Hard Edge Radio, Cabresto Tequila, and Life In Michigan banded together (no pun intended) to bring Fall Metal Festival 5 to the Diesel Concert Lounge on November 22 and 23 of 2014. The festival featured talented musicians from Michigan and Ohio who brought fierce and fiery metal music to over 700 fans. Featuring two stages, which were running back to back, this was a feast of continuous metal.
Fall Metal Festival 5 – Day 1
MCC Rock Academy
The festival kicked off with the students of MCC Rock Academy. The lessons have definitely paid off for these young musicians as they came out swinging for the fences. Many of them were multi-instrumental switching from bass, to guitar, to drums. Most impressive was the repertoire of covers they chose which included “Mr. Crowley” by Ozzy and “Phantom of the Opera” by Iron Maiden. The Maiden cover was very unexpected and the band did a nice job of tackling this tough song. You can see more pictures in the gallery.
Soldier’s Last Breath
Soldier’s Last Breath wasted little time laying down a barrage of hard rock and metal. While each member of the band is a competent musician, the drummer really shines. Great presence and technique, which was highlighted on the tune “Quicksand” where the bass and drums rocked a fat groove that struck you hard. You can see more pictures in the gallery.
The guys in Vicariant were out to show folks at the fest that they meant business. Bringing a doublewide dose of thunderous groove; they played a set that brought to mind the sound of Drowning Pool and God Smack (with much heavier vocals). The band was super-charged and engaging, running around in the crowd and getting people fired up. Keep an eye out for this young band. Stop by the gallery for more pics.
Upon first hearing Audio Violence, you could swear that Steve Souza of Exodus had a new side project playing some big ballsy grooves laced with a twin guitar attack. It was written all over the faces of the band that they had a lot of fun playing their music for the crowd. The singer even jumped off the stage to get into the pit. That is what you call getting into your music. See more of Audio Violence here.
Wow. It may not be the most journalistic expression to describe the performance by Bowdown, but I’m sure that many who witnessed their show thought the same thing upon hearing their opening tune. The music was reminiscent of Hatebreed and Earth Crisis delivered with relentless conviction. These guys were fierce and had the Diesel Concert Lounge held tight in a vice grip of metal with hardcore overtones. There are more pictures of the band in the gallery.
Society Hostile busted in with a serious amount of low-end thump and grinding riffs. Most impressive was the fact that the drummer and guitarist had joined the band a few weeks prior to this gig. They played as if the band had been together for years without a hitch or hesitation. At times I heard notions of Staind, in particular with the clean vocals. There was also an element of Static X to their sound as well. You can see more pictures of the band here.
Bringing melodic death with vast progressive passages, Truth Ascension made sure that Ohio was well represented at the Fall Metal Festival. This band also played at Get Into The Pit and exhibited the same energy and intensity as the last show. The band has shed one guitarist without a loss in sonic fidelity. The drums provided a sweeping torrent of rolls and blasts that engage the listener. Check out the gallery for more pictures.
Coven 13 harkened back to the glory of metal with Sabbath tinged songs clad in black leather. They kicked off with “Riddle of Steel” and rode the steel through out their set. Winding through dark hypnotic pathways, the band exuded a raw power with a ton of bass and excellent drum riffs. The guitar riffs were sharp and deadly with great feel. As always, David Landrum did what all great frontmen do by commanding the stage and engaging the crowd to raise their fists at the alter of metal. There are more pictures of the band here.
As Darkness Falls
With a strong and passionate fan base, As Darkness Falls feasted on the energy and unleashed a storm of aggressive yet surprisingly melodic metal. Their sound suggests bands such as Chimaira and Throwdown. Bold and assertive music with added intensity through the dynamic performance of the band. The lead vocalist was off the hook prowling the stage, jumping out into the crowd, and climbing the lighting rig. Stop into the gallery to see more pictures.
Unholy death metal boiling with pure evil is what Dismemberment wrought during their set at the Fall Metal Festival. Featuring riffs with teeth shattering intensity and a rhythm section that rivaled the dynamic Death duo of Reinhart and DiGiorgio. This band was outstanding and had heads banging and hair flying in the crowd. With an abundance of talent, these guys should be touring with national acts bringing their infectious music to the masses. Check out more photos of the band here.
From Blue To Gray
From Blue To Gray brought the first day of Fall Metal Festival to a close in spectacular fashion. Burning with beautiful rage and fury, they set out to bring down the house. There was an added fervent quality to the show as vocalist Dale Fewless flew about the stage. From Blue To Gray played a great set of technically brilliant tunes, which included “Terrible Among The Fierce” and the newer “Bath Salts”. For more pictures, stop by the gallery.
Fall Metal Festival 5 – Day 2
Day 2 of Fall Metal Festival 5 dawned with a seething show by Violent Vessel. This is a young band with pummeling riffs that explored the boundaries of metal. They tapped into the vein of sound that touched upon Acacia Strain and Within The Ruins. It was good to see the younger generation fully embracing metal with full force. See more of the band here.
Assume Nothing was another crew of young musicians who unveiled their own take on the metalcore sound. Evidently the bass player was new to the band, yet he was more than capable as the band jammed a set full of melodic riffs, screams, and clean vocals. Bands like Bullet for My Valentine came to mind as they played. Their drummer had great chops and played to the crowd. There are more pictures over here.
Destroy Us All
The guys in Destroy Us All were on a mission to set the stage ablaze. They play a metal mixture that infuses elements of metalcore and punk. The overall atmosphere is metal, but there were times when I felt the attitude swing to the punk spectrum. They kept the tunes rolling with minimal breaks and jammed hard. I was reminded of early As I Lay Dying and Killswitch Engage. Check out more photos of the band here.
Cell Block Earth
As the Monte Python skit goes “and now for something completely different…” Cell Block Earth dealt a crowbar upside the head, full of thrashing mayhem. Propane vocals on top of a jack hammer guitar and pugnacious bass with plenty of pop kept the crowd in awe of the firestorm this band had ignited. This is the kind of meaty crossover thrash that had you thinking of Sworn Enemy, Merauder, and Iron Reagan. Cell Block Earth was a wonderful treat for the ears. Stop by the gallery for more photos.
Mare Crisium defined what it meant to be diverse in metal music. Each song featured a multitude of changes in pitch, timbre, and dynamics that render an aural landscape of rich sound. The performance at Fall Metal Festival had the band playing at the very top of their game. It is difficult to categorize them as you can move from a Deftone jam to the concrete sledge of Helmet with a range of colors in between. An added bonus for this show was an outstanding cover of “Part Of Me” by Tool off the Opiate EP. See more photos here.
After The Minor
While the Amish beards on three fifths of the members of After The Minor could suggest a band with pacifist roots, upon hearing one roaring note it was clear they were there to wage war. Their set featured music that showcased their raw power and technical prowess. Mighty breakdowns giving way to classically influenced riffs. Keyboards played by vocalist Nic Ward added color and depth. Fans of August Burns Red and Thy Art is Murder would hear similarities in the style of music, yet these Flint, Michigan survivors find a way to carve their own sound. Stop by the gallery for more photos.
Hate Unbound stormed the gates of Hell and never looked back. Drummer Danny Kendall and bassist John Kinder created an avalanche of monstrous rhythms that provided a canvas for guitarists Daryl Mitchell and William Cundiff to cast crunching riffs and lightning solos. On this backdrop of metal havoc, Art Giammara explored unfathomable depths with his distinctly guttural vocal performance. A circle pit swam as heads banged to one blistering tune after another. This was one of the best performances of the evening. Enjoy some more pictures of the band here.
At The Hands Of Victims
At The Hands Of Victims quickly dealt out a super charged dose of high velocity metal. This band’s sound had much in common with After The Burial and Born of Osiris. You felt these guys radiate energy and wrath as they tore through their set. The lead guitar work stood out with its technical proficiency as fingers ran like spiders across the fret board. See more photos of the band here.
It Lies Within
Starting out with synchronized moves and jumping around the stage, It Lies Within engaged a large crowd of fans with their metalcore extravaganza. Fans of Asking Alexandria and Devil Wears Prada would find a common core. This band did a great job of grabbing the audience’s attention and keeping them absorbed with the performance. There are more pictures of the band here.
Boys Of Fall
Boys Of Fall brought the Fall Metal Festival 5 to a close with their explosive energy and uplifting style. Their sound has traces of Atreyu and Pierce The Veil along with a more straight ahead power pop punk vibe. Their fans jumped and sang along as the band poured back all the love they received. Feel free to drop into the gallery for more photos.
The Fall Metal Festival 5 was a great way to showcase the talent in these up and coming bands. Please leave a comment if you went to the show or just love Michigan bands. We’d love it if you’d subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr.