Last night this obnoxious and teched our tour stopped in a half hour from my place, in Tonawanda. Let me tell you, well wait…..you can see my obsession. Inanimate Existence is turning into one of my modern day favorite bands more and more each weeks. Their melodies, groove, track layering, awesome guitar work from Cam…..blistering drums from Ron, and killer backup growls and bass work from Scott……I really like this band a lot more every increasing week. Fields of Elysium is killer, and thanks to this flyer released months ago to promote the tour I really end up digging their crazy style…..and I already knew Last of Lucy. If it stops out near you at the end of this run, you shouldn’t even question it!
There was another opening band on the bill from the area that I didn’t arrive in time to check out. BUT I did get to the venue in time for Protopilot! One local band dropped off and these guys filled the spot. Their instrumental sound was glorious! It mixed a ton of different genres…..rock, punk, funk, psychedelic and even grind core influences! It was a nice surprise to see how good they were. Western New York does unfortunately have watered down bands, in the sense theres a lot of bands in the same popular genres (metal, rock, punk, acoustic, pop, etc.)…..but nothing I’ve seen that’s real experimental, proggy or against the norm of just being another band. There is only a handful of bands I could rattle off that are instrumental, and was a fun and refreshing set of music. Stereotypically, instrumental bands are over the top technical. What I dug about Protopilot is the guys had layered music focused on rhythm and melody……not over the top crazy, and cared about their songs not just showing off and playing as fast as they could. It was a fun change in instrumental music…..I’d love to see them again.
Next up in the evening was the batshit crazy tech fiends Fields of Elysium! Holy shit did they put on a display of obnoxious technicality and groove that could last for months! All the crazy tapping, sweep picking (did I mention a 7 string bass?) and great vocal dynamics between two different growls and some singing made it a very entertaining set. The assumption (which is true half of the time) different progressive and technical bands go over the top didn’t necessarily apply here. Their music is well thought out and goes as well together like the classic combination of Peanut Butter and Jelly. If you’re into a high octane experimental death metal band these boys are for you! I think they almost blew the roof off of the venue last night.
Next up were the technical heavy hitters The Last of Lucy. Wow, are they fun live! Relentless and energetic I didn’t fall asleep for hours after the show was over! The guys have crafted an interesting and unpredictable band that is ready for some great tours and definite festival slots. These guys are relatively new and wish them nothing but the best. They were super cool, to boot. That’s why I love underground and independent bands more. They’re not held up to a high stature and can say hi to them and don’t pay hundreds of dollars to tell them their music is awesome. I love the intimacy of smaller shows and not a fan of arena shows for the most part. As a guitarist, I was a bit wooed between Christian and Gad. I tried an 8 string guitar before, didn’t know how to play off of that extra string…..I respect guys that can play those larger scaled guitars, which is why I leave it to the pros! Their vocalist Josh ended up hanging with the crowd and going crazy during one of their songs. They’re just flat out fucking good, kids. They also have saxophone in their music, and some jazzy sections. They’re part of the experimental side of death metal….they stand out in many ways. Check them out!
And onto the main event. After Last of Lucy tore our heads off and smacked us with them, Inanimate Existence took the stage……temporarily. After a song, the shitty laptop cutout. Know what? They’re fucking professionals, shit happens. Every touring artist knows it, no matter how prepared you are and want to be prepared for the worst. They handled it well, unfortunately losing a good 15 minutes of their set…..but still heard 4 full songs (a few attempts at the same tracks when the laptop powered off ) and even a new song they decided to play! The Artisan Era has been signing great bands, and when I found out about IE 3 years ago that catapulted my obsession with the band and record label. Since then they’ve been signing top notch underground talent, and Inanimate Existence is another great band. It’s amazing how cool and supportive the label and its bands are of each other, a true music family. Cam’s guitar work is just great….great melody, knows when to rip a shred section and scale it back….just an absolute treat to watch a guitar wizard for a fellow 6 stringer like myself. Scott’s growls and killer bass playing round out a very interesting sound for the trio, you may not always hear the bass the greatest in music sometimes it gets drowned out with the bass drum of the drum kit. Hot damn, he played his ass off last night and didn’t ride one string their whole set. Lots of killer fills and parts that weren’t necessarily easy…..color me impressed. Now, to the skins man himself Ron is a great drummer. I was drawn to that part of the band as well when I heard “Calling From a Dream” when it was released about 3ish years ago (I think?). He has tasteful fills, and a nice blast that’ll make any death metal fan smile ear to ear. Overall, this adds up to a very under appreciated and underdog of a band. Minus the technological bullshit I’m glad I got to see another band off the Artisan Era record label and meet a band I really, really dig a lot.