Between the Buried and Me brings the Automata II Tour to Pomona, CA

Between the Buried and Me have received critical acclaim for their 2018 releases Automata I and Automata II, a two-part album which was released separately with Automata I in March and Automata II in July. With both parts being over 30 minutes in length, the album is slightly over an hour long. This tour excited me, as I hadn’t been BTBAM since they headlined Summer Slaughter Tour last summer, and I was stoked to finally see TesseracT and Astronoid alongside them.

The first band up was Astronoid from Lowell, Massachusetts. Their set was very atmospheric, with low lighting that fit the songs perfectly. They played 6-songs in total, 2 from their 2016 release “Air” and 4 from their 2019 self-titled release “Astronoid”, which were both released via Blood Music. Their set was filled with energy. The foursome consists of vocalist and guitarist Brett Boland, guitarist Casey Aylward, bassist Daniel Schwarts, and drummer Matt St. Jean. The band was totally in sync, with a style of post-metal and progressive metal that fit the tour perfectly. Seeing them was an excellent way to kick off the show, and I cannot wait to see them again.

SETLIST

  1. A New Color
  2. Up and Atom
  3. Fault
  4. Breathe
  5. Incandescent
  6. I Dream In Lines

The next band up was none other than the all mighty TesseracT, coming all the way from Milton Keynes, England, UK. I had been listening to TesseracT for a couple of years now, and even so, they blew my mind with their stage presence and live sound. The band’s sound is a blending of progressive metal and djent and is truly top notch live. The band played an 8-song set as the direct support act, 3 of which came from their newest release “Sonder”, 2 from their 2015 release “Polaris”, 2 from their 2011 album “One”, and 1 from their 2013 release “Altered State”. The band was signed to Century Media previously, where they released One and Altered State, but then signed to KScope Records where they released Polaris and Sonder. The band consists of five members: Vocalist Daniel Tompkins, Alec “Acle” Kahney, Jay Postones, James “Metal” Monteith, and Amos Williams. Together, they put on a set that was truly amazing from start to finish, and I will certainly be seeing them again next time they come to the states.

SETLIST

  1. Luminary
  2. Of Mind – Nocturne
  3. Concealing Fate, Part 2: Deception
  4. Concealing Fate, Part 3: The Impossible
  5. Survival
  6. Dystopia
  7. King
  8. Juno

The final band up was the triumphant Between the Buried and Me, coming to The Glass House from Raleigh, North Carolina. The band opened their set with the first song on Automata II titled “The Proverbial Bellow”, which is a whopping 13 minutes long. The band played a 10-song set, which consisted of 2 songs from 2018’s “Automata I”, 2 songs from 2018’s “Automata II”, 2 songs from 2015’s “Coma Ecliptic”, 2 from 2012’s “The Parallax II: Future Sequence”, 1 from 2011’s “The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues”, and 1 from 2009’s “The Great Misdirect”. The band started their career in 2000, releasing their self-titled album in 2002 via Lifeforce Records. Then they signed a record deal with Victory Records, where they released 4 albums from 2003-2009, one of which being The Great Misdirect. The band then signed to Metal Blade Records, where they released 2 albums and 1 EP from 2011 – 2015. After the touring cycle for Coma Ecliptic was over, the band then signed to Sumerian Records, where they released the critically acclaimed Automata I and Automata II. During the band’s set, they showcased just how much they have to offer to the scene, and why they are the metal giants of progressive metal mixed with technical death metal. They played 9 songs as a part of the regular set, and then came on to play their song “Condemned to the Gallows” from Automata I, which was nominated for a Grammy in 2018 for “Best Live Metal”. The 5-piece band consists of vocalist and keyboard player Tommy Giles, guitarist Paul Waggoner, guitarist Dustie Waring, bassist and additional keyboard player Dan Briggs, and drummer Blake Richardson. Together, they put on one of the tightest sets I’ve seen from a band of this genre.

The Automata II tour was a spectacle, with Astronoid kicking things off on such a high point, then TesseracT blowing the roof of the venue, and Between the Buried and Me completely demolishing it with an hour and a half long set. I am so glad I was able to attend.

SETLIST

  1. The Proverbial Bellow
  2. Fossil Genera – A Feed from Cloud Mountain
  3. House Organ
  4. Specular Reflection (2nd half only)
  5. The Black Box
  6. Telos
  7. Option Oblivion
  8. Life In Velvet
  9. Voice of Trespass

ENCORE

  1. Condemned to the Gallows

Review courtesy of Jamie Kaufman

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Nothing More Brings The Truth Tour to The Belasco

I’ve been a fan of Nothing More for several years, and they are a band I listen to on a regular basis. With this lineup and timing, it worked out perfectly to finally see them and photograph their set. To say I was amazed by the lineup and especially Nothing More’s set-list would be an understatement.

The first band up was Palisades from Iselin, New Jersey. This was my 5th time seeing the band and they blow me away every time I see them. The band prepared an 8 song set for this run, 5 of which coming from their newest album “Erase The Pain”, which was released on December 28th, 2018 via Rise Records. This album has a dear place in my heart, as it covers the many hardships of mental health, and hearing the songs live just meant that much more to me. The band is comprised of vocalist Lou Miceli, Bassist and Vocalist Brandon Elgar, Guitarists Matt Marshall and Xavier Adames, and drummer Aaron Rosa. They are all amazingly kind individuals and truly kill it live. This is a band you MUST listen to if you haven’t yet. They have a sound that mixes post-hardcore, hard rock, and electronic together with perfect harmony.

       The next up was Hyro The Hero from Houston, Texas. The rap metal group was only with the tour for this special Los Angeles date, as other act on the tour, Badflower, was doing their album release show that same night in L.A. over at the El Ray Theater. Hyro the Hero combines the sounds of rap, hard rock, and nu-metal. I had never listened to them prior to this show but was blown away by their stage presence and tightness as a group. The band, named after vocalist and rapper Hyron Fenton, performed an 8-song set, most of which came from their 2018 release “Flagged Channel”. I would definitely recommend giving them a listen.

The biggest supporting act came up next, that being Of Mice & Men. I had seen them a couple of times before this show, the last being in 2017 when they toured with In This Moment and Avatar. But Of Mice & Men completely blew my mind this night when they played an 8-song set, 4 of which came from their 2019 release “Defy”, which was released via Rise Records. They threw in some fan favorites from older albums, which hit me right in the heart. Of Mice & Men was one of the first bands in the genre that helped me fall in love with Metalcore as a whole and seeing them fully confident and realized this time around was beautiful and heartwarming to say the least.

The final band was none other than Nothing More. Nothing More was on fire with their performance from start to finish. As the set began, vocalist Jonny Hawkins sprayed a white curtain, which dropped to reveal the shirtless vocalist with half of his torso painted black. The band played a 17song set, which consisted of 9 songs from their 2017 release “The Stories We Tell Ourselves”, 5 songs from their 2014 self-titled album “Nothing More”, and a couple of covers. The band has been signed to Eleven Seven Records for a couple of years now, releasing those two albums and garnering a large following in the process. The band’s energy was unbeatable and truly blew my expectations right out of the water. The Truth tour was a spectacle of an event and truly gave us some unforgettable moments. I am so glad I was finally able to see Nothing More, and got to see some amazing bands alongside them.

February 22, 2019 | By: Jamie Kaufman 

**Keep an eye out for the photos from this show in posts to come**

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The Devil Wears Prada – With Roots Above and Branches Below 10 Year Anniversary Tour | Review & Photos

The Devil Wears Prada has been a consistent part of the metal-core scene since their debut album in 2006 titled “Dear Love: A Beautiful Discord”. Playing Vans Warped Tour many times, and touring the world for over 10 years, a metal-core band from Dayton, the band has garnered a large following. With the 10 Year Anniversary Tour for their 2009 release “With Roots Above and Branches Below”, they brought Fit for A King and ’68 out on the road with them for two legs of the tour, each lasting almost a month. When the tour was announced to come to The Glass House in Pomona, CA, I knew this would be a truly incredible show, as The Devil Wears Prada consistently sells it out whenever they play this 800-capacity venue.

The first band up was ’68. This two-piece noise rock band comes from Atlanta, Georgia. They have such an incredible stage presence. Vocalist and guitarist Josh Scogin (ex. Norma Jean and The Chariot) has a commanding stage presence. Their sound is a mixture of punk rock and noise rock. They played a 6-song set, 4 of which came from their album “Two Parts Viper”, which was released in 2017 via Good Fight Music and EOne Records. Drummer Nikko Yamada has a driving force in the band, with intricate drum patterns and structures. I had never listened to them prior to the show, but I had heard of them and heard many great things. They still completely blew away my expectations.

The next band up was Fit For A King. Coming from Dallas, Texas, with an incredible light set-up, along with their amazing stage presence, this band played a 9-song set, most of which came from their newest release “Dark Skies”, which was released in 2018 via Solid State Records. Vocalist Ryan Kirby’s vocal talents are shown off through his wide range in his screaming, along with his newer editions of clean vocals. Bassist Ryan O’Leary also does clean vocals, with guitarist Trey Celaya doing some backing vocals from time to time. Drummer Jared Easterling is a beast on stage and truly fun to watch. I saw Fit For A King back in July when I photographed their headlining tour with Like Moths to Flames and Currents supporting them. Fit For A King was amazing then but even better when I saw them perform on this tour. I recommend going to check out their newest release, along with the rest of the music from their discography.

The final band up was none other than The Devil Wears Prada. The band played a whopping 17-song set. They played “With Roots Above and Branches Below” in its entirety, along with 6 other songs from several of their other albums. The band had a stunning light show behind them, which went along with each song. A definite highlight from their set was hearing them play “Dez Moines”, as that was my favorite song from the album. The band has such charisma and drive, which you can feel throughout their performance. Vocalist Mike Hranica has a whole lot of energy on stage, jumping and climbing up podiums and such and screaming his heart out to the crowd. The band was on fire and sounded even better live than on record, which was truly impressive, as they are stellar on record. They played 2 songs from their newest release “Transit Blues”, released in 2016 via Rise Records, and played a few off their 2011 release “Dead Throne”, as well as playing one song from their 2015 “Space EP”. The band put on one of the best live sets I’ve seen and completely blew my expectations out of the water.

This tour was truly amazing to attend and each of the bands put on amazing sets. Congratulations to The Devil Wears Prada for hitting the 10 Year Anniversary point on a truly incredible album. I cannot wait to see all of these bands again.

Review & Photography courtesy of  : Jamie Kaufman 

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Venue: The Glass House in Pomona, CA

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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