Hatebreed + Madball + Terror + Power Trip + Born From Pain + Broken Teeth! + Insanity Alert @ O2 Forum Kentish Town, London

Date: January 28, 2018
Review by Gabor Csete
Photography by Miguel De Melo

Persistence Tour is always amazing. For a good price you get great bands from various genres. Nothing can beat that. This year’s line up included Hatebreed, Madball, Terror, Power Trip, Born From Pain, Broken Teeth! and Insanity Alert.

As I wasn’t sure when the gig started, I checked the Facebook event for the show which said 18.00. When I got to The Forum at five past six I knew something was not okay: there was no queue at the doors. The venue was already full when I went inside and Born From Pain was on stage.

So, unfortunately I missed Insanity Alert and Broken Teeth! but I am quite sure they were amazing as the crowd was already warmed up well.

Born From Pain from the Netherlands are not new in the business and they were professional. The crowd wasn’t only warmed up but things in the mosh pit started to get mental. Vocalist Robert Franssen and the heavy riffs “inspired” the audience to get heavier and do circle pits and he even dedicated a song for the Polish fans, whom obviously went nuts. I think that 30 minutes is enough for a hardcore set, but somehow Born From Pain’s felt short.

After ten – fifteen minutes of break, the stage was ready for Power Trip, the band I wanted to see the most. They came out and there was no bullshit there. No band logo in the background, no covers on the cabinets, etc… I even felt that the light were simpler too.

It was like we went back in time. The whole show reminded me of Cannibal Corpse’s attendance in Ace Ventura. It was beautiful, what I saw. And what I heard, even better: pure thrash… It’s weird but I think old and big thrash bands should learn from these Texan guys. For me they were the best band of the night and when they said they’d come back in a month I was the happiest person in that audience.

Terror was the next to show their skills. Well, they aren’t my cup of tea but what I saw that night… they dropped a bomb on The Forum. People who’dve thought that they were far from the mosh pit were in the pit. There was as much movement in the crowd as it was on the stage. It was incredible. I am quite sure that some people got injured.

At ‘Keepers Of The Faith’ the crowd shouted like one man, and when frontman Scott Vogel gave the microphone to the audience dozens of people wanted to sing the chorus in it. I am still not a fan of Terror but one thing’s for sure: anytime I have the chance to witness them again, I’ll do it.

Do I really need to talk about the New York hardcore legend Madball’s show? I think only for people who’ve never seen them! Madball is always amazing, no matter where or what time of the day they’re playing. Freddy is at one with hardcore; he started singing as a kid and he still has the energy of a kid. Running miles on the stage, jumping to the crowd… He is a living legend (and he is Madball himself).  This night wasn’t any different.

They played a good mix of old and new songs, and most of them are NYHC anthems, which the audience knew word by word. One thing was different: a couple of months ago long time guitarist – Mitts – left the band. They split in good conditions but none of the sides said anything more about the topic. On this tour Born From Pain’s guitarist helped Madball out. We will see what the future will bring for them and who’s gonna get Mitts’ place…

Another break then the headliner of the night: Hatebreed. I’ve seen them only once, 14 years ago. They were brutal. Every member of the band was running and jumping on the stage, they enjoyed every minute of their set. The crowd did the same. The mosh pit was brutal too. Only one thing has changed since 2004: the length of the set. Nothing else. Back then they played 30 mins; this time an hour: but fourteen years gone and they still have the same power.

All in all, Persistence Tour did it again. I would be happier with another venue because The Forum’s sound can be disappointing, but the line-up was great. Can’t wait for the next one!