On an unusually mild night in Charm City, what became a sold-out crowd gathered for a metal celebration at the Baltimore Soundstage, Sumerian Records’ 10th anniversary tour headed by Born of Osiris and supported by Veil of Maya, After the Burial, Erra, Bad Omens and Artificts, which turned out to be a ripping show of which Sumerian Records should be immensely proud.
Upon first entering the venue, it was obvious we were going to witness a whole bunch of craziness as the floor was already packed with fans. We found later that the show had eventually sold out and was at max capacity. Making our way to the stage was highlighted by a short but spirited set from local prog metal band, Artifacts, hailing from right here in Baltimore, Maryland. Following them was a fledgling group out of Los Angeles, California called Bad Omens. Despite their “boy band” look, these guys rocked the house and enjoyed a great fan response. Their set closed with “Glass Houses”, their recently released debut single, inspiring crowd surfers and headbangers alike.
Up next was Erra, a highly energetic heavy metal band out of Birmingham, Alabama. This was my first exposure to this band and I was quite pleased. I will always enjoy a band more when they are obviously having great fun on stage. Erra was doing just that, playing selections from their two studio albums and three EPs, such as “Pulse” from ‘Augment’, “Seven” from ‘Impulse’ and “Luminesce” from their upcoming release ‘Drift’ due out in April 2016. This band is definitely worth a second look.
With the crowd packed in and anxious, After the Burial jumped into action, opening with “Lost in the Static”. The opening riff of this song is unmistakable and the fans reacted accordingly. After the Burial delivered a crushing performance, interrupted briefly by a heartfelt tribute to their late guitarist, Justin Lowe, in which singer, Anthony Notarmaso, announced that ATB was back with a vengeance making music and touring. This was definitely good news. Their set closed with an appearance from JT, the singer from Erra, joining in on their final song, one I was not familiar with but enjoyed all the same.
Up next was Veil of Maya who always commands all attention while onstage. Unfortunately, the sound mix was a little off and Lukas Magyar’s vocals could have benefited from being slightly louder. Regardless, as with each appearance, Veil of Maya dominates with great musicianship and a raucous stage presence. As the bands and sets move along, more and more equipment is removed which gives the bands more and more room to move around which always makes capturing photos more difficult. But, photo difficulties aside, Veil of Maya killed it through songs like Matriarch and Eclipse which worked the fans into a frenzy which was quite entertaining to watch.
Headlining the night’s show was Born of Osiris, a five-man outfit hailing from the suburbs of Chicago. Consisting of Ronnie Canizaro (vocals), Lee McKinney (guitar), Joe Buras (keyboards), David DaRocha (bass) and Cameron Losch (drums), Born of Osiris has established themselves as one of Sumerian’s top acts and for good reason. The band was very tight with Losch’s amazing drumming backing up a cacophony of BOS classics including the tracks “Illuminate” and “Warlords” from their latest release, ‘Soul Sphere’. The audience was exhausted and running on empty but that didn’t stop the pit or the crowd surfers, gleefully kicking random heads as they were passed up front by the crowd. At least the security team seemed to be a little better equipped to deal with manhandling large fans over the barrier. The show closed relatively early which is unusual for a 6-band outing. Born of Osiris rode the bull all the way to the end giving fans the Deathcore experience of their lives. Til the next time, boys…
Bottom Line: Great show, great bands, period.