The America Torn Asunder tour 2011 feat. Warbringer made its way to Reggie’s Rock Club in Chicago. Also with them came Lazarus A.D., Landmine Marathon, and Diamond Plate. You canc heck out our review after the break.
With the onset of radio and television popularity contests in the music industry, many people would say the high-intensity, whiplash-inducing days of thrash and speed metal are over. Thursday, October 27th at Reggie’s Rock Club in Chicago proved those people wrong. On the bill for the evening was Diamond Plate, Landmine Marathon, Lazarus A.D., and, headlining the evening, Warbringer. It was an evening of moshing, head banging, and circle pits.
First up, we had Diamond Plate, a four-piece thrash band from Worth, Illinois. Even though they were the youngest band of the evening by far, they came out screaming with their first song, the drummer, Jim Nicademus doing windmills in the background, and a mosh pit erupts immediately. Between the coordinated body banging during speedy breakdowns, and the battery of riff after riff by guitarists Konrad Kupiec and Mario Cianci, the band’s energy output demanded the crowd’s attention and obedience. During the set, bassist/vocalist Jon Macak ordered the crowd to separate left and right. By his command, both sides rushed at each other full force for a raging wall of death. This single act pretty much set the mood for the rest of the night.
Next to take the stage was Landmine Marathon, a five-piece extreme death metal band from Phoenix, Arizona. From the minute I heard the bassist’s thick, distorted tone I knew this band was going to be heavy. Reminiscent of veteran extreme metal acts such as Napalm Death and Carcass, Landmine Marathon’s set is best described as the soundtrack to a riot. The mosh pits growing with each song on their set list, vocalist Grace Perry let out her demonically possessed screams and guttural grunts, egging the crowd on more and more. Drummer Andy York kept things tight through every blast and thrash beat, while the string section (made of guitarists Dylan Thomas, Ryan Butler, and bassist Matt Martinez) stayed in the groove and more than adequately filled up the sonic space.
Third up, hailing from Kenosha, Wisconsin, was the four-piece thrash/melodic metal group Lazarus A.D. One of the tightest thrash metal bands I have ever seen live, a lot of that could be attributed to the powerhouse drummer, Ryan Shutler, as he windmilled while blasting and thrashing on his massive sounding, early model Pearl drums. That is not to discount guitarists Dan Gapen and Alex Lackner, who, despite wearing their guitars around/below the belt-line, hit every note and harmony with precision while performing coordinated head banging with bassist/vocalist Jeff Paulick, who had complete control of his audience the entire set.
For the amount of energy and intensity this band had contained in its songs, every song ended tightly, with every member being conscious of their instruments to not make extraneous noise. This seems to be a moot point, but it just shows the amount of care and professionalism the band took to rehearse their performance. Ending their set with “Black Rivers Flow” (title track off of the latest album), “The Ultimate Sacrifice,” and “Revolution” (a crowd raging favorite), the band took their leave to open the stage for the final act of the evening.
Headlining the evening was thrash/speed metal band Warbringer, from Ventura, California. This band from beginning to end was a “balls to the wall,” whiplashing performance. If there is any one group that can disprove the phrase “thrash is dead,” it is Warbringer. Screaming, “Fucking mosh! Open fire!” at his audience and pointing, mocking a gun with hand motions, vocalist John Kevill had the entire audience bending to his will; and rightfully so! Throughout the set, John can only be described as a giant ball of energy; and his intensity could be felt by every person in the venue as they followed every order he barked out.
The band overall played fast, loose, and was completely out of control, which, as any true metal fan knows, makes for the most fun at a metal show. Guitarist John Laux was all over the stage and wailed on his whammy bar with Dimebag-style dive bombs and outrageous Kirk Hammett style vibratos in between each incendiary solo. Songs such as “Shoot to Kill” and “Demonic Ecstasy” enthralled fans with a sense of insanity as mosh pits started circling, and circle pits turned to stage diving, which the band practically encouraged! Apparently being good friends with Diamond Plate, the band invited lead guitarist Konrad Kupiec back to the stage to perform a song with them, which afterwards he dove and crowd-surfed. Before leaving the stage, the band performed the opening track for their first two albums, “Total War,” to which the crowd, myself included, completely lost control. The band closed the evening with one of their encores, “Treacherous Tongue.”
Overall, the evening was intense and chaotic, but one thing I noticed throughout the show was that a lot of the bands not only shared equipment (amps, mostly), but they were hanging out a lot together out in the crowd area, watching the other bands perform. This gave me a sense that there was a great sense of kinship between all of them. After the show, I met up with Landmine Marathon’s vocalist, Grace Perry, and inquired. She acknowledged my observation and explained how this is a five week tour, so it’s natural that they would grow close over the time they share on the road.
Still having just less than two weeks left, the tour still had some time to go, but I have to say that I don’t fully agree with her statement. I have been on small tours and seen/interviewed bands on tour. A lot of the time, there are people that don’t get along because of egos, or whatever else. I think this tour is just packed with a big group good people devoted to the understanding that all of this is just about bringing some good music to the fans and having a great time. In the end, that good energy transferred to the whole performance and every single person left Reggie’s that night satisfied (and hurting from whiplash the next morning).
Information about the review…
Tour: America Torn Asunder Tour 2011 featuring Warbringer
Bands: Warbringer, Lazarus A.D., Landmine Marathon and Diamond Plate
Reviewer: Vincent Ippolito
Date: October 27, 2011
Venue: Reggie’s Rock Club in Chicago, IL