About a month and a half ago, one of the more off the wall tours I’ve seen this year was announced. All ThatRemains, Attila, Escape The Fate, and Sleep Signals announced a huge tour with 30 dates spanning across the United States. Each band brings something unique to the table for this tour. Sleep Signals brings their signature hard rock sound with strong hooks. Escape The Fate brings an intense mix of slamming post-hardcore, hard rock riffs, and a heavy alternation between screaming and clean vocals. Attila brings their well polished deathcore sound that launches crowds into a frenzy. It feels like a party the entire time these guys hit the stage. To close the show, All That Remains brings an eclectic blend of sounds as they have progressed over the years. They have those famous, shredding riffs from songs like “Six” and “Two Weeks” to calm, powerful ballads like “What If I Was Nothing”. As you can see, the bill is varied but still has something that connects each band at the same time. The tour gives you your fill of all areas of hard rock and makes for an explosive night of music. We were lucky enough to cover this show at The Apollo Theatre A.C. in Belvidere, IL on March 10, 2019. You check out our review of each band along with photos from each performance below.
From Michigan, HEART OF JORDAN are a new band and they blew the doors off the Metalcore scene with their self-titled debut, which was released last year. The band are made up of Preston Mailand on vocals, Eric TenEyck on guitar, Elijah White on guitar, Daniel Ray Fell Jr. on bass and Andrew Everett on drums. I rated their debut as one of my top ten albums of 2018 and they have received praise from many rock journalists with their melodic take on the genre. I was therefore excited to interview guitarist Elijah White, who is one of the most personable musicians I have had the pleasure of communicating with.
As the group were only formed in 2017, I was anxious to let Elijah explain how the band came together.
“Heart of Jordan began its formation in early 2017 with Eric TenEyck (Guitar), and Andrew Everett (Drums). Andrew was filling in on drum duties for Eric’s now defunct band. After the band dissolved, Eric and Andrew decided to carry on with a new project. Preston Mailand (Vocals) was called in by Andrew and soon joined the fold after returning to Michigan from a stint in Florida playing in a small handful of gulf coast bands.
Preston and Eric combined some song ideas to create the beginning framework for the first four Heart of Jordan songs: “Enslaved”, “Deny”, “No Escape” and “Throne Alone.” Soon after, Eric reached out to me to fill out guitars. Eric and I have known one another since the early 2000’s, playing in bands together. I had been out of the scene for a while, focusing on work and family.
After a few jam sessions as a foursome, it became clear that something special was there. We currently have Alfonso Civile on full time bass duties.“
I asked Elijah who was the driving force behind Heart Of Jordan‘s inception.
“The concept for the name “Heart of Jordan” was introduced by Preston Mailand, during the bands first months, prior to me coming on board. Musically, Eric, Preston, and I all contributed near equally to the ideas that became the songs that you hear on the album.“
I was interested in Elijah came to be a guitarist and his influences.
“Since I can remember, I’ve always gravitated toward music of all genres. Melodies are constantly playing in my head from wake to sleep. My mother bought me my first guitar at age twelve. I spent hours upon hours in my bedroom playing along to bands like Metallica, Slayer, Alice in Chains, Helmet, Soundgarden, etc. I’ve had a guitar in my hand ever since.”
Leading on from finding out how he started playing guitar, I asked who Elijah rated amongst current guitarists.
“Man, that’s a tough one. There are so many shredders and riffers today. Some of my favorites today are: Adam Dutkiewicz, Michael Padget, Brent Hinds, Tosin Abasi, Benjamin Weinman, and Stephen Carpenter.”
I wondered if there was a specific set of themes the band wanted to explore.
“Preston writes almost all of the lyrics. During the recording of the album, some of those lyrics changed to fit new song structures, while still holding the same themes and ideas. Our primary theme on the album is the universal struggle of the human condition.”
Having explored Elijah’s influences, I asked him whether there were any specific influences that came through on the debut album.
“We hear quite often that we have a Killswitch Engage sound to us. There are also some 80’s metal, grunge, nu metal, and hard rock elements that push through on most of the material.”
The songs on the album seem very well structured. I asked Elijah about how the band wrote songs, whether they jam together or send files to each other.
“Primarily, we send files to each other. We also try to capture ideas during rehearsal as they arise.”
The band’s fanbase seem to be growing rapidly with over 45,000 streams on Spotify. I was therefore interested in what the group had planned for 2019.
“We plan on releasing at least one new single and two new music videos. We currently have a mini tour set up with our Michigan comrades in Heartsick. As well, we are are performing at Rocklahoma at the Darkside Stage. Aside form that, we are making plans for more regional touring and direct support shows for touring national acts.”
Following this up, I wondered if there was a dream tour Elijah would like to go out on and where would he would like to tour in the world.
“Our album is doing really well on Spotify in Europe. That would be a first choice for me, strategically. I also think it would be pretty awesome to tour South America.”
I asked him about his favorite gig to date and the reasons why.
“I think I can speak for the band when I say that our most recent hometown show is our favorite show to date. Nothing beats a hometown show.“
Finally, I wrapped up by asking whether the band have set any goals for themselves or whether it all happen organically.
“Although we tend to be pretty spontaneous and aren’t the best with organizational skills, most of our current success has come from setting goals and general timelines to achieve those goals. It also helps to have an album that people really like!”
With that, I wished Elijah and the band all the best for the future. If you haven’t checked out Heart Of Jordan yet, you really should. The band are the heartbeat of a new musical generation.
High Rise are a Metalcore band hailing from South West London. Formed in 2014 the band have taken influences from bands like Underoath, The Ghost Inside and A Day to Remember to find and hone their own sound – ambient overtones with hard hitting riffs accompanied by dual vocal harmonies and much more. Following on from the success of their 2015 debut EP ‘Tides Will Take You’, High Rise independently released their second 5-track EP ‘Left It For Everything’, recorded with Dan Kerr at Avenue Studios [Our Hollow Our Home, Shields, Create to Inspire], in July 2016.
After a fantastic 2017 that saw the band play with a whole host of incredible artists including Bad Omens, Our Hollow Our Home, Create to Inspire, Vanity and Faces of Eve, as well as a well received slot on the Vocalzone Stage at Teddy Rocks Festival, and several sold out ‘home town’ shows in Kingston, High Rise are in the process of finishing writing for their new music release, due in 2018.
Seminal metalcore act Zao have been grinding it out since 1993 and have been through everything a band can experience. However throughout all the member changes and the shedding of the “Christian music” tag their dedication to quality and pushing the genre forward remains as new and vigorous as ever. Known for their raw sound, philosophical lyrics, and chaotic live show Zao is still one of the most respected and seasoned band in the current heavy music underground. The band just released a new ep/7” titled ‘Decoding Transmissions From The Möbius Strip’. Continue reading →
*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is Hawaii.*
In the land of tropical paradise with its picturesque beaches, near perfect weather, and aloha vibes, it may be hard to imagine heavy music coming from the Hawaiian Islands. It was certainly no easy task finding metal amidst the vast sea of island reggae and ukuleles for this month’s SOTA, but this pick from the Honolulu underground is one I’m sure metal fans will enjoy. Hailing from Waianae, Hawaii, Nesta proves that their volcanic brand of metal can not only compete with its mainland contemporaries, but also push the envelope in some unexpected and highly innovative ways. Continue reading →
Emmure originally hails from New Fairfield, Connecticut, where they formed in 2003. However since then the metalcore band has moved to the city of Queens, New York. Emmure has a total of seven releases, with their first public release being a 2006 EP entitled ‘The Complete Guide to Needlework.’ Though they originally started with a metalcore sound the band has been described using several different genres over the years including deathcore, nu metal, and alternative metal. The band also uses some pop culture themes within their lyrical content referring to comics, and video games while also touching on the subject matter of breakups, social indifference, philosophy, and religion. The bands most recent release is 2017’s ‘Look at Yourself’ which included the much talked about singles “Russian Hotel Aftermath,” and “Torch.”
Invisions may only have 2 albums on their name but they already are beginning to climb their way to the metalcore top. ‘Between You And Me’ has been out since the 8th of January but it has already made it in my top 10 records of this year! Can’t wait to witness this live!
Parkway Drive may have only scheduled 4 dates for their UK tour but with the jaw dropping lineup of support acts they have bestowed upon us pure metal happiness. Kicking things off is Parkway Drive’s fellow Australian’s Thy Art Is Murder using their deathcore sound to get the crowd pumped right from the start, they are followed by metalcore royalty with Killswitch Engage who have been on a roll since original singer Jesse Leach re-joined the band. Then the proverbial cherry on top of course is Parkway Drive touring in support of their tremendous new record ‘Reverence.’ This tour February 1st stop in Cardiff at Motorpoint Arena was bound to be explosive.
Thy Art Is Murder
From the get go the lads in Thy Art Is Murder were not messing around whilst smashing straight in with “Dear Desolution” with its ultra fast double bass drum and fast runs and riffs on the guitars. Then CJ kicks in with his unique powerful screams, growls and shouts, the crowd went nuts. This is the first time I’ve witnessed them live and to see them grace a stage like this arena was amazing, they looked right at home. I can only imagine what a smaller show would be like (carnage) but then they played the fourth song on the setlist “Reign Of Darkness” and CJ asked the crowd to split for a wall of death. It was at least a 20 foot gap from the front of the arena to the back. Then bang the charge from the crowd and for the next two songs the crowd was going insane. Ending on “Puppet Master” was a great choice with that pounding snare hitting intro got the crowd banging their heads. As the momentum picked up they knew it was their last chance to dance so they went crazy for CJ and crew. I can’t wait to witness this again soon.
Not gonna lie I’m a huge Killswitch Engage fan and have been since day one. Recently I witnessed them supporting Iron Maiden last year at the London o2 which was a phenomenal performance and to be fair it always is. Tonight people who had a ticket were in for a treat. They played 11 songs in total and a great mixture of old and new. You could tell they had a lot of fans in the audience due to the amount of singing going on and especially to “My Curse” and “My Last Serenade” the crowd were nearly drowning out the band they singing along so loud. I was hoping Guitarist Adam D was going to pop to the bar and order a couple shots mid song like he did at a recent show whilst still playing his guitar (We’ve all seen that video right?). I was waiting but sadly this didn’t happen (search for the video its awesome). Watching Adam’s quirky personality on stage is always amazing, the faces he pulls are great along with his jogging around the stage, he is in my eyes one of the best guitarists out there. Jesse Leach is just one of those flawless live vocalists, he sounded perfect in every way. I normally don’t say this but it was great vocal deliveries all night long. He delivers just as good as the album version live. He deserves a lot of respect, hats off to you sir! The pit was crazy from start to finish. I stood just out of the area and saw a random shoe on the ground and then another shoe made it to the stage. As Jesse asked who’s it was, well there was either one person with no shoes or two people with one shoe…ha ha ha. One more thing to look out for is a new album from Killswitch Engage this year and 2019 marks the 20 year anniversary of the band so I’m sure its going to be a banger of an album.
So the time has come for the Australian lads in Parkway Drive to hit the stage. The lights dimmed and the band appeared at the back of the venue with four of their crew surrounding them with flame torches. They walked through the crowd to the stage with the intro to “Wishing Wells” before gracing the stage and continuing to deliver the rest of this tune from ‘Reverence’. Lights dimmed to an almighty roar, Parkway Drive officially warmed the crowd up together with the amount of pyros, explosions and flame throwers from all sides of stage.
The stand out tunes for me were “Carrion,” “Vice Grip” and “Wild Eyes.” To hear everyone in the crowd chanting to the riff like on the album version was incredible and vocalist Winston McCall looked like that gets him amped every night. Drummer Ben Gordon is a beast on the kit, he’s a drummer I’ve liked for a while now. If you wanna be a hard hitting drummer just watch this guy. He didn’t let up all night and had 17 tunes to play, just wish he had his drum cradle tonight but unfortunately some venues can’t accommodate everything in a bands production. To be fair, it did not matter as Parkway Drive let the music and performance do the talking. Winston McCall did say it felt like last week they were playing Merthyr Tydfil to 10 people and he couldn’t sing ha ha.
Well I was there in the early days and not so long ago when people used to turn up with inflatable boats and crowd surf in them, amazing times. However, to see this band progress into what they are now and to be doing arena tours is well deserved. I hope the momentum for them keeps growing. If you manage to get to a show you can expect explosions, flames, fire balls from all directions, a string section joining them and Winston McCall going to a little stage at the sound desk to join a cello player to perform with elevating platforms which Luke Kilpatrick and Jeff Ling were lifted high up above the stage. I read an article saying there are no bands coming up to replace the legendary bands we are losing, well think again, they are here and they are called Parkway Drive. They have always been here and right now they are getting the recognition for their hard work over the last 16 years. So stadiums might be next on the agenda? I certainly hope so. I would like to wish every member of the band all the best for the future. We can only hope they help influence a new generation of bands that are even half as talented as they are.