In what has been one of the best metal tours this fall, Florida metallers Trivium have been shredding their way across North America in support of their 2017 release The Sin and The Sentence along with Swedish avant garde metal band Avatar and metalcore act Light The Torch. We caught up with the tour in its final stretch as it made its way to the hallowed grounds of The Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts on the final day of the venue’s annual horror and metal-themed celebration Rock and Shock.
The lower section of the venue was packed by the time Light the Torch started things off. Boasting an all-star lineup featuring ex-Killswitch Engage vocalist Howard Jones, as well as former All Shall Perish lead guitarist Francesco Artusato and members of Bleeding Through and Extinction A.D., the band had no trouble winning the audience over. Much of their set was pulled from their full length Revival which dropped earlier this year. For Jones, this was almost like a hometown show as the crowd--recognizing the former KSE vocalist--chanted his name and moshed like their lives depended on it. Light the Torch is surely headed for great things in the new year and I for one, am looking forward to seeing them play higher up on tour lineups.
This is Avatar and they are great hosts. So much so that “The King Welcomes You To Avatar Country”.
The night continued as Swedish band Avatar emerged, backlit by brilliant white lights spelling out the band’s name to get weird with the sweaty crowd. If you haven’t seen Avatar live, it’s a truly strange yet satisfying experience to behold. Frontman Johannes Eckerström, decked out in full creepy clown makeup put on one hell of a performance--whipping his hair around, barking guttural vocals one moment, only to switch to crooning melodiously the next. In between delivery of his vocals, Eckerström could be found sporting a wicked, evil-looking grin.
Despite the zany nature of their performance, the band was impeccably tight. The band’s set consisted of fan-favorites like “Hail The Apocalypse,” and “The Eagle Has Landed,” and newer material like “A Statue of the King,” and “King After King.” Their set closed with the mega-hit “Smells Like a Freak Show.” The band just announced a tour of Europe for January to March, here's hoping they return to the states after that run!
After an extensive stage change over, it was finally time for metal heavyweights Trivium to enter the fray. The lights dimmed and Iron Maiden’s “Run to the Hills,” played out. As the song ended, drummer Alex Bent appeared, soon followed by the rest of the band as they launched straight into “Betrayer.” Since they’re in a headlining slot this time around, Trivium seems to have mixed the setlist around a bit to put a little something for every era of Trivium fan in there. For fans of the older records, tracks like “Suffocating Sight,” “A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation,” “Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr,” and for the first time ever live, “He Who Spawned The Furies,” provided quite the fix.
For fans of the newer albums there was an equal amount to like, especially during “Sever the Hand,” when frontman Matthew Heafy hopped down and climbed up onto the barricade to shred a solo up close and personal with the fans in the front row. This album cycle has seen the band tighter than ever and this night was no different. In past tours Heafy has seemed to hold back on some of his gutturals to preserve his voice, allowing lead guitarist Corey Beaulieu to fully handle these parts instead. This was definitely not the case on this night as he tore through brutal sections on tracks old and new, sounding better than the recordings, while also nailing the melodic vocals.
Prepared to have an “Endless Night”? Great, watch this video.
If you’ve been keeping up with the band in the past week you know that Heafy has since had to leave the tour to be with his wife Ashley who is due to give birth to twins in the coming days. Filling Heafy’s rather large shoes is musician and YouTube star, Jared Dines with vocal help from Avatar’s Eckerström and Howard Jones of Light the Torch. If you want to see how crazy-awesome this all sounds, keep an eye on Matt Heafy’s Twitch account where the band has been live streaming each night’s performance. The tour wraps up in early November, the remaining tour dates are below.
Remaining Tour Dates:
10/29 – Seattle, WA – Showbox SODO
10/30 – Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom
10/31 – Spokane, WA – Knitting Factory
11/02 – Anaheim, CA – House of Blues
11/03 – Berkeley, CA – UC Theatre