DFW local progressive metal act Wrought of Obsidian opened the evening with a powerfully punchy and catchy prog death performance to the cheers of many. Fronted by guitarist and vocalist Andrew Austin, Wrought of Obsidian wove between atmospheric riffing, face melting guitar leads, punishing drums by ex Devourment drummer Eric Park, and roaring bass riffs. Reminiscent of Opeth to an extent, the vocals paired with the tone of the music to portray the emotional side of the music before flowing effortlessly back into blackened death metal madness. The band’s performance neared completion as the guitarists paired up together to harmonize and slowly fade out, a fitting end for an excellent set from a band that I would’ve normally assumed was part of the tour package.
Allegaeon, a Denver Colorado based technical metal group took to the stage next, aided by a Tibetan throat singing Monk over the PA. From their recent album, they opened their set with “All Hail Science” and dove straight into it, moving from calm to head banging, high speed riffing with drummer Brandon Park slaying high BPM fills and blasts. Between each song there was a backing PA track that introduced the tone for the next song quite masterfully, and it functioned as an integral part of their set and kept the atmosphere and mood moving right along. The entire band is essentially talent personified, backed by a love of science (see the Stephen Hawking voiced clip) and odes to higher levels of thinking, mixed with quite a bit of silliness as vocalist Riley McShane did the limbo under the guitar and bass necks during one of the songs. Fast, melodic, catchy, heavy, and interesting, the band underscores what metal nowadays aims to be, and doesn’t lose any of the fun in performance in the meantime.
All Hail Science
Proponent for Sentience I – The Conception
Proponent for Sentience II – The Algorithm
Proponent for Sentience III – The Extermination
Behold (God I Am)
Australian progressive melodic metal band Ne Obliviscaris, Latin for “forget not”, finished up the night with an excellent and lengthy set immediately following Allegaeon. They opened their set with the first track from their recently released album “Urn” they are touring in support of, with both clean vocalist / violinist Tim Charles putting down his instrument and harsh vocalist “Xen” headbanging as hard as they could. Drummer Dan Presland sounded as if he were attempting to break a drumming speed record as he effortlessly and with robotic precision hammered through the song. One thing to be said about this band is how ridiculously epic their music comes out live; if you’re a fan of them on the album then their performance is not something to be missed. Paired with excellent stage presence from all members, the ability to pull off the album’s many nuances truly shines, whether it be the violin pieces, the vocal duality, hearing classically influenced pieces over extreme metal, or the vast array of instrumentation implemented by different members. Putting down his violin for sporadic moments, clean vocalist Tim led the crowd in chants, kept atmosphere with a rhythmic hand shaker, and nailed vocal pitches required by their eclectic music. As the music moved on, their amazing performance continued and it seemed like the longer you listened and truly paid attention, the more apparent it became that these musicians put an insane amount of attention to detail in the music; the bass roars and can breathe on it’s own in many moments, the violin served as an important piece in place of a gimmick, the guitars that transitioned from riffy, shreddy death metal sounds to classically picked acoustic emulated pieces, and more. Ne Obliviscaris serves their songs far more than just saying, “Hey, look! We have instruments you don’t usually see in metal!”
I don’t know how they pulled all of this off live, but they did while windmilling, playing off of one another, and delivering a nothing short of awe inducing performance.
Libera (Part I): Saturnine Spheres
And Plague Flowers the Kaleidoscope
Painters of the Tempest (Part II): Triptych Lux
Urn (Part I): And Within the Void We Are Breathless
Urn (Part II): As Embers Dance in Our Eyes
Devour Me, Colossus (Part I): Blackholes
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