and European dates, Killswitch Engage are back in Glasgow, landing with an almighty wallop and selling out the Barrowlands.

Killswitch Engage (c) Luís Rodrigues

Sadly I missed the support acts due to the minor inconvenience of having a day job. However, it means there’s not long to wait for the main event of the evening and by the time the band make their presence known, the room is packed and the crowd springing to life. Assuring they’re pulling no punches, they immediately kick things off with “Unleashed”, for that is what they are tonight.

With eight albums under their belt now, including this recent one, it’s tough to fit everything you’d want to hear into one gig but ever the consummate professionals, they manage to deliver a career-spanning set. Atonement‘s own material isn’t overly heavy-handed with only four from that album whilst they pull from the remainder of their catalogue. That said, given the quality of the new songs, another couple would have been most welcome. “I Am Broken Too”, “The Crownless King” and “The Signal Fire” all receive warm responses but it’s those older gems which garner the heartier response of the night.

That aside, no matter which point of their career they visit, the crowd love every minute of it. As they hammer through their set, the standards are hit with gems like “Roses of Sharyn”, “My Last Serenade” and “Daylight Dies”. Meanwhile, more recent and equally great numbers like “Hate By Design” and “Strength of the Mind” feature at the top and tail end.

Killswitch Engage (c) Luís Rodrigues

As constant road dogs, the band are as tight as they’ve ever been with duelling riffs battering against each other at points and elsewhere winding around one another. And of course, the constant rise to hit breakdowns never get old. The drumwork has people constantly banging their heads. And elsewhere, there’s a healthy number of people indulging in moshing. Because it’s Killswitch, what else are you going to do?

It’s the last few songs which has the band at their utmost best with fan favourites “My Curse”, “This is Absolution” and “The End of Heartache” leading into the aforementioned “Strength of the Mind”. And of course, it wouldn’t be a Killswitch Engage show without their rendition of “My Curse” to end the night.

Thoroughly impressive as ever and at the top of their game, it’s a stark reminder of why Killswitch Engage are one of the most vital metal bands of the 21st Century.

Pics by Luís Rodrigues Photography

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