Jinjer w/ The Browning and Sumo Cyco | Fall North American Tour | Photos + Review

Jinjer Sells Out The Legendary Whisky A Go-Go On Their First North American Headlining Tour

Venue: Whisky A Go-Go on 9/12/19

Since I found out about Jinjer a year and a half ago, they have quickly become one of my favorite bands in the scene. Their music perfectly blends together progressive metal with metalcore, with slight elements of technical death metal as well. With their breakthrough song “Pisces” from their 2016 album “King of Everything”, which was released via Napalm Records, the band quickly took off like a storm, selling out venues worldwide. After touring North America twice before as direct support for Cradle of Filth and then DevilDriver. For their first ever North American Headlining Tour, they embarked on a 2-month long tour spanning across the United States and Canada with support from The Browning and Sumo Cyco. With such a stacked lineup, this tour proved to be one of the best this year thus far. This date in particular sold out 3 months prior, so it was bound to be a truly insane show!

First up to hit the stage was Sumo Cyco from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. I previously saw Sumo Cyco when they toured in 2018 with Butcher Babies, Nonpoint, and Islander, but they were even better this second time around than before. Sumo Cyco is a mixture of alternative metal, punk rock, and post-hardcore. The band was truly on fire, with vocalist Skye Sweetnam truly being a hype woman and getting the crowd going nuts. From jumping into the crowd and getting the first moshpit of the night started, to jumping around like crazy, Skye really has a powerful stage presence, which is matched perfectly by guitarist Matt Drake, drummer Matt Trozzi, and bassist Oscar Anesetti. The band is fully independent and have raised money for recordings through crowd funding. They have two albums so far with a third on the way. They played songs from both their 2014 album “Lost in Cyco City” as well as songs from their 2017 album “Opus Mar”. They all together played an eight-song set and played new single “Run With The Giants” as well as a System of a Down cover of “B.Y.O.B.” which got the crowd going completely nuts. Sumo Cyco is truly a ton of fun to see live with their wild stage presence. Make sure to get there early to check out their set!

SETLIST

  1. The Ugly
  2. Undefeated
  3. Free Yourself
  4. Sleep Tight
  5. Y.O.B.
  6. Run With The Giants
  7. Love You Wrong
  8. Move Mountains

Up next as direct support was The Browning from Kansas City, Missouri. The Browning’s sound is very unique in the scene, blending together metalcore, deathcore, and EDM. Typically categorized by some as electronicore, I categorize the band as one thing: stellar. This was my second time seeing these guys this year alone and they did not disappoint. They set the stage with dark lighting and smoke machines and obliterated that stage with a ten-song set that showcased songs from their 2018 album “Geist”, which was released via Spinefarm Records, as well as three songs from their 2016 album “Isolation”. I personally love hearing their song “Carnage”, as it perfectly blends together metalcore with EDM and even has a slight trap influence in a section of the song. This four-piece consists of vocalist Jonny McBee, guitarist Brian Moore, drummer Cody Stewart, and bassist and clean vocalist Collin Woroniak. When you go see The Browning, get ready for a party that’ll consist of headbangs, moshing, and lots of jumping. This band honestly deserves more recognition than they get so go give them some love when they play near you!

SETLIST

  1. Beyond Stone
  2. Final Breath
  3. Carnage
  4. Pure Evil
  5. Disconnect
  6. Awaken The Omega
  7. Optophobia
  8. Dragon
  9. Skybreaker
  10. Geist

Finally up to the stage came Jinjer from Donetsk, Ukraine. This four piece went all out for their first North American Headlining Tour, bringing a full on lighting rig with them and preparing a whopping 15-song set, which covered songs from 2016’s “King of Everything”, 2014’s “Cloud Factory”, which was reissued in 2018 via Napalm Records, 2019’s “Micro EP”, and even a couple of brand new songs from their upcoming full length album “Macro”, which will be released in October via Napalm Records. They came out swinging with songs “Teacher, Teacher” and “Sit Stay Roll Over”, two of the bands heavier tracks that truly got the mosh pit moving like crazy. The band has incredible stage presence and sound identical live as they do on record. The key to the band’s incredible stage presence is vocalist Tatiana Shmailyuk, who has impeccable crowd control and demands that stage with ease. Bassist Eugene Abdiukhanov and guitarist Roman Ibramkhalilov also have incredible stage presence, with head bangs and grooves perfectly in sync with the music and Tatiana alike. Holding down the tightness and togetherness of the music is drummer Vladislav Ulasevich, who’s drumming skills are a stand out and keep the songs interesting with constantly changing time signatures and fast parts that are prominent in progressive metal and metalcore alike. If it seemed the set couldn’t get any better, the band came out for their encore with their most popular song “Pisces”, which at the time of writing this review is sitting at 26 million views on YouTube on their music video. Jinjer is a force to be reckoned with and are continuing to slay the game.

SETLIST

  1. Teacher, Teacher
  2. Sit Stay Roll Over
  3. Ape
  4. Judgement (& Punishment)
  5. I Speak Astronomy
  6. Dreadful Moments
  7. Who’s Gonna Be The One
  8. Retrospection
  9. Perennial
  10. Captain Clock
  11. Bad Water
  12. Outlander
  13. No Hoard Of Value
  14. Cloud Factory

ENCORE

  1. Pisces

Jinjer’s Fall North American Tour was perfection from the moment Sumo Cyco hit the stage til Jinjer finished their set. The lineup featured a variety of styles. Sumo Cyco slayed, The Browning turned the crowd into a moshing dance party, and Jinjer demolished the stage with grace and force. This is definitely a tour to check out when it comes to a venue near you!

Jinjer | The Browning | Sumo Cyco

Photos + Review courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram

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Black Label Society w/ The Black Dahlia Murder and Alien Weaponry | Fall North American Tour 2019 | Photos + Review

Black Label Society Starts Their North American Tour in Ventura

Venue: The Majestic Ventura Theater on 9/11/19

With 10 studio albums and millions of fans, it was a pleasant surprise to see Los Angeles founded band Black Label Society to choose The Majestic Ventura Theater to not only be the sole California date for their North American Tour, but they scheduled it to be the very first date of the tour. Many fans lined the street waiting for doors for this nearly sold out show to open. Along with them as support was The Black Dahlia Murder and Alien Weaponry. With all three bands bringing different styles of metal to the stage, this show was amazing from start to finish.

The first band up was Alien Weaponry from Waipu, New Zealand. I did not know what to think of Alien Weaponry prior to the show, as I had not heard them before. But man did they start the show off on a high mark. This three-piece band mixes together thrash metal and groove metal, bringing the perfect blend of melody and chaos. The band consists of brothers Lewis de Jong and Henry de Jong, with Lewis on vocals and guitar and Henry on drums, as well as touring bassist Bobby Oblak. The band played a five-song set, four of which came from their 2018 release “Tu”, which was released via Napalm Records, and their 2019 single Ahi Ka. I was blown away by the amount of energy this three-piece had, headbanging and shredding like crazy. Definitely make sure to get there early to see these guys!

SETLIST

  1. Holding My Breath
  2. Ahi Ka
  3. Kai Tangata
  4. Raupatu
  5. Ru Ana Te Whenua

Next band to obliterate the stage came The Black Dahlia Murder from Waterford, Michigan. In all honesty, The Black Dahlia Murder is the main reason I went to the show and wanted to photograph. Their genre bending music that blends together melodic death metal with elements from metalcore and death metal is perfection. This was my third time seeing these guys and they always deliver. They opened with “Widowmaker” and “Jars”, two of the most popular songs from the band’s 2017 album “Nightbringers”, which they released via Metal Blade Records. I personally always love when they play “What A Horrible Night To Have A Curse” from their 2007 album “Nocturnal”, as that was the song that got me into them when I found it on the Rock Band Downloadable Store back in the day. This band truly slays on stage and truly gets the crowd going wild from the moment the first note hits. This five-piece consists of vocalist Trevor Strnad, rhythm guitarist Brian Eschbach, bassist Max Lavelle, drummer Alan Cassidy, and lead guitarist Brandon Ellis. From a photographer’s stand point, this band is truly fun to photograph, as they are constantly moving and have such a vibrant stage presence. Their lighting they brought added to the experience as both a concert goer and a photographer. I thoroughly enjoy seeing The Black Dahlia Murder every time I get the chance and definitely recommend checking them out when they hit a city near you!

SETLIST

  1. Widowmaker
  2. Jars
  3. Contagion
  4. What A Horrible Night To Have A Curse
  5. Statutory Ape
  6. Nightbringers
  7. As Good As Dead
  8. Kings of the Nightworld
  9. Everything Went Black

Finally, Los Angeles natives Black Label Society hit the stage. I will say, I was surprised the band took over an hour after The Black Dahlia Murder got off stage to finally set up, but when they did, the venue lit up like a firework. With bright lights and a wall of speakers behind them, Black Label Society tore the roof off the building. This four-piece has legendary heavy metal guitarist Zakk Wylde, who used to be the guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne, as their front man doing lead vocals and lead guitar. The rest of the band consists of bassist John DeServio, rhythm guitarist Dario Lorina, and drummer Jeff Fab. The band played a whopping seventeen-song set, playing songs from seven of their ten albums: five songs from 1999’s “Sonic Brew”, three from 2018’s “Grimmest Hits”, three songs from 2003’s “The Blessed Hellride”, one song from 2001’s “1919 Eternal”, 2014’s “Catacombs of the Black Vatican”, and one song from 2006’s “Shot To Hell”. The band showcased a wide variety in styles throughout the songs, blending together heavy metal, groove metal, and good ole fashioned biker metal. They were truly a blast to see and I’m glad I finally got to photograph the legendary Zakk Wylde.

SETLIST

  1. Genocide Junkies
  2. Funeral Bell
  3. The Beginning… At Last
  4. The Rose Petalled Garden
  5. Heart of Darkness
  6. Suicide Messiah
  7. Trampled Down Below
  8. Seasons of Falter
  9. Peddlers of Death
  10. Spoke In The Wheel
  11. In This River
  12. The Blessed Hellride
  13. Bored To Tears
  14. A Love Unreal
  15. Fire It Up
  16. Concrete Jungle
  17. Stillborne

Black Label Society’s North American Tour meshed together 3 different styles of metal, which made for an entertaining show. Alien Weaponry was a stellar opener, The Black Dahlia Murder obliterated the stage as the direct support, and Black Label Society took it home. I will say that The Black Dahlia Murder truly stole the show with their phenomenal performance, but the whole show as a whole was incredibly entertaining and a thrill to experience!

Black Label Society | The Black Dahlia Murder | Alien Weaponry

Photos + Review courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram

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Upon A Burning Body w/ Of Virtue | The Southern Hostility Tour | Photos + Review

The Southern Hostility Tour Swings Through Santa Ana

Upon A Burning Body has been a band I have seen consistently since they headlined the All Stars Tour in 2015. With the release of their fifth studio album “Southern Hostility” being released this year via Seek and Strike Records, the band set out on a 3-week U.S. Tour, which they announced would be the only headlining tour for this album cycle. They surely brought the Southern Hostility when they came through The Constellation Room.

As direct support for the tour, Of Virtue from Lansing, MI brought the heat. This metalcore five-piece came out swinging with their song “No Control”, which involved a crowd chant and lots of headbanging. A majority of the band’s eight-song set came from their 2019 album “What Defines You”, which was released via SharpTone Records. The band was very high energy, with vocalist Tyler Ennis even jumping into the crowd and getting up close and personal with the audience members, and the whole band utilizing every inch of the stage they had. The rest of the five piece consists of guitarist and vocalist Damon Tate, guitarist Michael Valadez, touring bassist Derek McClung, and touring drummer Devin Attard. The band put on a noteworthy performance and set the stage for the brutality to come.

SETLIST

  1. No Control

  2. I Won’t Break

  3. Alone

  4. Thanks For Nothing

  5. Suffer

  6. Torn Apart

  7. Surrounded

  8. Ghost Town

The all mighty Upon A Burning Body from San Antonio, Texas finally hit the stage, opening with Southern Hostility’s intro track “All Pride No Pain”, which lead into the first single off the new album “King of Diamonds”, which both were a return to the band’s core sound of heavier metalcore. Upon A Burning Body didn’t come to play, they came to slay this time around. Along with their 12-song set, the band brought along with them a lighting rig and the most energy I’ve ever seen from the band, even after seeing them 4 times prior. They played songs from each of their albums, showing the diverse sound the band has in their arsenal. This four piece consists of vocalist Danny Leal, bassist Joe Antonellis, guitarist Ruben Alvarez, and drummer Tito Felix. This band is always super tight live, sounding exactly like their albums live. But it’s that live energy and engagement from the audience that takes their music to a whole other level. The band has great crowd control, with the crowd going nuts with circle pits, walls of death, and standard moshing alike. It was amazing to see these guys again and to see them bring the true Southern Hostility to Southern California!

SETLIST

  1. All Pride No Pain

  2. King of Diamonds

  3. Red Razor Wrists

  4. The Anthem of the Doomed

  5. The Champ Is Coming

  6. Reinventing Hatred

  7. Burn

  8. A Toda Madre o un Desmadre

  9. Already Broken

  10. M.F.

  11. Intermission

  12. Sin City

ENCORE

13. Texas Blood Money

The Southern Hostility tour was full of tons of energy, sweat, moshing, and tons of fun! Check out Upon A Burning Body and Of Virtue on tour when they each come to a city near you.

Upon A Burning Body | Of Virtue

Photos + Review Courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram

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Born of Osiris w/ Bad Omens, Spite, and Kingdom of Giants | The Simulation Tour | Photos

The Simulation Tour

Venue: The Glass House on 8/3/19

Kingdom of Giants

Spite

Bad Omens

Born of Osiris

Born of Osiris | Bad Omens | Spite | Kingdom of Giants

Photos courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram

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Architects w/ Thy Art Is Murder and While She Sleeps | Holy Hell Tour | Photos + Review | 5/20/19

On May 20th as I made my way past the line of fans literally wrapping around the punk-rock and heavy metal temple that is the Palladium in Worcester, MA, there was no doubt in my mind that the Architects show that night was going to be one for the books. Days later while the UK based metalcore band wrapped up the North American portion of their “Holy Hell” Tour in Chicago, I was still reeling from the show they put on. Whether it was the excitement buzzing through the venue, to the opening acts While She Sleeps and Thy Art Is Murder, to the granddaddy of them all Architects, the passion and energy felt that night was something I’ll truly always remember.

First up on the bill was While She Sleeps, hailing from Sheffield, UK. The metalcore band oozed energy and excitement and the crowd absolutely ate it up from beginning to end. From the very first song of the set “You Are We” the band came out packing a punch. Lead singer Lawrence Taylor delivered the highest quality of vocals and was backed by talented musicians Sean Long and Matt Welsh on guitars, Aaran McKenzie on bass and Adam Savage on drums. Seeing the crowd interaction with the band was one of the highlights of the night and you could certainly tell that each musician in While She Sleeps truly loved what they were doing. After this, I definitely put While She Sleeps on my list of bands I need to see again.

Next up was Thy Art is Murder. The Australian deathcore band came out swinging and absolutely delivered with every drop, strum and bang that they served us. Filling in for lead singer CJ McMahon was Nick Arthur from Molotov Solution and in my opinion, they couldn’t have picked a better vocalist. Nick’s vocal range, projection and energy was killer from beginning to end. For my first time seeing Thy Art is Murder, I was thoroughly impressed with the musical technicality the band brought and I can’t wait to see them again in the future.

Finally Architects graced the stage with not only amazing vocals and stage presence but a pretty kick ass light show, if I may say. The band never let up once during their sixteen song set, delivering hit after hit. Lead singer Sam Carter performed with such emotion and power that it was hard not to rock out with the crowd and scream all the words along with him. Architects never fails to put on a show that sends you on an adventure from beginning to end and if there’s any adventure I want to be on, it’s that one. The show simply was one of the best that I’ve ever been too and if you ever get the chance to see Architects in person in the future, don’t hesitate to buy your tickets because you won’t be disappointed!

Architects | Thy Art Is Murder | While She Sleeps

Photos + Review courtesy of Linette Ray

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Chelsea Grin w/ Slaughter to Prevail, Traitors, and Bodysnatcher | Eternal Nightmare Tour Photos + Review

Chelsea Grin Unleashes The Eternal Nightmare on Pomona

The Glass House in Pomona, CA | 5/19/19

Chelsea Grin has been one of the leading bands in deathcore for quite some time. With their newest album “Eternal Nightmare” being released in 2018 via Rise Records, the band hit new highs, and showed more variety. This is partly thanks to the addition of new vocalist Tom Barber, who previously fronted the Blackened Deathcore band Lorna Shore. With the first North American leg of their Eternal Nightmare Tour, the band brought Slaughter to Prevail, Traitors, and Bodysnatcher. Enterprise Earth is also a part of the tour but were finishing up another tour at the time of my date, so they were not able to perform. The show slayed from start to finish.

The first band up was Bodysnatcher from Melbourne, Florida. Bodysnatcher has been on my radar for a while. Their 2016 EP titled “Abandonment” put them on the map and truly helped them create a name for themselves, which led to their signing with Stay Sick Recordings. Since then, they released their debut full length album “Death of Me”, which was originally released in 2017 via Stay Sick Recordings but then re-released as a deluxe edition in 2018. The band is a good mixture of deathcore, hardcore, and beatdown. The band played an 8-song set, all of which came from “Death of Me”. This 4-piece consists of vocalist Kyle Medina, drummer Chris Whited, bassist Kyle Shope, and guitarist Kyle Carter. The band was truly on fire and I couldn’t help but bob my head and headbang a bit while shooting their set. They were such a kickass way to start out the show and had such power and slamming grooves to their sound. I will definitely be seeing them again.

SETLIST

  1. Show Stopper
  2. Exterminate
  3. Rancid
  4. Ego Killer
  5. Open Wounds
  6. Bone Casket
  7. Consequence
  8. Closer to Hell

Up next was Traitors, who are also from Florida. This was my 4th time seeing these guys and they slayed like they always do. They are a perfect mix of alternative metalcore, hardcore, deathcore, and beatdown. I have always enjoyed their stage presence and their ability to get the crowd going nuts from the moment the intro notes hit to the moment they walk off stage. The 4-piece band consists of vocalist Tyler Shelton, drummer Stephen Arango, guitarist Alan De La Torre, and bassist Cameron Perry. One thing I admire about Traitors is that they have remained independent throughout their entire career, releasing 3 full length albums and 3 EPs during their time as a band. The band played a 7-song set, which encompassed songs from 4 of their releases, the newest being their 2019 album “Repent”. I always enjoy seeing these guys and recommend you all check them out!

SETLIST

  1. Short Fused
  2. RIP
  3. Disappoint
  4. Lashing Out
  5. Left To Rot
  6. Arrogance
  7. Ruthless Hate

Up next came Slaughter To Prevail, who came all the way from Yekaterinburg, Russia. This was my third time seeing these guys and they surely did not disappoint. In fact, this was the best set I’ve seen them put on to date. They started their set out by all wearing their iconic Slaughter masks. The only member that took the mask off really was vocalist Sasha “Alex Terrible” Shikolai. Other members of the band include guitarist Robert Brown, bassist Mike Petrov, and drummer Evengy Novikov. The band played a 7-song set, which consisted of 3 songs from their debut 2016 EP “Chapters of Misery”, 3 songs from their 2017 album “Misery Sermon”, which were both released via Sumerian Records, and also debuted a brand-new song titled “Agony”, which absolutely slapped. The band just had a tightness and cohesiveness that is stronger than ever. If you like deathcore that is mixed with slam and good ole fashioned death metal, I definitely recommend Slaughter to Prevail.

SETLIST

  1. Chronic Slaughter
  2. Russian Hate
  3. Death
  4. Agony (New Song)
  5. Beast
  6. King
  7. Hell

The final band up was the one and only Chelsea Grin hailing from Salt Lake City, Utah. Chelsea Grin truly went all out for their headlining tour, bringing a large lighting setup with them, as well as preparing a monstrous 16-song setlist. The band played their newest album “Eternal Nightmare” in its entirety, along with mixing 5 other songs from their discography into the set. This was my second time seeing the band in a period of 3 months and they absolutely killed it. This 4-piece consists of vocalist Tom Barber, bassist David Flinn, drummer and backup vocalist Pablo Viveros, and guitarist Stephen Rutishauser. The crowd was going nuts, with circle pits, slam pits, and crowdsurfers galore. It was so cool to see the crowd getting so excited. The band also did their song “Recreant” as an encore, which is a fan favorite and got the crowd going nuts like never before. The entire crowd turned into a mosh pit at that point. It was amazing seeing Chelsea Grin play a headlining set, as they truly deserve it.

SETLIST

  1. Dead Rose
  2. The Wolf
  3. Across The Earth
  4. Playing With Fire
  5. See You Soon
  6. My Damnation
  7. 9:30am
  8. Limbs
  9. Scent of Evil
  10. Lilith
  11. Clickbait
  12. Nobody Listened
  13. Outliers
  14. Eternal Nightmare
  15. Hostage

ENCORE

  1. Recreant