Of Love and Brutality: Demiricous Dominates A Metalcore Lineup At Jaxx
Band Photo: Demiricous (?)
On Wednesday, April 26, I got out to see Still Remains' "Of Love And Lunacy" tour, featuring supporting acts Nodes of Ranvier, If Hope Dies, Demiricous and Another Born Without at Jaxx in Springfield, Virginia. The real reason I was going to this show was to see Demiricous, but I also like what I've heard of If Hope Dies and wanted to check out Still Remains and Nodes of Ranvier, who I've heard a lot about but never heard their music or seen them live. I had noted to my friend who I planned to meet at the venue that the show wouldn't be crowded due the show being on a Wednesday night and having no big name headliners. I had no idea how much of an understatement that would turn out to be.
Virginia's Another Born Without was the local openerat Jaxx that night. I had planned to arrive late enough to miss the local opener as well as the DC Beltway traffic, but catch Demiricous. As it turned out, I arrived just as Another Born Without were setting up on stage. Another Born Without played a good 20 minutes or so to a very small crowd. They sounded very metalcore in a number of ways, especially the vocals, but the guitars were distinctively more heavy metal with good riffage and stops punctuated by higher pitched notes/squeals similar to old Machine Head or Pantera. They played a very solid show and had a stage presence much better than many of the local openers I've seen at Jaxx.
Next up was Demiricous. The crowd had still hardly grown at all, with maybe a dozen people on the main floor and a dozen or so more at bar stools or hanging out around the bar. They joked about the crowd size but nevertheless put on a blistering performance. As far as I could tell, they played only material from their Metal Blade debut, "One (Hellbound)." Unlike their studio performance on "One (Hellbound)," which I likened to Slayer's style repeatedly in my review, Demiricous came out sounding like much more their own band and style. Even the songs that borrowed in style from Slayer sounded much more extreme and brutal live. Demiricous blasted through about six songs in their 30 minute set, wrapping up with "Matador." They are truly a brutal sounding band and I can't wait to see these guys live some more with longer sets and more material to choose from.
Auburn, New York's If Hope Dies took the stage next. If Hope Dies play a brand of metalcore that is heavier than many other metalcore bands. The singing and song structure resembled metalcore for the most part, but the guitars were heavier overall. The band played a good 30+ minutes set that sounded good but was not entirely memorable. In their defense it might be partially due to the fact that there were three metalcore acts on the bill as well as me being unfamiliar with their material. But all of the bands were young and could use some work on their stage presence.
Similarly, Nodes of Ranvier's performance was not particulalry memorable either, but again, I was not familiar with any of their material prior to this show. They played a decent set of metalcore however and they did stand out a little with their drummer who sang the alternating clean vocals on several songs. Overall, If Hope Dies was slightly heavier and more enjoyable though.
Before Still Remains came on, I did a quick head count and there were still no more than 50 people in the nightclub, some of them band members on the tour.
Finally headliners Still Remains took the stage at around 10:30, and turned out to be a pleasant surprise. I'll admit that Still Remains are a band that I consistently confuse in name with a few other metalcore bands, but they put on a performance for which I will not soon forget them. Overall, they sounded like a slightly more metalcore and yet more accessible version of Killswitch Engage. They are a six-piece band and use a keyboardist to add some melodic effect to their songs as well. When they played their single "White Walls," I was surpirsed that I recognized it and actually did know some of this band's material. That song is also the most Killswitch Engage-sounding, and sounded very good live. It was obvious that Still Remains had a little more stage presence and charisma than the supporting bands playing that night. After playing a good 45 minute set, they called it a night.
Overall, I was glad I went out see this show. Even though a few of the bands were not entirely memorable, every one of them was enjoyable. It was especially good to see Demiricous live, as they played a blistering set and are no doubt they are a band on the rise.
You can check out the photos I took at the show in our photo gallery.
With a lack of a big name headliner and ticket prices that belie the quality of the tour package, the show was a great value and enjoyable just the same. I applaud the bands for putting on a good show for such a small crowd. These guys are all working their asses off, so get out and support them when they come to your town.
Remaining tour dates for the "Of Love and Lunacy Tour" with Still Remains, Nodes of Ranvier, If Hope Dies and Demiricous are as follows:
5/3/2006 Valentine's 17 New Scotland Avenue, Albany, NY
5/4/2006 Ottobar 203 Davis St., Baltimore, MD
5/5/2006 The Loft 6 Crannell Street, Poughkeepsie, NY
5/6/2006 Cafe Metropolis 94 South Main St., Wilkes-Barre, PA
5/8/2006 The Icon 391 Ellicott St., Buffalo, NY
5/9/2006 Peabody's Downunder 2083 E. 21st St, Cleveland, OH
5/10/2006 The Attic 2852 Wilmington Pike, Kettering, OH
UK Tour with Still Remains, Demiricous and Sinai Beach:
5/15/2006 Zodiac Oxford, United Kingdom
5/16/2006 Corperation, Sheffield, United Kingdom
5/17/2006 TJ's, Newport, United Kingdom
5/18/2006 Mean Fiddler, London, United Kingdom
5/19/2006 Concorde 2, Brighton, United Kingdom
5/20/2006 Academy 2, Liverpool, United Kingdom
5/21/2006 Rock City, Nottingham, United Kingdom
5/22/2006 King Tut's, Glasgow, United Kingdom
5/23/2006 Academy 3, Manchester, United Kingdom
5/24/2006 Academy 2, Birmingham, United Kingdom
5/25/2006 Wedgewood Rooms Portsmouth, United Kingdom
5/26/2006 Lemon Grove, Exeter, United Kingdom
5/28/2006 Opera House Bouremouth, Bouremouth, United Kingdom
You can also check out the ecard for the "Of Love and Lunacy Tour" here.
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