HOPESFALL + END + GREYHAVEN by Christopher Wiezorek

Hopesfall. Hopesfall. Hopesfall. 

Hopesfall is a band that was so meaningful to me in my early 20s. Their album Satellite Years was one of my absolute favorites upon its release, and has been in and out of rotation for me throughout my adult life. Time wore, Hopesfall changed and grew, my tastes changed and grew too, and then Hopesfall, like many other bands, called it a day. I had pretty much assumed I would never see Hopesfall again. Then the gentleman that make up Hopesfall decided it was time to return, record a new album, and play some shows. 

I saw them a number of times throughout the Satellite Years era, but had not attended any shows from A Types on to their breakup. When this show was announced I knew I couldn't miss it. I didn't know how much Satellite Years or No Wings they would play, but I knew that I was going to be there to find out. The evening was a blur. No disrespect to End or Greyhaven who opened, played very enjoyable sets, with a ton of energy, but there was no way that Hopesfall wouldn't own this evening. End and Greyhaven actually fit quite well with the reunited Hopesfall, they would have been excellent bands to accompany Hopesfall on the road during their original run.

Hopesfall had complete command of the room. They played songs from all of their eras all the way up to their new LP, Arbiter. There were no lulls to their set at all. For me, their work has aged incredibly well. Every period of their work shined. It is not often that a group you love reunites and plays their work with the vigor and spirit that made you love it in the first place. I think everyone in attendance of the shows that Hopesfall played left wildly fulfilled. It really didn't matter which era of Hopesfall was "your era," they put an evening together that those there will not soon forget.

SARGEIST + WAYFARER + ORDEALS by Christopher Wiezorek

I have tried to make it a rule that if there's a band coming from out of the country to one of the venues I like I try to go to the show. The announcement of Sargeist coming to Brooklyn Bazaar on July 12th enticed me, then Wayfarer was added to the bill so the deal was done and I knew I would be attending. Ordeals, a black metal band local to NY, opened the evening. Ordeals are a band that lets their music speak for them. There is some makeup and corpse paint going on, but the main attraction is the confrontational nature of their battering set. Wayfarer are a band that had my attention with their most recent release being on Profound Lore Records, and then a good friend giving me the "you have to check these guys out" put them right on my radar. Being skeptical, one may think that Wayfarer is just another death / doom / black metal hybrid to come from the Denver metal scene that is absolutely booming right now. That would certainly be a skeptic's right, but it would be entirely wrong. Wayfarer bring a sort of Western soundtrack element to their brand of black metal that gives them their own unique soundscape. They captivated me from start to finish and set a high bar for Sargeist. Aside from knowing Sargeist are a black metal band hailing from Finland, I knew very little about them coming in. Performance is the key word when describing the show that Sargeist put on that evening. There is an air of ritualism to what they do; incense burning, a singing bowl, the corpse paint, and even a rug all add to the flavor of the show that they put on. The music itself is absolutely crushing and intense. I have to say I am thrilled to have been able to see this show.

THE BODY + BIG | BRAVE + LINGUA IGNOTA by Christopher Wiezorek

*Busy couple of weeks here, so I am playing catch up.

On July 7th The Body came through with what may have been one of the most complete tours of the summer. Lingua Ignota put on one of the most breathtaking shows I've seen in a long time. Hyperbole aside, Lingua Ignota's set took place in front of the stage, on the floor of Saint Vitus. Operatic vocals, mixed with black metal shrieks, industrial overtones, and string instrumentation combined for a one of a kind experience. BIG | BRAVE followed up with their usual highly locked in drone / doom / indie sounds. I have seen them before, opening for Sunn O))). They are so dialed in with each other; there is a restraint and measure to their performance that keeps things feeling like you are right on the edge of the cliff, waiting to fall off or be pulled back to safety. I had never seen The Body before this show. Lee and Chip were joined by noise artist Limbs Bin to round out their crushing set. The Body are difficult to pin down on record, and I honestly felt like seeing them live takes a willingness to throw the expectations built from hearing their recordings and throwing them right out the window. The only things their recordings really prepare you for is to expect to be aurally assaulted. The happiness exuded from the three men on stage is a beautiful contrast to the terror and devastating sounds they unleash on the audience. Dates The Body play will definitely be circled on my calendar going forward.

AMENRA + STATIQBLOOM by Christopher Wiezorek

In arguably one of the most stacked bills I've ever gotten to attend back in August of last year I had the pleasure and misfortune of seeing Amenra open for Converge and Neurosis. Pleasure because Amenra absolutely crushed Warsaw Concerts in Brooklyn; misfortune because my friend and I ran late getting to the venue and only got to see about two songs from Amenra. Saint Vitus quickly sold out of tickets for the July 3rd show months ago, so I found myself resigned to missing them this time around as well. I was absolutely thrilled when I saw that a ticket became available the morning of the show.

Statiqbloom were a huge surprise for me. I have been listening to a lot of more industrial / electronic sounding metal lately, and this is the sound Statiqbloom primarily occupy. It is an area I'm a little bit in the dark on, but I really enjoy. They were an absolute sensation to see live. Pulsing strobes fit perfectly with the intense electronics. I am excited to see more of them in the future, and I am thrilled with the photos from their set.

The post-metal genre is definitely a space that has been overrun with an immense amount of artists that can execute the formula, but leave a lot to be desired. Amenra flawlessly executes the post metal form while carrying a weight, or gravity that can only be summed up as supreme sincerity. These guys are artists at the top of their game. Being labelled as an "opener" for bands like Converge and Neurosis is a complete misnomer; Amenra are easily heavy weights in the same realm, true peers to titans. I am so happy to have been able to be there to document one of their performances.