I feel like I just saw After the Burial… (Wink!) They did play a show not too long ago at Vinyl inside the Hard Rock Hotel. They had another opportunity to come back to town on a day off of their tour with KILLSWITCH ENGAGE and PARKWAY DRIVE. Let me point out that I’m stoked that they landed this tour. Killswitch Engage and Parkway Drive have grown MASSIVE fan bases in the last decade, so forAfter the Burial to open for a couple of heavyweights like those two bands is admirable, and I praise them for their hard work leading up to this point.
Backstage Bar & Billiards
Oh, Backstage Bar. Of all the small venues in the downtown area of Las Vegas, this place has stolen my heart on an atmospheric level. It was exciting to see that After the Burial would be coming back to play this venue, specifically. It offered a much more suitable environment for the fans, in my opinion.
Opening up the show with their first ever debut live appearance was the metalcore driven act, PURE. They are from here and Vegas, and had just the right amount of energy and enthusiasm to kick the show off just right. Despite their short set, they packed a mighty punch! They even brought the vocalist from Words from Aztecs on the stage. Or maybe he just ran up there with his exclusive PURE shirt and all to just support his friends. Either way, I was blown away by this set. I hope to see great things for them in the future of this scene, and in their metalcore/deathcore driven sound.
Words from Aztecs
Speaking of Words from Aztecs… They were up next on this 3 band bill. With their set, the stage had switched lighting to a prominent green color with slivers of reflected purple light. This was a 4/20 show, afterall (It mostly stayed these colors the rest of the night.)…. Yet another Las Vegas metalcore/deathcore driven act that you’re probably quite familiar with if you’ve stuck around this niche of the scene out here the last few years. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen them on a couple Eagle Aerie Hall bills myself.
In yet another symbol of friends supporting friends… Vocalist Skylar Enneper was joined on stage by one of his buddies. Ah, the community that is the scene! These are my favorite things to see among musicians and artists in general. At any rate, these guys had a bit of technical difficulties fall upon them. BUT! Not to worry, Skylar kept the crowd entertained, as did our friend and brutally honest metal head, Savage Annie.
When it comes to comparison sounds to popular acts in these specific genres, I won’t even really attempt to throw out names for you if you haven’t been somewhat involved in the scene stages of metalcore/deathcore the last 10 years. However, if you have been involved in these niche genres and still have love for it, both of these hard-hitting Vegas locals should be right up your alley! (Honestly, if you’re an After the Burial fan such as myself, you should dig them. There’s a reason they were put on this bill and they rounded it out very well!)
After the Burial
Onto the main act! As mentioned above, After the Burial are currently on tour with Killswitch Engage and Parkway Drive. The day prior to this show (4/19), they had released the album, EVERGREEN; and are now in full swing of the touring to support the release. According to their Wiki page, the band is one of the key acts driving the evolution of djent, and progressive metalcore.
Upon listening to the band live, as well as the new album, it’s pretty clear why. They have perfected their usage of pinch harmonics and groove-like riffage and occasional solo-ing. And while I’m not too much of a fan of djent, I can appreciate it’s place. However, I do feel like these guys play music and put on a show that can be most appreciative by fans of the early pioneers of the metalcore genre. (Such as: pre-2006 Avenged Sevenfold/Atreyu, As I Lay Dying, Everytime I Die, Earth Crisis, ZAO, etc. I can go on and on about this genre… haha.)
For fans of the past!
With a couple of those listed bands no longer playing metalcore, I believe it drove a wedge for something new, and this is it. So if you were disappointed by the change up with that scene back in 2006-2008 this is likely the fix you’ve gravitated to. (These statements are coming strictly from a current fan point, by the way. If you don’t feel that way, that’s fine. You can make your own judgments.)
Vocalist Anthony Notarmaso mentioned a few times how excited they were to be able to play a full set for us here in Vegas. With their current tour, they’re limited to that standard opener 30 minute set. And with a longer set comes more songs! The band dug through their discography a bit, along with playing several tracks off the new release. This is mostly pretty standard. I couldn’t seem to dig up what looked like an accurate setlist for this specific show. It was technically a side-show on an off day of their current main tour. But the main tour set list seems to be as followed:
After the Burial Setlist:
- Lost in the Static (Album: Dig Deep; 2016)
- Collapse (Album: Dig Deep; 2016)
- Behold the Crown (Album: Evergreen; 2019)
- Aspiration (Album: Rareform; 2008-09)
- Exit, Exist (Album: Evergreen; 2019)
- A Wolf Amongst Ravens (Album: Wolves Within; 2013)
So that right there is a pretty good range of material across their career with their current lineup. I also have to mention upon verifying the dates on those albums, that I have been at more than just the two shows I’ve mentioned. Apparently I have been unknowingly following these guys around with some of my favorite deathcore acts such as Winds of Plague and Suicide Silence.
Okay, no more sidenotes. These guys put on a great show. The circle pit was in full swing for just about the entire night. And nobody pulled any hardcore dancing crowd killing moves, which often happens at these kinds of shows. Security threatened the shit out of us upon walking in though. They specifically said no hardcore dancing around anyone who could unintentionally get hurt. Nobody seemed to get hurt, and following the show were many pleased, happy faces around the venue and at the merch booth. After the set the vocalist also took extra time to talk to the fans, sign merch and tickets, and take photos with those who wished to have that. (YES. I did have my photo taken with him. He’s fucking cool.)
Yet another band that has come through Vegas time and time again, and has put on an awesome show. As I mentioned above, if you’ve kept up with the progression of the metalcore/deathcore genres, this band is right up your alley, and you likely would have enjoyed the show! If not, well… Carry on. Until next time!
Photo Credit: Courtney Ware for ZrockR Magazine 2019, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.