Saint Andrew’s Hall is one of Detroit’s hot spots for catching a good show. The Live Nation owned venue hosts all genres and caters particularly well to the heavier ones. Last week, Deathcore sweethearts, Lorna Shore brought their The Pain Remains Tour to town to support their new album. This month-long, stateside run is every ear gauged kid’s dream. With an impressive span of openers to add incentive, there is a reason why this show sold out.
Openers Ov Sulfur got the ball rolling with an energy packed performance. Former Suffokate vocalist, Rocky Hoover dominated the stage with his big vocals and aggressive demeanor. The chunky riffs and gutturals catered to the traditional Deathcore sound yet with a tinge of blackness sprinkled in. Their extremeness bellowed forth vigorously which poked the onlookers deep in their belly. Not a bad way to start off the night. The Canadian six piece, Angelmaker took over next. The momentum from the first act started to dwindle as we all waited for the soundcheck to wrap up. In the meantime, the smell of fresh popped popcorn wafted through the venue and bartenders braved the crowded room to take orders. There is a reason why this is a prized music hall. After these guys got done tuning and mic checking, they quickly shifted gears. The lights dimmed and the speakers shook. There was double trouble since two vocalists handled the squeals and belches that divulged the band’s anger and perturbedness. The elaborate drum work and diverting down-tuned guitars added a melodic edge to their classic Deathcore attitude. They could have come out of their shells more to engage the audience better, but when Mike Greenwood gave a heartfelt shout out to Trevor Strnad the room roared with approval.
The UK boys, Ingested, strutted their stuff next. Frontman Jay Evans started things off by ruffling feathers when he mentioned how great the Chicago show was the night before. The crowd barked boos and Evans’ clever banter got the room over enthused. Having been in the scene since 2006, this group knew how to engage and invite the full venue into their brutal core-like sound. The title track off their new album, Ashes Lie Still (Metal Blade Records) carries deep layers of groove and oomph. Their weighty presentation and confident sauntering around the stage proved their merit as a pivotal band in the scene. Soon there were only two performances to go. Many knit hats were taken off and flannels were wrapped around waists as the heat rose in the room. Everything was about to get a lot steamier as Death Metal/Core experts, Aborted unleashed their fury. The harsh, combative, and unruly discourse that is this genre was taken to new heights as this experienced act delivered. A genuine indignation came from vocalist Sven de Caiuwé as he slapped his own head in excited outrage. He amped everyone up as he flung his true angst and disgust at the enthused front row. Their popular number ‘Retrogore’ blared out creating an explosive experience of frenzied furor. The way each musician executed their dramatic heaviness was soaked up by their enamored fans. The constant crowd surfing and impressive wall of death marked everyone’s high level of enthusiasm. The blistering piece, ‘Dementophobia’ off of Mainacult (Century Media Records) that came out last year highlighted the unhinged snarls and rasps from Caiuwé’s unearthly vocals. Their intrinsic, crushing strings serenaded and the abrasive, yet addictive chaos pleased. Aborted got everyone sweaty and ready for the headliners.
Lorna Shore got sexy because of newcomer Will Ramos. His absurd vocal abilities has ushered in a revitalization not only to this band, but to the Deathcore scene. A lot of their set was made up from their album, Pain Remains (Century Media Records) which captured the rebirth of these guys. Their cohesive and crushing capabilities on this new release and their sensational EP, …And I Return To Nothingness (Century Media Records) has secured their popularity for good reason. The viciousness and extreme articulation through the phenomenon that is Romos’ vocals has caught like a wildfire. The packed house heated up into a crazed delight as each number thundered forth. Bright, shiny, and smoothed skin Ramos effortlessly commanded the show. The capable, crunchy guitar hooks ripped and gripped while the synths added a level of drama that the inner emo. These fellas are no longer a straight up hot topic band, but the kids who frequent there would still buy their shirts. Growth could be heard in their weighty breakdowns because they carried a substance and suspense. Their intensity made each devotee hungry for more, yet they only played an hour-long set. Every moment of that hour was savored by the full house. The circle pit never stopped spinning and the bodies kept being flung in the air to be carried to the front. Ramos was gracious and often thanked the bands and the fans. The passionate playing enveloped and overwhelmed each attendee by their deliriously severe and earnest spirit. The room was left panting for breath as they hollered their gratitude when this act took their final bow. There was a lot of joy from the players and from the fans as we all left that night with a smile on our faces.
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WORDS AND PHOTOS BY RAGIN ROSIE