Trivium, Avatar and Light The Torch – North Seventh, Philadelphia, PA – 10/13/18.
Review and Pictures: Tara Lakatos
Trivium’s, “The Sin and the Sentence” tour hit Philadelphia’s, North Seventh (formerly the Electric Factory) on October 13, 2018. They brought with them heavy hitters Light the Torch and the performance metal band, Avatar. This night was filled with heart-pounding metal riffs, mosh pits and crowd surfing. There’s something about a metal concert that brings out the pure passion for music from the crowd, that they innately become part of the show.
Light The Torch
First up for the night was L.A.’s, Light the Torch. This band had performed under the name Devil You Know since their formation in 2012. With the release of their new album, “Revival”, they changed their name to Light the Torch. LtT consists of Howard Jones (formerly of Killswitch Engage), Francesco Artusato (guitar), Ryan Wombacher (bass) and Mike Sciulara (drums). They played a 30 minute, 7 song set that consisted of 4 songs off of their current album and 3 off of their previous releases.
Light the Torch kicked off the night with “The Bitter End” from their current release “Revival”, this song follows a simple metal formula; a chunky, fast riff, a pelting drum beat and heavy but smooth vocals. One thing this that track had that many other metal songs lack is harmonized vocals. The vocal layering really added to the depth of this song, setting it apart from others. Next up was another new song, “Calm Before the Storm”. This track was a bit more melodic, leaning more towards a pure rock track rather than metal. Howard’s vocals are really versatile and they lend themselves very well to clean singing. On the complete opposite spectrum they closed out their set with “The Way We Die” from 2015’s “They Bleed Red”. This song featured Howard’s metal, growling vocals, heavy drums and a ripping guitar solo. This song really left the crowd hungry for more.
Next up was Swedish metal band Avatar, this band is a big top circus gone dark. Their tunes are catchy, their aesthetics draw you in, and their show is entertaining as hell. Avatar consists of Johannes Eckerstrom (vocals), Jonas “Kungen” Jarlsby (guitar), Tim Ohrstrom (guitar), Henrik Sandelin (bass) and John Alfredsson (drums). The band formed in 2001 and has release seven studio albums, the latest and greatest being this year’s release “Avatar Country”.
Avatar had an 8-song 40-minute set that enthralled the masses. Between their stage setup, costumes, light show and incredible musicianship, Avatar is probably one of the best touring metal bands around. They opened their set with “Hail the Apocalypse” off their 2014 album of the same name. This song opens with a chugging riff, a bunch of pitch harmonics and what sounds like an engine revving right out of the amplifier.
Johannes commands the audience like the ringmaster he is; while his vocals are demonic you are still able to understand the lyrics. This song had so much energy that the crowd surfers where coming faster than security could catch them, this is a sign of a really pumped and engaged audience. Next up was “Torn Apart” from their 2011 release “Black Waltz”. This one was more of a head banging song than a surfing song. It was driven by the rhythm section, with a super tight bass line and military precision on the drums.
Towards the end of the set they played one of my favorite tracks, “Smells Like a Freakshow” which is also off of “Black Waltz”. This track makes you want to dive right into the mosh pit. It has a heavy groove that just makes you want to rage while the chorus oddly enough is quiet and has clean vocals. The build back up to the verse leaves you on edge. They only played one tune from their current album, “A Statue of a King”. This one was also high octane but definitely infused their circus act into the sound. One second you are at a metal concert and the next second you are expecting the dancing lions to come out. I’m not sure this sound would work for any other band. Avatar puts on an incredible show; they are definitely a band you need to check out live to appreciate the intricacies.
Last but not least, Trivium. This is the third time I have seen them on the Sin and the Sentence tour cycle but the first as a headliner. I saw them when they opened for Arch Enemy last year and when they opened for Bullet for My Valentine earlier this year. Trivium consists of Matt Heafy (lead vocals/guitar), Corey Beaulieu (guitar), Paolo Gregoletto (bass) and Alex Bent (drums). They have been touring tirelessly around the globe supporting this album, nearly every show they have played has been sold out or close to it. If rock is dead, metal has resurrected. They played a 16-song set that left the crowd at their mercy. Between the mosh pits and crowd surfers I am sure that nearly everyone in the room went home with battle scars.
Trivium opened with “Betrayer” from their current album. Matt is a Jekyl and Hyde vocalist, he has the amazing clean vocals where he is smiling and playing with the crowd, a second later he’s possessed and could rip your head off. The next track was “Throes of Perdition” off their 2008 release “Shogun”. I have not heard many older songs live so it was great seeing them with a longer setlist . This song had similar vocal styling to “Betrayer”, showing that they stick with their tried and true selves. Alex is such a monster on the drums, he’s intriguing to watch because he is so calm while playing at ridiculous speeds. Their third song of the night was “Beyond Oblivion” which is also off their current album. This song has a super big chorus, it starts off clean then ends with a huge growl and torching drums.
Trivium filled in the rest of their set with songs from the course of their career. They went all the way back to 2005 and played “Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr” during the encore and closed with “In Waves” from 2011. Trivium has a distinct sound that can be heard across all of their albums. If you walked into this concert without knowing them, you would not be able to tell what songs were new and what songs were old. This is not a bad thing, they have a sound that works for them, and as they say; don’t fix what isn’t broken. I look forward to many more years of killer metal from these guys.
This tour is moving westward and winds down November 3rd in Berkeley, CA. This is a metal show for the ages, and if it comes your way, it’s one that you cannot miss. If you haven’t, check out both Light the Torch and Avatar. They are both amazing live bands with a ton to offer when it comes to both music and entertainment value.