Signs of the Swarm is currently on a US tour in support of their newest album “Amongst the Low and Empty” before heading off to tour Europe and on August 4th they swarmed the Metro Gallery in Baltimore city supported by other regional deathcore acts that made for a truly hive like ensemble that would sting hard if you weren’t ready for the brutal metal that followed.
Before I get started, I just want to make a note that the diversity in the lineup this night was truly impressive, and I wish the metal community would be as accepting of diversity as this lineup displayed. Ok, on to the metal…Born With Open Eyes
The first band of the evening was “Born With Open Eyes”, a death metal act out of Delaware. The guitarist Eric, adorned in a sick TMNT button up, struck up a conversation with me about touring and their hobbies when on the road and was generally a cool guy so I had high hopes for the music. As soon as they entered the stage, I was assaulted with tight drumming, melodic and intricate guitar/bass grooves that remind me of Within the Ruins at times, epic synth tracks and tight, controlled but ripping vocals. They were vocally thankful for all the early arrivals when it should’ve been the other way around, because DAMN they were sick.Temple Of Elorra
Then next band was “Temple of Ellora” and I was immediately struck by their singer rocking a tie-dyed Entheos shirt and walking on to the stage with a cane; I just saw Entheos at Baltimore Soundstage during the Whitechapel tour, so I knew this vocalist had good taste and was about to rip my eardrums open. I wasn’t wrong. Overall, they felt a little faster than the first band but with tight grooves and slow break downs; they got the crowd moving and you could feel the energy rising in preparation for the main act. I also noticed that they didn’t seem to have a bassist during this performance which I thought was of note because when I saw Entheos, they also didn’t have one. Anyway, sick Maryland death metal that is for sure worth your time to check out.The Archaic Epidemic
The next act, ‘The Archaic Epidemic”, I’m just going to start by saying I couldn’t stop staring at their singer’s giant muscles. Now that I’m done being thirsty, I’ll talk about their music. They probably reminded me the most of SotS with real zombie sounding vocals that I am here for. They had great synths and the band members doing backup vocals provided some great variety to the vocals that provided a lot of range. I don’t know if the vocalist watches anime, but I felt like I was constantly seeing him do JJBA poses and I’m here for it! These guys were really sick at super slow breakdowns with insanely fast double bass drum underneath of it. If you’re a fan of modern deathcore, you’re going to have a good time with The Archaic Epidemic.Signs Of The Swarm
For our final act, the one we’d all been waiting for was “Signs of the Swarm”. As I said in the intro, they are touring in support of their newly released album, “Amongst the Low & Empty”. Like another band I mentioned earlier in this review, I saw them earlier this year at a larger venue in support of Whitechapel. I was so excited to see them in a much more intimate venue, like Metro Gallery. I had not been to Metro since 2018 and it feels like their lights and sound have gotten a nice upgrade. From the opening notes until the very end, Signs of the Swarm flexed their deathcore muscles, showing the energetic crowd their ability to effortlessly weave tight and brutal riffs with epic and melodic grooves. Hearing the newest album’s title track played live continues to impress as a feat of musical prowess, timing and control. Drummer Bobby Crow continues to impress with not only his almost robotic tight live drumming but also with his impressive song writing capabilities. I’ve been listening to metal a long time but I’m by no means an expert but, for me, after this performance and listening to their latest release, I’d definitely name Signs of the Swarm as a contender for the best modern deathcore band on the scene right now.
“Amongst the Low and Empty” released on July 28th of 2023 and is available on all major music platforms.
Photos and review by: Steven Rickman