100% HEAVY / 100% Free / 0% Spam

KILLSWITCH ENGAGE and PARKWAY DRIVE at the College Street Music, New Haven, CT (United States) 10/5/19

Share This:

Countless metal fans rejoiced in unison late last year when two of the genres most beloved bands, Killswitch Engage and Parkway Drive, announced an early 2019 co-headlining tour.

The two metal titans also enlisted the services of djent masters After the Burial as well as Boston, Massachusetts hardcore upstarts Vein to fill out the bill, which in turn only provided even more of an incentive for fans to grab a pair of tickets to the Collapse the World tour.

This past Friday the bands’ tour buses pulled up alongside the curb of the renowned College Street Music Hall to play to a sold out crowd of Connecticut’s finest and most die-hard metal fans.  Unfortunately for those that attended the performance, New Haven was one of the few dates Vein was not scheduled to perform at.   Sadly, Vein had a prior commitment to play Danny Wimmer’s newly christened Epicenter festival being hosted down in North Carolina.

Minnesota’s After the Burial instead opened up the night’s festivities at the College Street Music Hall with a crushing, albeit truncated set filled with a plethora of their trademark low end chugs and high pitched string benders.

Currently supporting Evergreen, the band’s sixth studio album released last month on Sumerian Records, Trent Hafdalh and company provided the New Haven crowd with ample opportunity to get their hearts racing and their fists flying with resplendent live takes on tracks that spread across the majority of the band’s discography.

After the Burial – College Street Music Hall – New Haven, CT (United States) May 10, 2019

Meshuggah may have very well invented djent with bands such as Periphery helping to make the genre popular, however, After the Burial may be the only band that’s been able to inject a level of dalliance and dare I say fun, into the equation.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons Killswtich Engage and Parkway Drive tabbed the band to be a part of this current tour as like themselves, After the Burial may play heavy music but they also come across as very humble, humorous and quite genuine in a live setting.

Two new tracks from Evergreen would make an appearance on the evening in the forms of lead single “Behold the Crown” as well as “Exit, Exist.” Both tracks showcased the heavier, progressive side of After the Burial that their core fan base have always gravitated to.

It would have been interesting to hear the band tackle some of the more melodic and hook driven songs off of Evergreen in New Haven, However, with their being limited stage time After the Burial chose to dedicate a good deal of their set to playing tracks from their back catalogue, all of which served to easily whip their fans into a sweat drenched frenzy.

After the Burial – College Street Music Hall – New Haven, CT (United States) May 10, 2019

The one, two opening salvo of “Lost in the Static” and “Collapse,” both off of 2016’s Dig Deep, properly set the tone for the bands’ set, while revered tracks such as “Berzerker” and “Aspiration” from 2009’s critically well received Rareform, also reminded the crowd of the mind bending technicality After the Burial are capable of unleashing at any time.

Australia’s own Parkway Drive took to the College Street Music Hall’s stage next to deliver over an hour long set of heavy music that focused primarily on the band’s two most recent records.

2018’s Reverence received the most play as Parkway Drive would go on to play six of the album’s ten tracks on the night. The band wasted little time indoctrinating the crowd with the new material as they opened their set with two of the stand out tracks from Reverence in the forms of “Wishing Wells” and “Prey.”

Parkway Drive – College Street Music Hall – New Haven, CT (United States) May 10, 2019

“Wishing Wells” worked extremely well as a set starter as the spoken word into by lead singer Winston McCall built up a level of uneasy intensity that washed over and bleed into the entirety of the crowd.

The audience, already internalizing that small bit of constriction McCall had thrust upon them, exploded in fury of fists and riotous screams the very second the band launched into the song’s first breakdown.

“Wishing Wells” and another track from Reverence that would make an appearance later in the set, “Absolute Power,” saw Parkway Drive employ the technique of using instrumentals and the music to drive the chaos with the vocals provided by McCall being used more as of a backdrop to the madness

Parkway Drive- College Street Music Hall – New Haven, CT (United States) May 10, 2019

Without question these types of songs from the new record play perfectly in a live setting and served as further proof that the best may be yet to come in terms of what Parkway Drive may have in store for the future.

Reverence is also perhaps the best source material to introduce any new listener to Parkway Drive’s music. The new album’s melodic undertones reflect the genius of past records such as Ire and Deep Blue while also still showcasing the traditional metal core sonics of Parkway Drive’s first record, Killing with a Smile.

Two of Reverence’s more experimental tracks, the slow burning and somber “Cemetery Bloom” as well as the somewhat outside the genre “Shadow Boxing” were also played and well received on the evening in New Haven.

Credit should be given Parkway Drive for pushing the boundaries of their music as well as what’s expected of them. Tracks like “Shadow Boxing” and “The Colour of Leaving,” the latter of which was not played in New Haven, prove that the vocal lessons, practice and patience McCall and the band showed in recording Reverence has paid off in spades.

Parkway Drive – College Street Music Hall – New Haven, CT (United States) May 10, 2019

Perhaps fittingly Parkway Drive also chose to focus a good deal of their time on stage to tracks off of 2015’s, Ire. The album marked a turning point in the band’s career as Parkway Drive seemed to make a deliberate attempt on Ire to shift away from unrestrained breakdowns and move more towards stadium sized hooks and choruses.

It’s also entirely possible we’ll look back in ten years and see that Ire was actually the moment Parkway Drive transformed from simply being a top of the food chain metal core band into one of the few heavy bands capable of filling arenas as a headliner.

Parkway Drive closed things out in New Haven with another one, two punch to the gut courtesy of Ire. “Crushed” a song that echoes the dynamics of Korn and Slipknot as well as eventual slow closer, “Bottom Feeder”, which may very well be the band’s all time best live song to rage to, left the Connecticut crowd exhausted, smiling and likely wondering how they were going to muster up enough energy for the night’s final set.

New England’s own Killswitch Engage were the final band to grace the  College Street Music Hall’s stage. Currently the band isn’t technically supporting a new record as their last effort, the critically well received Incarnate, was put out back in 2016.  KsE fans should be happy to know, however, that the band has announced a new album that will be released later in 2019 via their new label home, Metal Blade Records.

The lack of any new material to celebrate did absolutely nothing to temper the energy and enthusiasm Killswitch Engage’s fans unleashed in New Haven. Time and time again circle pits erupted and when the KsE crazies weren’t busy hurling themselves at one another, most were singing each and every lyric in unison with vocalist Jesse Leach.

Killswitch Engage – College Street Music Hall – New Haven, CT (United States) May 10, 2019

Leach, still battling an issue with his voice from the band’s previous show in New York, toughed it out once again to deliver the exact type of sublime metal performance KsE fans worldwide have long since come to expect of the band. Although Howard Jones is a sublime vocalist in his own right, Leach’s performance on Incarnate cemented the fact that he simply may be the better fit for the band.

“Strength of the Mind”, one of the standout tracks from Incarnate played on the evening, easily showcased the type of impact Leach can have on the band’s live performance.  The song is also a classic Killswitch Engage banger that stirred the pot in New Haven oh so devilishly.

“Hate by Design,” another stand out off of Incarnate with its shifts in tempo and intensity as well its scorching guitar solo from Adam Dutkiewicz, also worked incredibly well in New Haven.

Killswitch Engage – College Street Music Hall – New Haven, CT (United States) May 10, 2019

Speaking of Dutkiewicz, he’s quite a character himself. The lead guitarist’s passion and wild man persona on stage is beyond mesmerizing to watch and quite frankly, it’s actually kind of easy to get lost in when you see the band perform live.

Killswitch Engage ultimately treated fans to what would amount to a metal laced musical journey through their discography as the only record not to see love from the band in New Haven was their second self titled LP released in 2009.

Recent tours have seen the band give quite a bit play to perhaps their most beloved record, “The End of the Heartache.” The LP was once again well represented but it was good to bare witness to the band crushing quite a few songs off of 2013’s Disarm the Descent as well as 2006’s As Daylight Days.

“Arms of Sorrow,” beautifully showcased the unbridled power and raw emotion Leach is capable of conveying as the band’s front man, where as “Daylight Dies” provided a centerpiece for the behemoth bass lines Mike D’Antonio drops throughout the entire “As Daylight Dies” record as well as at each and every live show the band has seemingly ever played.

Killswitch Engage – College Street Music Hall – New Haven, CT (United States) May 10, 2019

“The Hell in Me’s” venomous vocals, rapid fire percussion by drummer Justin Foley as well as its blistering riffs and infectious chorus made it a logical choice to be played live and its inclusion in the set in New Haven was a welcome addition.

It was interesting to hear the band tackle “No End in Sight,” also from Disarm the Descent, as it’s a song Leach himself once called, “the weakest song on the album.”   Like many things in this world I’m guessing Leach’s opinion about the song have changed over the years as his performance of it in New Haven certainly spoke to that line of thinking.

Killswitch Engage have never attempted reinvent the metal core wheel even though many in the metal community consider them to be the actual forefathers of the genre.  Their tried and true formula of thrashed up lyrics, soaring vocals and brutal, head banging inducing riffs has treated the band well and they seem more than content to focus on refining their sound versus ever trying to bend themselves to the will of others.

Killswitch Engage – College Street Music Hall – New Haven, CT (United States) May 10, 2019

Countless usurpers and pretenders have invaded metal core over the years, in part successfully diluting it to the point where some believe it’s become borderline irrelevant. Killswitch Engage, however, are the the counterpart to this argument as they continue to prove that superb musicianship along side quality song writing can and will always win the day.

You know who else is more than okay with KsE’s approach?   Hordes and hordes of metal fans that span across the entirety of this floating rock in space we call planet Earth.

I’m also willing to bet there are more few aliens out there in the universe that are fairly cool with what Killswitch Engage is all about as well.  Now that I think about it for a second that sentiment kind of makes sense because I’m fairly certain that Dutkiewicz is from another planet, or at the very least, the moon.

Connect with Killswitch Engage, Parkway Drive & After the Burial: 

http://www.killswitchengage.com/   https://parkwaydriverock.com/  http://atbevergreen.com/

Discover more like this on HEAVY:

Our Picks.

Get the HEAVY

Get the HEAVY Digi-Mag in-boxed weekly. 100% HEAVY / 0%SPAM.