By Rosie Walker
October 28th 2017, The Masquerade, Atlanta GA: Deep in the Underground Atlanta, the city’s favorite entertainment district, rests The Masquerade. When you mention this venue’s name, most alternative artists will know exactly where you’re talking about. This iconic, massive building has three indoor venues that are cleverly called Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven. The largest room, Heaven, appropriately titled, opened its doors last Friday for Arch Enemy and Trivum’s co-headline show.
Just hours before the original start time, the show announced it would be starting an hour and half earlier. The unexpected change was a weird way to start things off, especially on such a cold, rainy night, but the buzz of excitement from the first arrivals at the venue managed to dry everyone’s black hoodies. The first act of the night Fit For An Autopsy had a smaller audience at first, considering the abrupt schedule change, but by the end of their supreme set, this all ages show was filling Heaven to the brim.
Looking around the packed room and seeing so many young, expectant faces gave hope for the future of heavy metal. There was a scramble and steady trickle of kids filling in the seams of The Masquerade as the New Jersey based band Fit For An Autopsy relentlessly tore open their songs with clever brutality and angst. Though the tour started in Florida the day before, this was Fit For An Autopsy’s first night. The House of Blues in Orlando, owned by Disney, banned the band from playing. When the band explained this, the loving crowd booed and then kindly welcomed this deathcore act with open arms. Guitarist Pat Sheridan said he was from Atlanta and was proud to be from a place that received his band so warmly. To see fans and a band unite is always a beautiful thing. The primal, savage sound produced by this East Coast band held the crowd and compelled every head to bang. Their potent, memorable number, ‘Black Mammoth’, led the audience in meaningful heaviness. As they left the stage, their honest gratitude was felt by everyone and their set felt far too short.
The set change for British born band While She Sleeps took a little extra time. The stage sat cozy with all four touring bands’ equipment on it and the congestion made things a bit complicated. Keeping to the schedule, their shorter set did not hinder the band’s fierceness and fury. Animated frontman ‘Loz’ knew how to immediately unleash his spirited presentation of aggression and skill. This 5-member band sprinkled spice in their fun punk, rock sound. Their young, eager energy resonated with the budding audience members. This is a band that gives their everything. The genuine conveyance of sound and performance sticks with you. Their passion lets you sweetly surrender to their metalcore, pop sound that is filled with melodic goodness. While She Sleeps are power poets that know how to dance and play.
As Slayer poured out through the loud speakers, the mood slightly shifted and the crowd grew antsy waiting for New Wave of American Heavy Metal act, Trivium. The confident, crisp, ring of the band poured forth in an abundance with their opening song, ‘The Sin and the Sentence‘, the first track off their newest album that was just released on October 20. These guys showed up ready to dominate. The room roared as the dueling guitars harmonized and sang their signature sounds. The fervor of the crowd connected deeply with the performing act, and frontman Matt Heafy affectionately said, “Thanks for singing your lungs out”. Singer and guitar player, Matt had previously injured his voice. Yet his powerful and precise delivery of cleans and screams revealed his full recovery. The old school came out with their number, ‘Rain’, showing off their speed and rage. With a diverse set, and a lot of new songs played, new member Alex Bent on the drums managed to keep up pretty well. The band’s cohesiveness and animation kept things punchy, crunchy, and yummy. Trivium has a new confidence which comes unleashed on that stage. An honest and heartfelt performance showed why these guys are still relevant today, even after being in the scene for nearly 20 years. They were clearly excited to be there and excited to be with the bands they were playing with. It was a refreshing set, and everyone became a fan in that sold out room.
Trivium set list:
01. The Sin and the Sentence
02. Down From the Sky
04. Until the World Goes Cold
05. Like Light to the Flies
07. Dusk Dismantled
09. The Heart From Your Hate
10. Kirisute Gomen
11. Thrown Into the Fire
12. In Waves
The 1,000 capacity venue felt soaked with the sweat from all the zealous attendees. After Trivium’s intense, satisfying set, it took a few minutes for their happy fans to recover. After they cleared the stage, they allowed a thematic amount of time for anticipation to grow for the final act, Arch Enemy. The fog became thick and the lights went dim as the Swedish band charged the stage. The blistering guitar tones instantly hit the audience with power. Frontwoman Alissa White-Gluz, commanded the room with her dramatic presence and unearthly screeches. She wailed with soul that was venomous and enticing. The energy of their song ‘War Eternal’ sets the high standard of what a good heavy metal anthem should sound like. Their European flavor of fury and majestic maturity evidently impressed their enraptured crowd.
This band pioneered the melodic death metal sound and watching founder Michael Amott in action was a privilege. His playing along side the legendary Jeff Loomis is explicitly awe-inspiring and fearsome. The rambunctious crowd held their horns high throughout the band’s set and were constantly crowd surfing. The stimulation from Arch Enemy’s playing provided a vibrant energy among band members and their fans. The power of music was evident in the fun and enjoyment fans were experiencing.
Hot ‘Lanta is a diverse, happening town with one of the South’s best metal venues. The Masquerade knows how to cater to heavy music and last Saturday’s sold-show was certainly evidence of that. It takes humble bands, excited fans, and a decent venue to create such a magical evening. It rarely happens, so when it does, it’s a night to remember.
Arch Enemy set list:
01. The World Is Yours
03. Stolen Life
04. War Eternal
05. My Apocalypse
06. Blood in the Water
07. You Will Know My Name
08. The Race
09. The Eagle Flies Alone
10. As the Pages Burn
11. Dead Bury Their Dead
12. We Will Rise
14. Snow Bound
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Remaining Tour Dates:
11/07/2017 – Toronto, ON @ The Danforth Music Hall
11/08/2017 – Detroit, MI @ Royal Oak Music Theatre
11/10/2017 – Sioux City, IA @ Anthem At Hard Rock
11/11/2017 – Kansas City, MO @ The Truman
11/12/2017 – Chicago, IL @ Concord Music Hall
11/14/2017 – Minneapolis, MN @ Skyway Theater
11/15/2017 – Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
11/17/2017 – Denver, CO @ Summit Music Hall
11/18/2017 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex
11/20/2017 – Calgary, AB @ The Palace Theatre
11/21/2017 – Edmonton, AB @ Union Hall
11/23/2017 – Vancouver, BC @ Vogue Theater
11/24/2017 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox Sodo
11/25/2017 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
11/27/2017 – Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
11/28/2017 – San Francisco, CA @ The Regency Ballroom
11/29/2017 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
12/01/2017 – Phoenix, AZ @ Marquee Theater
12/02/2017 – Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater
12/04/2017 – Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Live
12/05/2017 – San Antonio, TX @ Alamo City Music Hall
12/06/2017 – Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live