Ice Nine Kills – The Silver Scream | album review

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Ice Nine Kills is a band that has flown under many people’s radar for over a decade now. A band known by name, but never receiving recognition they really deserves. They’ve always been doing things their own way, putting  themselves on the map with their last release, Every Trick In The Book, which was a huge hit in the scene of heavy music.

October 5th, 2018, marked a new era for the band. The latest album from the band, The Silver Scream, is something unlike many people have heard. Every song is based off a popular horror film, everything from Halloween to The Crow. Ice Nine Kills didn’t hold anything back on this album.

The first two singles, The American Nightmare (A Nightmare On Elm Street) and Thank God It’s Friday (Friday The 13th) let fans know that they weren’t going soft anytime soon. A catchy chorus mixed with heavier verses, and a breakdown everyone could love, people knew to catch Ice Nine Kills on Warped Tour 2018, and to keep an eye on the band until October.

I’ve listened to the entire album, and now I can’t stop myself from listening. Lighter tracks, like Love Bites (An American Werewolf In London) and A Grave Mistake (The Crow) offer incredible songwriting and gorgeous singing. On the opposite end of that spectrum, songs like Stabbing In The Dark (Halloween), Merry Axe-Mas (Silent Night, Deadly Night) and Rocking The Boat (Jaws) hit hard with fun guitar riffs, energetic drumming, and some unclean vocals we’ve rarely seen from Charnas. The references to classic lines from the movies give every song its own little flare of nostalgia.  Many songs come completely out of left field, It Is The End (It) sticking out to me the most. Creepy voice acting, leading into chaotic and heavy verses, the song features ska punk band, Less Than Jake, offering some backing tracks to elevate the heavy guitars to a new level. The song makes you wanna move in any way you can.

The album shows tons of growth from the small metal band. Their ability to create and not take themselves 100% serious is obvious. The use voice acting, other genres, wordplay, and fun movie references, The Silver Scream gives you the creeps in the best way. Nostalgia and love for horror films makes my love for this album so much more personal. Ice Nine Kills has come a very long way, I have a feeling they can only go up from here.

Review & Photography courtesy of Emily Sulkowski

** click through to the link above to view photos of Ice Nine Kills **

Butcher Babies & Nonpoint – Kings & Queens Tour 2018 | Photos & Review

You can view all photos of each band via the links below

Disrupted Euphoria | Sumo Cyco | Islander | Nonpoint | Butcher Babies 

By: Jamie Kaufman | Venue: Whisky A Go-Go in West Hollywood, CA

         Going to a tour with your favorite band headlining is always a fun experience. However, when two of your favorite bands are co-headlining, and have very strong supporting acts along with them, you know it’s going to be an excellent evening of pure raw rock and metal.

The first band up was Disrupted Euphoria, local to Moorpark, CA. As I spoke about in a previous review, I have seen this band countless times. This evening, they put on the tightest set I’ve ever seen them pull off. They played a 25-minute set, and crammed 6 songs into that set, as they went from song to song very quickly. This date was very special for the band, as it was vocalist Hannah Rebel’s 25th birthday, so they promoted the show as a Disrupted Show/Hannah’s birthday party. To say the band slayed would be an understatement. I cannot wait for you all to hear the new EP they’re working on, as I know they will garner a large fan-base with their unique sound, which mixes melodic death metal, groove metal, and elements of symphonic metal with Hannah Rebel’s operatic clean vocal range. If you are local to Southern California, check out this band. They play very regularly throughout the whole area.

The next band up was Sumo Cyco, who came from Canada. This was a band I hadn’t heard much about before seeing them, but was incredibly blown away by their set, and thus bought both of their CDs that night. The band has chosen to stay as an independent band, not signing with a label and doing everything themselves, which is very commendable. Vocalist Skye Sweetnam has an incredible voice and truly knows how to command a stage. Skye and guitarist Matt Drake jumped into the crowd several times and were very into crowd involvement, which was a joy to see. They played 6-songs in total, 4 of which came from their 2017 release “Opus Mar”. The band has quite the unique sound, mixing pop rock, post-hardcore, and hard rock. I would definitely recommend checking this band out!

The next band was Islander, who are from South Carolina. I was excited to see them live, as I had been listening to them for well over a year before this show, and they surely did not disappoint. The band played an impressive 8 song set, which they used to showcase songs from their whole discography. Their newest single “I Want Sushi”, released earlier in 2018, via Outerloop Records, was a big highlight of their set. Vocalist Mikey Caravajal is very hands on with the crowd, crowdsurfing during the final song of their set. They have such a cool sound, mixing together genres like nu-metal, rap metal, and alternative metal. This was a band I had been wanting to see for a while, and I’m so happy I was able to.

The first headliner up was Nonpoint. Hailing from Fort Lauderdale, this band has been playing tours throughout the US since their debut as a band in 1997. Their newest album “X” is set to release later in 2018 via Spinefarm Records, and I am very excited to hear it. They used their 13-song set to showcase songs from a majority of their albums. Songs that were highlights for me were “Bullet with a Name”, “My Last Dying Breath”, and “F**K’D”. I had seen them once before, when they did a co-headlining tour with my all-time favorite band, Escape the Fate. Out of the two times I’ve seen Nonpoint, this would be my favorite. The band was on fire from the start of their set to the finish. Vocalist Elias Soriano has such a commanding stage presence and interacts very well with the photographers and audience members alike. I highly recommend seeing this band live, as they are very high energy and will keep you jumping and rocking out throughout the entire set.

The final band up was the infamous Butcher Babies. I have been into this band for about 3-4 years now, since they released the single “Monster’s Ball”. Co-Vocalists Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey surely know how to command a stage. Guitarist Henry Flury adds some seriously amazing tonality to the band’s sound with his 8-string guitar. With Jason Klein’s amazing bass playing, and the edition of new drummer Chase Brickenden, the band’s newest album “Lilith”, which was released in 2017 via Century Media Records, is their strongest release to date. The band played a 15-song set, 9 of which came from the newest album. Highlight songs from their set would be “Monster’s Ball”, “The Butcher”, “Pomona (Shit Happens),” and many more amazing songs. I was so happy to finally see this band live, and to meet vocalist Heidi afterwards. I was very happy to finally see this band live, and will definitely be seeing them again.

All in all, this show was utterly amazing. In all honesty, I shot 4 shows within a one-week period, and this one would have to be my favorite of the 4, with the Bleeding Through show coming in a close second. The bands were all truly talented and I will definitely be seeing all of them again when they come out to the West Coast again!

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Bleeding Through – Welcome Back Show | Review

6/8/18 | Venue: The Observatory Orange County in Santa Ana, CA

     Bleeding Through is back and better than ever. The band that pioneered the metal-core genre went on hiatus in 2013. With their newest album “Love Will Kill All”, released this year, 2018, via Sharptone Records, they sharpened their sound and brought a whole new level of raw talent to the table. With this being their first show in five years, and with the talented support they got for this one-day event, I knew it would be truly amazing.

          The opening band was Iron Curtain, local to the Inland Empire in Southern California. This band mixes grindcore and hardcore genres together perfectly. They played a 25-minute set, that was truly amazing. They released their album “The Road” independently in 2017, their setlist pulled from that release. I was thoroughly impressed with this band and will definitely be going to one of their shows again.

          The next band to take the stage was, Too Pure to Die. This hardcore metal act, hailing from Des Moines, Iowa, surely came in to showcase all they had to offer. Their 30-minute set showcased songs from their entire discography. Their most recent release was their EP “Only the True Remain”, which they released independently. The band played without their vocalist, as he was in the hospital awaiting surgery. So, bassist Joe Ellis filled in on vocals for the day and absolutely slayed it. It was as if he was made to be a frontman, as he commanded the stage with ease. They gained a new fan, me.

          The infamous Lionheart was next to grace the stage, coming to us from Northern California. Lionheart played an incredible set. They had a lot of energy from the start. Their newest album “Welcome to the West Coast II”, released in 2017 via Fast Break! Records, is amazing. I’m glad they played a few songs from this release. This is another hardcore band I hadn’t heard of much before, but I recently bought a ton of their albums. I would certainly recommend checking them out, as they are stellar.

          The biggest supporting act was none other than Winds of Plague. This was my second time seeing the deathcore and symphonic metalcore fusion act and they never disappoint when I see them live. They played songs off all their releases. However, the two releases that received the most coverage on this show were “Decimate the Weak”, released in 2008 via Century Media, and “Blood of My Enemy”, released in 2017 via EOne Records and Good Fight Records. Keyboardist and second vocalist Adrienne Cowan flew in from being on tour with one of her other bands, Seven Spires, just to play this date. They always give me goosebumps when I see them, as their music is truly amazing. If you haven’t listened to them, I recommend it. This is certainly a band I will go see whenever I can.

          The headlining band was the one and only Bleeding Through. They played the longest set I’ve seen live, consisting of 20 songs. They played songs off 7 of their 8 albums, and played 6 songs alone off the newest album, which is my personal favorite. The venue was completely sold out, with fans going wild for the band. I have never seen a venue so jampacked, except for when I saw the Back to the Basics tour with Blessthefall, and the floors were all covered with sweat after the show. Anyways, what I loved about their song choices was that it covered the full variety of what Bleeding Through is all about. Bleeding Through has a signature sound, that perfectly blends together metalcore with melodic death metal. So, some songs have clean vocals, but some do not. They chose a perfect mix and put on one of the best sets I’ve ever seen live. I cannot wait to see this band live again.

          What I will say about this night though is that the crowd was perfectly fine for every band up until Winds of Plague. That’s when the crowd-surfing truly started. I got pushed to the ground with my camera by a crowd-surfer, while I was in the photo pit. One guy actually landed on my camera, which was scary. Luckily my camera was not damaged, but I screamed out bloody murder. Also, the entire night, the venue did not put the usual 3-song rule in place for photographers. It wasn’t until Bleeding Through came on that they decided to put this rule through, so I shot 3 songs in the pit, and the rest with my telephoto lens from the crowd, which worked out pretty well. Seeing all of these bands made those issues I dealt with worth it. I wanted to personally thank Brandon Schieppati and all of Bleeding Through for this opportunity and I hope to be able to photograph for you guys again soon.

Review courtesy of : Jamie Kaufman 

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**Photos to follow**

 

Kataklysm & Exmortus – Double Album Release Show | REVIEW

By: Jamie Kaufman | Venue: Whisky A Go-Go

           Going to an album release show in general is pretty exciting, especially when it’s for some pretty big bands in the scene. But, when it’s for two bands, who are both extremely talented, you know it’s going to be a good night. Kataklysm is a very popular melodic death metal band from Canada. Exmortus is a popular band, with music that blends together thrash metal and melodic death metal, and are local to Southern California. This night was incredible, especially since my good friends in Disrupted Euphoria were opening. While I only wound up photographing Disrupted Euphoria, as I was tired, I stayed around and watched the rest of the bands, and was blown away by what the two main bands had to offer.

Disrupted Euphoria is a fusion between melodic death metal and groove metal. They formed 2014, and have garnered a large following throughout Southern California since that time. I have seen this band play countless times and they just get better and better. Their most recent songs they’ve been working on all are inspired by classic serial killers, like H.H. Holmes and many more. They are very cohesive and have a tightness to them. Vocalist Hannah Rebel is the driving force in the band, with impressive low growls and high shrieks. She also incorporates her large clean vocal range into the mix from time to time, which is especially shown in the operatic section of their newest song “The Wolf”. Guitarist Shadowsill, bassist Sparky, and drummer Mr. Lips slay on the stage, with their amazing costumes and stage get up. They are for sure a band to check out.

Exmortus, a four-piece band from Whittier, CA surly came in to slay. Their newest album “The Sound of Steel”, was released the night of the show via Relapse Records. They played a 9-song set, 4 of which came from the newest album. I was truly blown away from the moment they came on stage. They have a very tight sound and have a very strong stage presence. This was my first time listening to them and seeing them. After one song, I went right over to their merch table and bought their newest CD.

The headlining band of the night was Kataklysm. I had heard of them before the show many times, but had yet to listen to their music. Knowing they were melodic death metal, I knew I would like their music. Some examples of bands in this genre are Arch Enemy, The Black Dahlia Murder, Amon Amarth, and so on. Kataklysm, as well as the bands listed prior puts on one hell of a set. They chose to play the Whisky a Go-Go as one of the four dates on the album release tour, which was very exciting to hear. They played a 13-song set, which came from all their albums. They played two songs off the newest album “Meditations”, released this year, 2018, via Nuclear Blast Records. They are an exceptional band I hope to see them again, as well as photograph for them next time. This was an incredible show and I am so thankful Disrupted Euphoria brought me along.

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J-Theo @ Rock City Studios

J-Theo | 6/2/18 |Rock City Studios  

Jonathan Zillman, also known as J-Theo, is quite the entertainer. I have seen him grow as a musician, and as a person over the last year, it has been very beautiful to see. Jonathan headlined the Live in the 805 events twice before, however he was listed as a supporting act on this event. He played an incredible set, around six or seven songs, most of which came from his debut album “A Dreamer’s Disease”, which he re-released independently this year under the new name J-Theo. J-Theo takes influences from many different genres and infuses it into his rap/R&B style. Originally, Jonathan was a part of a few different local hardcore and death-core bands that unfortunately did not work out. With that being said, he used some of the lyrical work and poetry while in those bands, and put it to good use in his current music. He writes about things that mean a lot to him, and thus his lyrical content strays away from a lot of the garbage the mainstream shows in terms of rap. He raps about topics some are too afraid to, and is very fun to watch on stage. He even stage dived at the end, with the crowd carrying him around the venue during his last song “Black Sheep”. J-Theo is a rap artist that stretches the boundaries and is definitely one to be on the lookout for.  Our interview with J-Theo will be posted to our YouTube channel shortly, be on the look out!

Photography & review courtesy of Jamie Kaufman 

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Slaughter to Prevail – Born to Die U.S. Tour 2018 Review

Slaughter to Prevail – Born to Die U.S. Tour 4/24/18 Review |Venue: The 1720

 

Slaughter to Prevail has undergone a lot of hardship in terms of touring over the past year. This amazing deathcore band from Russia was supposed to come to the United States three times last year for tours, but were only able to come a total of one time due to issues getting visas processed through fully. Thankfully, they could get it all processed through and came out to the US for a headlining tour that would last almost two months, spanning from mid-March to early-May. The only catch was that they are the only band on the tour, with local support on each date. Taking all of this into account, I knew with the local support on this date that it would be one hell of a night.

The first band up was The Prevalent Reaping, who are from Fontana, CA. I saw this band once before, when they opened for the Summer Slaughter Tour in Anaheim, CA., after winning the battle of the bands to get onto the date. I will say that out of the two times I’ve seen this band, they seemed more comfortable and together the second time around. They have a true groove to them and a tightness that is undeniable. This is for sure a band to keep an eye on. I cannot wait for them to release some music so people can truly hear their talent.

The second band to perform was Blood For Our Brothers, hailing from Compton, CA. This four-piece band has the perfect mixture deathcore, hardcore, and some technical death metal, and have a very commanding stage presence. Their debut album came out in 2014 titled “…And God Had Horns”, which they released independently via bandcamp. This is another band that has a lot of potential and is certainly worth checking out.

The third band up was Throne of Tyranny, coming to the stage from Pomona, CA. This band had some of my favorite elements, like the dueling guitar solos, a hell of a lot of energy, and songs that flowed very well. They were cohesive, and did a very good set. One of my favorite parts was vocalist David Forster’s energy. He would run from side to side on the stage, commanding the entire stage. While it was somewhat hard to shoot, it certainly was amusing to watch him do this. Their debut EP “Ashes of Mankind” came out in 2015, and is a true showing of the amount of technicality this band has in their music. They fit perfectly in the technical death-core genre and were a perfect fit for this lineup.

The biggest supporting act of the evening was So This Is Suffering, who are locals to Los Angeles, CA. I saw this band once before on the Whitechapel tour in December of 2017 and I must say, they put on one hell of a set. They played a 7-song set, most of which came from their newest album “Palace of the Pessimist”, which was released in 2017 via Unique Leader Records. Vocalist Rudy Flores brings a wide range of vocal variety to the band, with some seriously deep gutturals and high shrieks. Guitarist Robert Brown truly shreds and gives some amazing solos and technicality to the band’s sound, which truly brings them to a whole new level. Drummer Steve Guerrero helps set the sound up by giving the fast-paced foundation with fast double bass kicks and blast beats. This band quickly rose up as being one of my favorites in the Death-core genre, thanks to their kindness, as well as their incredible stage presence. They always look like their having fun, and they are so approachable. Definitely a band to check out.

The headlining band, Slaughter to Prevail put on one hell of a set. However, I must say I did feel a bit underwhelmed by the length. As a headliner, bands are expected to prepare a lengthier set than that of a supporting band. So, around 8-10 songs minimum would be expected for a headlining act, and that is still a rather short set for a headliner. Slaughter to Prevail played a total of 6 songs during their set, but those songs surely shredded on stage. Vocalist Alex Terrible wore his iconic white mask for the first 3 songs before taking it off. For this tour, they introduced the addition of a new drummer and had a touring guitarist with them, which may have been their reasoning for having such a short set. The part that truly surprised me was when they came back on to do their encore, they just played one of the six songs they had just played for a second time. Again, I truly love this band and had been waiting to see them again, after seeing them on 4/20 last year with Oceano. Their newest album “Misery Sermon”, released in 2017 via Sumerian Records, is truly amazing. I was just disappointed I didn’t get to hear more of their songs this time around.  I’m still so happy I could see them again after waiting a year since the last time.

Overall, the night was hella fun, even with the underwhelming length of Slaughter’s set. I truly loved getting to see so many local Californian bands, which led me to see how talented our locals are. Go check each of these bands out.

Review courtesy of Jamie Kaufman

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Rings of Saturn – Dank Memes Tour Review 

 

When one hears that a tour titled the “Dank Memes Tour” is rolling around, one may stop and be puzzled by what that entails. But once they see the lineup filled with the deathcore affiliates, they know it’s going to be one epic night of music.  

The first band up was Gloom. This amazing deathcore band with black metal influences surely came out swinging. Playing songs from their debut album “Solaris”, released via EOne Records in 2017, they shredded that stage and got the night off to a great start.  

The next band up was Entheos. This was my 2nd time seeing them. Entheos has a dear place in my heart, as they are so much more than your typical deathcore band. How I’d best describe them is by saying they’re a mixture of deathcore, fusion, jazz, and groove. They have a very diverse sound unlike any other. They played songs from each release of theirs. But, most of their set came from their newest release, “Dark Future”, released via Spinefarm records in the fall of 2017. They slayed that stage and were one of my personal favorites that evening. 

The next band was no other than Lorna Shore. This was my 4th time seeing these deathcore gents and they were quite amazing. Each time I see them, they bring a level of talent and complexity through their music. Their newest release, “Flesh Coffin”, released via Outerloop Records in early 2017, was truly spectacular. For the most part, they played songs off this release, but still threw in one or two songs from earlier releases. The amount of energy these dudes bring to the table is amazing and I cannot wait to see them again.  

The next band up was Allegaeon. Allegaeon was one of my favorites of the evening for many reasons. I am a sucker for some melodic death metal mixed in with deathcore, and this band does it perfectly. From the dueling guitar solos, to those heavy breakdowns, this band is truly one to check out. They played songs from most of their albums, but most them came from their newest release “Proponent for Sentience”, released via Metal Blade Records in 2016. I was blown away by their stage presence and hope to see them again soon. 

The second to last band up was the infamous Nekrogoblikon. To say this band is conceptual is an understatement. With all their songs being about goblins, and even having a goblin come on stage and hype up the crowd, this band blows my mind with their creativity. They also blow me away with their independent releases and self-management. Nekrogoblikon was just announced as one of the bands to be on the final full-country run of the Vans Warped Tour and will be on the Monster Mutant White Lightning stage and will be on for the entire tour. So, if you like heavy music and like some very entertaining stage presence, I highly recommend checking these guys out! 

The final band of the night was the headlining band Rings of Saturn. This was my 4th time seeing the band that invented their own genre, Aliencore. Another conceptual band that has taken the world by storm, these guys surely know how to get a crowd going. With highly technical instrumentals and lyrics that all have to do with aliens, you have a band with some serious talent. They played a 9-song set, including the encore. A majority of the set came from their most recent release “Ultu Ulla”, released via Nuclear Blast in 2017. Rings of Saturn is certainly not the band to sleep on and I recommend checking them out.  

This tour package was an incredible one to see and I highly recommend checking out each of these bands, as they are all seriously talented and deserve some praise. 

** photos of each band to follow **

Review by Jamie Kaufman| 3/4/18 | 1720

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