In celebration of the twenty year anniversary of their debut album Satisfaction is the Death of Desire, Hatebreed has begun touring the US with a supporting package that includes Dying Fetus, Code Orange, and Twitching Tongues. I was lucky enough to catch the first date of the tour in Poughkeepsie, NY, where Code Orange was replaced by the progressive metalcore band Candiria (but the lineup should remain as advertised for the remaining dates). I wasn’t thrilled with the replacement, but it shouldn’t surprise anyone to hear that the concert was fantastic nevertheless; every band involved has a stellar reputation for their live performances.
Twitching Tongues, for whatever reason, chose to enter to the Lex Luthor theme music from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. I don’t know if they were expecting people to recognize it or if they just wanted a cool song to walk on to, but as a comic book fan myself, they had my attention right from the start. The frontman came out wearing a very flashy and elaborate cloak with the band’s name printed across the back, but he removed it before the first song and it never came out again. Still, it was more than enough to turn some heads; Twitching Tongues had one of the most engaged crowds I’ve ever seen for an opening band, and quite frankly, they deserved it. Their brand of hardcore has a heavy emphasis on the vocals, and watching the dynamic nature of it unfold on stage is pretty damn fascinating as the focus swings in and out from the sides of the stage to the center. The creme de la creme, of course, would be the frontman, who has one hell of a clean vocal style. It ties the whole morbidly melodic thing together and makes Twitching Tongues more than just a supporting band, at least in my eyes.
As mentioned above, Code Orange wasn’t able to make it to the Poughkeepsie date for whatever reason, and instead the audience at the Chance Theater was treated to Candiria. I would have preferred to see Code Orange for numerous reasons, but Candiria still did a fine job of keeping the ball rolling. Their music is very energetic and unpredictable with some obvious hip-hop influence and a few other interesting musical directions, all of which make for a very involved performance. The frontman only amplified this by dancing along with some interesting jumps, twists, and all kinds of unusual dance moves for a hardcore/death metal show. About halfway through the set, Candiria was interrupted by a fight just to side of the stage. Not only did they stop playing entirely, but the whole band ran over to help break it up, only to return within a minute while casually wiping blood off of themselves. They had their act down so tight that they could hop right back into the next song without any delay, which is obviously very commendable. Candiria isn’t something that I enjoy listening to on the record, but their live show is energetic, wholesome, and definitely wasn’t an unwelcome addition to the lineup.
Dying Fetus was the belle of the ball, unsurprisingly, as they’re by far my favorite band on the lineup. Dying Fetus fans are in for a real treat if they can make it out to any of the future dates, as the set list is damn near perfect: “From Womb To Waste,” “Grotesque Impalement,” “In The Trenches,” and many more of Dying Fetus’ best tracks can be heard with jaw-dropping intensity poured into the performance. The drumming was mixed way too loud on their first song and it drowned out the rest of the band, but it was only a matter of minutes before the mix was adjusted and the Chance was torn to pieces (figuratively, of course). This is the type of death metal that’s impressive to even hear, but watching the band play it before your eyes is something else entirely. It shouldn’t come as a shock that the mosh-friendly anthems of the band got the crowd going as hard as they could, either.
The only band left to talk about is Hatebreed, and any fan of the band probably knows what to expect by now. They’ve been doing this for a while — the tour itself is in celebration of the 20 year anniversary of their first album, so these guys have live music down to a science. I’ve been the Chance multiple times but I’ve never seen the venue packed like this, and the attendees were all in from the first note. Fans of the band should be pleased to hear that Hatebreed is still at the top of their game; every member seemed totally cool and comfortable on stage, and the violent grooves that their music provides are perfect for creating an intense but strangely welcoming environment. The mix was flawless from the start and despite a fairly long set, the band was in top shape until the end. Hatebreed shows are legendary for a reason, and not much has changed as far as I can tell.
Additional tour dates going up to December 9th can be found on Hatebreed’s website.