Usually my predictions for shows are pretty spot on. I can tell if a show is going to do well based on the work I see being put in by the bands and promoters and then of course, there’s the quality of the music to consider. In addition, a lack of competing events is also a plus. I knew last night’s show at Mohawk was going to be packed. I had my fingers crossed for our friends in Abyance for a long time. It was their first show in Buffalo in almost a year and they needed to come back strong. They’ve got a new lineup and a whole new sound. Armageddon is gone and Abyance is here. What once was a blistering homage to old school thrash metal is now a new school wave of djent riddled, hook infested metal, carrying riffs that cater to metalheads of most ages and tastes. Over the past few months I’ve heard the djent label used to describe Abyance a few times. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Anthony’s clean vocals are very unique and his harsh vocals have more of a hardcore feel to them than anything else. The riffs are laced with melodies, brutality and stabbing rhythmic jolts all in one. For all they’ve done to revamp themselves, Abyance still carries subtle old school influences in their style as well. And how could they not? None of the new sub genres of metal could exist without the old.
As for what we witnessed at Mohawk last night: Nuclear Winter opened things up with skin shredding old school thrash, instantly transporting us back to a time when Metallica was a brand new band introducing the world to their brand of Bay Area thrash. You’ll also hear shades of the first few Megadeth and Anthrax albums in NW’s sound as well. These are young dudes with a passion for the founding fathers of thrash and classic heavy metal. They can hang with the best of the best around here and have no issues kicking things off fierce and getting people moving. Aside from the band members, I hardly recognized anyone at the show. I could be mistaken, but I think Mohawk was doing 16+ last night which was essential. We need to get the younger kids who want to hear our local metal bands into the rooms where these events are happening. Liquor licenses are important, but with the right management and some stern rules set in place long before the event, I’m sure the dozens of younger kids I saw moshing their faces off last night would be happy to come to more gigs in the future. I’m so sick of getting messages on Facebook from our younger readers and telling them they can’t come to the show. It’s heartbreaking, but unfortunately, it has to be done.
The Impurity was up next. They’re another old school metal fueled powerhouse with nasty riffs, solos and soaring clean vocals. Anthony Potenza from Abyance just recorded their new full length, In the End. Fans of old school Metallica, Megadeth or Iced Earth should get into it. I’ve been seeing a lot more of these dudes lately. They’ve been showing up early and staying late at their own shows and going to other bands’ gigs to promote their stuff and mingle. This is how it’s done. Check out a track from their full length right here:
Dilettante were up next. Now, before I go any further, let me get this out of the way. For all intents and purposes, these guys are not a metal band. In fact, they’d cater more to the Glassjaw, Saosin, Story of the Year, Senses Fail crowd from about 10-15 years back. They may not be metal as we’d like to see and hear it, but last night, they did something just as valuable. They promoted their asses off and got more people to the show from beginning to end to support all the bands. Furthermore, they’re good at what they do. They are selling a solid product and many people in that scene are drinking it in. I wish them well in their pursuits.
Finally, Abyance hit the stage and made that incredibly important big impression upon their return to the Buffalo live scene. Anthony commanded the crowd like a seasoned veteran frontman. I’m not a fan of not seeing the guitar in his hands, but he’s still writing riffs for his crew and you can still hear his string influence in the songs. As for the rest of the band: they were solid as a rock. The crowd was energetic and moving for the entire set and a surprising number of people knew most of the lyrics to their brand new singles which haven’t even been released yet. This proves once again that Abyance did a hell of a job promoting and even got those fans guaranteed to come to the show educated on their new material in secret.
What a great night for Buffalo metal. Four younger bands hit the stage and made things feel alive and fresh. Mohawk felt like Showplace used to in the early 2000s every weekend for those who remember. My hope is that this camaraderie continues between these 4 bands and others in their scene niche, so that upon expansion into other lineups and venues, we’ll see more crowds this size on a regular basis for our young up and comers.
Thanks for the nostalgia, Abyance. The Metal appreciates your work ethic.