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March into Madness with Ice Nine Kills and From Ashes to New

Ice Nine Kills and From Ashes to New March Into Madness

Co-headliners Ice Nine Kills and From Ashes to New brought their March Into Madness tour to the South Carolina Upstate on Friday. Along with supporting acts Hawk, Afterlife, and Palisades they took over the mid-sized venue, The Firmament, for the evening. A 7 PM start combined with a lengthy drive through Friday rush hour meant I had to make an early start to arrive on time. Was it worth it? *Spoiler alert* It was.

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Leading off was Hawk, a Pennsylvania metalcore outfit formerly known as This or The Apocalypse. There was a good crowd right from the start and singer Ricky Armellino wasted no time vaulting over the barricade and into the crowd. The moshing was going early and would continue for most of the evening. It was a short, but enthusiastic set.

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Next was Afterlife. I probably overuse energetic as an adjective when describing shows, but it applies here. A very aggressive, industrial metal sound combined with terrific stage presence is always a winner in my book. “Vicious Cycle” was a real standout. This is a band I’ll be paying more attention to in the future.

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Palisades brought a different vibe, more introspective. They’re certainly capable of a heavy sound, but it’s interspersed with some quieter, reflective passages, a nice blend of elements.

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I’ll confess that rap metal is a genre I don’t usually listen to very much, but From Ashes to New may have won me over on the style. The combination of rapped, clean, and unclean vocals from vocalists Matt Brandyberry and Danny Case over a shredding guitar and pounding drums, well, it just works. All the different elements at play, rap, hip-hop, pop, rock, and metal combine in a cohesive whole.

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If you’re not familiar with Ice Nine Kills, know that they were removed from an upcoming show at Disney owned House of Blues in Orlando, FL for their “violent imagery” The band’s response? They designed a line of merch featuring Disney characters reimagined as classic horror icons.

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A Nightmare on Elm Street, Jaws, IT, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre are just some of the horror franchises that inspire their look and music. But no one seems to take it too seriously, as the crowd lustily sang along with the Jason Voorhees tribute, “Thank God It’s Friday.”  It’s just good, clean if somewhat blood-soaked fun.

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Overall it was a nice mix of styles on one bill and a good value for a night’s entertainment. The tour is ongoing throughout the spring, so don’t miss out!

See full gallery of the night!

Catch this tour:

Mon 6 PM CDT947 guests
Dallas, TX
Sat 6 PM PDT1,210 guests
Las Vegas, NV
Sun 7 PM MST1,634 guests
Phoenix, AZ
Tue 6 PM CDT1,004 guests
San Antonio, TX
Wed 6 PM CDT983 guests
Sun 7 PM1,204 guests
Atlanta, GA
Mon 7 PMShared to Carolina Headbangers
Charlotte, NC
Wed 7 PM875 guests
Silver Spring, MD
Fri 6 PM1,311 guests
Sayreville, NJ
Worcester, MA
New York, NY
Tue 7 PM880 guests
Philadelphia, PA
Wed 7 PM1,903 guests
Norfolk, VA
Cleveland, OH
Sun 4:30 PM CDTEvan J. Thomas is going
Tue 8 PM MDT1,878 guests
Denver, CO
Wed 6 PM MDT2,544 guests
Salt Lake City, UT
Sat 7 PM PDT1,341 guests
Portland, OR
Sun 7 PM PDT1,104 guests
Seattle, WA
Sun 7 PM PDT1,191 guests
Wed 6 PM PDT401 guests
Sacramento, CA
Fri 6 PM PDT821 guests
Los Angeles, CA

Once an aspiring male model, Kevin quickly realized he had a face that was better suited to being behind the camera. When he's not at a concert, he can often be found at sci-fi conventions or preparing for the coming zombie apocalypse.

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