By Brandon “B-Mac” McCarthy, Photos by Matt “Rabit” Martinez Red Hare Images
After that crazy night we had watching Anthrax and Killswitch Engage go on a rampage at the House of Blues Anaheim, Matt and I wanted some more heavy metal excitement there. A week goes by, and we get our wish. There were 3 bands coming by Anaheim, Calif., and we had no idea how they would sound live. The headlining act was Motionless in White. A group out of Scranton, Penn., they are known for their combination of industrial and gothic metal, and metalcore. I have been told that they add a theatrical element to their stage presence. In support of their 4th album, Graveyard Shift, they have embarked on the 2nd leg of their U.S. tour, with Ice Nine Kills and Every Time I Die. Chelsea Grin was slated to join them, but had to drop out due to health reasons. I have been listening to Ice Nine Kills a lot lately, and was intrigued to see them, along with Motionless. Matt and I did not know what to expect from either group.
First up on the bill, was Ice Nine Kills. From the first struck chord on “Communion of the Cursed,” the metal bashers from Boston, Mass. wrecked havoc on the House of Blues. Vocalist Spencer Charnas hops around the stage full of passion, both in his voice and stage persona. Helping him out on singing duties, was lead guitarist Justin DeBlieck. Not only does he scream with passion, he shreds with crazed enthusiasm. They both took turns wowing the fans, with their singing chops. They performed some top-notch songs, including “Bloodbath and Beyond” and “Enjoy Your Slay.” The song that really got my head spinning, was my personal favor, “Me, Myself, and Hyde.” They sound good on airwaves, but after watching their performance, Ice Nine Kills is better live. I recommend you catch them next they come to town.
Full Ice Nine Kills slideshow below:
Another band that I had no idea what to expect from was Buffalo, N.Y. natives, Every Time I Die. I was immediately hooked, as soon as the music from “Floater” started up. Frontman Keith Buckley, dazzled the hell out of my ears, with his outstanding screams and melodic voice. What makes Every Time I Die a good group is their ability to switch from metalcore to hardcore punk and then Southern metal. Keith’s brother, Jordan Buckley, wails out some insane licks and a few solos. He also channels his inner Pete Townsend, by doing the windmill technique on “We’rewolf.” Rhythm guitarist Andy Williams fingered some awesome riffs, while drummer Clayton Holyoak and bassist Stephen Micciche dropped some heavy duty beats. From “It Remembers” to “Underwater Bimbos from Outer Space,” “Decayin’ With the Boys,” and “Glitches,” Every Time I Die rocked the stage with aggression and zeal. They ended their set with “Fear and Trembling,” which left me trembling with.
Full Every Time I Die slideshow below:
At last, out came the group I was most curious to see. Motionless in White brought gothic beauty to Anaheim, starting with “Rats.” The presence of frontman Chris “Motionless” Cerulli pumped up the crowd to start crowd surfing and mosh pitting. He has a powerful voice, that can range from screamo to melodic. His look spells out “horror-metal.” His band dressed the part of ghoulish beings that spread terror, but fear was seen in the fans. Lead guitarist Ryan Sitkowski and rhythm guitarist Ricky “Horror” Olson tore it up with their riffs. Bassist Devin “Ghost” Sola laid it out with beats dressed as Sander Cohen from BioShock, while Vinny Mauro crashed and banged the drums, all the way into the hearts of the fans.
Their stage was built to look like a graveyard, with Jack O’ Lanterns lighting the way in the colorful, yet dark, atmosphere. Like I said, I was not too familiar with their material. As soon as I heard their stuff, I was hooked. From “Reincarnate” to “Necessary Evil” and “Immaculate Misconception,” horror-metal never sounded so sweet. During some of the songs, 2 ladies came out to dance the night away and interact with the crowd. When “A-M-E-R-I-C-A” hit the venue, the ladies of the night squirted the fans with squirt guns, and acted as cheerleaders during “Dead as Fuck.” What was really cool, was watching Motionless connect with his loyal subjects, showing appreciation and admiration for their support. After the fans begged for an encore, the band came back with “Eternally Yours.” At which time, the ladies tossed out roses to the crowd. If that is not love, I do not know what is.
Full Motionless in White slideshow below:
All in all, I had no real expectations, except praying that it would be a great show. However, it was not a good one…it was great one! I loved the theatricality of the performance and joyous rapture from the fans. Motionless in White went beyond my expectations and did not disappoint. Ice Nine Kills was everything I thought they would be, and Every Time I Die was a pleasant delight. After that night, I can honestly say that I am eternally theirs. To Motionless in White, Every Time I Die, and Ice Nine Kills, I salute you. Horns up!!!