Fit For A King at Manchester Club Academy, 11/12/23

Following a support slot earlier in the year for The Amity Affliction, Fit For a King return on their own headline tour, in celebration of their album ‘The Hell We Create’. Support for the night came from Melbourne based metalcore band The Gloom In The Corner, as well as Swedish four piece Thrown and American metallers Emmure.

The dimly lit stage features two platforms positioned on either side for bassist Ryan O’Leary and guitarist Daniel Gailey. A few minutes earlier than planned, the band kicks off the performance with the title track of their album, ‘The Hell We Create.’ Commencing with an instrumental and shared vocals, lead singer Ryan Kirby takes to the stage last, belting out the opening line, “This is the hell we create!” The energetic performances from guitarists Daniel Gailey and Ryan O’Leary are evident, as they’re already bouncing along to the song.

Taking a brief pause from the new album, the band delves into the 2020 track ‘Breaking The Mirror.’ During this, guitarist Daniel Gailey moves to the centre of the stage, treating the audience to a guitar solo accompanied by Trey Celaya’s drumming. Following this, Ryan encourages the crowd to chant to the beat of the song and join him in singing some lines.

Returning to the new album, the band presents ‘Falling Through The Sky,’ introducing a shift in tempo and atmosphere. This particular song features cleaner vocals before transitioning back to intense vocals with ‘Times Like This.’ The song delves into the current social climate, addressing the impact of bias in shaping false beliefs and the unreliability of the news.

With the tour serving as a celebration of the album released in October 2022. Ryan expresses that the band will be performing some songs from that album, engaging the crowd by asking how much they’ve listened to the latest release. In the song ‘Reaper,’ Ryan showcases his impressive vocal range, aiming for a more deathcore sound with added roars and screams. Throughout the performance, Ryan alternates between asking the crowd to form a mosh pit and signalling with his fingers to create a circle.The track ‘End (The Other Side)’ stands out as one of the more sentimental and emotionally raw pieces. It reflects Ryan’s personal response to his wife experiencing a stroke and his unpreparedness to cope with the loss of someone dear to him, a complete contrast in emotion to that of ‘God of Fire,’ where Ryan instructs the audience to either bang their heads or join the pit in the middle of the venue for the entire duration of the song.

Bringing the set to a powerful close, the band performs the 2016 track ‘Deathgrip’ from their album of the same name. Similar to other songs in the set, it features cleaner vocals in the verses, allowing the heavy chorus to make a strong impact. The band returns for a one-song encore, delivering ‘The Price of Agony’ from the 2018 album ‘Dark Skies.’ This gives the crowd one final opportunity to mosh and crowd surf before the set concludes.




Izzy Clayton

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