June 23, 2014 Devildriver & Whitechapel dominate NYC 6-12-14 w/ Carnifex, Revocation, Rivers of Nihil, & Fit For An Autopsy
The forces of metal united back in April when Devildriver and Whitechapel announced a co-headlining tour with support of Carnifex, Revocation, Rivers of Nihil, and Fit For An Autopsy. The formidable line-up dominated its way across the west and landed in the Northeast on Thursday June 12th at Stage 48 in New York City. With an early start to match the extensive bill, fans gathering the moment the doors opened at Stage 48 to catch every minute of the action.
First up was New Jersey death metal band Fit For An Autopsy. Together since 2007, the band recently released their sophomore album Hellbound in 2013 to rave reviews from fans and critics. With a deadly combination of death metal and hardcore styling, Fit For An Autopsy brought fury in their brief set including songs like “Still We Destroy” and “Tremors”. With the newer tracks creating such a distinct atmosphere live, this band got the metal going on the right note.
Next up was Pennsylvania progressive death metal act Rivers of Nihil. Formed in 2009, the band takes influence from dark, heavy, and technical metal. Now signed to Metal Blade Records, they released their debut album The Conscious Seed of Light in 2013 and are turning heads in the process. Bringing an intense vibe with them to the stage, the band rattled off a heart pounding set which had the audience’s attention. Performing such songs as “Terrestria I: Thaw”, “Rain Eater”, and “Birth of the Omnisavior” were just some of the highlights in this tightly executed performance. Rivers of Nihil show they can take different colors from the metal spectrum, and not only put together solid songs, but pull them off live.
Moving the evening along were Boston, MA innovative death metallers Revocation. Lead by David Davidson (vocals/guitar), Dan Gargiulo (guitar), Brett Bamberger (bass), and Phil Dubois-Coyne (drums); Revocation are rising in the metal rankings quickly. After the release of their fourth studio album simply titled Revocation, they are seeing their work recognized with peak chart entries. Wasting no time to get the crowd going, they stormed into the anticipation building song “The Hive”. With excellent guitar work and thick death vocals, each track thereafter plowed through Stage 48 like a freight train. New songs like “Invidious” went perfectly with older tracks like “Dismantle the Dictator” and powerful closer “No Funeral”. Label Revocation any type of metal sub genre you would like, this band is one not to miss.
On to the next act, west coast deathcore band Carnifex was ready to go. With their newest album Die Without Hope, this band proves they bring some of the darkest sounds in the deathcore genre. Remaining true to their roots, they also provide their own unique style that breaks the mold of what to expect. Continuing support of the new album, after a blister headlining tour, Carnifex bring diversity to this line-up of bands and were the perfect choice as direct support for Whitechapel and Devildriver. Coming out of the shadows of deep eerie red lighting, lead vocalist Scott Lewis erupted into older track “Slit Wrist Savior” followed by newbie “Hatred and Slaughter”. Guitarist Jordan Lockrey put on a passionate display of headbanging with his hair whipping around like a windmill engaging the crowd in the process. Keeping the pedal to the floor,”Dark Days”, “Die Without Hope”, and “Lie to My Face” had mosh pits forming and a few crowd surfers on their way to the front of the stage. Showing that they live for the live performance, Carnifex dominated the stage as they closed with “Hell Chose Me”.
The time had come for New York City to go to mass with Whitechapel. From Knoxville, TN, this band has been raising attention since 2006. Now five albums deep into their career, their latest offering Our Endless War could be the band’s most impressive statement to date. When asked about the progression of the band on the album, lead vocalist Phil Bozeman told CrypticRock “We just wanted to write something a little bit more emotional sounding and different. We went into it thinking let’s mix the old school with the new.” Inspired to show the metal world exactly what they are made of, Stage 48 was packed to its fullest point ready to stand witness to Whitechapel.
Attacking the room with demon speed, Whitechapel were an unbelievable force from the moment they opened with “Our Endless War”. Inspiring fans to scream and singing along, songs like “I, Dementia”, “Possession”, and “Mono” were just a few of the highlights. With a three guitar assault of Ben Savage, Alex Wade, and Zach Householder, the sound was so thick that the tension felt in chest of the spectators was indescribable. With sounds these powerful through songs like “Worship The Digital Age” and “The Saw Is The Law”, the mosh pits were chaotic. The 45-minute set concluded with “Possibilities of an Impossible Existence” as Whitechapel showed why they are a band still striving to give audiences their best every night. Our Endless War is a game changer and should be given attention by all metal fans.
Concluding the show were Southern Californian veterans Devildriver. Together now over a decade, Devildriver has been on countless tours over the years , solidifying themselves as one of metal’s elite. Continuing the evolution of their sound, 2013’s Winter Kills is perhaps the band’s most engaging work to date. Now as they continue support of Winter Kills, many similar faces in the NYC crowd were back after September’s run, which tore up Best Buy Theater across town. Gathering close and tight to the stage, intense lighting sent a glare into spectators eyes adding mystique as anxiously waited for Devildriver to walk out.
Starting off with songs including “End of the Line”,”Head on to Heartache (Let Them Rot)”, and “Not All Who Wander Are Lost”, Devildriver was on fire getting the crowd going. Lead vocalist Dez Farfara growled into his glowing neon green microphone with strength that made it feel the walls could crumb from the vibrations. Matching Farfara’s intensity, guitarists Mike Spreitzer and Jeff Kendrick, drummer John Boecklin, and bassist Chris Towning kept the groove tight through new song “Gutted” and older fan-favorite “I Could Care Less”.
Inspiring a sizable mosh pit, Devildriver sustained a high energy level with a passionate stage presence and enthusiastic approach. Performing their surprising cover of AWOLNATION mega hit “Sail”, the band brought the rendition to life without skipping a beat among the rest of their thrashing tracks. With so many bands covering songs these days, this is perhaps one of the more intriguing in recent years and a treat to hear live. Moving right along, the set had plenty of their signature tunes such as “Hold Back The Day”, “Dead To Rights” and “Clouds Over California”, leaving everyone little time to breathe or wipe the sweat from their faces. That type of force is what Devildriver is all about, and the audience loved every minute of it. Their set concluded with new backbreaker “Ruthless” and closer “Meet The Wretched”, rounding out one of the band’s classic performances in an hour’s time.
Offering up an excellent diversity of metal bands on this bill, Devildriver closed out the night in fantastic fashion. There is no denying this band’s ability to put on a great performance each time out. As the tour winds down, die-hard fans hope another tour announcement is in the works for 2014.
Read an in-depth interview with Dez Farfara of Devildriver on CrypticRock here
Read an in-depth interview with Phil Bozeman of White Chapel on CrypticRock here
Read the review of Devildriver’s Winter Kills here.