Last week I went to another gig to see Alazka who were currently touring together with We Came As Romans. It was their last show together before both continued touring separately in Europe and America.
Around a year ago I’ve already seen Alazka supporting Being As An Ocean. Back then they were called Burning Down Alaska. However, after a change in their line up and getting a second vocalist in 2016, the band from Recklinghausen (Germany) re-formed as ‘Alazka’, currently comprises Tobias Rische (screamed vocals), Kassim Auale (clean vocals), Marvin Bruckwilder (guitar), Dario Sanchez (guitar), Julian Englisch (bass) and Tobias Lotze (drums), and released their debut album ‘Phoenix’ via Arising Empire and Sharptone Records in 2017. Musically they show influences of melodic hardcore, metalcore and post-hardcore, mixing clean and screamed vocals which are supported by atmospheric guitar sounds, creating amazing vibes. The lyrics are melancholic and deep which goes along well with the overall atmospheric vibe of the music. Especially Kassim’s soulful and rough vocals creating melancholic vibes, as well as Tobias’s screams make the band unique and special. The fusion of catchy refrains, melancholic lyrics and heavy guitar riffs work well together and create a magical atmosphere, dragging the listener into another sphere.
Around four weeks prior to the gig, it was already sold out completely. The Underworld opened the doors around 7pm, letting the long queue, consisting of a mixed audience who was patiently waiting, in. With the first band on the stage, which was the American metalcore band The Plot In You from Ohio, the crowd already showed their energy and engaged in the performance. Formed in 2010, the group is composed of vocalist Landon Tewers, guitarist Josh Childress and bassist Ethan Yoder who released one EP ‘Wife Beater’ in 2010, followed by their debut album ‘First Born’ (2011, Rise Records), ‘Could You Watch Your Children Burn’ (2013, Rise Records), ‘Happiness In Self Destruction’ (2015, Stay Sick Recordings) and ‘Dispose’ (2018, Fearless Records). Musically, the trio mixes vibey sounds with heavy guitars, break downs and both clean and screamed vocal. Right from the start of their set, the crowd was screaming the lyrics back to the band, had fun jumping along and absolutely enjoyed the show which was deeply appreciated by the band. They already set the energy levels up high which were further increased by the second band for the evening.
Polaris are a melodic hardcore quintet from Sidney, Australia. Formed in 2012, the band currently consists of Jamie Hails (vocals), Jake Steinhauser (bass), Rick Schneider (guitar), Ryan Siew (guitar) and Daniel Furnari (drums). So far, they released the two EP’s ‘Dichotomy’ (2013, self-released) and ‘The Guilt And The Grief’ (2016, self-released), as well as one debut album ‘The Mortal Coil’ (2017, Resist Records / SharpTone Records). Musically, they show influences of post-ardcore and melodic metalcore, mixing melodic clear and rough screamed vocals. Changing up their song structures, the band sometimes shows clear sung passages in their verses and screamed choruses, where as melodic choruses and screamed verses are normally common for genres such as post-hardcore and melodic metalcore. Furthermore, their songs show elements of breakdowns, catching clean vocals and vibey guitars. Especially Jamie’s emotions coming through his singing as well as the band’s catchy melodies and technical ability make the band sound unique.
The second Polaris started their set, the crowd went mental. There was a huge mosh pit in the middle of the room, as well as continuously ongoing stage diving. Everyone was singing along and dancing around which was highly appreciated by the band. Both the crowd and the band seemed to have an amazing time.
The next band on the stage was Alazka who were completely flashed by the positive feedback and energy of the audience. Not slowing down after the first two bands, the crowd formed into another big mosh pit, and sung along on the top of their lungs. The band played a good mix of their new songs, as well as they brought some of their older songs. Overwhelmed by the power with which the audience screamed the lyrics back to them, they couldn’t thank their fans enough. Encouraging their audience to stage-dive and run around in mosh pits, Kassim and Tobias took their chance towards the end of the set and joined the crowd themselves, having an amazing time.
The last band of the evening was the American metalcore band We Came As Romans from Michigan. Formed in 2005, and having gone through many line-up changes, the band now comprises David Puckett (drums), Kyle Pavone (clean vocals, keys), Dave Stephens (screamed vocals, keys, synths), Joshua Moore (guitar), Andy Glass (bass) and Lou Cotton. So far, the sextet released two EP’s ‘Dreams’ (2008, self-released) and ‘Demonstrations’ (2008, self-released), as well as five full-length albums which are ‘To Plant A Seed’ (2009, Equal Vision), ‘Understanding What We’ve Grown To Be’ (2011, Equal Vision), ‘Tracking Back Roots’ (2013, Equal Vision), ‘We Came As Romans’ (2015, Equal Vision) and ‘Cold Like War’ (2017, SharpTone Records). Musically, they show influences of post-hardcore, screamo and metalcore, adding melodic passages, orchestral instrumentation and keys to their heavy guitar sound. However, with their self-titeled release, the band showed a shift in their style which shows influences of alternative rock, moving towards a more alternative or melodic metal direction. Lyrically, the bands writes about positivity, purpose, hope, morality or brotherhood.
Not slowing down after the first three bands, the audience kept their high energy levels and continued the stage diving and moshing during We Came As Roman’s set. Everyone screamed the lyrics back to the band and seemed to enjoy the set. The band played a good mix of their older and newer songs which was greatly appreciated by their fans.
Not only the performance of all three bands but also the acoustic and light show were very well. The overall lights were kept simple and the sets rather dark which suited the ambience perfectly. During Alazka’s performance, the band asked the audience to lit the room only using lighters or phone lights which looked stunning and created a mystical ambience. The acoustic was good balanced as well.
Overall, it was an amazing evening with greatly talented bands and a very engaging audience. Everyone seemed to have a special time, enjoying both the music and performances. The bands were flashed by the positive feedback of their fans and couldn’t thank them enough.
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