May 15, 2015 In Flames, All That Remains, & Periphery rattle The Emporium Patchogue, NY 5-6-15
After the successful Winter tour of In Flames, All That Remains, and Wovenwar, an extended run was announced to resume at the end of April into the end of May. With Sweden leaders In Flames at the top of the bill, along with New Englanders All That Remains, this time they bring along Djent leaders Periphery for a triple Metal threat no one could resist. All vastly different acts in their own right, the tour kicked off at Monster Energy Welcome to Rockville, and on Wednesday May 6th, the buses rolled into the village of Patchogue, New York, set to perform at The Emporium. With all three bands supporting new albums; In Flames’ 2014’s Siren Charm, All That Remains’ The Order of Things, and Periphery’s double concept release, Juggernaut: Alpha and Omega, this was bound to be a killer night as fans gathered as early at two hours prior to doors opening to wait on line to get inside.
Starting things off with a bang, Washington D.C.’s Periphery opened their set with some serious, yet droning low-end chugs from their guitars. This band has been at it since 2009 and is the brain child of guitarist (one of three) Misha Mansoor, whose extreme low-tunings and penchant for blending Heavy Metal drum grooves in odd time signatures with elements of Progressive and Shred, is credited for the recent surge in popularity of Djent-styled bands now dominating the underground Metal scene.
No strangers to the touring lifestyle, Periphery take a moment to address the crowd before jumping into “Icarus Lives” off their 2010 self-titled first record. Before the drums kicked in and as the guitars finished their intro riff, heads could be seen nodding in-time and in anticipation for what would arguably be the nights most “heavy” band. Drummer Matt Halpern was an absolute monster behind the kit, playing the most difficult of drum parts with the finesse of both an Olympic gymnast and a pro-wrestler. Taking liberties with his own parts, Halpern throws some grooves in to keep everyone in the crowd moving throughout some of the more would-be ethereal material.
After visiting material from the first and second albums, Periphery turned to tracks from their latest double concept album Alpha and Omega. The band’s most epic effort put forth, the combined efforts of Mansoor, Halperon behind the drums, guitarist Jake Bowen, rhythm guitarist Mark Holcomb, bassist Adam Getgood, and vocalist Spencer Sotelo showed the ample rehearsal time they put into making songs flawless live. Sotelo screamed, growled, and sang like a jacked-up version of Chester Bennington while emoting with all the grace of a rabid animal. Springing to a new level of life during lead single “Alpha,” Sotelo hypes up tourmates All That Remains and instructs the crowd to form a circle pit for the last song of their set, “Masamune.” While the run of this tour ends soon, Periphery will be at Heavy Metal Montreal 2015, August 5th, so be sure to make the trip up to the French-Canadian city to catch them.
Next to the stage was road warriors All That Remains. Seeming to spend 365 days a year on touring, All That Remains are dedicated to bringing the best live show to audiences everywhere they go. Off their latest album, The Order Of Things, the opening piano of red hot single “This Probably Won’t End Well” crept up through The Emporium loudspeaker as the fans began to stir and shout for the band as they blast off into the opening riff. Going right into older classic “Six,” it became apparent that All That Remains were inspired with a firey on-stage energy. Frontman Phil Labonte walks the stage with purpose and charisma, switching seamlessly between his baritone singing voice and screams as they played on with “Now Let Them Tremble,” “For We Are Many,” and “Pernicious.” Harmony vocals provided by bassist Jeanne Sagan thickened Labonte’s delivery for the choruses, while drummer Jason Costa furiously pounds his kick drums like it was the last set he would ever play.
Recounting how the band caught a lot of flak for putting a ballad on 2012’s A War You Cannot Win, they brought in the only slow-tempo song of the set, “What If I Was Nothing?,” showcasing Labonte’s vocal range and allowing the crowd to breathe after almost twenty non-stop minutes of moshing. A powerful song, All That Remains followed with the anethamic “Stand Up” before “Dead Wrong,” “No Knock,” and fan-favorite, “This Calling.” Held together by unbelievable guitar playing of Oli Herbert and Mike Martin, fans were awestruck by the tight chops. Closing out the set with their epic mainstream breakthrough, “Two Weeks,” their impeccable musicianship was nothing less than flawless. Playing to the crowd, All That Remains featured tons of sing-along choruses, strong new material, and a stage presence that turned a lot of heads. It seems years on the road has made them one of the best live bands out there, and hopes are they will put together another string of dates for the Summer months .
Following the stellar openings of both Periphery and All That Remains, a buzz was in the air as fans awaited In Flames. Begun twenty-five years ago as a pioneer in the Swedish Melodic Death Metal scene, In Flames’ early albums, including 1996 Jester Race, 1997’s Whoracle, and 1999’s Colony, have become iconic stamps in Heavy Metal history. Like any great band, In Flames yearned for progression with each release they have put out, and broke into the mainstream world on a more grand scale after the release of 2002’s Reroute to Remain. Now marrying the sounds of their past with the ingenuity of their present, In Flames are one of the most distinctive sounding bands in Extreme music today. With all that embedded in the minds of the packed venue, this was an extra special event because it was rare visit from the Swedes to the Long Island.
Walking on to a dimly lit stage, In Flames begins their set guns blazing on old track “Embody the Invisible.” Igniting an assault of double-bass compliments of drummer Daniel Svensson , along with fast riffs, guitarists Björn Gelotte and Niclas Engelin delivered as they moved into “Clayman,” newbie “Everything’s Gone” before the fierce “Bulletride.” Continuing to dive into material that covered their entire eleven album catalogue, Anders Fridén unmistakable voice stayed strong through newer era In Flames tracks including “Where the Dead Ships Dwell,” “Paralyzed,” and “Alias.”
Setting an atmosphere with the electronic intro, followed by heavy jugging of guitars, “Deliver Us” was the perfect lead into the signature “Cloud Connected” which had everyone in a frenzy on the floor, and even some daring to crowd surf. Handling themselves like true professional, but enjoying every minute of their time on stage, the adrenaline level remained high as “Drifter,” “The Quiet Place,” “Delight and Angers,” and “The Mirror’s Truth” flowed one after another. In Flames played a relatively even-keeled but very emphatic live set with a palpable kinetic energy firmly established between them and their fans. Each song was met with louder applause than the last, with Fridén reaffirming the gathered masses in front of him that they are the reason they come and travel the globe. A mutual feeling of affection, the audience made sure to show In Flames Long Island want to see them visit the area more often. Introducing “Take This Life” as a love song, Fridén and company close their set with fan-favorite “My Sweet Shadow” before bidding a fond farewell to a most gracious audience of both the faithfully devoted and new fans alike.
From beginning to end In Flames put on a spectacular set of some of their most powerful songs ever written. Despite what some nearsighted critics may say, the band does not forget where they came from as they continue to look toward the future, smiling on the past. While the North American leg of the Sirens Charm tour comes to a close on May 24th, fans across the continent will welcome a return from In Flames sooner rather than later.