After finally releasing their first studio album in over 13 years Coal Chamber has organized one of the best touring lineups in recent years. Of course you have Coal Chamber, and co-headlining is Fear Factory who have a new album releasing August 7th entitled “Genexus”. The Devil You Know was on select dates of the tour and it features Howard Jones formerly of Killswitch Engage. On the date we were attending at The Orange Peel in Asheville, North Carolina we got Jasta. The band of course features the namesake of the band Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed and Kingdom of Sorrow fame. If you thought this was enough there are still two bands left. Motor City Metal band Saint Ridley was immediate support for the bands. They were also on Coal Chamber’s previous tour with Filter and Combichrist. The opening band was Los Angeles based nu metal band Madlife, who became the pleasant surprise of the night.
First to take the stage was Madlife, who I honestly wasn’t familiar with. I stood in the back and moments after they struck the first chord I was impressed enough to make my way to the stage. I was not the only patron impressed. Before they ended their first song everyone was pushing their way to the front of the stage. Vocalist Angry Phill sang with authority and demanded attention as he moved around the stage. Guitar player Isaiah Stuart brings to the table a unique set of riffs that sets the band apart. I then noticed a familiar face. Stage right was bassist Topher Graves. Some may recall a recent article/review about the Hollywood based industrial band Savi0r we published, which Topher is the guitarist. Keep in mind he is in about 4 different bands, very hardworking guy. Madlife drummer Kyle Cunningham is also in one of those projects that is called The Dark. I remember a time when side projects were unheard of. It just goes to show how much harder musicians work in this era to make a living at what they love. The band had the attention of everyone in the venue. I’ve already seen comments online saying “Madlife blew me away” immediately after the show. Once their set was over every member of the band was out shaking hands, taking pictures, and signing shorts. Yes, I said shorts. It’s always great when a band kills it on stage and then off stage they are very genuinely nice people. If you don’t see them live when they are in your area you will regret it later.
The next band had some big shoes to fill after Madlife left the stage. It was time for the Detroit band Saint Ridley to unleash their sound onstage. I didn’t think it was possible for them to compete with the last time I seen them in March in Charlotte. Let me tell you now that these guys get better every time you see them. One thing that captured attention was a young fan in the front row. Singer Paul Ridley spoke to him, and it was only his second concert ever. What took place next likely made the youngster a Saint Ridley fan forever. As they began to play one of their heaviest songs “Burn” he pulled the kid on stage, got him to introduce himself. His name was Skylar then Ridley let him sing along to the song. When it can time to scream the chorus the mic would be put in front of him and with all his might he’d scream “BURN”. I spoke with frontman XXX after the show and he said it’s the first time he has ever done anything like that as far as pulling a kid on stage. The greatest thing about this is that he helped the kid create a memory that will last forever. Remember that the youth of today will be the bands of the future and he may have just inspired him to be a future musician. The band got the crowd involved in the show and warmed everyone up for the rest of the bands.
Next to the stage came Jasta. If you don’t know Jamey Jasta you have failed at life. Once they take the stage the crowd immediately goes nuts. Jasta isn’t the only big name in the band as they also have Steve Gibb on guitar who is the oldest son of Bee Gee’s singer Barry Gibb and has been in Black Label Society, Crowbar and another Jamey Jasta project Kingdom of Sorrow. Jasta’s last album was the debut and was released in 2011. It featured the Bellmore brothers who are still with the band and also were/are in Kingdom of Sorrow as well. Because all these guys have played together before in various bands it made them mesh so well on stage. The chemistry between them was seen very easily. Jasta mentioned that that Coal Chamber contacted them while they were in Europe on a Hatebreed tour and asked them to join the tour. He flew from Europe to the US with no days off and joined the tour. That is dedication. There was an added bonus to these guys playing in various projects together as well. Not only did we get to hear Jasta material but also got to hear the famous Hatebreed anthem “Perseverance” and a couple Kingdom of Sorrow songs. When they played “Perseverance” everyone was screaming the lyrics to the song, louder than I’ve ever heard a crowd before. The set was packed with hard hitting songs and guitar shredding. They played a pretty short set but as they began to play their final song the frontman himself pleaded with the crowd to get a circle pit going, and while it didn’t compare to some of the Hatebreed pits I’ve seen back in the day it was enough to satisfy Jasta.
We patiently awaited the grand entrance of Fear Factory who has one of the best line-ups in many years. They all emerge except from the shadows and Dino Cazares walks right up the the edge of the stage holds his guitar in the air smiles and immediately starts to shred. Dino rejoined the band in 2009, prior to his departure he was with the band from 1989 to 2002. He is an integral part of the Fear Factory sound we all love. Now they have added one of the best bass players in metal over the past decade or so Tony Campos. Tony has spent time with Static-X, Possessed, Ministry, Prong, and Soulfly. He is well versed in metal. You can’t mention Fear Factory and not immediately hear the voice of Burton C. Bell in your head. The amazing style of clean and harsh vocals has been a major part of what sets the band apart from others. As always the band sounded amazing. Burton’s vocals could have been a little louder but they still sounded great. They played some classic songs and then treated us to 2 new songs off the new album “Genexus” which comes out Friday (August 7th). The first new song they played “Soul Hacker” it really got the crowd interested quick. Let me tell you now the song kicks just as much ass live as it does on the album. Even though it may have been the first time some of them heard the song they were still singing along by the time it ended. Tony and Dino would move around from each side of the stage so that everyone got some face time with them as they unleashed their industrial sound. The only downfall was that the band didn’t have a long set, which is the price you pay when you have this many amazing bands in one night. The whole band sounded amazing and Tony is a perfect fit for the band.
The headliner is what everyone has been waiting for. The lights go dark for a few moments and when the lights go on the band emerges in front of us. The first thing you notice is Mikey Cox beating the damn hell out of his drum kit. They go straight into “Loco” and the crowd is loving every second of it. All the members have a stern look on their face. Meegs is stage right hitting every chord so fierce, and proving he’s an iconic guitarist. Dez commands attention as he stands at the front of the stage with his retro old school microphone glowing blue and green. He is mesmerizing to watch on stage. They then go into a song of the new album Rivals. “I.O.U. Nothing” was an immediate hit with the fans. As I watched Meegs gallop around on stage and Mikey’s drum tech pour water on him I noticed something. I observed Meegs would at times run by and spit on or toward Mikey as he ran by his drum kit. Moments later you would see Mikey spit in the direction of Meegs. I know these guys are the best of friends both on stage and off, So I’m certainly not jumping to any conclusions. I have personally met all the members of the band and each of them are wonderful people. So I hope this isn’t a sign of turmoil in the band. The rest of the show went on as normal. Dez lets the crowd know they have one more song left, and mentions they don’t do encores. There is only one song that they can end the show with and that’s “Sway”. Thus the song began and everyone in the crowd is moving. And it was all over…..”Burn mother fucker burn”.
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