Suicidal Tendencies at Forum, London

Support: Agnostic Front| Municipal Waste | Walls of Jericho
January 29, 2017 at Forum, London

On the inward journey, it is fittingly persisting down with rain on this Sunday evening as the Persistence festival tour rolls into London’s Forum for its final night. With a batch of hardcore punk/thrash/metalcore committed purveyors in its armoury – Agnostic Front, Municipal Waste, Walls of Jericho respectively – while headlining is none other than Californian skatecore, hardcore punk, thrashers, Suicidal Tendencies. Returning to the scene last year, with the at first glance crudely titled World Gone Mad album, but with the pursuing current global political climate it is unfortunately a far too seemingly apt a title. Boasting a line up including the technically supreme and brutal drumming of ex-Slayer man Dave Lombardo has summoned an assertion and feeling that Mike Muir’s current wrecking crew are possessing a zestful bounce in their rollicking steps.

But before then, in support are many bands to get the circle pit truly in circulation. And indeed, entering the already jammed packed venue Walls of Jericho are in full throttle while below an eagerly participating circle pit is in full motion. Back with last year’s No One Can Save You From Yourself album after a lengthy hiatus. Led by the energetic Candace Kucsulain wearing eye catching red jeans, stamps and thrusts commandingly along to the ferocious robust metalcore they unleash, nicely mixing the tempo between crunchy mid-tempo stompers and faster neck breakers.

There is a noticeable build-up of anticipation for the arrival of thrash metal party goers Municipal Waste. Instantly creating a large fervent circle pit as the band power their way through their Exodus styled riffs and tempo to provide enjoyable and unashamedly fresh sounding quality old school thrash. Frontman Tony Foresta is clearly having a blast. And it is the hedonistic promoting delinquents who surprisingly make the most direct current affairs comment of the evening by anticipating that they will be returning to a very frighteningly different America from the one they departed a mere few weeks ago, which the mention of the recently inaugurated president consequently gets a resounding vocal disapproval from the crowd. It is worth noting that although not necessarily overtly political thrash metal did indeed emerge and have its golden years during Ronald Reagan’s time in office, so tonight’s display of brutal power feels relevant and required once again.

New York’s Agnostic Front provide an urban street hardcore punk sound to tonight’s proceedings. It takes a couple of numbers for the mosh pit to re-group to a sizeable number and takes a guest vocalist to ignite both the crowd and the band themselves. This sets in motion a considerable rise in momentum by the band and as the set progresses their anthem chanted chorus singalongs strike a chord, especially on ‘Gotta Go’ and ending their set with The Ramones’ ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’.

Mike Muir’s opening line ”What’s going on around here” in the angrily defiant ‘You Can’t Bring Me Down’ explodes into a ferocious Suicidal Tendencies opening number. Mike skates around the stage with absolute passionate energy is a fabulous sight to behold to an older thrasher like this reviewer, after all these years. Concentrating on earlier material – ‘Living the Life’ the sole representative culled from their latest record – it’s no surprise the hardcore classic ‘Institutionalized’ is greeted with major-league response from the crowd. ‘War Inside My Head’ and ‘I Saw Your Mommy’ are both staggeringly riotously bouncy and punchy. Dave Lombardo’s drumming – Mike rightly introduces him to the audience to enable a hero’s welcome from the crowd – is technically brilliant and faultless all night, which gives Suicidal Tendencies a severely tight and compact sound.

A celebratory last night sees Mike invite the hard working, and on tonight’s evidence hugely successful, organisers enter the stage for a deservedly round of applause from both band and crowd alike. It must also be noted the turnaround between bands was impressively quick, around the 15 minutes’ mark.

This exuberance extends further as Mike later invites members of the crowd to join them on stage to thrash around to spirited versions of ‘Possessed To Skate’, and the aforementioned ‘I Saw Your Mommy’. The only minor criticism is the time this takes to get willing participants onstage, along with two trademarks rants about being yourself and following your own path by the motorizing Mr Muir, wasted some time when a couple of extra songs could have been included instead.

However, tiny grumbling aside this has been a hugely enjoyable night of thrusting thrash/hardcore power. A night where all the vocalists commanded the stage with immense presence and the mosh pit was well and truly active all evening.

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