Catching a couple of local metal bands at the Attila show on Friday night was great but catching an entire line-up of amazing local metal bands on Saturday was amazing. A show of support for some of the best bands that the scene has to offer, the crowd on Saturday may not have been sold out but it was beyond mighty and that led to a flawless night at Amsterdam in Saint Paul.
Getting the stacked line-up started was a personal favorite of mine, Agony Reigns. I have been following these boys for years and every time I catch them live, they impress me just a little bit more proving that, although one of the youngest bands in the scene, they are one of the most powerful. Trashy and in your face, Agony Reigns slammed through their quick opening set and really set the tone for the night. Even though we all had a long night ahead of us, the audience was pushing and shoving their way through the set. Although some of the songs the band played sounded familiar, they also threw some new tracks in from their upcoming album and it has me beyond excited for the future of this band. Keep your eye on this band. I say it every time but I truly, truly mean it.
Graveslave took the stage second and, although I have seen this band many times before, it has been a while since the last time I was able to catch them so I was excited as they jumped into their quick but intense set. With a darker hue to their music than Agony Reigns, I found myself completely captivated by all of the intricacies of this band. From complicated drum rhythms to sweeping guitar solos to some of the most intense blast beats you have ever witnessed, Graveslave came off as tight and in control of not only the stage but also the audience.
I was super excited to catch Coffin Rites who was up next. Unfortunately, they ran into some serious technical difficulties and ended up having to cut their set way short but, even with time to play just a couple of tracks, this band packed a punch which the time they had. A mix of death metal and thrash metal, the thing that sticks out about Coffin Rites is the vocals. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the entire band is fantastic but there’s something about how the vocals can go from a guttural growl and a screeching scream in the blink of an eye. It’s truly remarkable to hear and amazing to watch. Although the audience had been pushing and shoving throughout the previous two bands, I feel like there was an explosion of energy during Coffin Rites’ set that would last through the remainder of the night and I truly think we have their amazing music to thank for that.
Even though I just saw In Search of Solace (the fourth band to take the stage on Saturday night) a month ago, I was full of anticipation as they set up on the stage. This band has to be one of my personal favorites in the local scene right now. They brought a metalcore-styled sound to the stage which is a bit more my thing than the darkened death, black, thrash metal that had come before them and their energy is always flawless. Their set on Saturday night was no different. With a sense of aggression and emotion that hits you like a punch to the gut, this band took the stage and never let the energy falter creating a great space for the entire audience to get some aggression out while reveling in the magic that is the Twin Cities metal scene. There’s something so genuine about an In Search of Solace set. It’s a bit difficult to put into words and something that you definitely just have to experience for yourself so make sure to catch them the next chance you get. I promise that you will not be disappointed.
Everyone who graced the stage before the headliner on Saturday was great but the night was about local legends Reaping Asmodeia. Saturday night’s show was a celebration of their new album ‘Darkened Infinity’. Reaping Asmodeia has been killing it for years but I truly think this new album is their best work yet. Before kicking into their set which included a full playthrough of ‘Darkened Infinity’, vocalist Steven Lane came out and gave the audience a little insight into the new album. Although it seemed like some of the audience was less than interested in what he had to say, I found myself trying my best to not miss a single word. I’ll be honest, I was a bit confused by the storyline as Steven walked us through every album. It’s a complicated story full of twists and turns and, when trying to focus on someone telling the story while everyone around you was talking about anything else made it even more confusing but I knew that as soon as the band jumped into the album playthrough, it would make sense.
Much like the bands that proceeded them, the trio that is Reaping Asmodeia jumped into their set and instantly brought a sense of power and aggression to not only the stage but also the entire audience. Another stunning showcase of the pure talent that we have in the Twin Cities metal scene, there was always something to watch. Whether it was drummer Daniel Koppy going absolutely nuts behind the drumset while not missing a single beat or guitarist Alexander Drake Kelly nailing every single part with a sense of passion and emotion or watching Steven Lane scream through the lyrics like his life depended on it, I mean, it was almost a bit overwhelming at times but I mean that in the best way possible. ‘Darkened Infinity’ is Reaping Asmodeia’s second album to come out on Prosthetic Records and I expect (and hope) that it won’t be the last.
All of the acts that took the Amsterdam stage on Saturday night killed it and proved why the Twin Cities metal scene is the best metal scene. Don’t believe me? Come on out for a show one of these nights and experience it for yourself.
Venue: Amsterdam Bar & Hall
Smell-O-Meter: A few whiffs of weed and BO
Average Age of the Crowd: 26
Crowd Surfers- None Spotted
Mosh-ability- 10 out of 10
Sausage-Fest Meter- 9 out of 10
Stage Divers- 18 counted but let’s use the term “stage divers” loosely here. They were just getting on stage to jump back into the crowd– there was no surfing or anything
Amount of Beer Spilled On Me While Walking Around- None
Broken Bones- None Noticed
Spotted Flying Through The Air- Nothing
Fights- None Witnessed
Pukers- None Witnessed
Idiots Taken Out By Security- 0
How Many Times I’ve Seen These Bands Before (or at least how many times I can remember)-
Agony Reigns – 6
Graveslave – 4
Coffin Rites – 1
In Search Of Solace – 6
Reaping Asmodeia – 3
Celebrity Sightings- Members of By The Thousnads
Overall Score- 9.2 out of 10
Show on Deck- Andrew McMahon / Annika Bennett / Zac Clark
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