Yorkshire quartet InVisions have been stalwarts of the UK metalcore scene for a while now. With two albums under their belts and a third on the way, they’re starting to tap at the glass ceiling and could be on the verge of a breakthrough. Tonight’s gig in Southampton demonstrates how dedicated they are to putting on a show, even when the odds are stacked against them.
This is the sort of gig that’s best described as a mixed bag. On the plus side, all the bands put in committed and enthusiastic performances; every single musician who graces the stage does a terrific job and deserves to be commended. However, the sound quality isn’t always great, a positive covid test has robbed us of the main support act, and the singer for the headliners looks half dead. You couldn’t blame them for throwing in the towel and going home, but they soldier on regardless.
Kicking things off are local lads Deference. Dealing in straight-up, no-frills metalcore and with a particular fondness for bass-heavy, djenty riffs, they give us a rousing start to the night. They bound about the stage with all the barely contained energy of a ten-year-old who just necked two litres of Pepsi in one go, but are hamstrung by the mix. The guitars are barely audible and some of the edge is taken off, but the passion carries them through. The bassist especially deserves a shout-out; he’s got an air boot on and still manages to pirouette like Tonya Harding.
They’re followed by Ursus, whose take on metalcore is essentially the musical equivalent of throwing a sledgehammer through a double-glazed window. They bless us with a brutally aggressive half hour, filled with glass-gargling vocals and more breakdowns than Love Island. ‘Deathcult’ is a particularly gnarly bit of fight music, and Joe Grimes is a natural frontman. He looks like he just escaped a chain gang by chewing through his manacles and has a surprisingly versatile voice.
There’s a notable gap in the line-up thanks to the abrupt departure of Ghost Iris from the tour, but InVisions do their best to end the night on a high. This is challenging though, because singer Ben Ville is clearly not well. He’s struggling for breath, sweating profusely, and looks like he’s on the verge of collapse. He deserves all the credit in the world for powering through, but to no surprise, the set winds up being shorter than advertised.
Despite not reaching the one-hour mark though, InVisions do a decent job hitting us with some thundering metalcore. New single ‘DVPE’ gets a rousing reception, and the closing ‘Parasite’ is treated like an all-time classic by the diehards in the front row. The highlight though is ‘Annihilist,’ a barnstorming anthem with an incredibly catchy chorus; it offers a glimpse of just how good InVisions can be when firing on all cylinders.
That said, the sound quality isn’t the best and some of the riffs get lost. Ben has a tough time reaching the high notes and while you can’t fault their determination, this doesn’t wind up feeling like the event it should have been. For stubbornly refusing to take a day off, they get the Hardbeat seal of approval, and the new material hints at a really terrific album just on the horizon. But they need three days on the sofa with Netflix and Lemsip first