By Brandon “B-Mac” McCarthy, Photos & “Vein” Piece by Matt “Rabit” Martinez Red Hare Images
When it comes to metalcore, there are 2 groups in that field that put the pedal to the heavy metal, Killswitch Engage and Parkway Drive. They are both one of the most dominant metalcore bands out there, slaying the fans with their brutal riffs, vigorous stage performance, and killer tunes. Last year, I saw both groups for the first time ever on their own tours, and they were bombastic. This year, they have decided to join forces and bring metalcore to the extreme, dubbing this tour the Collapse the World Tour. Traveling along with these giants of metal were progressive metal/deathcore superstars After the Burial and hardcore punks Vein. The famous Hollywood Palladium was their second stop, so Matt, Tyler (aka Rockaholic), and I crammed into our cars to journey to Tinseltown for some metal implosion.
Opening the night was a hardcore band from Boston, Mass., called Vein. Releasing their debut album last year, Errorzone¸ Vein was there to get the night started with a heavy dose of chaotic music. Starting the night with “Old Data in a Dead Machine,” lead singer Anthony DiDio began the set by jumping onto the barricade, hitting me in the head with the mic cable in the process, just as the opening note was played. DiDio grabbed a fan by the head and violently shook him around as he roared the opening lyrics into the mic. Though it looked like the fan was very much into this. Jumping back on-stage, Vein went hard into their signature style of hardcore punk sound. Guitarists Jeremy Martin and Josh Butts trading off heavy licks and crazy sound effects. As drummer Matt Wood and bassist Jon Lhaubouet kept the low end heavy, giving the moshers the beat to crash into each other with. Performing songs like “Rebirth Protocol,” “Anesthetic,” “Doomtech,” “Virus://Vibrance,” and closing out their set with “Progenitor,” Vein started the anarchy that would let the moshers and crowd surfers go wild this night.
Full Vein gallery below:
Following Vein was Minnesota’s residential progressive metalcore bashers, After the Burial. They were riding in hot that night because their 6th studio album, Evergreen, had dropped that day. They actually debuted Evergreen to a group of fans at a taco party hosted by Jose Mangin, so it was safe to say, they were looking forward to turning some heads at the Palladium. Looking to continue the chaos that Vein help start, After the Burial came roaring with “Lost in the Static.” Frontman Anthony Notarmaso was a savage beast on the mic, tearing into our ears with his screams. While guitarist Trent Hafdahl riffs up some kick-ass solos and licks, bassist Adrian Oropeza and drummer Dan Carle brought the rhythmic beats that raged into the fans souls. They were originally going to perform “Aspiration,” but they couldn’t because Carle was experiencing technical difficulties with his laptop that would provide further beats to the song. After Notarmaso told a funny backstage story, After the Burial went back at it. From “Collapse” to “Behold the Crown,” “Exit, Exist,” and “A Wolf Amongst Ravens,” the soldiers of Sumerian Records crushed their set. It would have been better with “Aspiration,” but After the Burial still buried our ears with intense metal.
Full After the Burial gallery below:
Killswitch Engage was up next, and I was ready to do some serious moshing to these guys. Jesse Leach steps up to the microphone, and started tearing our asses a new one with the opening number, “This Fire.” Frontman Jesse Leach was a ferocious beast on stage, ravaging each song without mercy on the microphone. Adam Dutkiewicz, dressed in gym shorts, tank top and headband, was doing knees while ripping out the blistering lead riffs that has made him one of the most exciting lead guitarists in metalcore today. While rhythm player Joel Stroetzel fired righteous melodic licks at the crowd, bassist Mike D’Antonio and drummer Justin Foley blew the doors off the hinges with the insane beats that made Killswitch Engage that more vicious. Like I said, I was ready to enter the circle of death. During “Temple From the Within,” I stepped into the tornado of chaos and let my inner animal take over. I was knocked down, but the loyal metalheads picked me up right away. For 3 songs, I was a beast slayer. From “Rose of Sharyn” to “The End of Heartache,” “This is Absolution,” “Beyond the Flames,” “Hate by Design,” “Always,” “My Last Serenade,” “In Due Time,” and “My Curse,” Killswitch Engage was not fucking around. They ended their fierce night with Dio cover “Holy Diver,” arguably one of the best Dio covers of all time. Having seen them in Anaheim last year, I would say this was the best I have seen of them yet.
Full Killswitch Engage gallery below:
I was feeling exhilarated and bruised from Killswitch, but I was for more with Parkway Drive. The metalcore outfit from down under went full throttle when they got their set started with the ever popular “Wishing Wells.” Hot off their latest LP, Reverence, Parkway Drive were a force of sheer will with lighting posts standing behind them. Vocalist Winston McCall screamed his lungs out, shattering the ears of every fan at the Palladium. Jeff Ling pumped out blistering lead solos, while Luke “Pig” Kilpatrick gave Tinseltown rhythmic beats and hooks to bang our heads to. Drummer Ben “Gaz” Gordon and bassist Jia “Pie” O’Connor exhausted every arsenal at their disposal to give us heavy grinding beats we bruise our bodies to. Speaking of, I was heading back into the pit, ready to thrash like never before. After fixing his mic, the circle of death restarted with “Vice Grip.” It was more vicious than with Killswitch, lasting for 4 songs, including “Dedicated,” “Cemetery Blood,” and “The Void.” After “Karma,” the unthinkable happened. The Palladium’s sound board crapped out and Parkway had to end the set. Talk about a total buzzkill. None of this was on Parkway.
Full Parkware Drive gallery below:
The Palladium told us to leave early, and that pretty much shot our night to shit. Though they could not have predicted this, the Palladium should have been more prepared for this sort of thing. I mean “Fuck!” We were bashing our brains out and this bullshit happens. Still, we give a big shout to all the groups who went balls to the wall tonight. Parkway promises that when they return, tickets will be half-off and they will bring their famous pyro-technics we have yet to see in the States. As for Killswitch, they will be releasing their 8th studio album this fall, 1st with Metal Blade Records. This record will also feature a duet between Leach and former Killswitch frontman Howard Jones. So much excitement to look forward to. To Parkway Drive, Killswitch Engage, After the Burial, and Vein, I salute you. Horns up!!!