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Today I Caught The Plague: Exclusive “Protest The Hero Tour” Journal 1

Hello people; thanks for stopping in. We’re currently stoked to be on our first tour in the United States of America, alongside our friends in Protest The Hero, Periphery, The Jeff Loomis Band, and The Safety Fire — talk about best foot forward, huh? All these guys are great, and make our evenings consistently entertaining. Here’s what’s happened so far in…

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Hello people; thanks for stopping in. We’re currently stoked to be on our first tour in the United States of America, alongside our friends in Protest The Hero, Periphery, The Jeff Loomis Band, and The Safety Fire — talk about best foot forward, huh? All these guys are great, and make our evenings consistently entertaining. Here’s what’s happened so far in…

Chicago, IL: The Windy City treated us well, and served as an excellent introduction in to the American music scene. This was the night we met everyone that we’ll be spending the next month or so with, and it’s honestly hard to conceive a kinder, more supportive group of musician’s and crew.

We were happy to take the stage to a well-filled room, and happier to see enthusiastic faces singing word for word with us when we kicked in. A very smooth and enjoyable night on the stage.

Post-set we relaxed and mingled with our new tour-mates, as well as members of bands like Born Of Osiris and Veil Of Maya. After discovering that Jeff Loomis’ van battery had died, we gave them a boost, and then headed out, on our way to Lawrence, KS…

Lawrence KS: Tonight was a very cool set; comfortable might be a better way to put it, despite the freakishly hot day. Everything seemed to just flow out naturally, and the crowd was very receptive to it, giving their words of appreciation throughout the night. We had many in depth conversations within circles of characteristically kind mid-westerners, which continued to make us feel so welcome.

As the night wore on we had the opportunity to further deepen rapport with our tour-mates, and we’re starting to feel like a very strong and friendly traveling community is being built.

Dallas, TX: Dear Dallas, thank you; what a great night. We played a venue called Trees, which had a red velvet curtain that opens when your set starts and closes when it ends. If not for anything but the novelty of it, it was pretty cool. Anyway, I don’t want to write an entire post about drapery, so let’s move on, shall we?

The crowd was wicked tonight, and so was the sound. Everything went off without a hitch, really; think that we’ve settled in to the groove of live performance for this tour now. The journey back to the merch table was a long one, talking with supportive audience members and being the recipient of much back patting, which after a while began to sting, but was much appreciated, none-the-less.

All the other bands killed it, as usual — It’s a pleasure to be able to watch them every night. Starting to get to know the guys in Periphery a little more, and they’re very kind, and welcoming.

After the show we spent the night in a last minute discount site hotel room, and it was awesome; two room suite with six spots to sleep, and of course the always taken for granted home-based luxury of a hot shower. It also had a glass elevator, which wouldn’t slow when you rode it to the top, so it looked like it would crash right through the ceiling.

Can’t wait to see what Texas has in store for us tomorrow.

Houston, TX: Big crowd this night, and the stage had a barricade set up in front of it. Some times this type of set-up is cool, if the barricade’s close enough that you can put your foot on it from a stage of proper height; let’s you lean in real close to the audience. But sometimes, as was the case tonight, the barricade will be set up quite far away from the stage, and it creates a bit of a physical, and energetic disconnect from a crowd. It’s night’s like this that you have to dig deeper in to the music to create more of your own energy to share, and so we did.

When we kicked in we saw that there were a good number of people up front bobbing their heads to the proper rhythms, and when the singing started, so did the sing-alongs — awesome. The crowd had a great roar to it between songs, which helped to give back that bit of connection taken by the distance.

When the set was finished we had the opportunity to partake in some more lengthy and relaxed hang-out time with some of The Safety Fire guys, which was nice to get in. We spent a good amount of our time in a pub called Lucky’s beside the venue, and the longer we stayed, the higher the spirits rose — good times.

Pre-Albuquerque, NM: Today was a desert driving day; we were in the van for well over 14 hours. This is when cabin fever sets in. To illustrate this, here’s a little bonus journal entry from one of our guitarists, Ben Davis. Enjoy.

How to make your van smell like Today I Caught the Plague. By Ben Davis:

01. First grab 6 of your best buds, the hairier the better.
02. Make sure you pack lightly, we don’t want you to have many clean changes of clothes.
03. Perform and sleep in those clothes
04. Don’t wear socks. Your shoes will really seal in all the natural aromas you just can’t appreciate in socks.
05. If you must wear socks, be sure when you take them off to hide them in every hidden crevasse in your tour van. They ferment like a fine wine, and when you’re bored you can seek them out, like easter egg hunting.
06. Forget your shower necessities at home. We wouldn’t want you to catch a shower while we’re not looking.
07. Changing your underwear is bad luck. While on a 30 day tour you don’t want to wish those bad omens on yourself, do ya?
08. Eat every meal in your van. And remember “you don’t make friends with salad”.
09. Only drink gas station coffee, and load it with cream. Its a great way to clear your digestive track.
10. Sleep in your van with all the windows up. Its a great alternative to your regular sauna.
11. McDonalds is a cheap and fast way to sneak in all 4 food groups. Meat, cheese, bread and pickles!
12. Make sure you leave the last little bit of fast food in the wrapper when you throw your garbage away in the van garbage bag.
13. Don’t empty your garbage bag until its completely overflowing.
14. Antiperspirant causes cancer. Fact.
15. Axe body spray smells good…
16. When travelling through hot areas such as texas get as naked as possible.
17. Sonic sells these things called chilly cheese tater tots. Reference #9.
18. Don’t brush your teeth and tell your band lots of secrets.
19. GARLIC, GARLIC, GARLIC!
20. Be creative! one time we found poo, actual poo in our trailer. How’d it get there? We’ll never know.

And did I mention that 14+ hour drive from Houston TX to Albuquerque NM we’re on?
…bored 1 |bôrd|
adjective
feeling weary because one is unoccupied or lacks interest in one’s current activity : she got bored with staring out of the window | they would hang around all day, bored stiff.

Check out the song: “From Bulwark to Bane”


Tour Dates (w/ Protest The Hero, Periphery, Jeff Loomis, The Safety Fire):

03/30 – Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine
03/31 – Phoenix, AZ – Club Red
04/01 – Los Angeles, CA – Key Club
04/02 – San Fransisco, CA – Slim’s
04/03 – Portland, OR – The Branx
04/04 – Seattle, WA – Studio Seven
04/06 – Salt Lake City, UT – In The Venue
04/07 – Denver, CO – Summit
04/09 – St. Louis MP – Pops
04/10 – Milwaukee, WI – The Rave II
04/11 – Detroit, MI – Magic Stick
04/12 – Columbus OH – The Outland Ballroom
04/13 – Cleveland, OH – Grog Shop
04/14 – Balitmore, MD – Sonar
04/16 – Atlanta, GA – Masquerade
04/17 – Orlando, FL – The Social
04/18 – Raleigh, NC – Lincoln Theater
04/20 – New York, NY – Gramercy Theater
04/21 – Worcester, MA – Palladium (New England Metal & Hardcore Festival)
04/22 – Philidelphia, PA – Trocadero

Metal

Fit For a King and The Devil Wears Prada Crush Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom [Photos]

The “Metalcore Dropout Tour” hit Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom and Fit For a King, The Devil Wears Prada, Counterparts and Avoid brought the heat!

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Fit For a King on Feb 15, 2024, photo by Randy Romero
Fit For a King on Feb 15, 2024, photo by Randy Romero

The Commodore Ballroom became a Metalhead Institute the night of February 15th for the “Metalcore Dropout 2nd Semester” tour. The trek, headlined by Fit For a King and The Devil Wears Prada, included supporting acts Counterparts and added Avoid instead of Landmvrks, who were on the first leg of the tour.  

The Vancouverites were hungry for the lights, drums and growls from this lineup, something evident because a large majority of the crowd was at the venue to enjoy the opening act performed by Avoid. The Seattle natives delivered a substantial set that included some of their most popular songs like “Whatever,” “Cowabunga Can’t Take This Away,” and “Hostage at a Beach House Party.”

Counterparts opened their set with “Love Me,” the hit single from their 2019 Album Nothing Left to Love. Throughout the set, they played songs from all their albums, including A Eulogy for Those Still Here, the latest one, the one they played most songs from with a total of five, “07/26/2020,” “Bound to the Burn,” “Unwavering Vow,” “What Mirrors Might Reflect” and “Whispers of Your Death,” which they closed their performance with.

The crowd was euphoric, hands with the sign of the horns were all over the place, there was a huge mosh pit in the middle of the crowd and security had to help the crowd surfers to land safely in front of the stage.

When Fit For a King hit the stage the crowd went nuts, the band started their set with “End (The Other Side)” from their latest album The Hell We Create. The crowd was highly engaged with the band and sang each song word by word. In their set, they included their last single, released about a month ago, “Keeping Secrets,” and other fan favourites like “Breaking the Mirror,” “Vendetta,” “The End’s Beginning,and “When Everything Means Nothing.” They did a total of 14 songs, and if it weren’t for the time, the set would have been much longer.

What can be better than one headliner? Of course, 2. The Devil Wears Prada brought the perfect energy to the stage. Opening their set with “Exhibition” from their latest full-length project Color Decay Deluxe. Continuing with their set, the vocalist Mike Hranica encouraged the crowd surfers to be more active and sang a few of their big hits, including “Salt,” “Reasons,” “Dez Moines,” and “Broken,” closing with “Hey John, what’s your name again?” for a total of 13 songs.

We must highlight that both headliners praised the Vancouver crowd, calling them the best crowd of the entire tour yet and the best in Canada ever.

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Dragonforce Unveil Power Metal Reworking of Taylor Swift “Wildest Dreams” Hit

Dragonforce have put a power metal twist on Taylor Swift hit “Wildest Dreams” which you can check out here…

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DragonForce, photo by Travis Shinn
Dragonforce, photo by Travis Shinn

Dragonforce has unveiled an official video for their Taylor Swift cover, “Wildest Dreams (DragonForce’s Version)”, which is included as a bonus track on select editions of their upcoming album, Warp Speed Warriors, out on March 15th, 2024 via Napalm Records.

The Grammy-nominated unit has transformed the current reigning pop superstar’s huge hit into a lightning-fast power metal anthem, featuring the band’s signature guitar solos and sky-high vocals. Dragonforce’s version first caused a wave of buzz in the press and on social media after the band performed it live on their most recent North American tour.

Check out their blistering cover here:

Speaking about Warp Speed Warriors, guitarist Herman Li said:

“After four years of creative incubation, we are beyond excited to release what we believe to be our most ambitious and grandiose record yet. This album showcases multiple facets of our artistic abilities, and we invite metal aficionados from every corner of the genre to discover something captivating within its layers. We can’t wait to share this chapter of our musical journey with you, it’s going to be EPIC!”

Warp Speed Warriors Tracklisting:

1. Astro Warrior Anthem
2. Power of the Triforce
3. Kingdom of Steel
4. Burning Heart
5. Space Marine Corp
6. Doomsday Party
7. Prelude to Darkness
8. The Killer Queen
9. Pixel Prison

The band head out on tour starting next week with Amaranthe and Infected Rain before heading out on the Mutilation On A Spring Night US Tour with Dethklok and Nekrogoblin (with Babymetal joining on selected dates).

02/21 – Hamburg – Große Freiheit 36 – SOLD OUT!
02/22 – Berlin – Huxleys Neue Welt
02/23 – Leipzig – Haus Auensee
02/24 – Oberhausen – Turbinenhalle – Low Tickets!
02/25 – Tilburg – 013 Poppodium – SOLD OUT!
02/27 – Copenhagen – Amager Bio – SOLD OUT!
02/28 – Oslo – Sentrum Scene – SOLD OUT!
02/29 – Gothenburg – Trädgår’n – SOLD OUT!
03/03 – Riga – Melna Piektdiena
03/04 – Warsaw – Progresja
03/06 – Brno – Sono Centrum – SOLD OUT!
03/07 – Vienna – Gasometer
03/08 – Budapest – Barba Negra Red Stage
03/09 – Munich – TonHalle – Low Tickets!
03/10 – Milan – Live Club – Low Tickets!
03/12 – Madrid – Sala La Riviera
03/13 – Barcelona – Sala Apolo I
03/15 – Wiesbaden – Schlachthof – Low Tickets!
03/16 – Zurich – Komplex 457
03/17 – Brussels – AB Box
03/19 – Stuttgart – LKA Longhorn – Low Tickets
03/20 – Paris – Bataclan – Low Tickets!
03/22 – Bristol – O2 Academy – SOLD OUT!
03/23 – Manchester – Manchester Academy – SOLD OUT!
03/24 – London – The Roundhouse – Low Tickets!
(all dates with Amaranthe, Infected Rain)

04/07 – North Myrtle Beach, SC – House Of Blues
04/08 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore Charlotte
04/09 – Silver Spring, MD – The Fillmore Silver Spring
04/11 – Columbus, OH, Kemba Live!
04/12 – Cincinnati, OH – The Andrew J Brady Music Center
04/14 – Indianapolis, IN – Egyptian Room At Old National Centre
04/15 – Waukee, IA – Vibrant Music Hall
04/16 – Kansas City, MO – Uptown Theater
04/17 – Oklahoma City, OK – Criterion
04/19 – Albuquerque, NM – Revel
04/20 – Flagstaff, AZ – Pepsi Amphitheater At Fort Tuthill Park
04/21 – Riverside, CA – Riverside Municipal Auditorium
04/22 – San Diego, CA – The Observatory North Park
04/24 – San Francisco, CA – The Masonic*
04/25 – San Francisco, CA – The Masonic*
04/28 – Spokane, WA – The Podium
04/30 – Billings, MT – Metrapark Arena
05/01 – Idaho Falls, ID – Mountain America Center
05/02 – Garden City, ID – Revolution Concert House
05/03 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theater
(all dates with Dethklok, Nekrogoblikon, Babymetal*)

Dragonforce release Warp Speed Warriors on March 15th, 2024 via Napalm Records and you can pre-order your copy here.

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While She Sleeps Share Emotional New Single “To The Flowers”

British metallers While She Sleeps have shared their emotional new single “To The Flowers” from their upcoming album ‘Self Hell’…

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While She Sleeps
While She Sleeps, press photo

British metal crew While She Sleeps have confirmed the March 29th release of their new album Self Hell. As showcased with visceral intent on the recent singles, the title track (check that out here) and “Down” (featuring Alex Taylor of Malevolence), the band’s ambitious approach is simple – make everything bigger and more unpredictable than ever before.

Continuing towards the release date, the band have now shared their new single, the emotive “To The Flowers”. The single sees the band continuing with their ethos opening with spoken words from the philosopher and spiritual leader Jiddu Krishnamurti, again heightening expectations for the boundary-breaking scope of the Self Hell album.

Guitarist Sean Long says,

“This song means a lot to us. As much as we love a good breakdown and heavy riff, a lot of our passion lies within emotive musical pieces. This song has nearly brought us all to tears multiple times simply because it touches something in us that we hold very dear. A pain we all know and have felt down to our deepest core. The essence of our personal pain expressed in music is what the band is all about. Talking about the things we know are difficult but necessary.”

The accompanying short film for “To The Flowers” – created and then shot by the band – more than matches the intensity of the song, playing out with kitchen sink realism and the cinematic atmospherics of an indie film. Check out the video here:

Vocalist Loz Taylor adds,

“‘To the Flowers’ is emotional, tragic and real life. We intended to make a short film that encompasses the real emotions of relationships, grief, love, death and pain. Shot by the members of While She Sleeps, ‘To the Flowers’ ebbs and flows through an entendre of tragedy. This was a huge project to undertake, and we have poured our creative energy into directing this piece. We had a wicked time working on the film. This will hit home.”

While She Sleeps release Self Hell on March 29th, 2024 and you can pre-order your copy here.

While She Sleeps ‘Self Hell’ Album Artwork

While She Sleeps ‘Self Hell’ Album Artwork

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