Fireworks

STONE BROKEN, MASON HILL, THE FALLEN STATE

Written by ant-rocks     May 13, 2022    
 
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What a fantastic night, with three phenomenal bands who all fully deserve to be headliners

STONE BROKEN, MASON HILL, THE FALLEN STATE
Manchester : Academy 2 - 22nd April 2022

Back in Manchester just twenty-four hours after catching Led By Lanterns at Satan's Hollow and very excited to see three of the best young Modern/Classic Rock bands from the UK. Stone Broken, Mason Hill and The Fallen State all had new albums to promote, but this tour seemed more about re-affirming their respective status after the pandemic-hit touring schedule of the last couple of years. It was good to see a healthy queue on arriving at the Student Union building in Manchester and when the doors finally opened there was very little time to take a spot in the photo pit before The Fallen State took to the stage.

I have been following The Fallen State since catching them support Devilskin on their tour of the UK back in November 2018. At that time, they had released several EPs, but were in the process of putting together their debut album, 'A Deadset Endeavour'. Fast-forward to April 2022 and they have not just a new album ('Between Hope And Disillusion') to showcase, but also a new singer. Adam Methven joined in 2020, following the departure of Ben Stenning. With just thirty-five minutes The Fallen State only had the opportunity to perform seven songs. Opening with 'For My Sorrow', from the debut full-length album, it was clear they would be the heaviest of the three bands. The songs have something of a technical edge alongside some hard-hitting hooks, and it may have only been the third date of the tour but they were so tight it felt as though they had been on the road constantly for months. Methven has slotted in seamlessly and the performance levels all round were top-drawer. The new album was represented by 'Knives' and 'Standing Tall', with the rest of the set taken from the earlier EPs. They are due to hit the road again later in 2022 supporting Red when, hopefully, they will get a longer set time and the chance to include more new songs, especially 'The Mirror'.

Mason Hill released their debut album, 'Against The Wall', just twelve months ago, to great critical acclaim. They have wasted no time in capitalising on the success of those songs, following it up with 'Live In Glasgow' in 2022, recorded during the tour at the back end of 2021. The set in Manchester also focused on the album, and though there were few surprises song-wise the energy levels were off the scale, emphasising just how good a live draw Mason Hill are. Lead-singer Scott Taylor has a great voice and engaged personably with the enthusiastic crowd. James Bird's soloing was fluid and emotional and alongside second guitarist Marc Montgomery they laid down some great riffs. Bass player Matthew Ward and drummer Craig McFetridge put down a rock-solid foundation and it was clear the five of them were having a lot of fun. 'Hold On', 'DNA', 'Out Of Reach', 'We Pray' and 'Against The Wall' highlighted a healthy creative mantra and, as with The Fallen State, I think no-one would have minded if they had carried on and played for longer.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The day of the show in Manchester coincided with the release of Stone Broken's third full-length album, 'Revelation'. 'Revelation' sees the Midland's based quartet take the step to the next level in terms of song-writing and also brings in some new elements to their sound. Having seen the band several times in the past I was confident they would justify their place at the top of the bill. 2016's 'All In Time' and '2018's 'Ain't Always Easy' are both great examples of Modern Rock, drawing many comparisons to Nickelback and the songs always came across well when played live. I am assuming the set in Manchester, only a few days into the tour, didn't include more 'Revelation' material due to people being unfamiliar with the songs. I'd be interested to see if more were integrated as the tour progressed. 'Revelation' and 'The Devil You Know' sat comfortably next to the more established favourites and, once more, there was great energy from everyone. Singer Rich Moss lead from the front, but it was a complete band effort, with Chris Davis (guitar), Robyn Haycock (drums) and Kieron Conroy (bass) all on top of their game. Due a medical issue with an audience member at the front the night had to finish earlier than planned, which was a shame as everyone in the room was having a blast. This meant the crowd did not get to sing along to 'Wait For You', which usually comes close to the end of Stone Broken show.

What a fantastic night, with three phenomenal bands who all fully deserve to be headliners. Great value for sure and, fingers crossed, all three will make it out on the road again once festival season is out of the way.

Dave Bott

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