So it's the last night before Halloween Oct. 30th, 2008- Unearth, Protest the Hero, The Acacia Strain, Whitechapel, Gwen Stacy – will be gracing The Fillmore Irving Plaza, NYC for the last night on this tour. To quote Vince Bennett (The Acacia Strain Vox), "This goes out to the real motherfuckers who are in this room." Bennett's outspoken passion sets the tone for an evening of sounds that ranged all over the metal and hardcore spectrum. Sea of Tranquility's Hayley Brooke was on hand for the festivities and brings this concert review and photos.
Gwen Stacy apparently had dropped off the tour the week prior due to parting ways with vocalist, Bobby Oakley, so Whitechapel opened the show up. Whitechapel has the ability to blend death metal, hardcore and grind so seamlessly into their own hybrid of what has become the modern death metal of today sending their fans into a complete frenzy. This band deserves a chance in this overcrowded metal scene and I think they will continue to make their mark with their memorable and even groovy riffs with crushing breakdowns, neck breaking speeds, incredibly evil and dissonant sounds. "A noted characteristic is Whitechapel's three guitar assault; without a doubt an impressive apocalyptic sound. Propelled by the band's DIY ethics, Whitechapel is a driving force that will continue to grow through hard work and determination." – as Metal Maniacs have taken notice. This is a band you will keep seeing jump from tour to tour just because of their pure and simple undying honest love for delivering and wanting their music heard.
Sitting in the photo pit waiting for The Acacia Strain to take the stage, all of a sudden we see two huge risers being set at the foot of the stage. And yet again the tone being set for what we knew would be complete insanity of not only dodging crowd surfers but the insane endless energy and stage presence The Acacia Strain produces every single time they play; and by that, I mean trying at all odds not to get kicked in the head by them! Vocalist Vincent Bennett really knows how to engage the audience song after song sending their fans into sheer chaos and intensity throughout their set, which really makes him stand out as a frontman. Guitarist Daniel Laskiewicz augmented his persistent, low-toned rhythms with sharp, stinging riffs, while drummer Kevin Boutot focused sharply on providing the rhythmic spine for the band's steady, breakneck cadences. I may be biased because I love them but The Acacia Strain delivered a performance nothing short of amazing.
After the short wait, prog-metal/thrash punk kings Protest The Hero took the stage getting straight down to business. This being my third time seeing PTH live, there was no surprise that even for such a young technical band they sound amazing and continue to impress me every time. Supported by the band's crew of expert shredders, frontman Rody Waker has the ability seamlessly mesh his tough growl with a melodic falsetto. Although I do have a bone to pick with Rody when he exclaimed how he was so annoyed by having 6 cameras in his face and was so glad we were gone. So unless you'd prefer to stay in your own little bubble playing in an empty practice space, you're going to have to deal with a little irritation because we cover bands for your fans that maybe don't have the chance to come out to see you live. So as the good ole' saying stands, "You shouldn't cut off your nose to spite your face!". All in all, this is a band you should definitely not miss the next time they trek through these parts.
With much anticipation Unearth finally took the stage to close the night with an intense performance a true metal head should not miss. They were on top form and probably one of the tightest bands you will see around at the moment. The band's forceful fusion of hardcore and thrash were bolstered by spot-on, fleet fingered solos by guitarists Ken Susi and Buz McGrath. With fans plunging to vocalist Trevor Philips, flying over our heads in the photo pit, he has no trouble engaging his audience pressing them to mosh more fiercely with more intensity. Their set was a mix of new material from latest album 'The March', of which 'Crow Killer', 'My Will Be Done' and 'We Are Not Anonymous' sounded excellent live, with classics which included 'This Lying World', 'Giles', 'The Great Dividers' and 'Sanctity of Brothers'.
Hayley Brooke-Concert Review & Photos
The Acacia Strain:
Whoa! Shut It Down
(Smoke Ya Later?)
Angry Mob Justice
Protest the Hero:
Limb From Limb
No Stars Over Bethlehem
This Lying World
My Will Be Done
Sanctity of Brothers
Bloodlust of the Human Condition
The Great Dividers
My Heart Bleeds No Longer
Black Hearts Now Reign