Unearth, Revocation, Entheos, High Command at Baltimore Soundstage
All Photos by Steven RIckman
I was excited for this show as soon as I heard about it: one brand new band to me in High Command, a band I know and love and have seen live in Entheos, a band I’ve enjoyed what I’ve heard but had not seen live in Revocation and finally a band that I’ve known since I played in my first metalcore band in the early 2000’s in Virginia Beach but have also never seen live: Unearth. With this amazing mix of metal bands in mind, I had an amazing time at Baltimore Soundstage that night of October 12th 2023. Let’s talk about it, from start to finish!High Command opened the night and felt like a heavy metal/thrash band mixed with elements of classic rock; with the main element giving me those classic rock vibes being the guitar solos but otherwise there was a huge 80s thrash vibe. Grooves surrounded by ripping thrash riffs and classic guitar solos gave High Command a sound that made it easy to shift from bobbing your head to banging your head. As a drummer I always pay close attention to bands’ drummer and High Command’s drummer always felt in the pocket while playing very 80s and 90s metal beats with ease. The very primal sounding singer gives me 90s death metal vibes and may do the same for you if you check them out online; not only was he primal sounding but when he lifted a broadsword high in front of him to rally the crowd he looked very medieval and the crowd definitely appreciated that. Up next was Entheos who I was seeing for the second time at Baltimore Soundstage this year with the other show supporting Whitechapel back on April 20th. For that show I missed half the set and I knew I couldn’t let that happen again. Vocalist Chaney Crabb and drummer Navene Koperweis have ridiculous chemistry and presence when performing live, with Chaney’s frightening vocals cutting away at you with as much clarity as they do on their albums and Navene’s creative hybrid of death metal beats and gospel chops sounding just as tight live as they are on their studio recordings. During this performance the band was down to a 3 piece since the touring guitarist had literally just had their appendix burst while on tour but the band still played a tight set consisting mainly of tracks from their Metal Blade debut album “Time Will Take us All.” The next band was Revocation whom it felt like most folks were there to see but I’d never seen live before and had actually only heard a few of their songs. I knew I’d love them as soon as their drummer was playing along with Phil Collins playing on the house speakers as they got ready for the final sound check. I, too, felt it coming in the air that night. Live, they were super tight heavy metal with a great mix of heavy and death beats happening on drums who was shockingly versatile behind the kit. Revocation was also down a guitarist for this tour but Harry Lannon of New Jersey band Cognitive filled the spot with gusto. The crowd moved through the entire set and was particularly excited to hear songs from 2018’s “The Outer Ones”. Hell, at one point, even The Devil himself came on stage and rocked out so, you know the crowd was on fire. The night was closed out by co-headliner and absolute OGs of metalcore, Unearth. Part of why I said it felt like most of the crowd was their for Revocation was because right before Unearth played, it felt like close to half the crowd left. This was a fucking tragedy because Unearth definitely worked the shit out of that crowd. Their vocalist, Trevor Phipps, emitted what felt like pure rage that clashed well with some cleaner vocals from time to time. I was surprised to learn that founding member Ken Susi left the band earlier in 2023 but it didn’t feel like they let this affect their performances on this tour at all with a set that spanned 21 years of metalcore grooves. Again, folks leaving early definitely missed out because people were literally dancing and grooving alongside people in the mosh pit just having an absolute blast.
It was a great night for metal at Soundstage in Baltimore, which the venue has proven they’re adept at delivering. Since that night I’ve had Unearth and Revocation spinning more than I have in several years. I’ll see you at the next show, Baltimore!
Photos and Review by: Steven Rickman