This past Friday night at Mohawk Place, a brand new quintet of heavy hitters took to the stage and completely stole the show. I’m talking about Liber Ivonis (the name inspired by the world of H.P. Lovecraft)- a fusion of melodic death metal, blackened death metal and everything in between, forged from the ashes of Theatre Nocturne. The band features Rob Palumbo (Canto V, Theatre Nocturne) on vocals, Erik Wagonblott (The Red Silence, Theatre Nocturne) on guitar, Jay Zgoda (Sertraline, Darkapathy, Siegewyrm) on guitar, Justin Herzog (Theatre Nocturne) on bass and Mike Paquette (Orius, Theatre Nocturne, The Red Silence) on drums.
Their live debut at “Dark Fiesta 2017” on 5/5 at Mohawk Place definitely turned a lot of heads, instantly making them a “must see” in the Buffalo metal scene. Personally, I haven’t been this excited about a Buffalo band in a long time. Liber snuck up behind me, clubbed me over the head and made me see the whole scope of our scene in a completely new light. What intrigued me the most about their sound, was Rob Palumbo’s clean singing. The riffs are melodic (obviously), dark, foreboding, even demonic at times, with unforgiving, blisteringly fast drums- exactly as TRUE classic melodic death should be, but the clean singing sprinkled throughout the setlist didn’t take away from those vibes in the slightest. Rob’s voice is a clash between the iconic screams of At the Gates’s Tomas Lindberg and a clean voice all his own that’s difficult to pinpoint. All of this makes for an ideal throwback sound for the genre, while keeping things eclectic, interesting and fresh.
I’d recommend these guys to fans of At the Gates, the old In Flames, Dissection, The Black Dahlia Murder’s Unhallowed era and the more melodic side of Beyond Creation. Granted, these comparisons leave Rob’s clean singing hanging out to dry, but once again, you have to hear Liber Ivonis to truly appreciate their overall sound. These 5 musicians, collectively make Liber a force to be reckoned with and it just wouldn’t be the same if any one of them were missing from the equation.
Given the lack of proper audio samples, check out some live footage from their debut performance below and judge for yourselves. Definitely give their Facebook a “like” too and all that jazz. Be on the lookout for future shows, recordings, etc.
Thanks for reading, guys. We hope you’ve got yourselves another favorite Buffalo metal band to add to your lists!