Let’s take a minute and talk about hype. We all have a vague notion of what it is, but how does one obtain it? Can it be harnessed long term or is it a matter of riding that wave while it’s marginally available? For instance, how did Job For A Cowboy use it to jump from MySpace unto Metal Blade? Beats me. Whatever the case may be, it appears abundantly clear that Spiritbox know how to tap into it and are doing so on Eternal Blue (Rise Records). But can Spiritbox carry this momentum all through an album? Continue reading
The Acacia Strain is back with a new album, Slow Decay (Rise Records), are as pissed as ever despite their last LP being released (checks notes) just last Winter? If memory serves, It Comes in Waves dropped rather surprisingly at the end of December. Okay then, on to Slow Decay. Hold up, most of these songs have already been released in the form of singles throughout the year.
Spiritbox, featuring former members of Iwrestledabearonce (IWABO) have released with a new single and music video titled, ‘Rule Of Nines’. The song which follows up on the Singles Collection EP, is based on a dark image of just laying down on the ground, giving up and becoming so still that you just became part of the ground.Continue reading
Spiritbox, which features former members of iwrestledabearonce have shared the fifth and final single in their recent series of new tracks. ‘Bleach Bath’ is out now as a single and as an awesome music video! Previous tracks in the series dating back to last fall include ‘Perennial’, ‘Electric Cross’, ‘Trust Fall’ and ‘Belcarra’. Watch the clip now!Continue reading
A Skylit Drive joins The All Stars Tour this summer for a 20 show run of dates kicking off on Jul 17th a t Alamo City Music Hall in San Antonio TX, and ending in on Aug 16th at Empire Bar, in Austin TX. The tour features headliners Upon A Burning Body and Dance Gavin Dance. Also joining on the tour are IWrestledABearOnce, Within The Ruins, Oceano, Dayshell, Come The Dawn, Chasing Safety, and Conquer Divide. A Skylit Drive continues to tour behind 2013’s Rise (Tragic Hero Records) album.
The All Stars Tour dates:
Jul 17 – Music Hall, San Antonio, TX Alamo City**
Jul18 – Summer Showdown Festival, El Paso, TX *
Jul 20 – Summit Music Hall, Denver, CO **
Jul 22 – Ace of Spades, Sacramento, CA
Jul 23 – Soma , San Diego, CA
Jul 24 – Hard Rock, Las Vegas, NV
Jul 25 – Pico Rivera Sports Arena , Pico Rivera, CA
Jul 26 – Nile Theater, Mesa, AZ
Jul 28 – The Bomb Factory, Dallas, TX
Jul 31 – Gamechanger, Freehold, NJ
Aug 01 – The Palladium, Worcester, MA
Aug 02 – Reverb, Reading, PA
Aug 04 – Masquerade, Atlanta, GA
Aug 06 – Metro, Chicago, IL
Aug 07 – Dirtfest, Birch Run, MI *
Aug 09 – Heavy MTL, Montreal, QC *
Aug 11 – Agora Theater, Cleveland, OH
Aug12 – Webster Hall, New York City, NY w/ SUMMER SLAUGHTER
Aug 15 – Empire Garage, Austin, TX
Aug 16 – Scout Bar, Houston, TX ***
The 2015 All Stars Tour lineup has been unveiled and will feature Upon A Burning Body, Dance Gavin Dance, A Skylit Drive, iwrestledabearonce, Within The Ruins, Oceano, DayShell, Come The Dawn, Chasing Safety and Conquer Divide. Confirmed dates are posted below.
Jul 17: Alamo City Music Hall – San Antonio, TX (no DayShell)
Jul 18: Summer Showdown Festival – El Paso, TX (Upon A Burning Body only)
Jul 19: Sunshine Theater – Albuquerque, NM (no DayShell)
Jul 20: Summit Music Hall – Denver, CO (no DayShell)
Jul 22: Ace of Spades – Sacramento, CA
Jul 23: Soma – San Diego, CA
Jul 24: Hard Rock Live – Las Vegas, NV
Jul 25: Pico Rivera Sports Arena – Pico Rivera, CA
Jul 26: Nile Theater – Mesa, AZ
Jul 28: The Bomb Factory – Dallas, TX
Jul 31: Gamechanger – Freehold, NJ
Aug 01: The Palladium – Worcester, MA
Aug 02: Reverb – Reading, PA
Aug 07: Dirtfest – Flint, MI (Upon A Burning Body only)
Aug 09: Heavy MTL – Montreal, QC (Upon A Burning Body only)
Aug 11: Agora Theater – Cleveland, OH
Aug 12: Webster Hall – New York City, NY (feat. Summer Slaughter Tour)
Aug 15: Empire Garage – Austin, TX
Aug 16: Scout Bar – Houston, TX (no A Skylit Drive)
Iwrestledabearonce is streaming “Wade in the Water,” off of their new album Hail Mary, out June 16, 2015 via Artery Recordings. Stream it below.
Hail Mary Track Listing:
01: Gift of Death
02: Remain Clam
03: Green Eyes
04: Erase it All
05: Curse the Spot
06: Doomed to Fail Pt 1
07: Doomed to Fail Pt 2
08: Killed to Death
10: Man of Virtue
11: Carbon Copy
12: Wade in the Water
13: We All Float Down Here
14: Your God Is Too Small
Iwrestledabearonce are streaming a new song “Erase It All”, featuring Suicide Silence vocalist Eddie Hermida on guest vocals off their upcoming Artery Recordings debut Hail Mary, out June 16, 2015. The record marks the debut of new guitarist Mike Stringer.
Prestigious label In At The Deep End, who have been responsible for releasing breakthrough platters from acts such as Sylosis, Feed The Rhino, Suicide Silence and Gallows, have confirmed they have snapped up aggressive metalcore stars-in-waiting Prolong The Agony.
Hailing from Portsmouth, UK, the band have inked a deal with the influential label and are shaping up to release their debut EP All We Are on April 20, with a first full length to follow later in the year.
Frontman Larry Welling added: “Signing to IATDE is something we truly never expected and it’s humbling to say the least. To join a roster (past and present) that have had such an influential impact on the UK music scene, bands that we have personally grown up listening to, is a real honour and one that we’ll always be grateful for. We have huge respect for the way this label conducts itself and its long lasting reputation speaks for itself!”
Listing Parkway Drive and Of Mice & Men amongst their influences the Britcore metallers have paid their dues having wracked up thousands of miles on the road with such acts as Captain, No Captain Chunk!, Iwrestledabearonce, Crossfaith, and Glamour Of The Kill
All We Are tracklisting:
1. Dead Dreams
2. Counting The Days
3. Loved & Lost
Prolong The Agony on Facebook
Compared with last year when I had already started January off with five shows in three weeks, 2014 started rather quiet. These days as Ghost Cult’s chief editor, I simply don’t get out as much as I used to. So you know I wouldn’t brave the (over-hyped) Polar Vortex conditions and hazardous roads for just any show, but I did for Chimaira. It has been well documented that a lot of other bands would have quit in the face of adversity ten times over after what these guys have been through. Still, what keeps me interested as a journalist and earns my respect as a fan is their dedication to take every negative and turn it into a positive, and in the most hostile way conceivable musically. So with a planned set list “Celebrating the Chaos” of their career, and on the strength of another tour supporting the excellent Crown of Phantoms (eOne) release, I was all in for this.
With my buddy and photog for the night Chris Small in tow, we got the the Palladium early in time to get in and mingle with some of our local metal brethren. Beers and Happy New Year’s greetings out of the way and we were ready to get hopping. Starting things off was Reflections, who played a pretty typical bunch of screamy death-core. I was immediately shocked by how bored to tears they looked on this, the first night of the tour. Their emotionless faces, except for the front man James Foster, put me off in a big way. I just couldn’t figure out why. They have enough potential musically for me to say I will give them another shot down the road. Second openers Fit For An Autopsy could not be more different in how they set it off from their first notes. I have seen these guys grow steadily more and more impressive over time and they are definitely coming into their own. Straddling the tech-death/traditional death metal horse with an occasionally fierce breakdown, it was hard not to be amped up for every second of their set. See this is what an opening band should do, be a cool warmup act, and provide a hint of what is to come the rest of the night.
Oceano is one of those bands for me, that it really depends on the day or the show how I feel about them. They have made some killer songs and there is no denying their ability to pump up a crowd and throw down in the death metal/deathcore style. You could also single out their fans in the house on this night by who looked like they were their to punch people, and not really there to watch the show. I’d feel bad about per-judging some of these pit ninjas, but for the most part, I was proven right by the end of their set when about 25% of the crowd left. On the plus side, Oceano is over that entire we’re quitting/we’re back phase and they are just out for blood right now. Front man Adam Warren was all over that tiny stage, imploring the crowd to get violent and trying to drum up their energy. Based on the crowd response during ‘Contagion’, that energy was high. Warren also had some compelling things to say about being a hungry band with a new record out, (Depths on Earache) that not a lot of people know about.
Iwrestledabearonce is in a good place in the penultimate spot in the line-up on this tour. They confound and anger the battle-vest wearing set with their wry sense of humour and mashing-up of sub genres. Seeing all of the day glow shirts, booty shorts, and tons of core kids, outside opinion doesn’t matter tonight as the band came out and crushed it. Playing a short (for them) set of their hits plus a few recent tracks from Late For Nothing (Century Media), the band made the odd choice of having some of their typical production value from their headline set. Strobe lights and amp covers/banners seem a little out of place on the tiny stage when no one else had them, but it is part of their schtick I guess. Courtney LaPlant has really risen to the challenge of coming into a popular band and replacing a popular singer and she has killed it on every level, ever since. Her stage persona makes for the perfect master of ceremonies, and she slays all the material in case you still had doubts. Closing with ‘Tatses Like Kevin Bacon’ is a reminder why this band made it in the first place. These guys are still growing I think it will be exciting to see where they take it next.
The front line gear was removed for a very simple set up as the remaining crowd filled in the front of the stage. I watched from a perch in the balcony, in relative safety, mindful of the the many brutal Chimaira mosh pits I have been tossed around in. The change over was quick as the fans were ready for the final music of the night to ring out. The band took the stage and immediately launched into ‘Cleansation’ and it was pure bedlam in the pit. The band was tight as usual, and as usual on the side of the pit was a group of Eli Werstler worshipers. Watching Eli shred and abuse his guitar is worth the price of admission alone, and he has absolutely carried the mantle of great guitar work in the band. Of course Mark Hunter is front and center in the midst of the chaos. He is always focused, connecting with the crowd and really seems to enjoy his job with an evil relish. The set list was carefully crafted showing the greatness of the bands history, as well as the recent albums too. Sean Z helps take the music to another level with his terrific backing vocals. People forget sometimes that Sean fronted his own, worthy band in Daath not too long ago.
Like a well-oiled machine the band cut through the set list of hits and deep cuts. Mark smiled and cracked jokes between songs, and then menaced and scowled appropriately to the material such as ‘Crown of Phantoms’, ‘Pure Hatred’, and ‘Power Trip’. Simple, Brutal, and tight describes the relentless performance, more akin to a boxing champion than a metal band. ‘The Dehumanizing Process’ for years was a great choice as a set opener, but here towards the end of the night it proves the strength and talent of the band. I finally shed my fear and ran down to the floor to Eli’s side of the stage, of course, to finish out the night. Not quite an encore, but more like an extended ending ‘Resurrection’ would have been a fine choice to end the set. However, the band stayed on stage to play the song that is their new video, ‘Wrapped In Violence’. Proving how strong their last album as with this bruising cut, and hearing everyone left in the venue screaming their lungs out, was killer. What a way to start what promises to be a great year of concerts.
Words: Keith (Keefy) Chachkes
Photos: By CWS Photography