Florida’s Bodysnatcher is a deathcore band touring for their latest album, Bleed-Abide, which is one of my top picks for 2022. Their performance was a mesmerizing combination of muscular metal and laid-back confidence, and it resonated with the growing crowd in Hartford. They could have played for an hour and a half and still we would have wanted more.
Hatebreed brought their 20 Years Of Perseverance Tour to Hartford, Connecticut, over the weekend and packed the Webster Theater to capacity.
Connecticut metal band Hatebreed has a lot to celebrate. Not only is it the twenty-year anniversary of their seminal album Perseverance, their most recent album, Weight Of The False Self, sent shockwaves through the metalcore ultraverse. It is therefore fitting that the current tour has a monster lineup with Gatecreeper, Dying Wish, and Bodysnatcher on the ticket.
The Webster Theater is a landmark for heavy music fans in Connecticut. I have seen more bands than I can count at this venue, starting way back when with Morbid Angel. Its large, open club space accommodates wallflowers and circle pit demons alike, creating one of the most welcoming metal scenes in the northeast. On the Friday night of the Hatebreed show, the Webster was as full as I have ever seen it, testifying not only to the draw of the bands performing but also to the appeal and status of the venue.
Dying Wish went up first. This Portland, Oregon metal band pushed the crowd to its aerobic limit with high-energy antics that turned heads all the way around. The unavoidable comparison of lead singer Emma Boster to Harley Quinn from the movies hits you right between the eyes when the band stepped out on the stage, but when she starts singing it is her voice you most notice. It is the hardcore energy and punk sensibilities of the band that make for a sure-fire winning combination.
Florida’s Bodysnatcher prowled the deck next. This deathcore band is touring for their latest album, Bleed-Abide, which is one of my top picks for 2022. I am a fan of all the bands on the card, but it was Bodysnatcher I wanted to see most because they are the one I hadn’t seen live before. Their performance was a mesmerizing combination of muscular metal and laid-back confidence, and it resonated with the growing crowd in Hartford. They could have played for an hour and a half and still we would have wanted more.
Gatecreeper is a death metal band from Arizona that is creating some of the most interesting music in heavy metal today. Their 2021 album An Unexpected Reality is a monumental achievement with a very unlikely structure – seven songs that run about one minute each and an eleven-minute epic as the anchor. The hooks and crushing riffs were in all their full-throttle glory, and they devastated and primed the crowd for what was to come next. This is third time I have seen Gatecreeper this year and every time is better than the last.
In the past few years I have seen Hatebreed many times, but always at large outdoor festivals. In that environment they positively crush it. With plenty of room to run around on those gigantic stages, they get up to all sorts. I wondered how that kind of show would translate to the more intimate confines of a smaller indoor place. It turns out, the show is just as exciting in a theater as it is in the wide outdoors.
Over the course of two dozen songs (twenty five, in fact, if I counted correctly), Hatebreed hit all the spots fans were looking for. The setlist did include songs from Perseverance, naturally, but also from early albums The Rise of Brutality and Satisfaction Is the Death of Desire, and more. I will never get tired of watching this band live because they leave it all on the stage and they always play like their lives depend on it.
The 20 Years Of Perseverance Tour continues trough most of November. Bleeding Through joins for the last few dates and Gatecreeper steps off then – see the tour poster for the facts and get your tickets while they are still available.
The third album from Florida deathcore band Bodysnatcher is out this week, Bleed-Abide.
Bodysnatcher came together in 2014. They put an EP out in 2015, and their first long-player, Death Of Me, followed in 2017. It was probably their second album, This Heavy Void, that brought them the most attention, and their fan base has been on the uptick all along. The band is Kyle Medina (vocals), Kyle Carter (guitar), Kyle Shope (bass), and Chris Whited (drums).
Talking about the album, Kyle Medina tells us, “Bleed-Abide is the ultimate culmination of what the band has been building for years, and I believe the best material to date. The instrumentals have matured and become heavier hitting and the lyrics dig deeper personally and more relatable than even This Heavy Void. There is something for everyone in this album: slam riffs, breakdowns, two steps, choruses that stick…”
There are thirteen mostly short, hard-hitting tracks on the new album. After the intro piece “Bleed,” the clubbing begins with “Abide.” Savage aggression ensues. Growling, bristling vocals descend to croaks now and then, and the percussion beats your senses senseless. The intentionality is ever-present, pushing the musical ideas forward.
There is plentiful speed here, but acceleration is not the whole story. “Smashed Perceptions” disturbs perceptions of pace, and you hear this on many tracks. “Flatline,” for example, does it in a different way. Instead of relying entirely on speed and volume, the change ups and hanging moments add tension and drama, maybe also anxiety, to the music.
The last four songs taken together are a menace to reason and sanity. “Wired For Destruction,” “Hollow Shell,” “Behind The Crowd,” and “The Question” work together in my head even if they weren’t meant to – they are a suite of destruction at the end that brings it all together. Recommended.
Bleed-Abide is out on Friday, April 22nd through MNRK Heavy. There are lots of formats to choose from at the links below.