May 5, 2014 All That Remains Dominates Emporium Patchogue, NY 4-8-14 with Darkest Hour and Wilson
After another extremely busy touring year in 2013 for alternative metal titans All That Remains, the new year is set to be equally as activity and intense. Having rampaged state to state in support of their 2012 album A War You Cannot Win, nothing seems to get in the way of the band as they continue to building on their already strong fan base. The Massachusettsans kicked off a mini-tour with Darkest Hour, and Wilson on Tuesday April 8th in the quiet village of Patchogue, NY at The Emporium.
Showing the more extreme metal side of Long Island, Inside The Cipher started the thrashing early. Combining aggression with melodic death metal styling this band came out swinging with high energy, a fast pace, and upbeat delivery. Though they were the opening act the crowd matched the energy level of the five-piece band. Playing through their set in a quick fashion, Inside The Cipher’s sound was best described as tight with plenty of brutality for fans to mosh along to.
Next to the dance was another Long Island based band called Extinction A.D. Deriving influence from classic metal bands such as Slayer, Metalicca, and Pantera, the band thrashed with intensity. Bouncing around the stage their set was an impressive metal offering full of excitement. Lead vocalist Rick Jimenez spoke with the audience in-between songs expressing conviction in political beliefs which provoked thoughts among the audience. Moshing and singing, the audience was into Extinction A.D. as they closed out the local showcase of extreme metal.
Bringing a gritty raw edge to the stage, five young men from Detroit named Wilson were up next. Signed to Canadian label New Damage Records, Wilson is a group of musicians which could not care less about trends and subscribe to the idea of music for music’s sake and nothing else.
Sporting some nifty beards and haircuts the guys blasted onto the stage like a fireball. Chad Nicefield, having the niftiest beard of all, took over the room with uninhibited energy, combining vocals with rough edges and moments of clarity similar to a Chad Gray of Mudvayne. Nicefield not only sounded powerful but he knew exactly how to motivate the crowd and keep the blood flowing. Each member exhibited high levels of talent with Jason Spencer and Kyle Landry on guitar, Matt Puhy slamming on drums, and James Lascu on bass. Adding visual entertainment to the music Nicefield had a special “beer xylophone” which held 5 beers, so each member could prance by and one by one take a beer throughout the set. Finally Nicefield grabbed the last beer and chugged it while fist pumping a drum stick in the air to which the audience cheered loudly. As their time came to an end, Nicefield with bass drum strapped to him darted off the stage into the mosh pit and pounded along with the rest of Wilson on stage. These guys unquestionably are highly talented and fun to watch. Their album Full Blast Fuckery was released in July of 2013 and is absolutely worth listening to.
Providing direct support for the touring bill it was time for Washington D.C. metal band Darkest Hour. Having spent nearly two decades together, vocalist John Henry and guitarist Mike Schleibaum have kept Darkest Hour going strong through several line-up changes over the course of seven studio albums. Walking a fine line between metalcore and melodic death metal the band has become a formidable force which crafts heart-stopping music similar to to a European style. This style was never more evident than their last album The Human Romance (2011), which blew the mind of current and new fans.
Taking the stage with poise and an imposing image of lengthy hair the band began with the epic tune “Doomsayer (The Beginning of the End)”. From the moment of the opening, everyone could feel the adrenaline rush rising fast and ready to explode. Henry belted out words like a beast through songs such as”Savor The Kill” and “A Paradox With Flies”. The guitar combined guitar work of Schleibaum and Mike “Lonestar” Carrigan lit up the room with thick mesmerizing tones. Keeping the audience on their toes they offered up new songs titled “The Rapture in Exile” and “Misery” from their forthcoming album to be released later in 2014 via Sumerian Records.
Their performance marched on at a flawless rate with drummer Travis Orbin and bassist Aaron Deal providing tremendous backbone behind the dazzling guitar work. The set concluded with the moody and dark track “With a Thousand Words to Say but One” and the audience loved every minute of it. Darkest Hour proved why they are one of the best in melodic death metal and deserve more recognition than they receive.
With Emporium swarming with metal fans, the bar was set high for headliner All That Remains. Judging by the band’s reputation for strong live performance, they were ready to answer the call. Beginning with the early track “The Air I Breathe”, they evoked a jolt of emotion into the mosh pit as Philip Labonte and company took over the entire room. Oli Herbert’s guitar leads blistered through the anthemic “Stand Up” while Mike Martin’s precision rhythmic thrashing felt like a pulse in the ground on “Now Let Them Tremble”. Jeanne Sagan was all smiles while delivering perfect bass playing like the veteran she is. Jason Costa drummed at a level that only elite drummers in modern metal have achieved blasting through at rapid speeds. Labonte’s voice was on point through each songs offering of singing and screaming, which really kept a great balance of brutality and harmony. Songs like “For We Are Many” bled into fan favorite “Forever In My Hands” as the audience shouted along with each word with their fists in the air.
Providing their fans a steady diet of new and old tunes the hits seemed to be everywhere, but that is only because All The Remains has managed to put together so many successful albums over the years. New songs like “What If I Was Nothing?” and “Asking Too Much” gave enough dynamics to their newer fans, while “This Darkened Heart” quenched the thirst of long-time fans. When you have fourteen years together as a band it is not easy to cover every corner of music in a fifteen song set, but All That Remains did a great job in their selection and delivery. The set came to a climactic close with the three song assault of “Last Time”, “This Calling”, and “Two Weeks”. Emporium was treated to one of its most extreme heavy metal shows in the venue’s year old status. Everyone left the room full of sweat, exhausted, yet exhilarated, loving every minute of All That Remains.