Live Review : Emmure + Rise Of The North Star + Obey The Brave + Fit For A King + Alpha Wolf @ Rebellion, Manchester on April 9th 2019

When Alpha Wolf are the openers, you know this is going to be a seriously heavy night. 30 seconds in on the front row and I've just been caught by an ill timed spin kick and quite frankly my drink deserves better.

Tonight’s queue was snaking around the side of the venue when I arrived and I felt like the oldest person ever. I mean, I still feel like I am in my early 20s, but my eyes are starting to betray me. Also my back hurts. My knees aren't great. I can't eat pastry anymore. I've got a lot of grey. And so on.

Alpha Wolf completely spoilt me; for an opening act it was mental. Think Metalcore teamed with the more obnoxious side of Nu-Metal. Alpha Wolf were vibrant on Rebellion’s stage. The band are based in Melbourne, Australia, and have some absolutely killer songs.

My favourites were ‘Nail Biter’ (single from 2016), which came third in the set and really opened the place up (hardcore dancing, hardcore dancing everywhere) and closer ‘Sub–Zero’ off their hotly anticipated new EP “Fault”.

Unfortunately, my experience of loving an Australian band unconditionally has never been a good one (Twelve Foot Ninja are so far away from me all the time), and I fear my new found adoration for Alpha Wolf will also burn me. I hope it isn’t years before I get to see them again… It might be though. Australia is a long way away.

Fit For A King offer up something up in a slightly different direction. Whilst undeniably Metalcore, the band rely heavily on impressively rich melodies within the cacophony of sound. There’s no crazy untamed wild energy from these guys, instead they bring finer more well-crafted and maybe even mature take on Metalcore. Trying to pinpoint a favourite moment from the set is difficult, but I would settle on ‘Pissed Off for its sheer aggression.

Obey The Brave kick off their set with ‘Raise Your Voice’ and move things into a more Hardcore direction. The Hardcore dancers are still going at it. I only take in bits and pieces of their set, due to toilet trip, bar trip, almost tripping on the stairs… and I take a selfie with Matt from Deified.

The set includes a fine mix of their best of songs from their 3 albums, and is well received by the crowd at Rebellion, who seem to be getting rowdier by the minute.

Next is the band I am here for, Rise of the Northstar. I first saw this band at Metaldays a few years ago, and instantly fell for their Japanese influenced Hardcore style. For some reason, I decide the mosh pit is where I want to be. I never learn.

Opening with the furious ‘This Is Crossover’ the band explode onto the stage with bags of attitude. The band look amazing, the Japanese inspiration evident in their outfits. The set is perfection for ROTNS fans, and they go on to play favourites such as ‘Welcame (Furyo State of Mind)’, ‘Here Comes The Boom’ and ‘What The Fuck’.

By the time the set ends with ‘Again and Again’ my neck is absolutely done for.

“I switched to full body moshing to avoid that”

Yeah, thanks for that advice.

Finally, headliners Emmure take the stage at almost 10pm!

Firstly, Emmure have probably the best stage show I’ve ever seen at Rebellion. I’ve never seen anyone bring a screen and visuals to the stage here, so this is a first for me. This simple addition is incredibly effective at adding another dimension to the performance.

Emmure open with ‘You Asked For It, and the venue suddenly seems to have three times as many people in it. I’m squashed at the back of the room for some reason. Probably wise after ROTNS.

Emmure manage to stomp and break down through about 14 or 15 songs, with all eyes firmly on frontman (and only remaining original member) Frankie Palmeri. Set highlights include ‘Shinjuku Masterlord’, ‘Ice Man Confessions’ and ‘Solar Flare Homicide’.

Dripping with attitude and holding the audience in the palms of their hands, Emmure deliver a brilliant performance. However I personally felt that the band of the night belonged to ROTNS. Maybe I’m a bit biased. Whatever.

Current injury count -

1 – right knee bruise

2 – right elbow bruise

3 – left arm bruise

4 – neck sprain

5 – left heel blister

Good times.


Words by Sarah Cummings
Photography by Johann Wierzbicki