CONCERT REVIEW: Ice Nine Kills – SKYND – Lansdowne – Defying Decay Live at Manchester Academy 1


Opening up the night was Bangkok’s Defying Decay, the seven-piece crammed to the very front of the stage at Academy 1 with masses of equipment behind them. Their sound was a heady cocktail of bludgeoning heaviness and melodic cadences, with frontman Jay Poom Euarchukiati poppy cleans and a liberal dose of groove rounding off the potent mix.



Their rendition of an old-school track ‘Ghost’ was a bona fide crowd-pleaser. An outpouring of phone lights lit up the space, creating an ethereal sea of twinkling lights, as the small but captivated audience savoured every note. The beats, laced with a modern almost electronica phrasing, added a fresh dimension to their sound.

Euarchukiati, a veritable bundle of energy, swung his mic with characteristic gusto, resplendent in the sartorial elegance of a sky-blue suit. Their homage to My Chemical Romance with a faithful ‘Welcome to the Black Parade’ cover veered into pop-punk territory, even facilitating a mini wall of death. Beyond the impressive setlist, the band’s charm lay in their humble banter and talent as hype men, deftly stoking the crowd’s fervour for bands to come.


Next up were Boston-based Lansdowne, with their intriguing blend of powerful hard rock. The mesh of genres was intriguing, even if it was a bit puzzling as to how they found themselves on this mostly horror-themed bill. A curious fit, indeed, but Lansdowne certainly brought their own unique flavour to the night’s musical feast and were enjoyed by the crowd.


Lead singer Jon Ricci showcased clean, powerful belts despite struggling with his in-ear monitors. However, for me the highlight was drummer Glenn Mungo, with his aggressive, high-swinging style, matched by an animated guitarist who brought life to the stage.

The band seemed to find their footing midway through their set, even if their overall energy level couldn’t quite outpace Defying Decay’s earlier fervour. There was an almost country twang to their later songs. A little out of place on this particular bill, however they went down well and were enjoyed by the audience.


The atmosphere took a thrilling turn as a rather eccentric trio SKYND graced the stage, adorned in a mix of corpse paint and 1920’s clothing. Their aesthetic, while echoing a horror theme, was alien, an otherness further amplified by the delicate clockwork, mannequin-like movements – an eerie, yet mesmerizing spectacle – from singer SKYND.

Their sound, a fusion of electronica elements and true crime samples, felt decidedly modern, fresh, and atmospheric. The minimalist nature of the performance meant that the vocals were a standout feature, sliding through octaves from a high staccato down to a chilling bass timbre akin to a sinister ‘serial killer’ manipulated phone voice.


This was complemented by multi-instrumentalist Father who although stationary, contributed to the energy of the show. After some trepidation from the crowd to the unique performance unveiling before them the crowd was all ears by the fourth song, rewarding the band with a thunderous response.

SKYND’s voice was solid, her stage presence unique. The sound was big, underpinned by a host of samples and backing tapes that evoked an intense atmosphere. The production was slick, the sound immaculate – it was hard not to get swept up in the performance.


In a packed venue, the audience was held in rapt attention. A delicate yet fractured refinement permeated the performance, hinting at the band’s versatility. A roaring reaction from the crowd confirmed that this band had certainly struck a chord.

As anticipation built, a quantity of red balloons was released into the crowd giving the impression of blood droplets suspended in the air. As they popped to a chorus of boos, showers of glitter rained down, and the atmosphere was electric. This, accompanied by a spirited ‘Walking on Sunshine’ singalong and shifting into the foreboding intro of Nick Cave’s ‘Red Right Hand,’ set the tone for what was to become an unforgettable performance.


Ice Nine Kills stormed the stage, instantly setting the tone for a cinematic night to remember. Donning an impressive array of props, paying homage to films like ‘American Psycho’ with track ‘Hip to be Squared’ and reenactment of the most notable scenes it sent their ardent fans on a rollicking journey through pop culture. I couldn’t help but be reminded of an elegant or even sophisticated version of GWAR as more and more actors met their untimely end in a spray of gore.

Each element of their performance was impressive in its own right – from the visually striking aesthetics to the musically rich set filled with infectious choruses and great clean vocals from Spencer Charnas. However, it was their ability to put on a proper show, complete with costume changes and a fully engaged crowd, which made them stand out.


Movie references meshed seamlessly with their music, as one might expect from a setlist dominated by albums The Silver Scream 1 & 2, but a couple of older tracks such as ‘The Shower Scene’, and ‘Communion of the Cursed’ were present.


The audience responded kindly, their energy peaking during the performance of ‘A Grave Mistake’, a truly brilliant song. ‘Savages’ transformed the venue into an all-out party, the crowd bouncing and singing along. The performance culminated with a titanic closing song, capping off an evening of exceptional live music. Ice Nine Kills truly delivered a spectacle tonight in Manchester.



Funeral Derangements

Wurst Vacation

Hip to Be Scared


It Is the End

Communion of the Cursed

The American Nightmare

The Shower Scene

Assault & Batteries

A Grave Mistake


Farewell II Flesh

Stabbing in the Dark


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