I’ll never forget when Hacktivist proved themselves as the real deal. In 2013, I’d heard some buzz around the name, being told by a lot of people to check them out. So I did. The E.P. was interesting, a mash up of Grime and Djent like no one had heard before. The riffs were crushing, and the vocals provided a contrast that was genuinely intruiging.
However, I didn’t feel that the actual songs were strong enough for the power they were holding. They had everything right, the formula, the sound, but they weren’t writing as well as they were playing. But then, I saw them live. Download Festival 2013. Instantly, the songs clicked in my head, the sound was huge and it was one of the best performances of the weekend. Energy, tight playing, the band looked ready to conquer some of the biggest stages the field had to offer. A year on, I headed to the Boileroom in Guildford to see if they were still kicking some serious ass, and if they had any new material to woo me once more.
Kicking off the night, hometown-heroes The One Hundred showed the Boileroom just what a good support can do to a crowd. Within the first few minutes of their opening track, the room had opened up to a reception unlike I’d ever seen in the venue. The band whipped up the crowd into a frenzy with their unique deathcore infused hip hop, keeping a heavy reporte with the audience whilst keeping their playing tight. With only one E.P. released, the set was short and sweet, leaving the rabid crowd ready for the anarchy to come. The One Hundred are a band that clearly love what they do, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they do next. Check out their E.P. Subculture via UNFD Records. 8/10
Up next, the main act. Hacktivist hit the stage hard with their single False Idols opening the room up once more, but this time inciting the whole crowd to join in. To say it’s the most excitable I’ve seen the Boileroom would be an understatement! The dual pronged attack of both frontmen really does pack a punch, keeping eyes about the stage as they prowl the front row, looking a little bit too pleased to be able to see into the whites of their adoring fan’s eyes. The set is largely familiar, with little difference to that of the performance I saw a year ago. However, the boys still managed to bring that surprise this far later. With no slip ups in sight, the band are a well oiled djent machine, and still a force to be reckoned with. Each song hit with ferocious intensity, and the crowd lapped it up.
Inclusion of their cover of Jay-Z and Kanye West’s hit N****s in Paris was a particular highlight, as well as a surprise cover of I Got Five On It, Luniz’ 90’s classic as an encore. However, despite the reaction to their covers, for me the best moments of the night came from their premiering of an as yet untitled new song. To address my problem from before the track has everything Hacktivist have been missing thus far. Ferocity, diversity and an edge absent from previous material. They say an album is due in 2015, and I relish the ability to say I will be welcoming it with open arms. I hope you will too. 8/10
Catch Hacktivist on their remaining dates
9/12 Southend Chinnery’s
11/12 Islington Acadmey – London