December 1, 2014 Whitechapel leaves NYC in ashes 11-10-14 w/ Upon a Burning Body & Glass Cloud
After a successful co-headlining tour with Devildriver in the spring 0f 2014, Whitechapel took to the road this fall around North America for an independent tour with them at the top of the bill. Fittingly titled the Our Endless War Tour, in support of their fifth studio album Our Endless War, this time around the Tennesseans brought Glass Cloud and Upon a Burning Body out with them for what would be a blistering string of shows. A month to the day of the tour commencement, on Monday November 10th, the hosting city was New York and the stage at Gramercy Theater was set for some brutal, extreme American Metal.
Getting the evening started was Virginia’s Glass Cloud. Led by one-time Of Mice & Men vocalist Jerry Roush, Glass Cloud was put together back in 2011 with guitarist Joshua Travis, drummer Chad Hasty, and bassist/vocalist Travis Skyes. Making an impression with their debut album The Royal Thousand in 2012, the follow up EP, Perfect War Forever, in 2013 was equally as dominating. Now with Roush and Travis as the lone original members left in the band, they march on with staying true to their style and sound. Coming out with their backs to the audience, Travis and a supporting live cast of guitarist Dane Markanson (P.D.P.), bassist Robert Weston (Vanity Strikes), and drummer Josh Miller shredded through the opening of “Lilac” until Roush burst out in front of the room and belted out the verse. Coming out swinging, the audience was immediately forced into a frenzy as the band followed with songs like “Ivy & Wine,” “Trapped Like Rats,” and the haunting bellows of “I Dug a Grave.” With technical guitar rhythms and blazing solos, each song was full of excitement until the last notes of “If He Dies, He Dies.” Glass Cloud show resilience and pride as they continue to have a bright future on the scene.
Next on deck, Texas’ Deathcore act Upon a Burning Body was ready to demolish New York City. After spending the summer on Mayhem Festival the band return to Gramercy Theater for the second time in less than a year, this time around with a new album to support titled The World Is My Enemy Now. Coming out in their signature Mafia style attire, the team of Danny Leal (vocals), Ruben Alvarez (guitar), Sal Dominguez (guitar), Rey Martinez (bass) and newest addition Tito Felix (drums) opened things up with “Red Razor Wrists.” Showing growth in their sound, the newer songs such as “Pledge your Allegiance,” “Mimic,” and “Scars” really lit up the room with unbelievable sharp, heavy guitar work along with powerful vocals. As Alvarez and Dominguez bounced one riff after another off each other, the amped-up crowd bounced around in full force through songs like “Middle Finger World” and “Sin City.” Proving to be an unstoppable force on stage, they closed out their set with the crowd pleasing “Intermission.” Upon a Burning Body is a band which has benefited from extensive time on the road and, now three full-length records deep, could be stronger than ever. Do not miss them on their early 2015 co-headlining tour with Veil of Maya kicking off January 8th in Atlanta, Georgia.
After being ripped apart, sewn back together, and ripped apart again but two formidable opening acts, the time had arrived for Whitechapel to take over. As another band which has spread their creative wings and shown vast progress in their sound with 2014’s Our Endless War, Whitechapel has proven to be among the heavyweights on the scene. Led by vocalist Phil Bozeman, the tightly wound team of guitarists Ben Savage, Alex Wade, and Zach Householder, along with bassist Gabe Crisp and drummer Ben Harclerode were ready for a performance that would be an uncontrolled onslaught of intensity.
Starting the set with title track “Our Endless War,” the battering drums of Harclerode took center stage as Bozeman leaned forward toward the audience letting out growls that were thick and deep. The monstrous wall of sound built by the trio of guitars was felt exponentially on favorites like “Saw is the Law,” “Let Me Burn,” and “Possession.” Clearly feeding off the crowd, Bozeman enticed more chaos with each hand gesture, fierce stares, and inhuman screams. This was Whitechapel at their best and New York City was baring witness to it all first hand. In fact, Bozeman took matters to the next level and asked the audience to split down the center, and upon his cue, two glorious pits broke out, continuing until the end of the set.
By the time songs like “Darkest Day of Man,” “Mono,” and “This is Exile” came around, it was evident that there would be no down time in Whitechapel’s balanced attack. It is often overlooked, but vastly important to fans that a band equally offer older, as well as newer tunes, and Whitechapel continued to answer the call with “Worship the Digital Age,” followed by “This is Exile” and “Possibilities of an Impossible Existence.” Bidding farewell to the tireless crowd with “Diggs Road,” the band conjured a feeling of darkest and melodic bliss that was spectacular. It is safe to say Whitechapel’s final North American touring cycle in 2014 was a success and many hope to see them back again soon in the coming months.