Full photo galleries of all the bands at the bottom.
Kicking things off was Onyx Eye. Their sound was something of a mashup between modern death core acts like Suicide Silence/Whitechapel/Acacia Strain and late 90s/early 00s Nu Metal. Their highly groove oriented songs made it impossible not to move your head and the maniac performance of frontman AJ Gregory was captivating. These kids put on a good show and have a ton of potential. Unfortunately, they’ll be breaking up after their Aug 18th show but I’d expect to see these guys pop up in something new soon. Be on the look out.
156/Silence stormed the stage next. The band plays a noisy and chaotic brand of hardcore which is immediately reminiscent of Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child era Norma Jean. Think lots of big fat chug riffs and feedback soaked dissonant melodies. Their performance had tons of energy and intensity which was honestly great. 156/Silence recently signed to Innerstrength Records so I imagine we’ll be hearing a lot more from these guys. Keep your eyes peeled for a show
One of the biggest surprises of the night was DeathBed. I admittedly didn’t do my research before heading to this show. I also laughed off a band called DeathBed because I’ve seen that movie and the Patton Oswalt bit about it but I was wrong. These dudes are tight and put on a really good show. I was impressed by their diverse vocal performances and unrelenting groove. Get out and see these guys. They’re currently unsigned but that’ll probably change sometime soon.
I’ve seen Greywalker a few times now and these guys put on a consistently great live show. They’re excellent performers and musicians who seem to have great on stage chemistry. While many bands operate like five individuals on stage, Greywalker functions as a unit; constantly feeding off one another’s performance to elevate the overall presentation. Metal doesn’t always have to be serious or grim to be awesome and these guys get that. Easily one of the most fun bands in the city. If you haven’t seen them before, get out and soak in the riffs. You’ll have a blast. I promise.
Our main event for the evening was, of course, Arcane Haven. After taking a few years off, the band just released their new self titled album and it does not disappoint. If you like your metal with searing guitars and soaring melodies, I’d suggest you go check out their new record. Arcane Haven hit the stage at Mr Smalls like a bomb sending the crowd into an immediate frenzy. There were circle pits, there were sing alongs and there was an energy in the room you don’t often get at a local show. Their set blazed across the entirety of the band’s discography peppering in older fan favorites with new soon to be favorites and the crowd ate it all up properly welcoming Arcane Haven back to life. I’d feel like a broken record talking again about high energy and intensity so I won’t mention that frontman Dan Roble spent the entire night right up in the crowds face keeping their energy through the roof or about Mike Steinmiller thumping his bass all over the stage like a juggernaut but every band on this show gave it their all and it made for a great night. Now let’s all cross our fingers and hope that it doesn’t take years before another Arcane Haven release.