Can you think of many UK rock bands that are as impressive as Black Peaks right now? 2015 saw them push to the national level after rising out of Brighton, a town that also produced metal goliaths Architects and Black Peaks show promise to go just as far. 2016 really is theirs for the taking. Yesterday their debut album ‘Statues’ was released and their tour culminates tonight with a hometown show which feels like a celebration of everything they’ve achieved so far.
Prefixing them, Palm Reader’s metallic hardcore wastes no time in unleashing moments that are perfectly undanceable by design with straighter sections that sound hugely heavy live, all channelling the likes of Norma Jean, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Botch and Poison The Well. This band have their sonics down to a tee and anyone here who still doesn’t understand why this band have steadily gained attention for the past few years gets a firsthand experience in why.
Sound swells for the headliners arrival, married to a long instrumental breakdown introduction that leads to ‘Crooks’ and Andrew Gosden’s mammoth bass tone rumbling beneath. ‘White Eyes’ lets the band stretch loose and give a full a taste of their white hot musicianship, whilst it’s longer instrumental section sees vocalist Will Gardner storm around the stage to strobes. His talented vocal versatility is one of the most notable things about the band, switching between searing falsetto screams and deep growls and more for ‘Set In Stone’.
‘Say You Will’s vast refrain sees them at their most crushing (one fully naked individual escorted from the venue by security certainly agrees) and later we’re given ‘Drones’, one of their best album tracks where Black Peaks truly embrace their progressive spirit. New track ‘Desert Song’ could be their most commercial composition yet but they soon switch sides as Jamie Lenman of Reuben fame happens to be around to work wonders with his signature style all over the ending breakdown of album closer ‘To Take The First Turn’.
The ending of ‘Glass Built Castle’ kills it but there’s time for one more with ‘Saviour’ – written back when they went under their previous name Shrine – providing a truly stunning finish. If you want an example of UK rock owning it in 2016, this is it.