Ice Nine Kills & Malevolence: Raw Passion and Theatrical Metal at Wembley

While Five Finger Death Punch would deliver a blistering, heartfelt performance at OVO Arena Wembley, Malevolence and Ice Nine Kills both impressed the gathered masses.

Ice Nine Kills – Malevolence

OVO Arena Wembley – 23 May 2024

Words: Paul Monkhouse

Photography: Antonio Giannattasio

Malevolence - OVO Arena Wembley - 23 May 2024
Malevolence – OVO Arena Wembley – 23 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk
Malevolence

Before the main event, two bands with contrasting styles and approach came to entertain the crowd, the opportunity grasped with passion.

First up, Manchester bruisers Malevolence impressed with a set that was brutal yet utterly heartfelt, the wide-eyed combo rising to the chance of playing to the historic hall with grit and determination.

Malevolence - OVO Arena Wembley - 23 May 2024
Malevolence – OVO Arena Wembley – 23 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

Stripped back, free of any airs or graces, this was the sight of five working-class lads absolutely tearing Wembley a new one with a passion that bordered on the indecent.

Malevolence - OVO Arena Wembley - 23 May 2024
Malevolence – OVO Arena Wembley – 23 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

With explosive force, Malicious Intent and Self Supremacy saw circle pits forming as waves of sonic blasts tore through the place, Alex Taylor’s vocals raw and the twin guitars of Josh Baines and Konan Hall scything through the air.

Malevolence - OVO Arena Wembley - 23 May 2024
Malevolence – OVO Arena Wembley – 23 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

With the ballad Higher Place showing that it wasn’t all just brute force, the rise of the outfit has been a long-gestating one.

But with opportunities like this getting ever more frequent, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see their names at the top of the bill in arenas shortly.

Malevolence - OVO Arena Wembley - 23 May 2024
Malevolence – OVO Arena Wembley – 23 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk
Ice Nine Kills

Following Malevolence, Boston Metalcore monsters Ice Nine Kills brought a show that would have made most Hollywood blockbusters seem basic by comparison.

Ice Nine Kills - OVO Arena Wembley - 23 May 2024
Ice Nine Kills – OVO Arena Wembley – 23 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

Packing in more drama and gore than the combined Saw films, each number was its own loving ode to a classic horror and suspense films of the past seventy years.

With singer Spencer Charnas channelling various movie villains, these narratives that took in American Psycho, Resident Evil, Silence of The Lambs and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre threw everything in, the props, theatrics and extras wilfully used to splash virtual viscera across the arena.

Ice Nine Kills - OVO Arena Wembley - 23 May 2024
Ice Nine Kills – OVO Arena Wembley – 23 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

Decapitations, murder and unhinged wanton destruction were the order of the day, all soundtracked by the hyper bubblegum hard rock stylings of the combo.

As visually impressive as it all was, there’s a sense that Ice Nine Kills are just retreading old ground, their schtick mildly entertaining but hollow. Mixing elements of Alice Cooper, Lordi, Fall Out Boy and Thirty Seconds To Mars, this was all a bit too derivative.

Ice Nine Kills - OVO Arena Wembley - 23 May 2024
Ice Nine Kills – OVO Arena Wembley – 23 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

Ice Nine Kills may have the budget, but the artists they’re standing on the shoulders of have the better tunes and the style to truly carry it off.

Like most sequels, this idea seems a watered down version of what’s come before and whilst it may draw the crowds, the originals are almost always the best.

Ice Nine Kills - OVO Arena Wembley - 23 May 2024
Ice Nine Kills – OVO Arena Wembley – 23 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk
Ice Nine Kills - OVO Arena Wembley - 23 May 2024
Ice Nine Kills – OVO Arena Wembley – 23 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk
Malevolence - OVO Arena Wembley - 23 May 2024
Ice Nine Kills – OVO Arena Wembley – 23 May 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

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