Earlier this year, post-hardcore/melodic metal band To Kill Achilles released ‘Something to Remember Me By’. A triumphant album release, it was music dripping in reverberation and intensity. Delivered with the kind of passion that comes from a band completely in the moment. We consider it an album of the year contender.
Nine months after that release and with the impact still felt, To Kill Achilles rolled into London to play the album in full at The Black Heart.
Before we get on to them though, we want to give a shoutout to Values. The only support band we were able to see. Missing a drummer because of ‘you know what’, they deliver a blistering showcase of modern metalcore.
Slow out of the gates, the sound is a bit iffy for the first track and the drums coming from a backing track seems to cause the band a fair amount of discomfort. However, they find their groove and as their set goes on, the crowd broadens. More and more people can be seen getting into it. By the end, Values have won over everyone… including us. We’ll be paying a lot more attention to them going forward.
Now, before we get into the meat of To Kill Achilles set, we want to have the briefest of moans and it relates to the London.
Where the hell where you? The Black Heart should never be this empty. After not having shows for so long, to see it barely half-full was so disappointing. Get out there, get to these shows, experiment and try bands out you’ve never seen or heard before. Tickets weren’t exactly bank-breaking, and chances are you’d have come away very satisfied. The bands deserve better and the venue deserve better.
Right, now that’s out of the way. Let’s focus on the positives. Starting with the crowd that were there. You guys were phenomenal and made it feel so much busier than it was. Barely standing still for even a second, it’s the kind of fan interaction that helps make a band go. It really helped To Kill Achilles go, that’s for sure.
Things get exciting early on when it becomes clear that frontman/vocalist Mark Tindel (one of the loveliest blokes in metal) is going to get up close and personal. It makes sense too, seeing as how personal the album that is being aired is. Several times, Tindel takes a moment to reflect on the importance of this album, how it has affected them, how they have supported each other through difficult times and how important the connection between them and the fans is.
Don’t roll your eyes and don’t be cynical about such words. It’s true that we hear these sorts of statements from bands all the time. However, there is nothing disingenuous about To Kill Achilles. Every word spoken is authentic and utterly captivating. This is a band that wears its heart on its sleeve, and it makes for an emotional connection rarely felt.
That such powerful messages are wrapped up in an absolute bevy of ferocity and heartfelt passion makes it all the better. The band are simply phenomenal, deafeningly heavy, and ferocious when called upon. Though, the melodies and reflective moments are just as powerful. Hearing ‘Something to Remember Me By’ in full, in this venue and at this time feels like a moment. There’s no favourite track or favourite segment, this show doesn’t feel planned out.
It’s as though To Kill Achilles decided to hang out with their friends tonight and just play some music. That earnest and faithful connection is why Mark Tindel’s offer of a hug after the show is met with a queue of people wanting to thank the band for what they do.
This show was fantastic and we genuinely hope this band grows and grows and grows. To the point where watching them from afar fills the soul with pride.
To Kill Achilles At The Black Heart, London (25/11/21)
To Kill Achilles - 9/10
Values - 8/10