It was dense bill with artists that bridged many prime niches of metal as Enslaved, Royal Thunder, Pallbearer, Ancient VVisdom, A Life Once Lost, and locals Sunburster lit up Philly’s Underground Arts.
This date marked the kickoff of a nationwide US tour by Enslaved, Pallbearer, and Royal Thunder that is still pounding it’s way through venues in the Northeast. It’s not often Philadelphia finds itself the launch pad for such a tour of multinational talents, but you will get no complaints from us. Apart from the UA still working out some sound issues with the new venue, especially the side stage, the show was absolutely crushing from beginning to end.
Here’s the 411. Sunburster are one of Philly’s freshest new editions to the scene. With a pummeling combo of Sabbath-worship riffs drenched in heavily distorted low-end, expect these cats to be making waves soon enough. Unfortunately we rolled in just as they were wrapping up, so scope this previous coverage to see their pretty mugs.
Ancient VVisdom managed to engage a crowd ready for the craziness of Enslaved and Pallbearer, with a set that came as a surprise. The band set forth a series of brooding and dark acoustic tunes that saw several selections from their sophomore album Deathlike, which dropped Feb 5th on Prosthetic Records.
Also hailing from Philly and proudly part of Season of Mist‘s sturdy roster, A Life Once Lost put in a great show in the venue’s side-room. By no fault of their own, only major drawback being that the vocals were not amped properly and were completely buried under the music. Levels issues has been a recurring theme for this new venue, hopefully they get it together soon. This should not discourage you from checking out A Life Once Lost‘s latest, Ecstatic Trance. The album is a groove metal connoisseur’s pick of 2012 with accessible but complicated riffage by the truckload.
If you haven’t gathered already just how much we love Royal Thunder, you must be new here. The band’s latest full-length CVI (Relapse Records) decorated our year-end lists, and we’ve been more than happy to interview and feature the band during several area performances over the past year. If melodic hard rock and metal with a southern edge are your jam, Royal Thunder are more than likely already in heavy rotation on your play list. Latest splash being a video for the song, “Blue,” released in the days leading up to this current tour. Always a pleasure to see live, this show being no exception and cruising as the three piece the sound was no worse for the wear.
Pallbearer, who will head over to Europe in April with Royal Thunder, are celebrating a double LP on 20 Buck Spin / Profound Lore Records that translates into skull crushing heaviness in a live setting. Even those who tend to snooze during your stock doom metal tend to get a little nutty for this band.
Norway’s own and Nuclear Blast recording artists, Enslaved, have just received a 2012 Spellemann Award nod in the category Best Metal Album with their most recent release, RIITIIR. This prestigious music award is the Norwegian equivalent to the American Grammy. Ceremonies will take place at the Stavanger Concert Hall in Oslo on Saturday, March 23rd and will be broadcast live on NRK 1.
The band stated, “By the hammer, saw, and grinder of Thor! What an incredibly pleasant surprise to be getting on the road, being nominated for Spellemannsprisen (Norwegian Grammy)! Having that many people interested & versed in music liking our album is simply overwhelming. We’ll miss the party, but feel confident that others will take care of the scandalous behaviour. Thank you jury, this means a lot to us no matter the outcome of the ‘final’!” This is the seventh time Enslaved have received a Spellemann Award nomination. They have won four consecutive times in a row for their previous four studio albums. Let it suffice to say, those in attendance on this opening night of their US and Canadian tour, got floored by a performance more than befitting of such admiration.
Enjoy a massive photo gallery by Blow The Scene, Senior Staff Photographer, Dante Torrieri (Useless Rebel Imaging).
A Life Once Lost