Review: Touche Amore reimagine melodic hardcore in London

Riding on the back on their brilliant Stage Four record, Touche Amore are stronger than ever.

Armed with a setlist filled with material from their most recent full-length – the stunningly personal Stage Four – Touche Amore present themselves as a reinvigorated force at London’s O2 Academy Islington.

Their critically acclaimed delicacy shines through from the opening moments of Flowers And You, with explosive vocalist Jeremy Bolm only briefly touching upon the record’s heartfelt theme. The joy written across his face is rarely shattered, visibly proud of the band’s accomplishments. Perhaps more so, it’s a personal triumph; part of his recovery following the loss of his mother to cancer.

Combined, there’s an unmistakable bittersweet atmosphere reverberating around the small room. The passion of the crowd chanting the band’s words back at the stage is equally euphoric and gut wrenching. There’s a notable increase in the audience’s participation on newer material, but nothing holds the sheer emotional release of the entire performance back.

Bolm and co. appear entirely comfortable during the more tender moments, never phased by the expansive guitar work or the occasional clean vocals. These stylistic shifts do not intrude, instead sitting firm, amplified by the rousing interludes which offer a must needed break to the band.

Touche Amore blend subtle and beautiful melody with their own brand of artistic hardcore. Having cemented their sound with Stage Four, their live performance confirms their mastery of both the gentle and the ferocious. Few bands can lay the same claim. As he expresses his hope his mother would be proud, we’d bet on nothing less following their biggest London headline show to date.

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