Archive for October, 2012


International Touring

I’m a tour fanatic. I try to catch every show I possibly can. Living in Gainesville grants me the opportunity to be 2 hours from Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa so I’m usually fortunate to attend any shows that make their way to Florida. As a continuation of an early blog post I did regarding the international prevalence of metal I decided to take a look at some upcoming tours to see how internationally diverse they are. My findings are anything but surprising at this point.

The Deconsecrate The Nation Tour

This tour boasts one of the most exciting lineups to come around all year. Lets look at the bands: Both the Faceless and Revocation are US based bands while The Haarp Machine is from the UK. So 1/3 of the bands aren’t from the US. Not bad. While the band may be from the UK, their members have scattered origins. Abdullah Al-Mu’min started the band from his bedroom on his own between ’07 and ’09, whilst trying to find able musicians who shared the same passion and drive. This tour will actually be the bands first tour in the US as their previously planned tour was cancelled because the US Government denied the band entry into the state. Many believe it was a result of Al-Mu’min’s middle eastern sounding name. Unfortunately this tour doesn’t make its way to the sunshine state so I’ll have to make a trip to Texas if I want to catch a show.

Insomnium Tour

This is probably my most anticipated tour of the year. Not because of the well rounded lineup, but because of the fact that Insomnium is finally making their way over to the US from Finland. So, the headliner is international, but what about the rest of the lineup? Epica is from the Neatherlands, Alestorm is from Scotland and System Divide has no ‘home’ so to speak but  features members from Israel, Belgium and the US. So, not only does the entire roster feature bands not from the United States, one of the bands is so international that they can’t even designate a ‘home’ to be from. The fact that this tour has sold out most of its dates is a true testament to the international power and popularity of metal.

Lamb of God Tour

This is easily the biggest and most popular metal tour this year. Fresh out of jail, Randy Blythe rejoins Lamb of God to take on their homeland of the United States. Joining them is one of the most popular metal bands in the world – In Flames who hail from Sweden. Hatebreed, another US powerhouse band, lands a spot on the bill along with Sylosis from the United Kingdom. This tour is interesting because it includes 2 of the most popular metal bands in the work with Lamb of God and In Flames. This tour rocks a 50% international raiting.

I am not surprised at the amount of international metal bands on these tours. Metal has always been and will always be a global scene.

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The latest fad in the metal world is that of ‘djent’, or a heavier form of progressive metal. Djent, as a grene, is described is an extremely loose term for progressive/math metal which features low-tuning, polyrhythms (or syncopation), riff-bending and a general sense of technicality – usually accompanied by both harsh and screamed vocals. Djent has also become the word describing a community of like minded people interested and experimenting with this new sound and playing method.

Two of the biggest bands in the Djent/Progressive Metal scene today are Tesseract from England and Periphery from America. Check out a song form each band:

Periphery

Tesseract

At first listen, you can notice lots of similarities between the two bands in their music. Despite being on entirely different continents, both bands share similarities that extend far beyond the music. Both bands exploded onto the scene in 2010 – Tesseract with Concealing Fate and Periphery with Periphery. Both releases gained strong reviews throughout the metal community regarding both vocals and guitar work. Both bands have struggled with maintaning lead vocalists. Periphery has had four vocalists, finally settling on Spencer Sotelo whose voice goes “up like an angel and down like a wounded ox”. Tesseract have also gone through four vocalists, and just recently announced the newest vocalist Ashe O’Hara. Both bands also used the internet as a way to help release their music, often times releasing singles instead of full albums. Both bands seems to have walked a similar line. I wanted to bring these two bands up because I think it is quite interesting how similar of a history and sound they have despite being an ocean’s length away from each other.  Many fans of the genre would argue that both Tesseract and Periphery are responsible for the current wave of ‘djent’ bands and are the biggest influences on the scene today.

I think this speaks wonders of Djent as a community. While members of the scene may not always be on board with the name associated, djent as a community is a fantastic and interesting thing. Got-Djent.com is one of the leading djent community sites. It helps introduce fans to new music and bands, but more interestingly its forums are bursting with like minded people looking to make music together. People from all over the country are coming together to record songs with each other – not for money, but for the love of the music and they enjoyment that comes with creating something special. The comradery in the scene is mind-blowing, guitarists form Brazil are recording for vocalists in England with drums being sent in by someone from India.

I’m personally a big fan of this new wave of progressive metal. It seems to be looked down upon by traditional metal heads, but I find myself enjoying it more and more. I actually use both Periphery and Tesseract as a transition band to try and convince my non-metal friends to listen to metal. I find that most of my friends either don’t mind, or actually enjoy both bands.