The KillThrax Tour: Killswitch Engage, Anthrax, The Devil Wears Prada, Jasta In Silver Springs, MD [Photo Gallery]

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Killswitch Engage

The KillThrax Tour, featuring metalcore giants Killswitch Engage and old school thrash titans Anthrax arrived at the Fillmore in Silver Spring last night. The bands on supporting duty are The Devil Wears Prada, a band good enough to act as headliner, and Jasta, the eponymous band of Hatebreed lead singer Jamey Jasta. No way in hell were I going to not cover this event!

Jasta

The show started fifteen minutes or so early, so I missed the first two songs of Jasta. The band played a  short set of 4-5 songs. I can’t tell you how it was musically, but Jasta did have the crowd well entertained. Jamey Jasta can usually command a crowd like no other. But on this night his request to get a big mosh pit going fell through. Maybe 7 o’clock in Silver Spring is a tad too early for a mosh pit, or that the venue had not started filling up yet, being a Monday night. Their performance didn’t go unappreciated by anyone though and the crowd was pleased with his stage presence and gave him a good round of applause.

The Devil Wears Prada

The Devil Wears Prada was the only band of the night that I had not seen earlier. Right off the bat, they  established a moody and gloomy atmosphere on the stage, and the venue. The major strength of this band’s music is the lyrical content, often much darker and serious than many other metalcore bands. The short melodic riffs and clean vocals in the latest album ‘Transit Blues’ have polarized their fans, with some fans accusing the music of being “less hard”. I can tell you that the track “Daughter” from ‘Transit Blues’ sounded much harder that what it sounds like when I play it on Spotify. It was evident that they had tons of fans in the crowd, for much of the crowd were crooning the songs with Mike Hranica. The lack of lighting added to the dark ambient sounds they performed. Even in the darkness its easy to see the sheer musical quality of the band’s performance.

Anthrax

I will never forget the day I saw Anthrax for the first time; it was in Rock Allegiance (Chester) last year, where I got struck with an extreme allergic reaction in the middle of the festival. That performance didn’t include some of my favorite tracks, so it left me wanting more. Tonight, it was a different story altogether, Anthrax delivered the most compelling show of the night. The selection of songs was immaculate, for lack of better word, with hits from yesteryears “Among the Living”, “Madhouse” as well as the most recent release ‘For All Kings’. I consider “Evil Twin” and “Blood Eagle Wings” as two of the finest songs Anthrax have ever composed, and Joey Belladonna with his cohort delivered it to perfection. Frank Bello is a monstrous ball of energy, and Scott Ian was as expressive during his guitar play as ever, with the instrument as well as stage presence. Joey Belladonna, with the microphone in his hands was effervescent, stopping not only once to interact with the crowd in front, but as well as those in the upper balconies. At one point, Joey Belladonna grabbed the camera of one photographer and started shooting photos of the crowd. And towards the end of the set, the security was having a hard time stopping people from crowd surfing and landing over the barrier. Chants of ‘Anthrax Anthrax Anthrax’ were ringing all around the venue once the band bowed to the crowd and bid adieu, with a promise that they will be back to Maryland in future.

Killswitch Engage

The last act of the night was Killswitch Engage, Opening the set with the moderately paced “Hate by Design”, a track from the latest album ‘Incarnate’. The strength of Jesse Leach lies in his delivery of harsh vocals, which is aplenty in the two releases with Leach back on the vocals, following the departure of Howard Jones. Howard Jones era songs “Rose of Sharyn”, “The End of Heartache, “My Curse” etc. was also featured in the set list, and I don’t think anyone, barring Howard Jones himself, could have done a better job. Killswitch Engage ended this exciting night by playing “In Due Time”, and to a rousing applause of the crowd. With a bunch of dates left on this tour, you still have a chance to catch them live. Go for it, you won’t regret it!

State of the Art: Dead By Wednesday

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This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State*

This month’s State is Connecticut!

Connecticut is home to more than a handful of great bands. Dead By Wednesday is yet another great band that calls the state home. They formed back in 2005 and have 4 releases under their belt. The bands sound is a mixture of various elements and influences that really give their music that little something extra that pushes them over the edge and makes them great. Being from the state of Connecticut it’s not surprising they have bumped elbows with legends like Jamey Jasta (Hatebreed, Kingdom of Sorrow, Jasta). The bands initial debut album ‘Democracy is Dead’ was released on Jasta’s label Stillborn Records in 2005. The album was successful right out of the gate by selling more than 3,000 copies. Continue reading

Asheville, NC: Coal Chamber, Fear Factory, Jasta & More….

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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.

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