The Agonist, Allegaeon, Product of Hate – Friday, April 17, 2015 – Trickshots, Clifton Park, NYMonday, 20th April 2015
Whereas my last trip up to Trickshots a few weeks ago was more of an atmospheric occasion, it was known going in that this one was going to be a neckbreaker. Getting together two of my personal favorite bands, with stellar recent efforts (Allegaeon’s Elements of the Infinite was one of last year’s best, and The Agonist’s Eye of Providence is one of this year’s best so far) in one co-headlining bill was fantastic enough (particularly in the intimate location that Trickshots provides), but Product of Hate was really the wild card going in and ended up tipping the scales even further on the plus side.
The festivities started off with local band Accusations of the Insane. In true upstate style, they melded the best of death metal and hardcore into a massively heavy package. A short but sweet set, they ended on a high note with an absolutely killer final track. Next up was a second local band, The Power. A more deathcore-styled act complete with some turntables (admittedly not really my thing), they certainly captured the slowly building crowd’s attention and had some pretty crushing breakdowns.
Going into Product of Hate’s set with some light knowledge of one song (their debut comes out late summer on Napalm Records), curiosity was peaked to see how they’d sound. They immediately made an impression with some killer thrashy metal. The guitar and bass section was rather engaging, as was vocalist Adam Gilley, who frequently interacted with the group of us in the front who were headbanging away like mad (including my wife and I). The band’s high-impact thrash is seemingly a perfect fit for the live venue, and the band seem dead set on converting everyone over to them, one fan at a time. It’s the kind of attitude that’s sure to continue to gain them more momentum once their album is released.
Up next was Allegaeon, whom I finally caught live for the first time last fall in NYC. Stoked to catch an hour long set by the band, they still managed to surpass expectations. More frequent time on the road has served the band well, who clearly appeared more confident and ready to slay the crowd with their technically-infused melodic death metal. Opening up with “Threshold of Perception,” they began a thoroughly captivating performance, full of plenty of contagious energy, shred, and guitar theatrics – quickly winning over the crowd. While many bands tend to shy away from their lengthier numbers, Allegaeon goes at them head-on, also including the seemingly perfect set closer “Accelerated Evolution” and the epic “Genocide for Praise.” Some other highlights in their discography-spanning set included perennial favorites “Biomech” and “Behold (God I Am),” “1.618,” The Phylogenesis Stretch,” and “From the Stars Death Came.” Vocalist Ezra Haynes is an engaging and energetic frontman, but the finest treat is watching the occasional fireworks from the guitar duo of Greg Burgess and Michael Stancel when the soloing takes center stage. With the band finally catching a well-deserved buzz with their third album, expect to see more headlining sets in the band’s more immediate future (and make sure you head out to see them).
The last band for the night was The Agonist. A band that I’ve enjoyed for a number of years but always seem to miss them for some reason or another – they did not disappoint. After a vocalist swap last year, the band appeared to re-emerge stronger than ever (just take a listen to Eye of Providence), with new frontwoman Vicky Psarakis. On her first North American tour, Psarakis’ performance should silence any naysayers at this point, handling the band’s sometimes intricate clean/harsh transitions with ease. The band rolled through a series of three new tracks to kick things off (“Danse Macabre,” “My Witness, Your Victim,” and “Gates of Horn & Ivory.” But Psarakis earned her stripes with some fantastic renditions of older cuts such as “Business Suits & Combat Boots” and “Dead Ocean,” not to mention a killer vocal performance on “Panophobia,” proving that she can handle the new material live as well as put a little bit of new flavor into the old tracks. The rest of the band followed suit, with some windmills across the board (quite cool to see them all at once at close distance), flashy solos by Danny Marino and “Paco” Jobin, as well as some jumping and perching on the drum kit from time to time. Some additional highlights included “Ideomotor,” “I, Endeavor,” and the punchy closer “Follow the Crossed Line.” Bummer that some people hit the road before their set (what better things do people have to do at 11:00 PM on a Friday?), but those who remained were thoroughly entertained. With a firm line-up now at hand, hopefully the band will be more prone towards getting back out on the road soon.
At the time of this writing, tonight marks the last of the Get Rekt tour dates. Those who attended any of these dates is sure to have fond memories of their attendance and the show is sure to sit as one of the strongest concerts of the year, personally speaking. Those who did not catch this fantastic line-up should be sure not to miss if any of the bands involved!