Inanimate Existence and WRVTH are in Sacramento, California tonight finishing up their short West Coast tour, titled to “Enter Into Atonement Tour 2015”. I was lucky enough to see this pair of Northern California technical death metal bands on two stops during the trek, once at The Slidebar in Fullerton and once at the Blacklight District in Long Beach. Both shows were put on by ADHD Entertainment and were free shows that brought out a lot of familiar faces in the Southern California metal scene.
The show at The Slidebar was held on Monday, March 9th. For those not familiar with this venue, it is a rock and metal themed restaurant that has section for shows, and does a good job of diversifying the bands/djs that play there in order to keep it regularly busy not matter what day of the week it is. Metal shows are usually held on Mondays, and they can vary from local bands that are just getting started to well known bands such as Between the Buried and Me, Norma Jean, The Faceless, and Dillinger Escape Plan, to name a few.
The night started with Fractalline. Fronted by Jordan Nalley (a well known vocalist in the area for his work with Behold! The Monolith, The Perceptionist, and The Opaque, they play a brand of groove metal that has elements of djent and technical death metal. The room was pretty empty at this point in time, but they played their set with energy and enthusiasm as if they were playing to a full room. The set contained some of my favorite Fractalline songs such as “Digital Eden” and just seemed to fly by.
The final local band was Bedlam of Cacophony, a band that is no strangers to the Slidebar (it was my third time seeing them there). Their music is a blend of technical death metal and grindcore, creating technical and dissonant songs that stay on the shorter side. The 4 piece is tight, and the musicianship is impressive. My favorite member to watch would have to be the bassist, as much of the set consists of him using such technics as two finger tapping from his picking hand, However, the rest of the band are no slouches either, and their set was full of headbanging from the audience.
Next was WRVTH (formerly known as Wrath of Vesuvius). Their set consisted of a lot of new songs that will appear on their 3rd studio album (and first under Unique Leader Records) which will be coming out later this year. I have heard a lot about this band for a while and listened to some of their stuff before the set. I was happy to see that they lived up to the hype. The songs from the set were more ambient than what I had listened to of them, which I thought was a good thing. I thought that their set was very memorable, due in part to the stage presence of the band and due in part to how effective the dark lighting was for them. The guitarists were very technical and were switching between a lot of tones. The drums were spot on and very impressive. Taylor Preston was an enjoyable bassist to watch as he would provide occasional growls in addition to his aggressive bass playing. And singer Thomas Vasquez stayed close to the drums for most of the set, which added an interesting contradiction as we are so used to seeing the singer in the forefront. The set concluded with some ambient drone, which helped solidify the memorability of the set and got a great audience response.
Finally was Inanimate Existence, who also played a lot of new songs as they will be releasing their third full length album this year as well (also on Unique Leader Records). This band focuses more on the brutal side of technical death metal rather than the ambient side we saw from WRVTH’s set. The four piece had Ron Casey on the drums, who is well-known in the metal scene for his work with Brain Drill and Rings of Saturn. In addition to Ron, the band is rounded at by 3 extremely talented musicians. Cameron Porres is a very impressive as he is both the singer and guitarist. He effortlessly played technical riffs and solos while growling the lyrics in a deep and full tone of voice. Joel Guernsey is an equally impressive guitarist as he provided the lead guitar. His solos were technical with sweeps and speed picking. His speed picking is among the fastest I’ve seen. My only complaint with the set was a mixing problem, as Joel’s guitars were too loud and would shriek on the higher notes. Other than that, it was great to finally see these guys live, after hearing so much about them over the past couple of months.
My friend Ryan and I were hungry after the show, so we didn’t really stay and talk to the bands members like we usually do. But it was after seeing both bands that I knew I wanted to go and see them again on Wednesday in Long Beach. I briefly talked to some of the members of WRVTH and told them that I was going to be at the Long Beach show, to which they expressed excitement and genuine thankfulness. They seemed like really cool guys and I looked forward to seeing them again on Wednesday so I could continue my conversations with them and hear more about their experiences as a band.