October 27th was a rare and unique day for us. Orlando, FL was the starting point of a tour. And not just any tour, but a tour for the Orlando band, Trivium. The band was heading off on a North American tour starting in their hometown to support their new album ‘The Sin and the Sentence’. DreadMusicReview was fortunate enough to be there to cover the kick-off. When I arrived at House of Blues Orlando the line of fans waiting around the entire building to get inside. It was a sold out show and you could feel the excitement in the air.
Inside the House of Blues floor was already packed by the time I got inside. The upstairs balcony was also starting to fill up quickly. People were waiting with anticipation for the show to get started. They didn’t have to wait long as While She Sleeps took the stage to get things rolling.
The band from Renishaw, United Kingdom formed in 2006. After a few years of performing together, they decided to focus on dedicating their full time to the band. But, their original vocalist, Jordan Widdowson, could not commit to the band full time and departed. The band brought in Lawrence Taylor as their new vocalist. The band dedicated to working on their EP in a home studio. During this time they also toured, quickly gaining a strong fan base. In 2010 they released ‘ The North Stands for Nothing’. The album got positive reviews and signed to their first record label. Since that time, the band released three studio albums, including their most recent album, ‘You Are We’, which was released on April 21, 2017. Lawrence Taylor (vocals), Sean Long (lead guitar), Mat Welsh (rhythm guitar), Aaran McKenzie (bass), and Adam Savage (drums) were ready to start off the night.
They opened with the self-titled track, “You Are We”, off their newest album. The song’s quick beat, heavy hitting bass and guitar rifts, mixed with Lawrence’s screaming vocals immediately had the crowd headbanging and fist pumping. The band was setting the tone for what the fans should expect that night. They followed up with “Civil Isolation”, which kept up on the fast pace, opening with ripping drum beats from Adam. Lawrence was putting all his energy into his lyrics, as you could feel his raw energy through his vocals. While She Sleeps was out to make an impression on the Orlando crowd and not holding back. They followed that with “Brainwashed” the title track from their second album. That night they also played “Silence Speaks” and “Hurricane”.
I was very impressed with While She Sleeps that night. First, Lawrence’s vocal strength is incredible, along with his energy and movement. He’s constantly moving around and multiple times jumped into the pit to stand on the barrier to be close with the crowd. Second, the music is hardcore metal (some would define them as metalcore), and they had the crowd moving through their entire set. When a band can keep the crowd moving they’re definitely doing something right. And third, you could see they were truly appreciative to be part of the tour. Overall, they did an excellent job getting the crowd energized for the next two bands and definitely gathered some new fans.
Arch Enemy, the metal band from Halmstad, Sweden, formed back in 1995. They’re considered a supergroup as their members all came from other bands including Carnage, Carcass, Nevermore, and Mercyful Fate. Their first album ‘Black Earth’ in 1996 with Wrong Again Records. Immediately following the release the band switched labels to Century Media Records. In 1998 they release “Stigmata”, which was their first worldwide release, as they started to gain fans over in North America and other parts of Europe. In 2000 vocalist Johan Liiva parted ways with the band and was replaced by Angela Gossow. Over 9 albums the band would have a number of member changes including another vocalist change in 2014. Angela stepped down as the vocalist but still remain as their business manager. Alissa White-Gluz stepped in as the new vocalist. Today, the band consisting of Alissa White-Gluz (vocals), Michael Arnott (guitar), Jeff Loomis (guitar), Sharlee D’Angelo (bass), and Daniel Erlandsson (drums) are touring on their album ‘Will To Power’ that was released on September 8, 2017.
Before the band came out on stage, the music to “Set Flame to the Night” started to play. They were using it as an intro track and the band walked out to it as it was playing. Once everyone was on stage, they ripped into “The World is Yours” off ‘Will To Power’. The drums and guitar riffs hit a frantic pace before Alissa cuts in with her extraordinary guttural vocals. The song has includes some guitar riffs that change the pace before it dives back into hardcore metal. They followed up with “Ravenous” from ‘Wages of Sin’. This song also lays down that rapid drum playing and guitar before throwing in some hooks to mix the song up a bit before going back to that rapid pace. They quickly jumped into “Stolen Life” from the album ‘War Eternal’. This song wasn’t a fast as the others, though shorter than the first two. It showed off a different side of the Arch Enemy who was continuing the energy that While She Sleeps started.
Arch Enemy live is a truly entertaining experience. Alissa’s costuming looks like something from a science fiction movie. The band is constantly moving around on stage with a pedal to the floor pace. And their lighting was beyond perfect with mixes of blues, purples, and whites. Michael Arnott and Jeff Loomis’ guitar playing is breathtaking. The pace they keep going throughout an entire set plus the sounds they generate is golden. Sharlee’s bass playing rivals right up there with his quick strumming and tapping. Daniel’s drumming is out of this world especially with the pace he keeps up through a set. But, most impressive overall, are the vocals from Alissa. The depth of her vocals and the power behind them mixed in with her ferocious energy on stage makes her one of the best female metal vocalists I’ve seen thus far.
The band had a full set of 15 songs that night giving them plenty of time to entertain the crowd. Some of the other songs they played that night included “Blood in the Water”, “War Eternal”, “The Race”, “The Eagle Flies Alone”, “Dead Bury Their Dead”, and “We Will Rise”. Their performance that evening definitely had the mosh pit moving fast and the rest of the crowd headbanging, fist pumping, or bouncing. Arch Enemy was leaving it all out on the stage that night and the fans got to experience a truly special performance.
The crowd was eagerly awaiting the appearance of the headliners and Orlando natives, Trivium. The band formed back in 1999 when current and former members met at Lake Brantley high school. After finding their music sound and after a string of performances around Orlando they made a demo CD who caught the attention of German label Lifeforce. The label signed Trivium and under them, they produced their first album ‘Ember to Inferno’ in 2002. The band caught the attention of Roadrunner Records who signed them to their label. Following in 2005 the band released ‘Ascendancy’. The album charted in the Billboard 200, went Gold in the UK, and was considered by Kerrang! as the Album of the Year. This was only the beginning for Trivium.
In the following years, the band would tour often, headlining some shows in Europe, and supporting some shows in the U.S. On their tour for their third album, ‘The Crusade’, released in 2006, the band toured with both Iron Maiden and Metallica, had a slot on the Family Values tour with Korn, toured with Machine Head, Arch Enemy, Dragonforce, and Shadows Fall, and was awarded Best Live Band at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards. The band continued on great success with the release of 5 additional albums including the current album, ‘The Sin and the Sentence’, released on October 20, 2017. And when Matt Heafy (vocals, rhythm guitar), Corey Beaulieu (lead guitar, unclean vocals), Paolo Gregoletto (bass), and Alex Bent (drums) took the stage, the House of Blues erupted in cheers.
They led with the title track from their latest album, “The Sin and the Sentence”. Alex and Corey rip into this fast pace beat and come to a dead stop as Matt started to sing. Matt’s clean vocals were solid and Corey jumps in with his screaming vocals during the chorus. It’s a great kick-off song to both the album and the show that night to get the crowd energized. They moved into “Down From The Sky” from ‘Vengeance Falls’. This song has a much slower pace to start but jumps quickly into a rapid drumbeat. Matt uses a more guttural style singing for this song. Trivium then provided the crowd with a special treat. The band decided to play for the first time live, “Betrayer”, also from ‘The Sin and the Sentence.’ Once again this is a fast-paced song where Matt switches back to the clean vocals. This one is a great song as it transitions back and forth between rock to headbanging metal.
Trivium looked thrilled to be playing at House of Blues Orlando. Matt even talked about how he saw Machine Head play on that very stage and said one day he wanted to play on it too. And here he was. The band’s setup on stage was a huge light set that bathed them mostly in blues, greens, and reds for their show. They played two more songs from ‘The Sin and the Sentence’ including “The Heart From Your Hate”, which is the latest single they released and is by far my favorite song off the album. They also played “Into The Fire”. Some of their other songs included “Rain”, “Dusk Dismantled”, and “Strife”. They closed their set with “Capsizing the Sea” and “In Waves” from the album ‘In Waves’. It was an excellent performance from the headliners and the crowd was beyond pleased and impressed based on their cheers and applause.
Overall, the opening night of the tour was a great night of hardcore metal. All the bands performed strongly, sounded great, and left the crowd wanting more. This is definitely a tour you do not want to miss.