Friday July 8, six bands played the parlor stage at the Thompson House in Newport, KY. The intimate but cozy setting was the opening night kickoff for fighting the parasites. The tour included headliners In Dying Arms, Sea of Treachery and It Lies Within. The tour headliner In Dying Arms took a co-headliner spot giving Cincinnati’s Sea of Treachery the headliner spot for the opening night. Support acts included Heartworm, Saving Shemiah and Homebound.
The evening was hot, sweaty and full of relentless energy with the crowd showing rapid fire love from the openers to the headliners opening a pit from the near beginning to the end. From chaotic slam-dancing to full-speed moshing, the crowd threw down treating the tightly confined space (half the room) like an open arena floor. It was hard-hitting, violent art celebrated in metalcore, deathcore, post-hardcore style. It got so hot that attendees whether front stage, on stage, standing on the benches or in the back probably would’ve appropriated a few supernatural cold spots via the historical spirits said to inhibit the house.
Lancaster’s Heartworm, preparing for an EP release next month mixed grind, hardcore and power-violence opening the night’s loud and proud noise pollution. The early dancers warmed up the floor for heavy, fast rotation and human spillage. Detractor to the Crows blistered ears while Befriend the Pavement was an ode to the evening’s art form itself as a few overzealous bodies would hit the floor. Coffin Dreams was fast, intense and screaming loud setting the pace for what was to come.
Saving Shemiah came on next. The heat got hotter and the snug crowd got hungrier to rage. The bulldozing vocals of Brent Smith lead the charge bellowing through the set. A mix of heavy chugging, breakdowns, clean vocals and a speed just right to carry more weight than their hyper-speed skin shredding paced stage brethren. YouTube tune Beginning of the End started the second sets stage pummeling and “power praise.” Burdens, Destiny and Screaming Saints shook the walls, ringing to the heavens.
Cincinnati‘s new age hardcore trailblazers Homebound came on celebrating their new EP New World Disorder and the first major shot of exploding adrenaline hit the crowd as the pit quickly became a revolving human pendulum ramming into its human walls. For the next seven songs, you were either a part of the pit or a human shield/unintentional target. The Blood Rush hit hard and immediate, employing their following to anatomically preach the word. Thorns and Thrones picked up the pace with circular indications. Nails screamed with focused agony as New World Disorder painted the world a new loud and heavy black with violent intent. Internal spit lyrics and guitars sounds with nail gun spite and speed with moments of painful somber reflection.
The touring machine began with Flint Michigan’s It Lies Within bringing some extra pre-programmed technical ingredients, a big, badass bounce and rock groove with clean vocals. Spreading positivity and good vibes through the loud screaming speakers and thrash empowered feet. The physical loud sermon supporting 2016’s Paramount, started with Ecdysis. The bouncy, techno spliced Starscream ‘transformed’ with clean vocals and yelling. The sounds of the gods loomed over You won’t Bury Me.
They did their version of home sweet home; Home is Where the Heart Is from Chrysalis. The war dance romp of Reap what you Sow ended the show.
Baltimore’s sonic screaming deathcore machine In Dying Arms support of Original Sin began with the creepy piano notes and unnerving atmosphere of record opener Usurper foreshadowing the calm before, the inevitable. Sweat was Bathed in Salt for the flesh smashing feast, with the opening chug and hyper screeching of Orion Stephens. Tension underlined the first bludgeoning with creepiness lurking in the ending guitar notes. Famous Last Words left a harsh final message from a pierced heart with a screeching, growling tongue and lungs. Original Sin blast-beated drums, throwing humanity’s fallen souls and outcasts of Eden into each other. Uber-pitched screams and growls punctuated slower paced breakdowns. Womb of Vital Confinement stomped on faces from beginning to end with no sanctuary given. The Core of my Existence, hit a little softer with more harmony finishing with the pummeling vengeance of the Skeleton Queen.
Sea of Treachery was given the honors that night. Giving the moshers and slammers with the most stamina and dehydration the evening’s last chances to rage. Daggers were drawn immediately with the furious pace of Purging of the Wicked. On Wings of Pegasus took flight quickly, safely above the pit. Eyes of the Ranger met every sweaty, raging eye and stained shirt delivering one more wind to do their thing. Unleash the Serpents delivered the chaotic movement and response associated playing with snakes. They quickened the pace on Paramore’s Misery Business for some end of show love. It wasn’t a White Picket Fence kind of crowd so they symbolically smashed it, tossed it in the fire and danced around as it burned.
All images by Mike Ritchie