Employed To Serve / Rebellion, Manchester | 7th of November

Employed To Serve / Rebellion, Manchester | 7th of November

We caught up and coming hardcore band Employed To Serve in Manchester on Tuesday 7th of October.

As I write this, my ears are still ringing and my heart still pounding after witnessing one of the most intense, high-octane, and brutal performances from an underground band. I headed into Rebellion – Deansgate’s premier metal venue – early to catch support from Dead Retinas and the rather majestic and symphonic Pijn (pronounced “Pine”, not “Peen”). The fairly sparse crowd who’d shown up to catch the support acts was concerning; I’ve been to plenty of metal gigs where a particularly small crowd can cause a band to lack confidence and ultimately bring an underwhelming show, but for Employed To Serve, this certainly wasn’t the case.

Relentlessly ripping into an incredibly energetic performance, the band turned what had been an almost melancholic audience into a frenzied mass of moshers. Bringing a unique brand of what the band call “Nasty Hardcore”, vocalist Justine Jones projected the kind of energy that’s usually reserved for bands playing stadium stages to thousands, rather than rock clubs with a crowd of no more than 200 people. Ripping through track after track giving the audience next to no breathing room, the band treated the room to new music, along with more established tracks from their 2014 and 2015 releases.

Seemingly choosing to go with a setlist that climbed through their tracks in order of intensity, by the end of the set, the band had erupted into a crescendo of madness bowling everyone away. It’s perhaps in the way that Employed’s rapid-fire performance saw the band straddling a multitude of genres that make them such a standout group in the hardcore scene; drawing elements of punk, tech-death and even black metal together, they utterly floored me with an incredibly heavy musical cornucopia.

By the time the opening groove of I Spend My Days – Wishing Them Away blasted from the speakers, it became clear that Employed To Serve are doing something special. As a band with only three full-length releases under their belt, they have already established themselves as a force to be reckoned with. Employed To Serve consistently fire up the entire venue while playing with the kind of cohesion most bands can only dream of in their early stages. Based on their performance in Manchester, I can see Employed To Serve exploding into the heavy music mainstream in a big way in no time at all. Appearing on Radio 1 and releasing consistently high quality records, they clearly know how to make waves – this isn’t a show I’ll be forgetting any time soon.

Ultimately, if you have an opportunity to see Employed To Serve, take it. Whether you’re seeing them in a little rock bar or on one of the bigger stages they’re sure to be playing in a few years, you’ll be able to appreciate the beautiful madness of their live show, just be prepared for a headache in the morning.


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