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Between The Buried And Me Dazzled Day One of Texas Independence Fest

Come and Take It Productions founded Texas Independence Fest in 2008 as a way to bring fans of heavy music together and to celebrate Texas pride. This was my second time attending the annual event held in Austin, Texas. Last year I covered sets by Behemoth, 1349, Wayne Static and more. The previous year consisted of only a day, while this year was expanded to three days. Several vendors offered their goods and services for sale. One of these was Gibroni’s Texitalican Kitchen, which offered Tex-Mex meets Italian sandwiches.

Empire Control Room & Garage played host to the festivities. This venue is located across the street on from Red 7—a venue I’ve covered extensively for Metal Underground.com. Said venue consisted of two stages. The Garage boasted an amazing sound system and lighting. The Control Room stage was a much smaller, indoor venue with poor lighting but with walls illuminated in 3D projected images. The Garage stage was for the national touring acts, while the Control Room stage mostly catered to Texas artists. Having the show at Empire was a treat as the venue rarely hosts metal shows.

Texas Independence Fest 2015 featured a strong cast of bands on the Garage (main) stage including headliners Between The Buried And Me, Whitechapel and Cavalera Conspiracy. Before getting into the bands on the main stage I want to briefly discuss the groups on the Control Room stage. Day one bands were typically of the metalcore sort. The first band I caught was Versa Nova from Houston. They played a progressive blend of hardcore that was very noisy and technical. Temple, Texas act Isonomist was more traditional modern metalcore with clean and screamed vocals. Their vocalist Dantrael Linnear put on a solid performance. Memories In Broken Glass was similar in style but much more melodic. Either you loved or hated their clean vocals and the band’s friends were on the side of love. Oklahoma’s 2 x 4 played a much heavier brand of metalcore focusing on slow grooves.

Abiotic took the main stage at 5 PM, still early in the evening, yet their performance upped the ante of speed. Although they hail from Florida and play death metal, Abiotic doesn’t create the sounds normally thought as Florida death metal. There are aspects of deathcore and tech death. Bassist Alex Vazquez truly brought their technical prowess to light. The band played a blistering set of songs taken from their Metal Blade debut “Symbiosis” and from their forthcoming album “Casuistry.”

Motograter was a blast from the past back to the early ‘00s when the group played Ozzfest. Also, another fact about this band is Ivan Moody from Five Finger Death Punch formerly fronted the band. Now James Anthony Legion heads up this painted brigade and a fine job he did. He had good rapport with the crowd. Fans who were up front singing the lyrics to their songs were accosted by Legion in a friendly manner. One could tell who he had rough housed by the makeup smear left on their skin. Motograter reminded me of Slipnot in their approach and in instruments like percussion barrels. They put on a great performance. I recommend checking them out.

Entheos is a new band featuring former Faceless and Animosity member Evan Brewer with Frank Costa (ex-Animosity) and Naverne Koperweis. As impressive this lineup is I was even more impressed with their singer Chaney Crabb. She had especially strong lungs and reminded me of former Arch Enemy screamer Angela Gossow.

The Atlas Moth was the slowest yet most atmospheric band of the night. Their stoner/doom songs weave a web of cosmic intrigue. They brought a lot of character to the main stage.

There was a big build up for Between The Buried And Me, which I totally understood once the band made their way to the stage. They played progressive songs with a lot of feeling and big hooks with projected images in the background. The band’s metalcore tendencies put bodies in motion, while their transitions to death metal put necks into motion. Their crowd was young, which invigorated the band. Sure, bigger, more brutal pits broke out throughout the weekend, but this band received the best response. During slow passages, their fans clapped their hands. It was like witnessing Iron Maiden. This band is already a bigger name than I expected, but I see them only getting more popular.

Rex_84's avatar

An avid metal head for over twenty years, Darren Cowan has written for several metal publications and attended concerts throughout various regions of the U.S.

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