January 28, 2015 Veil Of Maya & Upon A Burning Body leave NYC in ashes 1-13-15
No one wants to start a new year sitting at home, and that is why some of modern Metal’s strongest have decided to hit the icy roads of North America in January 2015 to tour. Presented by Revolver Magazine, Veil of Maya and Upon A Burning Body team up for a co-headlining trek with lead ins The Last Ten Seconds of Life, Gideon, and Volumes for The Slow Your Troll and Know Your Role Tour.
Cramming nineteen dates into a mere month, the tour wraps up January 31st in Southern California before Veil of Maya make their way to Germany, the UK, and beyond. They continued to sweep a blazing path across the country this January, and on Tuesday the 13th, The Marlin Room at Webster Hall in New York City was the stage for a metalhead’s dream come true. With the venue packed with anxious fans, there was little doubt this was going to be a night filled with emotion, sweat, and screams.
The first band to take the stage was The Last Ten Seconds of Life, a Pennsylvanian band made up of vocalist Storm Strope, guitarist Wyatt McLaughlin, bassist Anthony Madara, and drummer Christian Fisher. Named after a Smiths lyric, The Last Ten Seconds of Life formed in 2010 and self-released their debut album, Know Your Exits, in October of 2011. Releasing their third studio album, Soulless Hymns, on the same day as this New York City appearance, the band was ready to party in the most chaotic of fashions. Performing a set filled with powerful breakdowns, gruff vocals, and jolting lyrics, The Last Ten Seconds of Life left the crowd sweaty and ready for more. Catch them on tour with Oceano starting in March.
Founded in 2008, Hardcore Metalists Gideon were up next. These Tuscaloosa, Alabama natives consist of Daniel McWhorter on vocals, Daniel McCartney and Tyler Riley on guitars, and Jake Smelley on the kit. Currently signed with Facedown Records, these aggressive rockers are listed in several genres, from Soft Alternative Metal and Melodic Metalcore to Hardcore Punk and Crossover Thrash. Their most recent album, 2014’s Calloused, has a Christian Metal edge with a Heavy Metal totality that is being called one of their best to date. When vocalist McWhorter took the stage, he was impressed by the pit and the fury of the crowd, but screamed for more. McWhorter asked the crowd how many of them had seen Gideon perform before, and more than half of them raised their hands, recalling raucous shows of years past. Living up to their previous outputs, moshers threw their bodies into an incensed frenzy. Gideon did not depend on lights or flashy animation; their hearts were in the music and they killed it, kicking out song after song, playing tracks from all three of their albums, including “Calloused,” “Prodigal Son,” “Still Alive” and “Bad Blood.” Leaving quite an impression on their home country, Gideon will head to Japan in March for what is bound to be an exciting time.
The third band of the night was the Los Angeles Metalcore outfit, Volumes. The group came together in 2009 and debuted their first EP, The Concept of Dreaming, a year later. Their most recent album, No Sleep, was released July 14, 2014, and after spending last summer on Van’s Warped Tour, they reached new heights. Noted for their almost exclusive use of Djent guitar riffs, Nu-Metal influence, and the dual lead vocals of Michael Barr and Gus Farias, Volumes is currently signed with Mediaskare Records and sport Diego Farias on guitar, Raad Soudani on bass, and Nick Ursich on drums. Meeting their goal to contribute a fresh sound to heavy music, Volumes spent their time in New York City bringing their brand of assault to the masses. Both Barr and Gus destroyed the stage with their own, unique brand of hardcore heaviness on the microphones that had everyone in a frenzy. In between songs, Barr even announced that this New York City stop was such a crazy show that he got a black eye. The crowd would still not be satisfied, and when Barr swung his mic stand over the revelers, some of the more maniacal in the audience grabbed it and snapped it in half, leaving Barr to share mics with co-vocalist Gus. Playing their hit single, “Vahle,” along with other songs, such as “The Mixture” and “Pistol Play,” Volumes offered a performance the audience devoured, begging for more. Giving the room one last hurrah, Volumes ended the set with “Edge of the Earth” during which Barr thanked the crowd and invited them all up onto the stage to help them sing the song. Not everyone tried, but over a hundred people climbed over each other to get a chance to share the limelight with these outrageous rockers. It was pure bedlam, and Volumes would not have it any other way. The band will continue their touring overseas with Of Mice & Men starting on March 11th when they will appear in Paris.
Judging by the output of the bands prior, Upon A Burning Body had their work cut out for them, but they were ready for their co-headlining spot. Old hats to the Metal scene, Upon A Burning Body first formed in 2005 with Danny Leal on vocals, Sal Dominguez on guitar and Rueben Alvarez on bass. Since then, Alvarez has switched to guitar, and Rey Martinez has taken his place on the bass, with newbie Tito Felix on drums. These mighty Texans released their third album, The World Is My Enemy Now, in August of 2014 and spent the rest of the year on nearly every extreme music tour traveling across the states. With unabashed ferocity and Leal’s discriminating, recognizable voice, Upon A Burning Body puts on an eruptive, convulsive show that audiences would not soon forget, from the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival to the Vans Warped Tour and everything in between, and January 13, 2015 was no exception.
The floor flooded with people and the stage drenched in red floodlights and back strobe lights as the band took the stage in their signature attire. Rumors of an appearance by Ice-T were proven true as Ice-T, his wife, Coco, and their family were spotted stage right watching the set. Giving in to wild temptation, the crowd formed the biggest pit of the night as Upon A Burning Body turned out song after song from The World Is My Enemy Now. Leal demanded that the crowd get their third digits in the air during “Middle Finger To You” as the rest of the band took turns jumping onto the risers to look out over the crowd, which resulted in craziness. As a fight broke out in the pit, Leal shouted, “Take that shit outside! This is no place for fighting – in here, it’s all about fun!” Receptive to his demands, the audience untied and thereafter no signs of violence were seen or heard for the rest of the night. Without skipping a beat, they moved into their live debut of “Bring the Rain” before going into “Red Razor Wrists,” “Mimic,” and “Texas Blood Money.” Just when the night could not get any wilder, Leal introduced Ice-T, and together they sang the DJ Snake/Lil’ Jon hit, “Turn Down For What” to close out the set. The performance and response from the audience justified that Upon A Burning Body’s dedication to their live performance has paid off tremendously as they are becoming known as one of the more infamous acts on the scene.
Finally, the time came for Veil of Maya to show what they were made of. Founded back in 2004, these Chi-town metalheads are made up of brand new vocalist Lukas Magyar (Arms of Empire), Marc Okubo on guitar, Dan Hauser on bass, and Same Applebaum on drums. Named after the Hindu concept Maya, these hardcore thrashers should be considered major contributors to the Djent scene. They opened many eyes with their 2012 album Eclipse, and last year’s appearance on Rockstar Energy Drinks Mayhem Festival, along with Knotfest, only expanded their audience that much more. Now armed with their own co-headlining showcase, Magyar upfront, and a New York City crowd ready to explode, Veil of Maya were ready to incite the chaos to the next level.
Opening with the epic mood setter of “20/200” and flowing into “Divide Paths,” Veil of Maya immediately grabbed the audience by the throat with a mix of the impeccable, calculated guitar work of Okubo and the tight drumming of Applebaum. Magyar sounded as if he fit perfectly into the band’s puzzle as his voice harnessed a raging emotion on tracks like”Punisher,” “Winter Is Coming Soon,” “Unbreakable,” and “Mark the Lines.” Okubo continuously rocked The Marlin Room with phenomenal technicality that had the guitar junkies on the floor salivating. Mixing in their brand new song “Phoenix,” Magyar was given the chance to show the true range of what he could offer Veil of Maya. True to form, the track sounded dynamic and sharp in the live setting. Applebaum seemed almost machine-like as he smashed the kit with a flurry of blast beats through closing song “Subject Zero,” and it became clear that this crowd yearned for more. Not letting down the adrenaline rush felt on the floor, the band came back out for an encore with “It’s Not Safe to Swim Today.”
As Veil of Maya left the steaming stage, the exhausted crowd headed back out onto the frigid streets of New York City, appeased and satisfied by a night of resounding, whip-cracking Metal. With air puffing in great white gusts, fans went on their way, leaving the Marlin Room in a pool of sweat and memories, making this stop on The Slow Your Troll Know Your Role Tour a bold highlight.