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

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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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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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Death of a Bachelor Tour | 3/8/17

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My experience at the Panic! At The Disco concert was amazing. This was my first huge concert besides warped tour and it was spectacular. The visuals they put on the screens were really great because they gave a story to the whole concert. Before the concert started, they put teasers of Brendon walking to the stage and a countdown on the screens. Brendon’s voice of course was like Jesus to my ears and the rest of the guys played amazingly as well. I loved how they played songs from each album they have ever released. The variety of songs was probably my favorite factor of this concert. Confetti was also shot out at the crowd and I was one of those people to pick up some pieces of course. The visuals were amazing and everywhere you looked new surprises came about.

Photo & Review by : Rachael Cox

The End Is Here : NYC Tour Review

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On January 27th, I attended my first show of 2017. I got to attend “The End Is Here” tour. It was an honor to start this year off with these three amazing bands, Falling In Reverse, Issues and Motionless In White. On tour, they had the help of upcoming bands Dead Girls Academy and Dangerkids as opening acts for the three. I must say, each band gave it their all on this night. The lighting for each set was absolutely phenomenal. My friend and I bought VIP for the show, with VIP we got to meet all three main acts. Meet and greet with Falling In Reverse went pretty quick, The guys in Issues made the time to talk to each fan and greet them very kindly. But when we got to Motionless In White, they stopped meeting the fans after I guess a certain time limit, so we did not get to meet them. Did not receive any of the merchandise to come with the package as well. VIP was very messy, there were three lines for each act. I feel we should have received what we paid for to seem fair. No big deal to us though. First time ever hearing Dead Girls Academy and Dangerkids, I was in shock with their stage presence. Very energetic. Issues, Motionless In White and Falling In Reverse had fantastic stage presence as well. Each band had a theme for their set, which was pretty amazing. Overall, the whole show was killer. Bravo to each band and the members for giving it their all. Such a fun night, I suggest catching this tour when it hits a city near you.

Review by : Gina Castaldi

Unbreakable Tour 2016 – New York City

On October 5, 2016 I attended the Unbreakable Tour. I was excited to photograph a tour with a genre of music out of my comfort zone.  The openers of the tour, Counterparts were already on stage when I arrived. It was during the third song, as all my fellow photographers friends know it’s the last song we can photograph. I’m glad I was able to get a few photos of Counterparts. The next band up to the stage was one of my favorite heavier acts We Came As Romans. Their performance is always jam-packed with energy. In my opinion the perfect act to go on right before the headlining act of this tour. We would then finish of the night with national touring act, and headliners of the show, Parkway Drive. Hailing from Byron Bay, Australia Parkway Drive has quite the fan base in the United States. When they took the stage I could feel the instruments in my chest, the crowd was so into the set you could feel the room shake. All in all I enjoyed photographing a  line-up out of my comfort zone.

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  Photos & Review by :Cristine Trimarco

Review : The Made To Destroy Tour | 10/8/16

Photos by : Cristine Trimarco at the NYC date of tour.

I never pass up the opportunity to see Pierce the Veil perform and The Made to Destroy tour was no exception. Pierce the Veil put on an amazing show as always featuring tracks from their older albums and from their latest release Misadventures. The show was complete with opening performances from I Prevail and Neck Deep. Both bands put on amazing sets as well. All in all the show was one for the books. Pierce the Veil is most definitely one of my favorite bands to see perform. Their energy at every show is incredible. They know how to get the crowd excited which always makes for a good show environment. If you have yet to see them perform I highly recommend it next time they come around.

Review by : Rebecca McKay