Venue: The Fillmore NY (New York, NY)
Opener: Chimaira, Whitechapel, Dirge Within
Label: Roadrunner Records
I was out in New Jersey at The Starland Ballroom which at that time I had only been to once or twice before and the gig I was attending was the second round of visiting by a “Ripper” Owens fronted Iced Earth. My friends and I got there nice and early because we wanted to see Beyond The Embrace but when we arrived we learned that the band had swapped the spot with another group and had just finished. The band now hitting the stage was called Trivium. I bring this little musing up because I had to say that they were impressive way back then and apparently had just signed on to Roadrunner Records at the time. Since then the band has released three albums on the label and grown both musically and technically while all along building a very strong support base from their fans. When you think about it they have come a long way in not that long a time. Tonight they would be continuing what they called the “Into The Mouth Of Hell We Tour” tour and they would be bringing along with them Chimaira, Whitechapel and Dirge Within. A sound bill for sure and one that I made sure to get inside early enough to catch all of the groups. Here is how the evening took place for those who might have missed it.
Dirge Within: Starting off the night would be the recently signed to E1 Entertainment Dirge Within. It would be my first time catching them in concert so I was eager to see how they did things onstage as opposed to how it was delivered on their album “Force Fed Lies” which they released only a few months ago. The interesting thing about the band is that they are one that features Shaun Glass who worked with the band Soil for a few years. Oddly enough I just caught Soil in September when they were opening up for Kittie over at B.B. King’s. If you liked Glass’ playing but did not take to the Soil material because you felt it wasn’t “heavy enough” then I think that you will like what he does with Dirge Within. The tunes came across well in this setting and the audience was visibly receptive. I am sure that we will be seeing them quite a bit and should you find their name on the bill make sure to arrive early enough to see them and get your full ticket price worth. Whitechapel was up next and I had seen them a few times already.
Whitechapel: Tonight mark’s the third time that I am catching Whitechapel and the three lead guitar Metalcore group always seems to impress and get the floor of the venue swirling with bodies from the moment that they come on the stage. Their debut for Metal Blade Records was “In Exile” and they would continue to focus on this release but also seem to play something new if my ears were hearing correctly. If they said the name of their new release I missed it in the flurry of motion that was the circle pit just next to my vantage point. I could not always focus on jotting things down when the frenzy was picking up steam. As mentioned they do impress live and are probably one of the better groups at their style. It’s pretty unique to have three guitar players in anything that is not Progressive or Fusion related, so it makes for a totally different vibe when put into the framework of what Whitechapel is delivering. I got into what they were selling on their Metal Blade Records debut and I look forward to seeing how they follow this one up. I doubt they will have a “sophomore curse” since it amounts to their third album if my numbers are correct. Nice work again guys, you really manage to step up to the plate with your gigs and I’m pleased to see you making new fans as time goes on. Chimaira would be the next to lay down the justice for Metal and all I could say was so far so good this evening.
Chimaira: I’m not sure when I first saw Chimaira exactly but I do know that I had seen them a number of times before and never really felt that they were my cup of tea. I can safely say this to you now, because this is no longer my stand on the group. While the band was always a powerhouse in the live sense and did release some good albums if theirs was the kind of stuff that you were seeking I had to say that in my opinion it has only been since the release of both “Resurrection” and the most recent “The Infected” that they have really proven that they are a Metal force to be reckoned with that can rally the Metal legions together and lay waste to any who would defy the task at hand. Yes I know this sounds dramatic but I am telling you that the set that Chimaira was delivering tonight had me and some others saying that Trivium had best be on their most superb game to surpass what was being done in front of us. It was intense and angry, and just the way that one should receive Metal of this caliber. They would open with the first track from the new CD in “The Venom Inside” and there was no “warming up” time required from the audience because they were just on fire when the band hit the stage. The most pit was almost violent in some respects so it’s good to know that little bit of information if you happen to find yourself at a Chimaira show. Singer Mark Hunter spoke to the crowd frequently this evening and even dedicated the song “Power Trip” at someone named Monty in the audience as he screamed “Fuck your power”. He was the driven one this evening while guitarist Rob Arnold smiled quite a bit at the ferocity that the band was inspiring this evening. The new CD only found two songs being played and while a couple of others came from “Resurrection” I was personally not sure of where everything else hailed from as they were not a group I followed all that much until a couple of years ago. When it came to the set closing “Pure Hatred”, Hunter taunted the audience about sounding more like the Phillies than a NYC championship team. This of course found the crowed elevating their levels just a bit and giving the singer exactly what he wanted from us. I was blown away by their portion of the night and was glad to have caught them. Check out “The Infection” when you get a chance as the whole CD is good and will satisfy the craving in your diet for some seriously angry Metal. Trivium was up next and the excitement was palpable.
Trivium: Having seen the band progressively over time since that night when they had opened up for Iced Earth I had to say that it was very impressive watching them build up their own stronghold along the other fortresses of Metal and with each release they seem to be upgrading the level of skills that they possess which keeps the music interesting and is not the same stuff again and again. As always, the band is fronted by Matt Heafy who also plays guitar while Corey Beaulieu handles the leads and Paolo Gregoletto crunches the bass. The main difference about the band tonight would be that their drummer Travis Smith would not be participating based on what had been reported as “personal business” and in his place would be Nick D’Augusto who was actually the bands drum technician for many years. Based on this I felt that the music of Trivium would be in good hands (and feet) since he was surely as familiar with their material as he was with breathing. This option often works best and some folks might recall that Type O Negative’s drummer Johnny Kelly was at one time the bands drum tech and now has been commanding the chair for over fifteen years.
As soon as Trivium hit the stage you felt that energy that I had described wafting over the audience like some electronic web and this was in turn absorbed by the band that used each and every kilowatt of it to their musical advantage. Even though he is the singer, Heafy would run around the stage quite a bit and bassist Paolo was impossible to keep your eyes on as he was either leaning over the crowd or up on the drum rises nodding his head in approval and the powerful skin bashing being done by Nick tonight. I had to say that I couldn’t blame this approval because while Nick was using a kit that was far smaller than that of Travis, he was doing the job properly and every song seemed on the money. Heafy was very talkative to the audience which was truly welcome by them, and he said how happy he was to be here and how the audience should let themselves loose tonight in a manner of speaking and even better about how the set would touch upon all four Trivium albums. I liked that because it gave any new fans a band history overview and essentially could come off as a live greatest hits show if you wanted to review it like that. Among my favorites were “When All Light Dies” and “Into The Mouth Of Hell We March”, the latter being played with just a little bit when they came up with the name of the tour and of course the always resounding “Like Light To The Flies” which had the audience singing along and going crazy. All in all this was a very exciting set from beginning to end and the band sounded better than I had ever seen them before. The crowd was active for the Trivium set as I had expected but I will admit that they were not as volatile as what was going on for Chimaira. The music is different between the two bands and that most likely directs the level of intensity in the circle pit. I did notice that during the show that the guys were having some issue with the in ear monitors and this is brought up because I have both seen and heard that this is a rampant issue with the bands lately. It’s a shame that with the amazing technology that is being developed that these things have not yet worked out all the kinks. They kept playing through it of course but I had heard of an instance where the performer walked off stage since she could not hear herself at all and was unable to continue until it was worked out. I digress of course.
There was tightness to the delivery by Trivium tonight and while it doesn’t sound exactly like the records, it’s a very close second. This is a Metal band after all and not a Progressive Rock/Metal act like Rush or Dream Theater who strive to be note for note precise to the albums when they do shows. When he smiled, one could see just how much Heafy appreciated the support of his bands fans and that really counts for something. This was a show that the whole audience would remember and it would be very easy for them to do so because when the crowd was leaving, the venue staff was handing out flyers that announced how the shows full performance would be able to be downloaded to their computers in a few days. I was very impressed by this being done because other bands charge for the same privilege. KISS for example can afford to give you the show for free while bands like Trivium probably cannot. I took this as the band being in tune with their audience’s finances and a great way for them to show just how appreciative they are for the support and all the people behind them. Before the night had ended, Heafy made sure to thank everyone for the good fortune that had been bestowed upon them and thanked their management, the Bravado people who do all their cool merchandise and of course their record label. The audience was not left out of this and like I said would have this very show blasting on their music players or computers in mere days. Who knows, maybe with the audiences around the country all owning a particular show that we might find fans trading one for another and another and another. It will be just like the old days when tape trading was commonplace and done at lots of shows. Thanks Trivium for giving everyone a great show and something to remember it by forever.
Tonight’s show for me would be the beginning of a Heavy Metal barrage in some fashion because tomorrow was the Heathen fest and would bring Eluveitie, Belphegor, Alestorm and more back to the Big Apple while Saturday would be Vader who were travelling with Decrepit Birth and Warbringer. It was sure to be a wild weekend for all the fans of the genre; one down, two to go.
Chimaira Set List:
1. The Venom Inside
3. Power Trip
5. The Disappearing Sun
7. Nothing Remains
8. Pure Hatred
Trivium Set List:
2. Drowned and Torn Asunder
3. When All Light Dies
4. Into The Mouth Of Hell We March
5. Down From The Sky
6. Like Light To The Flies
7. Pillars of Serpents
9. To The Rats
11. Throes Of Perdition
12. A Gunshot To The Head Of Trepidation
13. Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr