Review: WAGE WAR – ‘Pressure’ [Official Videos]

Wage War is back at it again with an album that is sure to be an absolute banger! The band started it’s life in Ocala, Florida with its founding members Briton Bond, Cody Quistad, Seth Blake, Jordan Pierce, and David Rau. Later on swapping the lineup on drums and bass, Stephen Kluesener and Chris Gaylord were added to the mix. They are best described as melodic metalcore. They have some absolutely bouncy riffs but also have smooth clean chorus lines. In the beginning, the band released an EP titled ‘The Fall of Kings.’ Following this, in 2015 they dropped their debut album via Fearless Records; ‘Blueprints.’ This consisted of singles such as “Twenty One,” “Alive,” and “Youngbloods.” Two years later their second album, ‘Deadweight’ dropped with the fan singles being “Stitch,” “Don’t Let Me Fade Away,” and “Witness.” One notable favorite of mine was “Gravity.” This was my introduction to Wage War and the culprit of many, many repeat listens of the ‘Deadweight’ album. This all lead to the unbearable wait for new content when alas, their first new single “Low” released from their newest upcoming album ‘Pressure.’ This album is set to release August 30th, 2019 on Fearless Records. You see a diamond on the album art and pressure helps create diamonds, and that’s exactly what Wage War has created here. Continue reading

When WAGE WAR Announces Their Upcoming Album & Tour The Pressure Is On!

Wage War fans couldn’t be happier than right at the moment they realised their favorite core act is back! With their 3th album ‘Pressure’ slowly heading our way and one of the best metalcore tours being announced right after first single ”Who I Am” dropped fans are in for a big treat!

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SONIC TEMPLE Friday Review & Photo Gallery!

Ghost

Mapfre Stadium in Columbus Ohio has been home to Rock on the Range for the last 11 years. But after last year’s festival, Danny Wimmer Presents (DWP) split ways with their former partner AEG and were unable to keep the rights to the name Rock On The Range thus the festival being renamed: Sonic Temple Arts and Music Festival. Could it create the same moments and memories that made Rock On The Range legendary for over 10 years?

I arrived at Mapfre Stadium about 2 hours before doors open. There was already a huge line of people waiting to get in and you could feel the excitement from everyone.

The Jacks

The Jacks were the first band on the schedule and they opened up the Echo Stage with a good easy going set. Their EP hasn’t been released yet so the crowd got to hear some upcoming songs off of it including “Walk Away” and “Looking For Love.” It’s going to be a long day of live music. They were the perfect band to start the day.

Shvpes

Shvpes was next up on the Echo Stage they were first band of the weekend featuring members that have famous fathers. Griffin Dickinson, the band’s lead singer, is the son of Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson. That alone brought out a decent crowd. They were a little faster tempo than I was expecting and that seemed to energize the crowd as we had our first mosh pit and crowd surfers of the weekend. Most of their set included songs off of their 2018 album ‘Greater Than’ including “Undertones” and “Afterlife.”

Badflower

Badflower had the honor of opening this year’s Main Stage and they didn’t disappoint. They didn’t play to a huge crowd, however, as most of them were still lined up trying to get in the gates. It was also probably the calmest the main stage crowd was all weekend. Most of their set included songs from their debut album including “x ANA x,” “Ghost,” and “Heroin,” in which lead singer Josh Katz stated was the #1 rock song in America in the upcoming chart. “I’m going to get in trouble for saying that” he stated before starting the song.

Wage War

For all the metalheads in attendance, we got our first metal band of the day over at the Echo Stage. Wage War come out to thunderous cheers and multiple devil horn salutes in the air. The crowd instantly broke out into 3 circle pits and the band was loving the energy from the crowd. Their set included their new single “Low” and songs from their other 2 albums including “Alive” and “Stitch.”

Avatar

Next up on the Main Stage is the band that may have put on the best performance of the day on that stage. The Swedish rockers, Avatar, came out with high energy and had members of the band sitting on a throne above the drum set as they performed “A Statue of the King.” The crowd was going crazy as they performed their hits “Hail the Apocalypse” and “Smells Like a Freakshow.” To add to the insanity of the performance, a guy in a chicken suit was crowd surfing nonstop. An Avatar stage show is really cool to witness and is a must see if you can catch them on the festival circuit.

Zeal & Ardor

The Echo Stage was now the place to be to see the most unique band of the weekend. Zeal & Ardor, a relatively new band that mixes black metal with southern blues and gospel, absolutely destroyed the 2nd stage and put on what I think was the best performance of the entire weekend. The crowd was completely enthralled with the band as they sang along to all of the evil lyrics to songs such as “Blood In The River,” “Devil is Fine,” and “Don’t You Dare.” It was nonstop awesomeness for their 30 minute set and the only time the singer spoke to the crowd was to say “We don’t talk a lot. I hope that’s ok.” When you kick as much ass as they do, it absolutely is.

Beartooth

Imagine getting to play the Main Stage of a festival in front of your hometown fans. That’s exactly what Beartooth got to do. And the crowd was loving it as much as they did. Lead singer Caleb Shomo kept urging the crowd; “More crowdsurfing. More mosh pits.” The crowd responded with an onslaught of people getting tossed toward the stage as the band played songs such as “Disease” and “In Between.”

Parkway Drive

The heaviest band to play the Main Stage so far was up next. Parkway Drive had the crowd raging during the hottest part of the day with the sun beaming down on the stadium floor. That didn’t seem to bother the crowd as they seemed to enjoy the set that consisted mostly of songs from the bands most recent album ‘Reverence.’

Tom Morello

I left Parkway Drive’s performance early to head over to the Wave Stage to see Rage Against the Machine/Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello play a solo set. This was one of the most interesting sets of the weekend. Morello started out by playing in the crowd during the first song. During the 2nd song, he went on stage and played with a DJ and a video board that displayed various political messages including anti-police messages such as “Be white or get shot.” During all of this, I kept saying to myself “did I really miss Black Label Society for this?” But as soon as I said that, we got what may be the best highlight of the weekend. To honor the 2 year anniversary of Chris Cornell’s death, Morello brought out System of a Down’s Serj Tankian to play a cover of Audioslave’s “Like a Stone.” The performance was incredibly emotional. The performance ended with Morello bringing people up from the crowd on the stage to sing songs from the Rage Against the Machine catalog.

Halestorm

Now it was time for the first of the Main Stage headliners. Halestorm started their set with a drum solo. At first I thought that was odd but it gave the crowd a chance to get over from the side stages and get settled in. Their set contained all of their hits and a selection of songs from their new album ‘Vicious.’ A couple of set highlights included Lzzy bringing up a girl from the crowd and giving her a custom Epiphone Explorer. Very cool moment. Halestorm also dedicated their hit song “Get Off” to their 10 year anniversary of playing Rock On The Range over on the Jager Stage when no one knew who they were.

Meshuggah

The headliner for the Echo Stage was none other than extreme metal band Meshuggah. This was my first time seeing the Swedish metallers and I was expecting big things. I had kept hearing that a Meshuggah pit was a religious experience. But I didn’t experience that. The band was good and they played a wide range of songs from their catalog but I didn’t feel they gave the crowd much energy and they stood in spot on stage for most of the set. Others in the crowd seemed to be having a blast as I smelled the most marijuana that I did all weekend. Maybe that’s what I needed to really enjoy the set.

Ghost

The sun was setting. The cool breeze has started blowing through. It was time for the ritual to begin. Ghost provokes a very decisive reaction from fans: you either love them or you hate them. I fall under the former and I loved their set. All of the best songs from their albums were played including “Absolution,” “Cirice,” “Dance Macabre,” and “Square Hammer.” For the first time ever at this festival (and probably only time), a full on saxophone solo broke out during their instrumental tune “Miasma.” Heavy metal doesn’t have to be heavy to be great. Ghost is the perfect example of that.

As soon as Ghost left the stage, the rains began to pour down. The rains didn’t last long and had stopped by the time System Of A Down hit the stage. It has been 16 years since I’ve seen them live and since they don’t play many shows, I was beyond excited to see them again. As soon as they started playing, I could tell something was out of sync. After 3 songs, Daron Malakian announced to the crowd that they had to reboot the sound system. He led the crowd in a “fuck the system” chant that ended up being a theme of the set. After a 10 minute delay, the band came back out and continued the set. System Of A Down is known for not being that great of a live band and for me personally that was the case here as well. Even after the audio fix, the band just didn’t seem in sync. I’m not sure if it is the fact that they don’t get along very well or the fact that it had been 8 months since they played together, but the performance just wasn’t that great. The crowd still had a great time and we got to hear 27 songs including an even mix from all of their albums. But it was a disappointing end to a great day of live music.

 

Sonic Temple Spotlight: WAGE WAR

If you think that you’ve already heard it all when it comes to heavy music, you just haven’t heard Wage War.  The group — which is composed of vocalist Briton Bond, guitarist/vocalist Cody Quistad, guitarist Seth Blake, bassist Chris Gaylord and drummer Stephen Kluesener — formed in Ocala, Florida in 2013.  After playing shows around the area and picking up steam, they were quickly signed to Fearless Records, and did it the old-fashioned way: By sending a song to the label.  From there, the group linked up with the production team of Andrew Wade (Neck Deep, Motionless In White) and A Day To Remember vocalist Jeremy McKinnon who produced their 2015 debut ‘Blueprints’ together and returned to produce the sophomore full-length ‘Deadweight’, and most recently, “Low”, the band’s newest single released earlier this year – check it out!
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Aftershock 2018 Spotlight: WAGE WAR [Video Stream]

*This is part of our “Aftershock Festival 2018 Spotlight” where we branch out and focus on some of the up-and-coming bands that fans can see at this year’s Aftershock Festival on October 13th & 14th.  This week, we’re checking out WAGE WAR.*

Wage War are slotted to bring their unique form of melodic metalcore to the Northern California stage at this year’s Aftershock Festival. The band has been bringing the heaviness since their inception in 2013 in Ocala, Florida. The lineup for the quintet includes Cody Quistad (vocals/guitar), Briton Bond (vocals), Seth Blake (guitar), Chris Gaylord (bass), and Stephen Kluesener (drums).  Signed to the Fearless label, Wage War has two full length records under their belt – ‘Blueprints’ (2015) and ‘Deadweight’ (2017), which are both produced by Andrew Wade (Neck Deep, Motionless in White) and Jeremy McKinnon (A Day to Remember). They are currently in the process of working on new material that they discuss, among other topics, during their recent interview with Talk Toomey: The Metal Nexus Podcast – which you can check out here. Continue reading

Cody Quistad (WAGE WAR), “We’re Gonna Try to Make the Best Record Ever”

On this week’s episode of Talk Toomey: The Metal Nexus Podcast, Toomey is joined over the phone by both Cody Quistad (vocals/guitar) and Briton Bond (vocals) of Wage War. With two answers for the price of one question, how can you go wrong? The discussion covers opening vs. headlining on tour, finding the unlikely commonality with country music in metal, a severely sunburned forehead, and much more. Also, be sure to catch Wage War this summer as part of the massive lineup for the final run of the Vans Warped Tour, which they also discuss. Continue reading

WAGE WAR Wishes You A Happy Valentine’s Day With The Stripped Version Of ”Johnny Cash”!

After releasing the full record ‘Deadweight’  Wage War decided to create a stripped version of the last track of their latest album called ”Johnny Cash”, it may be completely different but that only makes it better!

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Wessel’s Top Ten Albums Of 2017!

2017 has been a crazy year for me personally but there were always 10 records that kept me going and those are the 9 above excluding ‘Wrong One To Fuck With’ by death metal machine Dying Fetus. So sit back, relax and enjoy the show!

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Kings Of Strings: Seth Blake From Wage War!

Photo Credits: SARA V for SHOWLIGHT.

Today’s Kings Of Strings will be about guitar mastermind Seth Blake from metalcore band Wage War! Talking about the band, they have released 2 albums, their debut album ‘Blueprints’ (which is legendary) and their latest 2017 album ‘Deadweight’. I, and many others, didn’t think they could ever surpass their debut but they managed to make an album that is beyond words. They haven’t been around for that long yet they are quickly becoming one of the best metalcore acts this world has ever known. They aren’t bringing something unique to the table but instead they took all the beautiful and most loved parts of metalcore and stuffed it into 2 mind blowing records. For anyone that has the ability to witness them live, do it! You won’t regret it, they are a must watch. But enough of the band, let’s get talking about why Seth is a one of the guitar kings! Continue reading