The Word Alive is an in 2008 founded Post-hardcore band from Phoenix, Arizona (USA). The current members of the band are Tyler ‘Telle’ Smith (vocals), Zack Hansen (lead guitar), Toni Pizzuti (rhythm guitar), Daniel Shapiro (bass, keys) and Matt Horn (drums). Their musical style is a great mix between hard screamed vocals and very melodic clean vocals, that are colourfully underlined with heavy and dark sounding guitars. However, not every song contains a breakdown and heavy sounds. The band shows a balanced mix of lighter singalong songs and heavy metal tunes. The overall vibe of the music is quite melancholic and dark sending the listener into another world.
In 2009 the band got signed to Fearless Records and released their EP ‘Empire’ that reached No. 15 on the Billboard Heatseeker Charts and toured with bands such as Silverstein. After touring the band started recording their debut Album ‘Deceiver’ which was released later in 2010 (Fearless Records) and charted on No. 97 of the Billboard 200 Charts. With their debut album, the band wanted to show their facets of being a metal band but also having a beautiful and melodic side. In 2012 The Word Alive recorded and released their second full-length album ‘Life Cycles’ (Fearless Records) and supported bands such as Sleeping With Sirens and Parkway Drive. After playing different festivals and touring, they started writing their third album ‘Real.’ in 2013, which finally was released in 2014 via Fearless Records. Focussing on the right balance between heavy and also showing their beautiful melodic side the album is seen as their most personal one. After the release, they went on a headlining tour and played at different festivals. Their latest full-length album ‘Dark Matter’ (Fearless Records) was released in 2016 and came along with a headlining tour in North America in that year.
I really love their mix of heavy guitars, melodic clean vocals parted with screamed parts, which create a melancholic atmosphere. Hence, as I saw they come on tour in Europe I took the chance and went to one of the concerts which was at the LUXOR in Cologne. Together with Carcer City they were supporting Attila.
The first band of the evening was the British Metalcore band Carcer City from Liverpool. So far Patch (vocals), Lewy (guitar, vocals), Yacka (guitar), Ollie (bass) and Karl (drums), of whom the band consists of, released their EP ‘Affliction’ (2009) and their debut album ‘The Life We Have Chosen’ (2009) in the same year, as well as ‘The Road Journals’ (2012) and their latest Album ‘Infinite//Unknown’ (2016) via Stay Sick Recordings. Musically, their style is a mix between melancholic sang vocals and hard screamed parts, coloured with heavy guitars and breakdowns. As soon as they entered the stage they brought a lot of energy with them and animated the crowd to move along. As the audience in Cologne in general seems to be quite hard to get moving at the beginning (I have to admit I’m also someone who always needs a bit longer to get moving myself 😀 – sorry), it took a few invitations of the singer. However, with the energy on stage, it didn’t take long. The crowd waved their hands built the first circle pits and the band seemed to have a blast on stage. With their music, they created a melancholic but at the same time energetic atmosphere which was supported by the simple lighting and raw sound. I really enjoyed their music and show, so it was really sad that they didn’t have that much time on stage.
However, after a short sound check, The Word Alive entered the stage and brought all of their energy with them. The crowd, who was now already warmed up, had loads of fun clapping along, running in circle pits jumping and singing along. It was an amazing show with a nice ambience, great vibes and loads of energy. The Word Alive seemed to have a blast on stage and wanted the audience to get the best experience possible. The sound and musical performance were great as well. The songs were energetic but at the same time brought some melancholic vibes with them, which created a magical experience. Everything was positively supported with the simple light show and the good acoustic. The Word alive played a mix of their newest album ‘Dark Matter’ and some of their older songs. They also played a completely new song ‘Misery’ and ended their set with ‘Trapped’.
After another quick sound check, the final band of the evening were about to enter the stage. Attila is a metal-, death- and rapcore band from Atlanta, Georgia (USA) who was founded in 2005 by Chris Fronzak (singer). The current members are Christopher (Chris/’Fronzilla’) Fronzak (vocals), Christopher (Chris) Linck (guitar), Kalan Adam Blehm (bass) and Bryan McClure (drums). Before the band got signed to Artery Recordings in 2010 and released their debut album ‘Rage’, they self-released ‘Fallacy’ in 2007 and ‘Sountrack To A Party’ (Static Factory) in 2009. After touring with bands such as From First To Last, Sleeping With Sirens, Memphis May Fire and other bigger bands, they released their fourth album ‘Outlawed’ (Artery Recordings and Razor & Tie) in 2011. Until 2013 they again toured a lot and had a headlining tour at the end of 2012. ‘About That Life’, the band’s fifth studio album, was released in 2013 and followed by a bigger headlining tour, supports in Europe, as well as some festivals. With their sixth full-length album ‘Guilty Pleasure’ (2014), Attila was trying to get an even heavier sound than they wanted to have on their previous albums. After Attila were signed to Sharp Tone Records they released their latest studio album ‘Chaos’ in 2016.
The crowd really seemed to like the show and overall performance. There was a lot of crowd surfing, chaotically jumping, singing along and dense mosh pits. Towards the end of the show singer Fronzilla asked for some volunteers who would join him on stage to perform one song with the band. He chose two guys who had to battle against each other so the crowd could decide who was the winner. A lucky very metal-ish looking guy was the lucky winner and had a blast on stage. The crowd was happy and energetic as well. As I haven’t heard a lot about the band before I didn’t really know what to expect as I only wanted to go to the concert because of The Word Alive, I was a little surprised about the very energetic and wild performance. Not only the band but also the audience seemed to have an amazing time and went mental. I personally, didn’t enjoy them as much as I did enjoy The Word Alive and Carcer City, but that doesn’t mean that their performance was not good! Their fans were totally satisfied and I enjoyed the whole concert experience as well and had a special time!
The venue was again the LUXOR in cologne which I think is always doing a great job. I absolutely love the atmosphere in such small concert venues as everything seems to be very familiar and cosy – not as far away and impersonal as at huge arenas. The acoustic was good as well, however this time I thought it was quite loud, though. The acoustic in general was quite clear and the instruments did not end mixed up in one chaotic collection of noises.
It was definitely a great evening that I enjoyed a lot 🙂