Butcher Babies w/ Infected Rain, Stitched Up Heart, & The Unsung | Butcher Babies VS. Goliath Tour | 10/7/21 | Photos + Review

Butcher Babies Slay Their Final Battle Against Goliath at 1720 in Los Angeles, CA

Venue: 1720 in Los Angeles, CA

Date: 10/7/21

When a band hits their 10-year milestone of being together, that is a huge accomplishment that deserves celebration. Unfortunately, that milestone for Butcher Babies came during the global COVID-19 pandemic, where they couldn’t party like the rockstars they are. One year later, the band came back with a vengeance to dominate the country with their first headlining tour in well over two years, where the band would play their debut album “Goliath” in its entirety, along with other songs. In the battle against Goliath were: Infected Rain, Stitched Up Heart, and local support from The Unsung. With this quartet of bands, Butcher Babies led the clan to victory at the final date of the Butcher Babies VS. Goliath Tour!

Up first was The Unsung from San Diego, CA. This quartet is the perfect example of progressive metalcore. One thing I always note whenever I see The Unsung live is just how tight these guys are. Like bands like Periphery, Veil of Maya, and many more in the genre, the vocals are a great mixture of cleans and screaming, courtesy of Tyler Sinclair. However, what sets them apart is that their music tends to have more cleans than screaming, which helps them reach a wider audience. Guitarist Devin Castro is an absolute beast, creating melodic hooks, leads, and solos that shred the hell out of the crowd. Drummer Garret Brown is a beast, playing many different styles and rhythmic patterns throughout the band’s music, sometimes changing time signature and tempos mid-song, which is common within the progressive metal genre. Closing out the band’s lineup is Thomas Sumstine on bass, who absolutely SLAYS adding in those deep grooves and tones that are pretty much essential to the music The Unsung releases. The band played a total of 7 songs, bringing out songs from their first EP, “Rise,” for the first time in a while, along with songs from their sophomore EP “Sin Cera” and new singles “Manic” and “Awake.” The band also brought their iconic light show with them, which adds that extra edge and atmosphere that helps set the tone. It was an epic start to the show, and I am so happy to have seen them again! The last time was around Christmas time in 2019, so it had been almost 2 years without hangs and without seeing this epic band live.

SETLIST

  1. Manic
  2. Herald
  3. Awake
  4. Rise
  5. Lacuna
  6. Chosen
  7. Desolation

Up next was Stitched Up Heart from Los Angeles, CA. I last saw and photographed Stitched Up Heart back in 2019, so I was excited to see and photograph them again and do so at an actual venue, this time and not at a bar. I’d best describe Stitched Up Heart’s sound as a combination between gothic metal, hard rock, and alternative metal. Touring alongside bands across the hard rock and metal genres, they have a sound that is quite versatile and diverse. The band started their set with the song “This Skin” from their 2020 album “Darkness,” released via Century Media Records. This song has a light electronic backing in parts and the downtuned guitar and bass tones, making the song a bit more light sounding than a lot of their other music. You could hear vocalist Mixi’s singing on full display out of the gate, showing a newfound strength and force behind her vocals that I didn’t hear at the last show. The second song, “Warrior,” also came from their newest album and is more of a stadium rock-style track. Those bass tones courtesy of Randy Mathias are on full display in this song, along with the crushing beats from drummer James Decker. The band then went on to their third song, “Catch Me When I Fall,” from their 2016 album “Finally Free.” Overall, this album has a darker vibe, and the guitar tones are much more gritty and dark, and guitarist Merritt Goodwin delivers on this tenfold. The band played a total of seven songs throughout their thirty-minute set, completely blowing my expectations out of the water. As it was the last day of the tour, there happened to be the last day of tour pranks. The other bands ran on stage during the band’s final song, “Monster,” and started randomly taking apart Decker’s drum kit mid-song. It was pretty funny, to say the least, and it made me wonder what pranks would come going forward. Stitched Up Heart as a whole seems to have stepped things up since the lockdown, really fine-tuning things and coming back tighter than ever.

SETLIST

  1. This Skin
  2. Warrior
  3. Catch Me When I Fall
  4. Finally Free
  5. Lost
  6. My Demon
  7. Monster

Up next as direct support was Infected Rain from Chisinau, Moldova. I got into Infected Rain’s music shortly after 2019’s “Endorphin” was unleashed to the world via Napalm Records. This was the band’s first US tour, as their 2020 tour with Swallow The Sun was cancelled due to the pandemic. The band’s sound is the perfect combination of metalcore, melodic death metal, and progressive metal. The band started their set with the song “Pendulum” from that 2019 album I just mentioned. This song is the perfect showcasing of vocalist Lena Scissorhands’ vocal prowess, showing a good amount of her harsh fry screaming, along with lots of her cleans, making for probably their most dynamic song on “Endorphin.” A core part of the band’s sound is downtuned guitars with djenty riffs, courtesy of Vadim “Vidick” Ojog and Serghei Babici. The band then went on to their second song, “Mold,” from their 2017 record “86”, which the band released independently. A big part of progressive metal is the deep, intricate bass tones provided by Vladimir Babich. The band is tight as all hell, and the foundation of any tight band is the drummer, whose part is essential in terms of tempo and keeping on the beat. Drummer Eugene Voluta is an absolute beast on stage, demolishing those double bass parts and obliterating the stage. The band moved onto their third song, “Black Gold,” one of the singles from that 2019 record “Endorphin.” In my honest opinion, Infected Rain blew me away with their control of the stage and just how tight they were. I was very much looking forward to their set, and they did not disappoint. Just like with Stitched Up Heart, Infected Rain found themselves in the midst of the end of tour pranks. During the final song, “Sweet, Sweet Lies,” of the band’s ten-song set, members from Butcher Babies and Stitched Up Heart came on stage and unleashed a pillow fight onto the members of Infected Rain. It was an all-out pillow fight to the death, and I couldn’t help but hysterically laugh. Infected Rain was absolutely incredible and set a very high bar for the whole night.

SETLIST

  1. Pendulum
  2. Mold
  3. Black Gold
  4. Passerby
  5. Freaky Carnival
  6. Endless Stairs
  7. Fool the Gravity
  8. Orphan Soul
  9. The Earth Mantra

Sweet, Sweet Lies

Finally, Butcher Babies come home to Los Angeles, CA, and hit the stage! For the band’s tenth anniversary tour, they decided to play eight of the twelve songs from their debut 2013 album “Goliath,” released via Century Media Records. I would best describe the band’s sound as a perfect blend between metalcore, death metal, thrash metal, and progressive metal. The band came prepared for this tour, with a light show and headbangs galore. Opening the show with “I Smell A Massacre,” the stage lit up bright red, showcasing the brutality and grittiness these songs from “Goliath” have. This first song is a fast one and showcases the vocal stylings of Heidi Shephard and Carla Harvey. Carla has a deeper guttural sound, while Heidi has the high screams on point. They both have a mixture of clean singing and screaming in their registers during this opening song, really showcasing a large amount of variety within this heavy song. Their second song, “The Mirror Never Lies,” opens up with this groovy guitar hook that can be heard throughout the song, courtesy of guitarist Henry Flury. This song is just groove central, even showcasing the bass in the forefront in sections. It’s moments like this where each member really shines, and you really feel all of the puzzle pieces individually come together. I love me a groovy djent song, and those bass tones from Ricky Bonazza are really showcased deep in the roots of this groove-heavy song. The band then moved on to their third song, the popular single from 2015’s “Take It Like A Man” titled “Monsters Ball.” This song is super thrashy, groovy, and heavy. You can really hear the intricate drum parts from drummer Chase Brickenden as he slams those drums to his’ heart’s content. “Monsters Ball” was the song that got me into the band in the first place, so to photograph them during this song was AMAZING. The band played many other songs from Goliath, my personal favorite being “In Denial.” This song has a classic metalcore vibe and is more on the tame side while also being heavy. It has the perfect yin and yang. The band also played quite a few of their new singles, such as “Bottom of a Bottle,” “It’s Killin’ Time, Baby!”, “Sleeping With the Enemy,” and “Yorktown.” They even played a game of Red Light, Green Light with the crowd, paying homage to the viral Netflix sensation “Squid Games.” Their set was absolutely incredible, and they seem to have somehow leveled up since the last time I saw them back in 2018. They absolutely killed it and proved why they are still so beloved 11 years after their debut in the scene. They definitely defeated Goliath in Los Angeles.

SETLIST

  1. I Smell a Massacre
  2. The Mirror Never Lies
  3. Monsters Ball
  4. It’s Killin’ Time, Baby!
  5. C8H18 (Gasoline)
  6. Grim Sleeper
  7. In Denial
  8. Bottom of a Bottle
  9. The Deathsurround
  10. Axe Wound
  11. Sleeping With The Enemy
  12. Yorktown

ENCORE

13. They’re Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa! (Napoleon XIV cover)

14. Magnolia Blvd.

Butcher Babies put on an excellent tour for their comeback. This tour commemorating their 10 years of being a band was stacked to the brim with a fantastic lineup consisting of Infected Rain, Stitched Up Heart, and local support from The Unsung. This was a fantastic show and will easily be one of my favorites of the year!

Butcher Babies | Infected Rain | Stitched Up Heart | The Unsung

Photos + Review courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

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