Salon “Journalist” Amy Mccarthy Insists Metal and Hardcore Shows Are Unsafe For Women

The Black Dahlia Murder at the Warped Tour 2013. Moshpit

Apparently country, metal, and hardcore shows can all be lumped into one large group of live shows that perpetuates a “War On Women.  We now all know that the people who go to see Stick To Your Guns also go to see Carrie Underwood.    Who would have thought?!?!

I strongly doubt our friend Amy Mccarthy has actually been to a hardcore or metal show, but it didn’t stop her from slandering the scene and equating the “dangers” there to something resembling the Congo.   She mentioned posers in her article, and if there is one in the room, its not any of us.  If her writing is any indication, she’s never been to the Warped Tour, to SXSW, Mayhem, Riot Fest, Chaos, ect.

This still doesn’t stop her from equating metal/hardcore shows with country and others to the point that she never bothers to really distinguish between them.   It’s not incidental, its deliberate so that her article appears to encompass as many genres as possible.  All shows are lumped into the “evil” category via guilt by association.    Obviously, she has been to a country show, but she dishonestly tries to pretend that hardcore/metal shows present similar “dangers” of which will be covered soon in this piece.

Well, the “War On Women” now spreads its grimy manly tentacles into our scene – and Amy Mccarthy is downright appalled.   How do we know this?  You can read her entire, “Punched, groped, beer thrown in my face: Being a woman at a concert can be terrifying, at the vestige of powerful, fair, and unbiased journalism that is Salon.    Wow, I didn’t know only women could be terrified at shows, but who cares when the other gender gets hurt, right?    Also, until Amy Mccarthy told us, I didnt know that girls who attend shows are fragile, scared, helpless, and frightened creatures who can’t think for themselves whatsoever.  I’m glad I know this now though.

Before I forget,  shame on AltPress for promoting this hit-piece. 

She talks a big game, but lets look at some of the points she makes about metal and hardcore. She’s one of us – not a poser, groupie, ect – right?


“Most women who frequently attend live shows will tell you that they have been harassed, groped or assaulted as they listen to their favorite bands. A standing-room-only show, when you’re wedged into a massive crowd fueled by beer and testosterone, is particularly scary. There seems to be a spectrum of violence that women experience at live shows, ranging from misogynist verbal harassment to sexual assault.”

Notice her claim about “most women”.  Well, if we want to accept her bizarre anecdotal claims, ask girls you know who go to live shows how often they have been harassed, groped, or assaulted.     No, having your butt touched when crowd surfing doesn’t count.  Neither does it when you are jumping up and down, moshing, that OTEP incident, or trying to get a better spot closer to the front.  You will hear some stories, but they are exceedingly rare – you know like false rape claims.

“A standing room-only show.”  

How many metal/hardcore shows have you been to where it has not been standing room only?  Yea, that’s what I thought.   Maybe she is referring to other genres, but she doesn’t bother to make that distinction.  Accident or assassination?  Our reputation lies in tatters.    (Only exception I’ve experienced to this was Summerfest in Milwaukee when August Burns Red and The Devil Wears Prada played in which the stands cut down on much of the area available to stand and mosh.)

“Most important, though, the dangerous and unpredictable nature of concert culture means that it is often entirely unsafe to be a woman in a dark, crowded music venue.”

Red flags.

Anyone else get the idea that she hasn’t been to any metal/hardcore shows in a dark, crowded scary horror movie-like music venue?   How many stories has ANYONE heard about someone actually being sexually assaulted – real sexual assault that is  – or being raped at a show?

“Even when the violence doesn’t escalate to the level of rape, unsolicited touching and aggressive come-ons from drunk musicians and fans alike is all too common.”

This isn’t at all subjective.   Unsolicited touching.   Consider when A Day To Remember played The Rave up in Milwaukee and it sold out.  It was so damn packed that in no way could you not touch someone.  But yea, I suppose there were thousands of incidents of unsolicited touching that happened there.

Drunk musicians and fans? That is very specific to certain festivals and shows.  Most smaller shows don’t have that many people drinking, and for some its not even available. I.E,  how many people actually drink at the Warped Tour? Consider the price of beer and if they are even of age and its pretty damn slim.



“Venues can implement a number of procedures to make shows safer for women, like adding barricades to mosh pits and increasing security presence in the crowds, but it’s still difficult to control what happens in the middle of a frenzied show.”

Catch that?

“Adding barricades to moshpits.”

How exactly is that even possible – considering how, when, and where moshpits actually break out at show?  You would think she’s never even see a pit before. Neither has she considered the fact that putting barricades around a pit would end up hurting people pushed out of the pit…   This in particular flabbergasts me.   Add “Fun Police” and moshpit killer to Amy Mccarthy’s resume.

So Misogynistic. So Metal
So Misogynistic. So Metal

Consider what happens when “security” is added to pits.   They usually attempt to break them up, fights occur between moshers and security guards, and the show is often then usually stopped.   Give it a few weeks, and you fight that yet another venue will no longer hold shows.

“In fact, they should be using their positions to outwardly do everything they can to ensure that these shows are safe for female concertgoers.”

The point of hardcore shows is that they are not safe specifically for anyone – including women.  The aggression and danger is part of the reason people go.  It’s not a Blake Shelton concert environment, and we shouldn’t pretend that it is.  You can’t demand that the shows become made “safe” for a specific group and then get mad when people call them posers, because lets face it then; they wouldn’t actually want the same treatment as the rest of the “group” gets.     If you go to a show to see The Acacia Strain and you get near the pit, people aren’t going to stop moshing or suddenly restrain themselves because you have to decided to enter the area – man, woman, or otherkin.

Entitlement much?

Well, you heard it from her.  We need to show special care, treatment, and deference toward women at shows – because they might get hurt.   I think Amy has a strong developed sense of female narcissism.   Toss out that equality concept.    Perhaps she should go to a Terror show and tell them how it needs to be a safer environment.  I can’t help thinking, does she actually care about the safety of all concert-goer, or just women?

I’m five foot seven and I have to carefully consider what pits I go into and I have to be very aware of who is moshing to ensure I don’t take a punch to the face.    Apparently, my safety doesn’t matter – unless I’m a woman.   Then again, if I go to a show, I don’t expect the atmosphere and environment of the show to change just for me.   You would think that Amy Mccarthy believes women are these weak creatures to be entirely helpless and completely unable to protect themselves.   (Equality right?)


“As for the fans, well, it’s probably unrealistic to ask that they keep their hands to themselves and quietly enjoy the music. Ultimately, it is the artists who have the most responsibility and the greatest ability to ensure that the environment their music cultivates is not inherently aggressive toward women.”

Yes, its VERY unrealistic to ask fans not to mosh and to “keep their hands to themselves.”    Any metal/hardcore artists that ensure an environment that is not aggressive isn’t going to be around very long.

Notice though that the aggression is fine, as long as its not toward women. Earlier, she quotes Lorena Cupcakes complaint, “Our motives are cast as disingenuous; we’re called groupies, posers, and hangers-on. Male dominance is established by questioning our right to be there at all.”

Well, this is why your motives are being questioned.  You want to be there, but you don’t want to participate equally in the aggressive nature of the shows? You want the shows to be specifically made safe for you, but your not a “hanger-on?”

Amy mentioned earlier in the article that, “Depending on the genre you enjoy, male fans who share your interests might call you a “poser,” or insinuate that you’re not as punk or metal or hip-hop (or as whatever) as you claim to be.”    Labeling an environment like a hardcore show as being aggressive toward women, makes it easier to call women  “posers” who participate, because instead of being treated the same as any other guy, you show them special treatment.

The irony is that shows are filled with men who literally white-knight for women all around. Plenty are nice of enough to stand in front of them and shield them from the pit, taking those windmills to the face because equality.  Or helping them to safety when the pit really starts to get going during a The Acacia Strain set.   Girls will tell you tons of stories like this.  Oh wait, I forgot.  Women are weak, helpless, can’t think for themselves, or even enjoy a show!

Personally, I’m a bit more of an asshole and a true equality feminist. Unless I know a girl, and she gets near the pit, I’m not shielding her body with mine – cause equality.  She’s not a poser, she can take – just like me or any other guy – right.    On the flip-side, guys usually care if they hurt a girl in the pit.   They don’t however if you are a guy – your size doesn’t matter.


“Other times it involves being forcefully shoved across a raging mosh pit by someone three times your size, or being touched inappropriately as you try to crowd-surf. These may seem like harmless little interactions, something that should just be expected in a rowdy crowd.”

For once, know your pits.  This applies to literally everyone at the show, regardless of whatever Tumblr gender identity you have that day.   I’m a smaller guy, so I have to pick when and where I go in, especially when the breakdown hits.  I doubt she has ever experienced one.   For two, “women being pushed into moshpits”.  If you are standing near to where a pit suddenly breaks out – that could be anywhere, especially at larger shows – everyone gets either pushed into  the new pit or pushed back out of it, something she isn’t aware of.   I smell a rat Scoob.

Notice how she talked about crowd surfing. It’s pretty damn near impossible not to have your butt touched as you are getting passed toward the stage – or getting your wallet stolen if its in your back pocket.
Surprisingly, Amy actually talks to an “expert” that gets it:

“Metal expert and weekend editor of VICE’s Noisey, Kim Kelly, is particularly used to being banged up at the end of a show. “If I’m at a death metal show or a DIY thrash show in a basement, I know things are gonna get crazy, bottles are gonna fly, and I’m probably going to come home with a few bruises,” she says. “I’ve always been able to hold my own, but women who are smaller or less brash than I am might absolutely feel intimidated by the testosterone-fueled violence. In my experience, if you don’t want to get hurt, you stand in the back or on the side, and keep your guard up.”

I find it humorous that someone – girls specifically – are going to feel intimidated by testosterone-fueled violence.  Consider the amount of places left that you can actually let out your aggression and feel the testosterone coursing through your veins is pretty slim.   Metal/hardcore shows are about all that’s left.


A space that isn't safe for women.
A space that isn’t safe for women.

Hardcore shows are probably the only place where its part of the show.  It should be obvious, but feminists types like Amy want to curb our outbursts of toxic masculinity at our last remaining refuges where they aren’t shunned, but are actually embraced – a sense of community if you will.

When we get upset and speak out about the nonsense, outright lies, falsehoods, and the tripe she spews, we are then of course proving exactly her point – that metal/hardcore aren’t safe spaces and places for women and that we are all terrible misogynists.  Yea, well fuck her.    Maybe eventually, she will name one of these many survivors who has ever been “raped” in this epidemic at the Warped tour. Or Chaos. Or SXSW.  Or Mayhem.  Or any of the hundreds of others.



“It doesn’t seem like too much to ask that the women who are just as much a part of these respective scenes — we buy just as many records, concert tickets, and band T-shirts as men, and are equally supportive of our favorite acts  – not feel physically intimidated when they’re out at shows. In New York’s hardcore scene, bands like the recently reunited Kill Your Idols make it a point to cultivate “positive mental attitude” at their shows and address inequities in their scene, proving that it is possible for these safe spaces to exist without compromising the rowdy vibe that is expected of hardcore punk.”

Safe spaces…

At hardcore shows…

In New York’s hardcore scene…

Yea, she just said that.   Based on everything she has said in this article, she doesn’t want to just kill off the rowdy vibe, she wants to salt the earth after she’s buried the corpse.   She wants to eliminate it and replace it with a safe space that doesn’t wreak of sweaty testosterone misogynistic fueled aggression.    Mccarthy believes that women are too fragile to be exposed to anything that involves… testosterone.

You would think she would know this, but the entire point of a hardcore show – especially in Boston, LA,  and New York is to let yourself go in the pit and at the show. Don’t expect “special” and “safe” treatment. If you want to roll with the guys, expect to be treated like anyone else in the show – especially if you go into the pit.

“Until we address the systemic issues that drive this violence, though, like rape culture and the nonsensical idea that women have to somehow “earn” their place as legitimate music fans, it is likely that even that wouldn’t be enough to make live music a safe and positive experience for women. Still, hearty encouragement from the acts onstage and the venues that host them would be a really helpful start”

What was that about posers? Groupies? Disingenuous?

Oh, that’s what safe-space demanding Amy Mccarthy thinks women are.  In fact,  if we created safe spaces and destroyed New York’s Hardcore scene by turning those triggering mosh-pits into seats filled with male zombies gazing unmoving and silent at the stage, it still wouldn’t be enough.

Don’t give into people like Amy Mccarthy.   If they are unhappy with their scene, they will go after yours, and attempt to kill it if they can’t be as happy as anyone else.  This is the worse form of narcissism – the take-no prisoners kind.    You know why people hate feminism? It’s because of women like Amy who demand that everything revolves around them and hell with everyone else.

Oh and just in case you actually like Country and think she might be over blowing things,  a commenter on Salon called out at least two of the examples which weren’t exactly true – if not outright lies:

While not attempting to minimize or dismiss any of the legitimate complaints of women who have been assaulted or otherwise abused, at least two of the examples provided are flat out false:

1) Tim McGraw was not grabbed “on the leg” — he was grabbed *on the crotch* and rightfully and justifiably responded by hitting the woman who sexually assaulted him.  Had the sexes been reversed, would you offer that up as an example of mistreatment?  I doubt it.

2) The “rape” at the Keith Urban gig at Great Woods was not a rape.  The charges were dropped because it was a consensual act.  The claim of the young woman was not that it was not consensual, but that she didn’t really want to have done it — and that’s a distinction worth making.  Its the difference between things happening without your consent, and things happening with your consent that you wish you hadn’t agreed to do. Huge difference, with massive implications for the other person involved, and definitely needs to be paid attention do.

Oh, also Amy Mccarthy: Don’t talk shit about metal and hardcore shows, until you’ve been to plenty of them.

Sworn In blows up. Damn.

Say what you want about Sworn In, but never have I seen a band in our scene blow up this quick and this fast. It was probably the tours and those fests that played a major part, but to give at least some credit where credit is due, there is not much out there that sounds like Sworn In.  They have nailed the “I’m really pissed and angry,” sound like no one else I’ve heard.

I’ve been following Sworn In since the day they released their Cartharis EP.  Out of the musical ilk that was Buried By The Ocean, came one of the most surprising EPs I had ever heard from a local band.  It’s been a few years and their sound has certainly changed, but as their most recent music video has made evident, people certainly like it.

Whether you love or hate Sworn In, the fact that they released this music video on August 15th and it already has 190k+ views is pretty damn incredible. I didn’t see any band from our scene ever getting this kind of exposure, but I’m glad I was wrong.  The people arguing back and forth on the youtube comments are something that every local band in the scene only wishes it had. All publicity is good publicity – or is at least publicity for that matter – which is hard to get in today’s over saturated music scene.

The Death Card

To enjoy Sworn In, you must appreciate this album and specifically this band for what they are, not what your preferred metal, hardcore, whatever tastes.   Their music is obvious and straightforward; it’s heavy and there to smash your face in.  The Death Card doesn’t wreak of technical riffs, catchy choruses, and ambient melodies because that is not who Sworn in is.  If you are looking for something that sounds Between the Buried and Me, Born Of Osiris, or whomever go listen to them instead.

What about Sworn In themselves? Did Sworn In overreact when The Death Card leaked? Yes.  That leak gave them invaluable and FREE exposure to amp up the release of The Death Card that much more. In fact, they have gotten plenty of negative feedback from people in our scene, myself included, but for once let’s support a band from our scene that is living their dream. I personally abhor the lyrics of Sworn In because of the negativity and the worldview, but if I want uplifting lyrics there are plenty of bands to choose from.

So when you listen to Sworn In, put all expectations aside and listen to them for what they are. Forget that you hate Tyler, preferred Gene’s vocals, or that Chris is a really nice guy and just listen to the music; no more and no less. Stay metal?

We Came As Romans “Tracing Back Roots” a pleasant surprise.

I like surprises. They keep life interesting and smack you with a dash of of the unexpected.  For anyone who likes metal, whatever that actually constitutes these days, I’ve been rather pleasantly surprised with the new We Came As Roman’s album Tracing Back Roots.  In fact, I was somewhat blown away since my expectations were so low. 

Now before the metal elitists jump on the fact that I just dropped WCAR’s name and metal in the same sentence, let me remind you that Slayer hasn’t released a good album in 20 years, Gwar still sucks, and Megadeath is getting up there in years. The  newest wave of metal is “somewhat” here so get used to it. 

To you Deathcore/Beatdown advocates, perhaps bands have finally started to realize that vocalists who sound like a garbage disposal sucking down silverware with their “brootal” unintelligible screams doesn’t make the band sound bad ass. In fact it makes you look like you are still in high-school doing black metal poses and throwing in pig squeals for supposed good measure.   No, adding base drops to it doesn’t make it any better or heavier. 

Seriously, where did this album come from? A pleasant surprise indeed.

WCAR has improved on all fronts. Yea, I’m still shocked. Dave’s screaming is legible but still badass , the bass can actually be heard, and Kyle has finally learned to sing inside his range.   The band has somehow managed to put alot clean singing into Tracing Back Roots while still accenting it perfectly with plenty of screaming to give it that right handed K.O. power they’ve always possessed.  Songs like Present, Past, and Future, Ghosts, and I Am Free are still surprising me. 

Kyle’s improved vocals are of note here. Luckily he didn’t go down the I See Stars path where the tenor is so high that only dogs can hear it and there is not even the slightest hint of the Kellin Quinn voice that plagues my ears with unmanly pitches. 

The lyrics on this album just aren’t inspiring, they are also quite catchy to scream/sing along to. In particular these few lines really grabbed my attention:

Change the way you act, not just the way you think
Change the way you live, live the way you claim
Words are just words, until they’re put to work
And it will be actions, not words, that change this earth.

I see myself playing this album quite a few times as there might not actually be a bad song on this album and that’s something I can’t say about alot of albums. Did I mention how they actually sounded GOOD live at Warped Tour this year? I didn’t expect that easier.   To all upcoming music releases for  this year; keep surprising me. It feels good. 

Dead Years is actually dead on – This Or The Apocalypse

Lately, I’ve seen some rather mixed reviews of  This Or The Apocalypse‘s new album, Dead Years. Some of them have been over-the-top.  To be honest, I can understand where both the negative and positive reflections about the album are coming from. No, I’m not a fanboy, but I really have dug this band for three main reasons: (1) Their live performance, (2) Haunt What’s Left, (3) the devotion they have to what they do. It’s a real shame that it’s almost impossible nowadays to maintain a living from making and playing music, but that’s a sacrifice TOTA seem willing to make.

First off, there is something that I’ll throw out there; Haunt What’s Left is one of my favorite albums of all time, for various reasons. So that leads me to ask this question, “How do you really follow an album like that?

I’m not sure that TOTA can necessarily “follow” Haunt What”s Left, and it appears that they realized that. Dead Years is that realization. Before we start ripping apart the album and critiquing every last detail our ears can pick up and our eyes can see, lets reflect on this thought; “We should enjoy an album for what it is, not what we wanted it to be or what it “should” be.”

Dead Years didn’t fulfill every last craving, aspiration, or expectation I had for it.  (Albums rarely do that.) There were some shortcomings, but there were also some successes.  In fact, this album is a lot stronger then some of our rather snobbish members of the metal-community give it credit it for. I’m sorry but Veil Of Maya is that way,  Born Of Osiris is the other way, and I’m not quite sure as to which way Killswitch Engage is. Remember, what I said about enjoying an album for what it is? Oh, Metalsucks isway down that way.   This is overall a very good album.

Of course, I do have some “complaints.”  The cleans in Dead Years seemed to have degraded a bit with the exception of Gaunt And Fierce which has probably the strongest chorus, both in catchiness and execution, that TOTA has ever made. Two songs in particular that are on the subpar side with cleans are You Own No One But You and In Wolves, which is a shame considering how good the songs are. The songs also seem to have a bit less of a well-executed technical nature that Haunt What’s Left and Monuments were filled with. (Note that I don’t really know what I’m talking about in comparison to someone who actually plays music. I know this for a fact, so let me just throw out my fallibility there.)  They are however still there in enough abundance in songs like Hell Praiser, Americans, and Hate The Ones You Love being evidence of TOTA’s bottomless technical talent.

Let me expound on that “technical talent” for a short bit. TOTA, in my mind, distinguish themselves with their technical riffage specifically because of where it is placed in their songs, how is is composed, and that fact that you can’t specifically see those riffs coming. I love that. Being techincal just because you can bores me; I’d prefer for technical “riffage” to have an actual purpose, but I digress.  Dead Years throws out riffs that match up with something The Human Abstract would produce on a regular basis. Monuments has proven this aspect of their technical ability to the fullest, so a lack of technical ability would be a damnable lie.

I mention this because I don’t want TOTA to be labeled as one of those “chug bass-drop and break-down bands” mixed with some metal riffs style band that seem to dominate most metal today associated musically with anything “core.”  There are certainly more breakdowns and bass-drops on this album, but this actually reflects the general lyrical theme of the album instead of said breakdowns and bass-drops just being thrown in there so that kids have an easier time in knowing when to do spin-kicks in the pit. In fact the element TOTA seem to have added to this album is the kind of “bounce” feel that Texas In July so successfully brings to the table.

Notice this album is well… a lot angrier than their previous two. Not only did the more “chuggy” nature of the album reflect that, but the grittiness of the screaming in this album manages to perfectly demonstrate that. Is it impressive when vocals actually relay the meaning and feelings of a particular lyric? I won’t lie, I’ve always been a big fan of Ricky’s particular vocal style, because let’s be honest; screaming has alot more of an impact when you can actually understand some of it. (Though I’m still very partial toward Matt Heafy’s screaming in Ascendancy. It is just so raw and powerful.)  The grittiness of his vocals in particular coincide well with the overall theme of the album; frustration with lack of attention and care for the problems plaguing society. It is actually nice to see an album with lyrics about something other then breakups, bitches,  killing people, and all the other entertaining possible lyrical choices out there. In fact, I am thoroughly enjoying the albums content about the societal problems that exist and the struggles people face. To make things even better, TOTA doesn’t pull a Greenday where they advocate us to be progressive statists  or encourage anti-government sentiment depending on if the current president fits their ideological stances.

Anyone notice there  were actually a few Fbombs thrown in to some of these songs to further emphasize the frustrations TOTA is presenting? I should admit right now that swearing in music usually seems to degrade my enjoyment of it. Now, I’m not some 23 year old Christian miser with an Uncle Jimbo attitude of “You damn kids!” when it comes to swearing. I’m just keen on two factors regarding swearing; context and appropriate timing.  Meet those two factors and then by all means; swear away! Again all I would suggest is that swearing in any context have an appropriate and emphatic purpose rather then just a commonly used adjective that makes all the older people around grimace at the younger generation. This surprises even me, but  I think TOTA may have made perfect usage of profanity to emphasize the lyrics of this album.  (We’ve obviously seen the other extreme end of swearing in bands like Bring Me The Horizon and Asking Alexandria. *Shudder*)

One last thing I’d like to point out about Dead Years is the last song on the album; Hard Branch To Snap. It was a perfect song to conclude the album and falls in line with the excellent concluding song, Revenant, on Haunt What’s Left. So, remember don’t hate TOTA; appreciate the incredible strength of the vocals that make this band stand out in an overcrowded metal scene. Give this album a chance, no matter if you’ve heard TOTA before or are a long time fan; it will grow on you with each listen.

I won’t provide a download link for the album out of respect for This Or The Apocalypse. I would encourage all those who enjoy what they hear to support the band directly through their merch store.

Underoath ends on a high note.

“You’re getting old” reads the title of an episode from the 15th season of South Park.  This title really hits home as I’ve just seen the facebook feeds informing me that Underoath will be breaking up next year.  As Underoath mentions in their post, “all good things must come to an end,” and the 15 year existence of Underoath is quite a long time.  I’m again reminded that nothing last forever, even our favorite bands.

One of my friends mentioned that over time, music will have less of an importance in my life, and he was right. Nothing will replace Underoath, but the good memories will always be there. From their first album with its black metal feel to their change into alternative metal and then their highlight post-hardcore album, Define The Great Line, Underoath continued to change and refine their sound with each album. Disambiguation was just the highlight of how experimental and heavy they could sound, specifically without the vocals of Aaron Gillespie.

Underoath does makes me feel old to an extent. I”ll be hitting 24 this month, and it makes me realize that 16 was almost 9 years ago. Lately I get that feeling that music will become less and less important as other things take priority in my life, most likely widening my skillset so that my resume is more appealing. When I think about the members in Underoath, I realize that their families have rightfully become their priority. Perhaps you can only tour so long before you realize there are other things you want to do with your life.  There’s so much that could be said about Underoath, but no words can really describe how I feel about them. I am instead forced to allow their music to do that for me.

Nonetheless, their influence will be felt on metal and post-hardcore for ages to come. It’s hard to be original and to still progress and change one’s sound with every album, but Underoath has managed to do just that. I will really miss their live performance and energy that distinguished them from the rest.  Hopefully, the tickets for their final tour through this area are affordable.  If there’s one thing I can say to sum up Underoath, it is this; Titans they have become in their own created genre and Titans they will always remain.  


These youtube videos remind me of just how diverse their development has been over the years: 


As I Lay Dying rises to greater heights with “Awakened”

William Faulkner continues to strike from the grave. Not by any recent literature releases or people still enjoying his works, but rather by a metal band that is named after his famous book, As I Lay Dying.


It appears As I Lay Dying may have released their best album yet to date, something that may incur the wrath of hardcore fans who rightfully point to the masterpiece that is Frail Words Collapse.  I primarily have made the above rash assertion because this album actually seems to improve upon what As I Lay Dying has done so well for over 10 years; making metal that is brutal, beautiful, catchy, technical, lyrically rich, and pit/mosh worthy for all ages. Oh and one last thing; Josh Gilbert.

Awakened features what I believe to be greatly improved vocals by their basist Josh Gilbert, whose voice (cleans) on previous records was still rather effectively used. It appears his pop-punk sideproject, Year One, may have improved his vocal abilities and brought them to the next level.

If anyone is familiar with metal-core and metal in general within the last few years, they are aware of the rather abundant amount of clean vocals employed by vocalists who  seem to sing at tenors so high that only dogs can hear them.  Notable bands who we can throw loosely in the metal genre that employ such vocals include I See Stars, Pierce The Veil, Sleeping With Sirens, We Came As Romans, The Devil Wears Prada (Who I like very much.), Blessthefall, For The Fallen Dreams, For All Those Sleeping, I The Breather, It Prevails, ect. Even Spencer from Periphery falls into this category, though he can actually sing.  And, no, I am not ashamed that included Blessthefall, but I digress.


Well whatever happened to sounding like a man? Killswitch Engage, Trivium, Bury Tommorrow, All That Remains, and even new Attack Attack seem to have been able to pull it off.  Josh Gilbert, however, has made proven with his excellent clean vocals that not only is As I Lay Dying in this category, but that they are in the top of the pack even if they aren’t as raspy as Scot Stapps. (Shudder.) Luckily for us, AILD are rather talented musicians and have been able to ensure that Josh’s cleans actually fit well into each song that they are utilized so that it stands out, but doesn’t detract from the heaviness of the songs.

In the first song on the album, Cauterize, we see AILD brilliance at work in an over-saturated and breakdown dominated metal-core genre. As soon as I heard the breakdown in the song followed by a rather astonishing solo, I realized the album would be headed for even greater heights. Did I mention that I almost always hate solos? Color me deeply impressed.

After getting my hands on the leak and having listened to the album three times through, I’ve realized there isn’t a single song on Awakened that is weak; its everything I’ve always expected of As I Lay Dying and more. It has every necessary ingredient: emotion, lyrical beauty, well composed songs, powerful screaming, excellent and effectively placed clean vocals, technical riffs that don’t bore you, and a bit of a new feel that works perfectly.  Is this their best work yet? Only time and repeat playing of this album will tell.

– I’m still shocked by how much this album has and is impressing me. This hasn’t happened with metal as of late for myself.

A Day To Remember Album Release Show at The Rave Sells Out!

Update: It’s been almost 8 years since this show and it’s still one of my favorites.

I’ve never seen The Rave sell out, but it sold out about 30 minutes before the show started.  This may have been one of the sickest shows I’ve ever been to and might be tied with the seven thousand people who showed up for August Burns Red and The Devil Wears Prada at Summerfest back in July.

The lineup for the show was Close Your Eyes, The Word Alive, Underoath, and A Day To Remember and the day was Tuesday the 16th of November, the very same day that ADTR would “What Seperates Me From You” finally hit the store shelves.

Now this is a show where if you chose to stand anywhere on the stage floor, you were stuck there. We were tightly packed together, body pressing upon body.  Also this is The Rave, which is a pretty big venue.

Now what did you miss?

  • You missed a show where the whole stage floor was a semi-quasi-moshpit for basically three hours. I was continually pushed around as were the people around from all directions so I kind of constantly swayed with the crowd. In fact at one point I picked up my feet and let the 3 huge guys near me pretty much carry me around for a few minutes. It was that tightly packed.
  • You missed a show where you actually couldn’t fall down. There were so many people packed close together that you could lean your whole body weight on the people around you and be propped up.
  • You missed around 20 or so fights that broke out
  • Even when music wasn’t playing you still got pushed and shoved around, as did the people around you. Too much excitement in the air I guess.
  • You missed great sets from Underoath and in particular A Day To Remember.  ATDR played several songs from For Those Who Have Heart and Homesick. 
  • You missed one of the best shows all year in this whole Wisconsin and Illinois area. I’ve rarely seen this kind of energy at a show before.

At times the whole floor turned into one giant pit from side to side, front to back, especially for Underoath and A Day To Remember. When the breakdown from My Life For Hire kicked in, the whole floor was a giant pit and you got pushed into and slammed into from every side. It was like a constant domino effect.  I and alot of people around me got pushed from the back to the middle to the front, and back to the middle during Underoath’s set.

 I was on my feet for almost 4 and half hours and I couldn’t sit down, nor could I get out of the front area of the crowd because of how tightly packed it was.  The pits were very aggressive and people were tossed around like ragdolls specifically because of the amount of people around them.

If you were on the stage floor you were constantly being pushed into by people from all sides who had people pushing into them from all sides. It was insane. It was exciting. It was incredible. When every one starting jumping for Plot To Bomb The Panhandle, the floor shook. By the way, these are the sickest pits I’ve ever been in, as well as that I’ve seen in person.

Close Your Eyes opened up, but for some reason I think they sounded somewhat better a few weeks ago at Clearwater. They put on a great show though considering how packed the place was.  They got some great crowd participation for “Song For The Broken”, which they seemed to do the best out of their set.

Now you can usually tell when The Word Alive is playing. There is alot of “We love you” and “F*ck this place up,” shouted by the lead vocalist. Apparently flurries of F-bombs make your breakdowns more badass.  Nevertheless, this is the best I’ve seen The Word Alive play by far.

A majority of the fights broke out during their set, as plenty of tough guys had something to prove. One guy who accidentally hit one of the hardcore dancers tried to reconcile with the guy, but he just put his fist up and shouted at him indicating that he would hit him if he said anything more.  Some people can throwdown but just can’t handle someone else throwing down into them.

Their last song Epiphany was probably the craziest of their set. I actually saw someone do some sort of weird break-dancing backflip ‘esqe multiple spin kick into some guy and a fight broke out a few seconds after it. The move the guy did probably could have won him a showing on America’s Got Talent, it was that awesome.

Underoath would get up and add to a show that just kept getting better and better. They led off with a song of their new album which I can’t recall, although it may have been In Division.  Things started to heat up at this point.  A bloody shirt somehow fell on my face, not sure how, several people lost their shoes, including my friend who came with me who lost her shoe toward the end of the set, and I got hit   in the head a couple times including having some guys elbow jammed into me for at least 5 minutes. I tried to move his elbow off my stomach but it was too tightly packed around me to even change how I was standing/forcibly leaned into the guy next to me.

Underoath played all the classic songs we know and love, as well as I think two other songs off Disambiguation.   For all of you who worry about Underoath without Aaron, “It’s Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door” was performed perfectly, though the incredible amount of crowd participation singing out the chorus certainly helped and made it feel all that more epic.

They concluded with “Writing On The Walls”, which I will take credit for since I called it realizing it was the only other big song that they hadn’t played yet. When the breakdown kicked in it seemed like everyone suddenly lost it and went nuts. If only you had been there!  The one thing I’m realizing about Underoath is that you can look forward to an amazing intense show and excellent live sound every time they play a live show.

A Day To Remember opened up with “2nd Sucks” and people went nuts. Elbows, knees, and plenty of body squishing took place immediately, several of which made contact with my back, ribs, gut, you get the picture, as well as pretty much everyone else around.  I spent the rest of the show being squished around like a tomato.   Luckily someone had their video camera going up on the balcony to capture this epic kodak moment:

ADTR would continue with several songs from FTWHH as well as several Homesick and one of their earliest songs, “You Should Have Killed Me When You Had The Chance”. I love that they did this because too often bands who release a new cd make the mistake of playing way too many songs off of it that the crowd won’t know. This was the album release show, but I’m pretty sure over half the people at the show had already downloaded the leaked album.

I finally fell over when the breakdown from “My Life For Hire” hit and the floor turned into a massive pit.  When ADTR played “I’m Made Of Wax Larry, What Are You Made Of”, Mike from The Devil Wears Prada got on stage, did some sort of crazy stage dance, and screamed out his part like a greek god, which brought the show to a whole new level and made the hardcore dancers look like they were trying to escape angry villagers.

When their set ended the crowd, including me, screamed for an encore, and we got it. They played three more songs before the night was finally over.

For those of you who might not like any of the bands that played, this is one of those shows where the atmosphere, the crowd, and the energy and excitement made up for anything you may dislike or hate about the bands or the band’s music itself.  Plus A Day To Remember played tons of their old stuff which made this show something of epic proportions.  Tuesday night for all those who experienced will be a day to remember forever.

P.S, if your looking to download A Day To Remember‘s “What Separates Me From You”, I’ve found it on mediafire for you, again courtesy of ILYBD. Audio quality is VBR.

I would encourage all ADTR fans to buy this album, as buying it will help it gain media exposure, and I’d really like to see a band like ADTR break into the mainstream. Shockhound currently is selling the album download for 6.99$!  (Not become mainstream.) Anything with doses of screaming in it and breakdowns that gains media exposure is good for exposing hardcore and metal to the rest of the music world.  ( I will be buying this album myself on Friday when my paycheck comes in.)

New Chiodos – ” Illuminaudio” Puts Fears to Rest.

     Chiodos: Illuminaudio



Alot of Chiodos fan’s and listener’s feared that Chiodos was most likely done, and would do nothing but go downhill after the departure of Craig Owens and the talent that he offered the band with his whiny vocals and high pitched shrieks. To all the doubters, haters, and nay sayers this album through its incredible nature loudly proclaims: “**** you!

Even I wont diminish the effect that the departure of a vocalist (of any sort) has upon a band. Usually, a band will go downhill, occasionally at rollercoaster speeds. Examples of this would include:

  1. Casey Calvert from Hawthorne Heights (Even for you haters, admit it, their first two albums weren’t bad)
  2. Kevin from Four Letter Lie, now a member of A Day To Remember.  Four Letter Lie absolutely sucks now, both live and studio wise. They are yet another band that tried to change style to accommodate for Kevin’s departure and miserably failed at it.
  3. Attack Attack! I know there are plenty of Austin Carylile haters out there, but let’s face it, Attack Attack was much better when he was with them, both studio and live wise. His replacement has a bad live scream and is one reason why their new album just doesn’t come close.

To make matters worse the departure of Derrick Frost back in May 2010 due to his inability to get along with Owens made things look even bleaker. Many considered Frost an essential part of the band and many worried that the band would lose it’s unique sound with both his and Owen’s departure.

Lucky for us, Frost’s replacement, Tanner Wayne, (Formerly of Underminded and Scary Kids Scaring Kids) has proven himself capable with this new album just as  Owen’s replacement Brandon Bolmer (Yesterdays Rising) has.

Let me throw this out there; the replacement of Craig Owens by Bolmer was the best thing that could have ever happened to Chiodos. Don’t believe me? Listen to All’s Well That End’s Well and Bone Palace Ballet and then listen to Illuminaudio. The difference should be fairly obvious, as well as the musical improvement.

Gone are the whiny vocals of Owen which have been replaced with the still higher pitched, but excellent sounding vocals of Bolmer. While Owens screams weren’t horrible necessarily, Bolmer’s screaming in this album is outstanding.

Imagine yourself as a child who has been finally convinced that monster’s don’t exist, but suddenly has a face-to-face encounter with:

Brian Peppers                                Barbarra Streisand                                         Henry Waxman


        Yes, he actually looks like this.


Then imagine them screaming like Bolmer in songs such as Modern Hair Wolf, Stratovolcano Mouth, and Those Who Slay Together Stay Together.  Just sit back, listen to the songs, and imagine the effect. Yea, that’s right. Simply put; his screams are bloody intense. Unfortunately Owens never had anything like that in his arsenal.

This album has one of the best “complete flows” I’ve ever heard.  It not only keeps the crazy time signatures and style which has made Chiodos unique but contains a melodic flow to almost every song as well as a catchy feel. It has everything you’ve loved about Chiodos, except much more.

Scream placement in this album is very note worthy. They seem to be placed in parts of songs where they will have the most impact, and I really mean that. (Brandon’s style of screaming is one reason for the screams having the impact they do.) The breakdowns in this album are very very well done and fit perfectly where they are placed, something that can’t necessarily be said of past Chiodos work.

If you love Chiodos, get this album. If you hate Chiodos, check this album out nevertheless. You won’t be disappointed. Simply put, this album is a masterpiece.

You can listen to Chiodos new album, Illuminaudio which is still streaming in it’s entire from their myspace. You can download Illuminaudio through Mediafire courtesy of ILYBD.

Questions? Comments? Death Threats? Your feedback is encouraged and most welcome.