CMJ Metal Insider ShowcaseDate: October 29, 2014
By Adam Romero
This week we celebrate college radio with annual 2014 CMJ Music Festival. Several music showcases are set up all throughout New York to highlight up and coming bands, bands expecting to get their first break on college radio. While most showcases focus on the indie rock scene, Metal Insider decided to put on a show case for the metal scene at The Wick located in Brooklyn, New York. The showcase included a wide variety of bands from the rising metal scene including progressive metal band Toothgrinder, death metal band Black Crown Initiate, the post-hardcore/noise rock duo '68, and the thrash metal band Incite. Be sure to check out music from all bands below!
The Wick is the definition of an underground venue. The venue isn't even officially scheduled to open until May of 2015. Located in the heart of Bushwick Brooklyn, the venue sports a bar and a massive stage that holds 200 people. The entire place seems secluded and scary, it's easy to think that you stepped into the wrong place until you see the stage in the back. Overall, The Wick is definitely a cool place with great acoustics and atmosphere, look out for big things coming in the future from this venue.
The showcase started off with the up and coming progressive metal band from Asbury Park, Toothgrinder. Formed in 2010, this band is starting to gain some traction within the metal scene. Their new track "The Hour Angle" rose to number 10 on our New Music charts. Fans of The Dillinger Escape Plan will enjoy the intricate instrumentations and hardcore punk influences that Toothgrinder displays. They definitely are not afraid of pushing the boundaries of genre while at the same time delivering a heavy and energetic performance. Vocalist Justin Matthews proved himself to be a great frontman even performing for a crowd that might have not been too familiar with his music. Stages were dove off of, and amps were climbed.
Next up was the death metal band Black Crown Initiate from Reading, Pennsylvania. Sporting the musicianship and duality of soft-to-harsh vocals of a band like Mastodon, and the ferocity of a band like Amon Amarth, it was hard not to be impressed with Black Crown's performance. Chanting along to vocalist James Dorton's growls was a must. Guitarists Rik Stelzflug and Andy Thomas sported eight-string guitars, while their bassist Nick Shaw played a six-stringed bass. The product of this instrumentation was a highly developed and complex sound. Their single "A Great Mistake" has reached number seven on our new music charts!
Transitioning from a band with an auxiliary amount of instrumentation, came '68, the post-hardcore duo that squeezes such a big sound from only a guitarist and drummer. Rising from the ashes of The Chariot, '68 is Josh Scogin's latest project. The showmanship of this band is reminiscent of those of a Nirvana or At the Drive-In, laced with noise rock and sludge metal undertones. Guitars hit cymbals, and drumsticks played guitar strings. Instruments were thrown, and pits were opened. While giving powerful and energetic performances, Scrogin kept it light with his sense of humor. Never once truly saying his duo's name, he introduced his act as Janis Joplin and ACDC, saying "that they're going to hit it big in Europe soon."
Up next was the night's headlining act Incite, the spiritual successors to groove/thrash metal legends Soulfly and Sepultura. Hailing from Phoenix, Arizona, the up-and-coming thrash band is fronted by Max Cavelera's stepson, Richie Cavelera. Unfortunately due to the time restraints of being a group of college kids in New Jersey, WSOU had to regrettably leave the showcase before Incite took the stage. Incite supposedly put on a fantastic show, and closed out the night in an impressive fashion. They are heading on tour this fall with 36 Crazyfist and Skin Lab. The band latest release "Up In Hell" came out earlier this year.
The Metal Insider Showcase was great because it should the wide range of music that falls under the genre of metal. No two bands booked sound exactly the same, and each are rising stars within the genre. You can listen to each band's music below, and expect to hear each band on 89.5 FM!
Black Crown Initiate