The Red Death / Freya / Ion Dissonance - live in Fulton (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Red Death / Freya / Ion Dissonance

live in Fulton (2005)

live show

The VFW in Fulton last night hosted one of the best hardcore shows Syracuse has seen in quite some time, and I rolled up in a Plymouth Neon blasting Styx. Granted, I wasn't driving, but that makes me awesome by association. I missed the first band, some Fulton locals, so you won't be reading about them, so I apologize ahead of time for any bitching because you kids want to read about a band you don't know the name of.

So as far as I'm concerned, Buried Inside, touring in support of their amazing record on Relapse, Chronoclast, opened the show. Throughout the duration of their set, in which they played flawlessly, they said nothing to the crowd, instead seamlessly transitioning from song to song, playing all of Chronoclast seemingly just as it appears on the album. Buried Inside's singer ominously started their set off with a spoken word passage, and repeated slams to the gong. They then proceeded to play off the loud/soft dynamics of their songs perfectly, building up powerful crescendos that thunderously came back down. Great set from these guys.

Unholy was supposed to play next, but seeing as they were late to the venue, Ghosts Of The Saltwater Machine switched spots and played for them. GOTSM features ex-members of Found Dead Hanging, and where as FDH opted for technical hardcore á la Dillinger Escape Plane, GOTSM is much more mosh metal-oriented. As much as I generally loathe the aforementioned music, it's generally fun live, and seeing as it was their first show as a band, they really did entertain. Their sound was tight, and their guitars furious, inciting moshing o'plenty, but aside from getting kids on the floor their music really didn't offer that much.

Unholy finally did arrive during their set, so at its conclusion they were just about ready to go. Unholy really didn't offer much of a difference between themselves and the band who proceeded them, if anything offering less of an exciting performance, but I'll be damned if half the venue wasn't on the floor for these guys. It was a great sight seeing so many kids out there, taking Syracuse back to the way it should be, away from the Motion City Soundtrack and Blindside shows. Off-topic...anyway, Unholy finished up their set, and then things started to get interesting again.

Ion Dissonance was next up, and if their recordings were any indication, it was going to be a set to remember. And that's exactly what it was. Ion Dissonance play a chaotic brand of metal that translates brilliantly to a live show. Singer Gabe McCaughry bounced up and down the vocal scales between his deep growling and frenzied shrieking. The entire band played with an energy and stage presence that defied their short career as a band. Playing the majority of their album Breathing Is Irrelevant, the Canadian quintet burned through their set with reckless abandon, ending with "The Death Of One Man Is A Tragedy, The Death Of 10,000 Is A Statistic."

Syracuse natives Freya were up next, and that's where things really started to get interesting. This was my 4th time seeing Freya, and it was definitely the most impressive I've seen them play yet. Save "Daisy Cutter" and "Ashes Of Troy," everything they played was newer material, all of which sounds even better than what appeared on their last full-length. Karl had literally what seemed like the entire venue up and moving as they proceeded to rip through their set with all guns blazing. The drums pounded, the guitars cut, and Karl's wildcat scream was felt throughout all of Fulton. Terrific set, which led into the last of the night, and that was the Red Death.

Now, I had never heard the Red Death, and technically I still have not, because their regular vocalist is currently being detained somewhere in Virginia for shoplifting. Way to go. So instead, they had Brandon, formerly of From A Second Story Window fill in, and I for one am glad he did. I never was a big fan of FASSW, as it seemed to be generic metalcore, but Brandon's voice filling in for the Red Death was nothing short of incredible. It was a shrill, screamo-like vocal performance, and it almost didn't sound real. He proceeded to fluctuate between that, and a low, low growl, and the transitions were perfect. The other members of the band seemed to have a solid grasp on things, as there were some great riffs, and drumming that really held things together. It was their vocalist that stole the show, however, with a voice that never stopped impressing.

All said and done, excellent show. It seemed everyone had a good time, and hopefully Syracuse will put on more shows like this in the near future.