In Hearts Wake
Fit For A King
Like Moths to Flames
Saturday, December 9, 2017
Hawthorne Theatre 503-233-7100
1507 SE 39th Ave, Portland, OR
7pm (doors open at 6pm). All Ages.
$16.00 advance tix from Cascade Tickets.
$18.00 at the door.
ABOUT IN HEARTS WAKE--
Nature is known for camouflaging power. A great wave begins as a ripple; an iceberg hides its bulk under the surface. Nowhere is this more evident than what lies above us, behind the veil of the beautiful blue sky lies the infinite universe.
A closely guarded secret, In Hearts Wake's third album Skydancer has been lying dormant for well over a year. Recorded alongside Earthwalker — In Hearts Wake's award-winning ARIA Top Five sophomore album — in Michigan with Josh Schroeder (The Color Morale, King 810) in late 2013, the album is both a stunningly assured heavy record in its own right as well as a companion to its predecessor. What frontman Jake Taylor, guitarists Ben Nairne and Eaven Dall, bassist Kyle Erich and drummer Caleb Burton have unveiled is nothing short of the most ambitious and heartfelt album of 2015.
«The tracks on Earthwalker were more focused, personal, emotional and subjective,» says Taylor, «whereas the topics on Skydancer were written more from an eagle eye's point of view on the broader issues of the world. It's important to understand that both are very relative.»
The existence of Skydancer makes perfect sense when placed next to 2014's Earthwalker — after all, with the earlier album focusing on the feminine beauty and unpredictable chaos of Mother Nature, the sometimes-dark masculine power of Father Sky brings everything into sharp contrast. The concept is drawn from the Native American creation myth that details the attraction and mutual dependence between the two. «Modern society currently treats the masculine and feminine worlds as very separate: from law to religion, social to political and from health to commerce,» notes Taylor. «As a species, we cannot survive or reproduce in harmony without the union of both, and this is the same sacred cycle found within nature. Earthwalker (the feminine) and Skydancer (the masculine) illustrate both worlds, and aim to bridge the connection.»
Hence the constant dialogue on Skydancer between the personal and the political, the intimate and the social. Our generation's decisions will impact the planet — both positively and negatively — more drastically than arguably any other before us, so the need for people to be conscious of the systems that control us and how they affect us on a human level is huge. These issues affect all of us, whether we like it or not. Our choice is whether or not to be conscious, whether or not to fight back.
This battle reached Taylor's own doorstep, as he recounts in 'Cottonmouth'. His grandmother was ill in a nursing home, but it wasn't clear what was causing her more pain — the illness, the neglect or the medication? «Twenty-odd pills a day to combat her rapidly deteriorating physical condition. Each pill produced a side effect that required a prescription by the other. Behind Western medicine there's a pharmaceutical war being waged by multi-billion dollar corporations, churning profit at the expense of others. I symbolised the pharmaceutical evil with the deadly Cottonmouth viper. It is said that the white lining of the snake's mouth is the last thing victims will see.»
Lead single 'Breakaway' perfectly encapsulates the harsh realities of man's inhumanity to both man and planet, takes on those who seek to profit from mass murder on an industrial scale. «Compared to tracks on Earthwalker it's more rigid, punchier, faster, and aggressive, which for me sparked the need to speak about the harsh shadows of war and those that financially fuel it — a fragmented figment of the masculine psyche.»
The genesis of the project came when the band collectively reached breaking point. Touring for the sake of touring wasn't enough, and something had to change. «We found ourselves asking the question, what is it all for?» remembers Taylor. «This was the turning point that we needed to create a real purpose to get out of bed for (or off the floor in the case of touring). At the source of it all, we just love feeling healthy and getting outdoors — it's exhilarating. So we wanted to create a side that would stand for what we loved and believed in. No longer were we spectators, we wanted to be a part of the bigger picture so that one day our children might (hopefully) enjoy the Earth as much as we did.»
Any journey begins with a single step. In Hearts Wake might be idealists but they also know how to express those ideals in real terms; just as through the course of the 'Earthwalker' campaign they planted 1,379 trees and revitalised a small patch of the planet in the process, with Skydancer they're seeking to make even more of a difference.
By working with non-profit organisation Economics Of Happiness they are combating the creeping insidiousness of globalisation by working to promote local economies and produce. «There are over seven billion people out there, so at the end of the day we can only make a small difference to the bigger picture,» smiles Taylor. «But hey — it's still a difference! If more and more people become aware of the real issues at hand rather than who won the latest talent quest, then the difference will start to grow on a much larger scale. We'd like to prove to both ourselves and the world, that if a bunch of average dudes from a tiny coastal town in the most isolated country in the world can make a difference, then anyone can.»
ABOUT FIT FOR A KING--
There is a common phrase amongst sportscasters that certain athletes «play the game the right way» — their fundamentals are so sound, their skill set so honed that they could be considered a case study in the most proper way to approach the sport they represent.
Tyler, Texas based newcomers FIT FOR A KING just might represent how that metaphor applies to a band. By forging ahead on their own path, making music well beyond their years, making it from the heart, and laying waste to their peers in the process, FIT FOR A KING have created a thing to marvel at — an impressive independent campaign that exemplifies the way «the game» should be played by an upstart band.
The hotly tipped metalcore band has been elbowing its way onto the national scene as a full-time touring outfit, cultivating fans at an alarming clip with a crushingly heavy, artful take on the genre that gives subtle tips of the hat to bands as diverse as THE ACACIA STRAIN, CIRCA SURVIVE and LINKIN PARK. The band's passionate music, coupled with an explosive live show, has made FIT FOR A KING a sensation in the independent music scene.
Following several years of relentless DIY touring and a well-received, independently released album (2011's Descendents), FIT FOR A KING are reaping the benefits of their hard work. Last July the industrious group was signed by Solid State Records, who quickly ushered the band into the studio to record their label debut Creation/Destruction, and take their already surging career to new heights.
Recorded with esteemed producer Andreas Magnusson (OH, SLEEPER, HASTE THE DAY, BLACK DAHLIA MURDER), Creation/Destruction is at once the fulfillment of a longtime dream for FIT FOR A KING, and just the first step in what is sure to sure to be an incredible journey for a band with massive potential.
«Words cannot even express how excited we are to join the Solid State family,» vocalist Ryan Kirby says. «We grew up listening to Solid State bands and for us to actually be on this label is the best feeling we've had as a band. We'd been waiting and holding off on labels for so long until we felt we had the right one, and we absolutely do.»
«We can definitely feel the momentum starting to build. Our fans were super excited for us and we have seen a big increase in the growth of our fan base in the past six months,» Kirby continues. «Longtime fans can expect a more energetic, hard hitting album with the same passionate lyrics that we like to bring to the table. And what some fans may not expect is just how heavy and dark this album gets lyrically and musically.»
Like a future-star athlete ready to prove his worth after a high draft position, FIT FOR A KING are ready to deliver with the release of Creation/Destruction. Sports metaphors notwithstanding — this is a band that knows how to play the game the right way and one that will be converting fans nightly.
Start filling out those Rookie of the Year ballots now.
ABOUT LIKE MOTHS TO FLAMES--
LIKE MOTHS TO FLAMES have set the underground music scene ablaze in just a few short years, thanks to a decidedly unique, fresh and original take on an otherwise well-worn genre. Stomping sing-a-long anthems, pulverizing metal chaos and crystal clear/soaring shiny pop dance together with delicious freedom within the band's sound. Bring Me The Horizon, Devil Wears Prada and Miss May I are some of the only bands doing it at the same level of intensity, precision and passion as Like Moths To Flames, who have taken their rightful place alongside their scene counterparts while steadily maneuvering a career that is uniquely their own.
Upon the band's arrival, fans quickly became as passionate about the group's songs as the young men who composed them. When We Don't Exist took the early promise of the group's debut EP, Sweet Talker, and expanded upon all of its ideas. When We Don't Exist is broader, catchier and more fired up than the vast majority of the likeminded genre records being downloaded, streamed and otherwise consumed around the world. One listen to the group's output is all the evidence one needs to understand why the Like Moths To Flames has dominated on the road on The AP Tour with Miss May I and The Ghost Inside, the Scream It Like You Mean It Tour with We Came As Romans and Attack Attack! or supporting groups like DRUGS. The two newer songs on the deluxe edition — «Learn Your Place» and «Shapeshifter» — inch even further toward that proverbial «next level,» looking toward the future.
Vigilant fans of the metalcore sound were well aware of vocalist Chris Roetter before the band began. Like Moths To Flames is the culmination of all of his travels, experience and relationships from the years he spent fronting Emarosa and Agraceful. The rest of the band cut their teeth in smaller acts as well. Guitarist Eli Ford was formerly in My Ticket Home. Drummer Greg Diamond came from The Air I Breathe, while bassist/backing vocalist Aaron Evans (who started LMTF with Roetter) and lead guitarist Zach Huston played in TerraFirma together.
«Aaron and I were in bands that had seen the bad side of the music business,» Roetter explains of the group's formation. «This time around, we wanted to make sure that we were playing music that we had a good time with. We wrote music that we liked that we knew that we would like to play live. We knew we wanted to go out and have fun we want to do it our way, however we wanted.»
The band found their footing with their debut EP and then really developed their sound with their first full-length, which is chock full of angry bile and exposition reflective of a singer with plenty to get off his chest.
Like Moths To Flames embarked on the «A Metal Christmas» tour to support their inaugural EP on Rise Records, together with Texas In July and A Hero A Fake. After a lineup reshuffle that resulted in the current incarnation save for the drummer position (which shifted shortly thereafter), the band recorded their first full album, which was released in November, 2011. In the following January, they hit the road on the S.I.N. Tour with D.R.U.G.S., Hit the Lights and Sparks The Rescue. Next they found themselves back on tour with their friends in Texas In July. Next came the summer's Scream It Like You Mean It Tour. The year wrapped up with Like Moths To Flames joining The AP Tour.
In an era of verse/chorus/verse screaming and singing, Like Moths To Flames aims for a more organic blend of the two styles that serves the song rather than a formula. Even as people continue to discover When We Don't Exist, Like Moths To Flames are putting their eyes toward the bigger prize of album number two, which the band intends to make even «darker» and «more eerie.»
Spending ten months out of the year on the road, the group is fully committed to making music their long-term lifestyle. At the end of the day, the band's raison d'etre is simple. «I want to be able to connect with people through writing songs,» Roetter says. «That's something that I've been able to do since I was younger and that's something that I want to continue to do. We want to be able to meet fans and people and play our music. More time out on the road playing shows for more people is going keep lighting the fire under the band to keep it going.»
Utter and complete reinvention isn't the only way to destroy boundaries. Oftentimes, the
most invigorating renewal in any particular community comes not from a generation's desperate search for some sort of unrealized frontier, but from a reverence for the strength of its foundation. The steadfast metal fury of PHINEHAS is focused, deliberate,
and unashamed. Across three albums and two EPs, the Southern California quartet has
proven to be both herald of the genre's future and keeper of its glorious past.
The New Wave Of American Metal defined by the likes of As I Lay Dying, Shadows Fall,
Unearth, All That Remains, Bleeding Through, and likeminded bands on the Ozzfest
stage and on the covers of heavy metal publications has found a new heir in PHINEHAS. Even as the NWOAM owed a sizeable debt to Europe's At The Gates and In Flames and North America's Integrity and Coalesce, PHINEHAS grab the torch from
the generation just before them. The four men of mayhem find themselves increasingly celebrated by fans, critics, and contemporaries, due to their pulse-pounding brutality.
Make no mistake: PHINEHAS is not a simple throwback. PHINEHAS is a distillation of
everything that has made the genre great since bands first discovered the brilliant results
of combining heavy metal's technical skill with hardcore punk's impassioned fury.
SEAN MCCULLOCH has poured his heart out through his throat with decisive power, honest reflections on faith and doubt, and down-to-earth charm since 2007.
Drummer/backing vocalist LEE HUMERIAN has powered the band with momentous thunder since the following year. Bassist BRYCE KELLY and guitarist DANIEL GAILEYcame later, forging a foursome in the spirit of the sledgehammer-like delivery of Pantera.
The band's modern interpretation of a now classic but criminally underrepresented sound achieves new creative heights with Till the End. The group's third album is theirfirst for Artery Recordings, home to scene kingpins Attila and Chelsea Grin. The mid-2000s style stomp of «My Horses Are Many» (watched by over half a million people on
YouTube) and «I Am the Lion» from thegodmachine (2011) melted seamlessly into the molten lava-like Southern metal groove of «Blood On My Knuckles» from The Last Word is Yours to Speak (2013). A hint of that Lamb Of God-type flavor persists on Till the End (particularly in «Coup de Grâce»), but PHINEHAS is now even more ambitious than ever.
The searing sing/scream combo akin to their buddies in Haste The Day collides with a bigger-than-before shred-tastic technicality from Gailey, who brings his considerable chops as a former guitarist for Becoming The Archetype into the established PHINEHAS stew with stunning results. Matching the monster riffs and brutalizing drumming pound
for pound in passion, McCulloch doesn't mince words when attacking the polarizing
hypocrisy of many American Evangelicals. «How can you love a God you cannot see / when you hate your fellow man standing in front of me?» he bellows in «Dead Choir,» one of the album's most aggressive but melodic tracks. «You're a liar and a fake,» he declares, before reminding fellow believers: «Without Grace we would all be dead.»
Elsewhere on the album, PHINEHAS mine the esoteric intelligence of Thrice, while
maintaining a consistently heavy, catchy, and often wonderfully complex density.
Standouts include «Tetelestai» («It is Finished» in Greek) and crowd favorite «White Livered,» which features guest guitar work from Dominic Dickinson of Affiance. An acoustic intro gives way to guitar sweeps and brutal but hopeful vocals in «Till the End,» which closes the album with a repeated refrain of, «Live free or die / Till the end.»
A commitment to personal, professional, and musical excellence; an urgent calling to share hope, faith, and unconditional love with the masses; a relentless hunger to
connect with diverse groups of people all around through their music and their message
— these are the things driving PHINEHAS. Whether on tour with bands like For Today, Close To Home, War Of Ages, and Sleeping Giant; at events like New England Metal & Hardcore Festival and South By So What; or on a showcase with Beartooth, PHINEHAS will share their catharsis with the broken, the searching, and the hurting, Till the End.