GIG REVIEW: Ne Obliviscaris, Black Crown Initiate & Starkill Live at The Bluebird Theater, Denver
Australian progressive/extreme metal band Ne Obliviscaris spent the last month a long, long way from home, as they toured North America with Black Crown Initiate and Starkill. Though the tour is now over, we here at Metal Wani need to let you North Americans know what you missed – if you passed up this tour near you.In short, this was an amazing night of progressive, melodic death metal, showcasing some of the most promising up and coming bands of these genres.
Fans at The Bluebird Theater in Denver, CO on August 10th were lucky enough to have local act In the Company of Serpents open up the night, and as always, this two-man doom band killed it. Chicago’s own Starkill was up next, and to be completely honest, they totally blew me away. Now, I’ve been listening to this band for a few years now, and absolutely loved their debut release, ‘Fires of Life’. These men have a unique blend of melodic death metal and power metal; that not a whole lot of bands out there have attempted with such success. They blend two of my favorite metal genres into a solid sound, and can truly deliver it live. Unfortunately, drummer Spencer Weidner couldn’t make the date, so Jesse Beahler (from Black Crown Initiate) filled in. Jesse graced the crowd with his beautifully trim drummer legs in booty shorts, so no complaints from me. The rest of the guys, Parker Jameson, Tony Keathley, and Shaun Andruchuk had a live energy that Sabaton themselves would be envious of.
Next up was another band I was extremely excited to see, Black Crown Initiate, a death metal band with a progressive twist out of Pennsylvania. Successfully trailing the release of their newest album, ‘Selves We Can’t Forgive’ (a definite on my Best-of 2016 playlist)vocalist James Dorton took the stage with such a massive presence and an intimidating glare out to the crowd. A real-life Tormund Giantsbane in a Barren Earth t-shirt was standing before me – and I was in love. The band sounded amazing live, and although most of the members had a laid back stage presence (especially after Starkill) they were still incredibly entertaining. They played a couple songs from their debut album ‘The Wreckage of Stars’ that I really wanted to hear, so I was a happy little metalhead. Although, as a photographer, it was a giant pain in the ass to work around their red flood lights.
Finally, the headlining set of the night, Ne Obliviscaris took the stage. Vocalist and violinist Tim Charles came up to the microphone and announced that the front man for the band, Xenoyr, was not feeling well, and would not be joining us for the evening. While everyone was relatively sad to hear the news, the mood changed once Tim announced that they would be playing songs never heard before – in ways never heard before. Some of the treats we were given that night included, extended versions, tracks that they warm up to, special solos, and their usual tracks with the clean singing spotlighted instead of the harsh vocals. “Citadel” was one hell of album, but my favorite moments were the clean singing. So this announcement made me question if I had died and gone to heaven. Or hell. However you see it. Either way, Tim Charles has one of the best set of clean vocals in the industry, and just listening to their fantastic music – and his voice all night – amazing. (No offense meant to Xenoyr, because it would be great to see their full set live one day.)
All in all, it was nothing but solid performances from every musician at the Bluebird that night. This was probably the best show I have seen in a long time, not that I was expecting anything less. I was totally blown away by Ne Obliviscaris, and I hope to catch them live again on their next North American tour – whenever that may be. Some sad news of the night however, is that Black Crown Initiate was robbed in Saint Louis, MO, after leaving Denver. They lost a ton of stuff, including their passports and a lot of cash that was supposed to help them get to their European tour here in a few weeks. So if you have a kind heart and a few bucks to share, they do have a crowdfund set up to help them get back on their feet. You can find the donation link here:
Also check out our Photo Gallery of the gig here!