It’s totally amazing that two of the bands that I’ve had the pleasure of covering the last couple of years, were included in this year’s Grammy Nominations. It is even better when a band like the Bay Area’s DEATH ANGEL, an iconic band that sprouted up around the time Thrash Metal made its 2nd appearance and immediately took flight along with bands like METALLICA, OVERKILL, ANTHRAX, SLAYER, et al. Afterall, it was the 80’s and just how much hair metal were we supposed to be subjected to?
KILLSWITCH ENGAGE and I PREVAIL both had releases that blew my mind last year. KSE’S Atonement and I PREVAIL’S Trauma, showed up in my 2019 Playlist at the top of the heap for the amount of times I streamed these records on Spotify, and rightly so because, well, I love both records with a passion.
I PREVAIL – HOUSE OF BLUES DALLAS
Touring last year, I PREVAIL was here twice, btw; once on their headlining tour and they provided main support to A DAY TO REMEMBER. Dudes and Mamas – let me just say that in 2019, I PREVAIL leveled up times two. I could not sit still after leaving the pit and was taken aback by the attention fans gave them at the HOUSE OF BLUES – DALLAS. When they came back as main support for A DAY TO REMEMBER, they were on a giant stage that gave me the goosebumps and stirred up a ton of nervousness for them during that set. Of course, they wrecked it as the crowd went nuts!
From seeing them in 2017 at TREES DALLAS when Scars was the hit, to an amphitheater stage like TOYOTA MUSIC IN IRVING, where the whole place is singing along to the whole set, there is a satisfaction and a big ole “atta boy(s)” to these guys. I wasn’t surprised to see the Nomination for Best Rock Album and Best Metal Performance in the slightest. I PREVAIL certainly did…and will continue doing so, IMHO.
KILLSWITCH ENGAGE – SOUTHSIDE – DALLAS
KILLSWITCH ENGAGE slayed the Southside Ballroom and oddly enough, it was my first time to see them on their own tour as opposed to seeing them on a festival date eons ago. That show with PARKWAY DRIVE blew me away; JESSE, ADAM and the boys were massively charged with unbelievable energy that could have possibly moved the tectonic plates like a mini-quake. It was incredible!
Atonement has to be one of my favorite records over the last 10 at the least five years. There is so much within each song to unravel; lyrically and within the music, when I reviewed it I could have yammered on for days about how the songs kept me from diving off the internal mind cliffs and how even some of the heaviest parts of the record prompted some long gazes in the reflection pond within. KSE is brilliant in writing music that will spawn a combustive reactions. For example the track The Signal Fire seems anthemic in some respects; a call to arms or an ignition within a person’s spirit or physical body – and in just listening to the song, created that surface feeling for me.
But when I saw the OMV for the track several months later, I realized that it had a much deeper message for me. Now, I can’t claim to know what the subject of the song is or is meant to be; I haven’t spoken to the band about the track so anything I say would be mere speculation. I can only gauge the message from how I reacted to the song on the record and then putting the imagry with the song. And all I can say is KSE is the only band whose video for a song, actually stirred up tears whilst watching. And the thing is, while it may seem to be obvious to some why the OMV would bring an emotional reaction out of me, just based on the song and the band’s history, but…that’s not where the emotional rise came from. It wasn’t about them at all. It was about me.
And that is why KSE’S music is and has been so poignant to so many fans for the last 20 years; they can evoke things with their music that I’m sure they didn’t intend on creating for fans. That connection they have formed with their music is, by far, one of the deepest I have felt, so I know that their music means that for so many others.
While TOOL took the Grammy for Best Metal Performance, I was a little disappointed, I must say. While I get the “Tool” thing and all of the weirdness that is stuffed into that band, they are gravely good musicians, and deserved a win, for sure. Just because I only really like one TOOL song, doesn’t mean I hate on them, or the rest of their music.
I’m just saying that KSE‘S Unleashed and the songs off Atonement are just as relevant, IMHO. The two bands have been around relatively the same amount of time, although one went one way and the other went another, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE is every bit deserving of the award, just as much TOOL. Look, I’m not making a comparison between the two acts, they’re very different more than they are similar. They are both extremely talented; overly talented in fact, groups of musicians.
KILLSWITCH ENGAGE is on tour later this Spring with LIGHT THE TORCH, which if you don’t know, HOWARD JONES former singer for KSE is now the frontman for the band. I personally, am super stoked for this tour to come to Dallas!
DEATH ANGEL – TREES DALLAS
I’ll be honest, DEATH ANGEL hasn’t been a band that I’ve regularly listened to, back at their inception or on their comeback in 2001. Why, I have no idea because I should have been listening to them! Seeing their show at TREES DALLAS in December was proof enough that this band is crazy good and good at serving up what they’re known for; thrash metal with nuggets of good ole Bay Area Rock dipped in the mixes of their songs.
Their set was fire and to my bewilderment, fans were out and loving every song this band gave them. I was totally impressed, and not that I need to be in order for a band to be good – that’s not what I mean. I was just impressed that their music from the beginning, is still uber relevant and a blast to see live!
So there you have it Lovelies! Three bands that have the distinction of being nominated for a Grammy in 2019 that are more than just a nomination. They’re more than just three bands that I love, they’re bands that millions of people love just as much.
If you love them, show them some love and buy a record, go to a show, grab a VIP ticket or order some merch from their online merch stores. You can find the links to the band’s websites; just click their pics below!
Til Next Time – MRML – Cherri