Sirius XM Octane’s Accelerator Tour hit Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas November 8th, bringing Ice Nine Kills, Fit For A King, Light The Torch, and Awake At Last to Sin City for a night of post-hardcore metal music, as well as some very interesting theatrics.
Starting things off were up-and-comers Awake At Last out of Delaware, with Vincent Torres (vocals), Eric Blackway (guitar), Tyler Greene (bass), and Bryan Mills (drums). AAL’s musical style is more pop/radio rock than the other bands in the lineup, with lyrics that emphasize positive feelings and overcoming obstacles. Not that they don’t fit in with the others - in fact, their song "Purgatorium" is very theatrical and reminiscent of those of Ice Nine Kills, not to mention Spencer Charnas of Ice Nine Kills lends his vocals on the album version of the title track "The Change" off their new 2019 release. The Change debuted to strong chartings and plenty of accolades, establishing AAL as a legitimate player in modern rock music. Their live performance is every bit as strong as their radio play, with a solid amount of production put into their stage show. I was very impressed with their set and made sure to follow them on FaceBook and Spotify so I can keep track of their progress, as well as ensuring I don’t miss them on their next run to Vegas. This is a band to keep an eye on! Check out their website HERE.
Next up was Light The Torch (formerly Devil You Know), a metalcore band from LA formed in 2012. They have released three studio albums including their latest, Revival
from 2018. The band consists of front man Howard Jones (formerly Killswitch Engage), guitarist Francesco Artusato, bassist Ryan Wombacher, and drummer Mike Sciulara. I’ve long been a fan of Killswitch Engage and always felt that Jones was the better vocalist (not knocking Leach, he’s great but Jones is better in my opinion), so I was really looking forward to this opportunity to catch him live with this band, and he did not disappoint in the least. His vocals were on point, and the musicians around him were tight, belting out hit after hit from Revival, with seven songs from Revival and one from their album They Bleed Red. To be honest, this band’s new material sounds very much like the KSE of the Jones era, and that’s not a bad thing. I absolutely love it and couldn’t be happier, listening to Jones mix of screaming and melodic vocals and reminiscing about pre-2012 KSE. Now I have the best of both worlds!
Following up Light The Torch was Fit For A King, a metalcore band from Dallas, with Jared Easterling (drums), Ryan Kirby (vocals), Ryan “Tuck” O’Leary (bass), and Daniel Galley (guitar). They have released two EPs and five studio albums, their latest being Dark Skies in 2018. This band is easily the hardest hitting of the lineup, and the energy level jumped noticeably through their set. A big part of that was due to the antics of bassist O’Leary - this guy is non-stop action! Constantly spinning and whirling his
guitar, doing roundhouse kicks, jumping from the riser next to his mic, crowd surfing, running along the bar tops, and even rolling a ball down one of the lanes in the bowling alley, all while continuing to jam on his bass. He is pure entertainment on his own. That energy translated to the audience and the crowd surfing and hard-core dancing picked up considerably. Fit For A King powered through their 10-song set with authority and pumped up the crowd for the final act of the evening.
The event headliner was Ice Nine Kills, a metalcore band out of Boston, formed in 2002. The band’s current lineup consists of founding member Spencer Charnas (vocals), Ricky Armellino (rhythm guitar), Patrick Galante (drums), Joe Occhiuti (bass), and Dan Sugarman (lead guitar). Since their inception they have produced five studio albums and three EPs, their most recent being The Silver Scream from late 2018. The Silver Scream has been by far their most prolific album, and now almost a year later was re-released as The Silver Scream: Final Cut, with six bonus tracks including a cover of Michael Jackson’s "Thriller", and an all-new track called "Your Number’s Up" (inspired by the Scream movie franchise). INK’s current live performance is based heavily on this new release and covers nearly the entire album from start to finish, while sprinkling in five tracks from their prior release, Every Trick In The Book, and one from The Predator Becomes The Prey.
The performance is very much like seeing a heavy metal horror musical in that they act out each song, with Spencer and the band members donning various costumes to match the theme of each track, as well as an actress who comes out to portray various victims, repeatedly being murdered throughout the set. At one point the whole band drops to the stage floor, apparently dead, while Spencer (as Jason Voorhees) rises and emerges from the smoke-filled stage, holding up Jason’s hockey mask then, placing it back over his face, resumes his murderous rampage. The themes cover just about every major horror film including Friday The 13th, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Halloween, It, Saw, Scream, Jaws, An American Werewolf In London, Silent Night/Deadly Night, The Shining, and The Crow. While INK does a stellar job turning their set into a massively visual performance, it in no way detracts from their musical ability. Charnas’ vocals seem even more powerful when heard live and the heavy breakdowns are even heavier. INK puts it all out there and provides the complete package for a live performance. What they do is art and while it may not be to everyone’s liking, it certainly ticked several boxes for me. Ice Nine Kills are on tour through mid-December, check out the tour dates HERE. You do not want to miss their stellar live performance!
Ice Nine Kills Photos from Randy Udell / R U Rockin' Photos
Fit For A King Photos from Randy Udell / R U Rockin' Photos
Light The Torch Photos from Randy Udell / R U Rockin' Photos
Awake At Last Photos from Randy Udell / R U Rockin' Photos