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Today I Caught The Plague: Exclusive “Protest The Hero Tour” Journal 4 with vocalist David Journeaux

Cleveland, OH: Packed club this night, and it was probably the smallest place we’ve hit on the tour, so it made for a whole lot of squeezing our way through the crowd. Leading up to the set was a slow haze of mundane tasks, going back and forth between stage and van.
Opting to take a bit of time to ourselves for relaxation after the weeks of go, go, go, a good number of us spent our pre-show time lounging in the green room. We all casually went about our own pre-show rituals, and enjoyed a lightly humorous air of camaraderie. When we got the call to head towards the stage, we pushed our way through the throng, and made the night’s initial address.

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Cleveland, OH: Packed club this night, and it was probably the smallest place we’ve hit on the tour, so it made for a whole lot of squeezing our way through the crowd. Leading up to the set was a slow haze of mundane tasks, going back and forth between stage and van.
Opting to take a bit of time to ourselves for relaxation after the weeks of go, go, go, a good number of us spent our pre-show time lounging in the green room. We all casually went about our own pre-show rituals, and enjoyed a lightly humorous air of camaraderie. When we got the call to head towards the stage, we pushed our way through the throng, and made the night’s initial address.

We had a bit of technical difficulty this night, which we needed to fix between songs, and so, to fill the time, we called people on the stage to give us their best stand-up acts. We had the time to get two people up, and they both chose to tell anti-jokes, and so with a dark comedy mood well set, we took off into the next set of songs, and continued through the rest of the set without issue.

After we had our time on stage, I set out to acquire some hot water to use with some throat-soothing tea, and was accompanied by some nice audience members. We arrived at a nearby coffee shop and held engaging conversation while we ordered our items from a very kind barista. Eventually we drew the barista in to the conversation and enjoyed a lighthearted banter for the remainder of our time in the café.

After the little excursion, it was time to crawl in to the back of the van, and make space on our custom built, queen size bed, for an early night of sleep and recuperation.

Baltimore, MD: What a good time this night. A good chunk of the tour’s members were from close by, and so, much of the audience was filled with friends and family eager to support. Hanging out backstage, we had no idea what the size of the crowd was by the time we were slated to perform, but when we stepped up from behind the curtains, and looked out at the audience, it looked to be a few rows, nestled close to the barricades.
We started in to the initial addresses of the set, then the lights rose to reveal that the club was much fuller than we initially thought, and it seemed to be one of the biggest crowds we’ve played to on the tour thus far — great. Playing through our nightly performance, we watched as many audience members caught on to the energy and vibe of the music, and began to let loose.

There were a good number of people singing along, here and there, and one person in particular who seemed to make a point to sing every word. He later told us that he had been reading these posts, and was adamant to be one of those crowd members written about for knowing the parts — thank you for that.

For the larger part of the remainder of the evening, time was spent standing at the merch table, and speaking with a steady flow of enthusiastic show-goers. There was, however, one trip made down to Baltimore street, passing a huge tactical police bus, and endless strip clubs, whose doormen would practically grab you to pull you in, regardless of whether or not you were clearly holding an involved conversation on a cell phone. Upon returning from said trip, I was told that if there’s one place you don’t want to go alone, it was Baltimore street. Well, still alive and in one piece, so I guess the fates were with me.
Wrapping up for the evening, we prepared ourselves to head off with a number of the Jeff Loomis crew, to their drummer Anup’s house, where we stayed for the night. It was nice to get a good rest, in a full house, from hospitable hosts, and cool to see Anup’s recording space. He talked about how he would regularly spend 8 hours a day in that space, recording bands, or practicing, and it made me go in to thoughts of the day I could create something like that for myself; hopefully sooner than later.

Atlanta, GA: Another haunted venue this night, though that’s all we really heard or so about it; no tours, no specific stories. The only thing that we were able to gather about the place was that it was an old cotton processing plant. The decor of the place was cool, with stone walls and wooden beams / stairs, which definitely made it feel old, and full of history.
The part of the venue we were playing in was on the second floor, and we used an old-school pulley type elevator to get our gear up there. Pretty cool if for nothing more than the novelty of it. The room itself was pretty large and kept the feel of the rest of the building.

After we had our sound-check we were pleased to find that the venue had laid out catering for us, in the form of an open fajita and salad bar. The majority of the tour personnel gathered around the table and we made our own concoctions before taking to the tables in show room to eat together.

Shortly after dinner-time we found ourselves stepping on to the stage. It was a big crowd this night, and we were ready to give it our all. Things started with great energy, which continued through to the end, and we were able to get nice and close to interact with the crowd throughout the set. It came as no surprise that Atlanta was very hot and humid, so by the time we were done playing, we were dripping wet from the act.

Post-set we walked around the venue to speak with many first time listeners, who by and large wanted to say that they were happy they made it out early. We also had the opportunity to speak with a fair number of people who stated that they knew who we were, had been following us for a while, and came out to catch what we do live. It was really nice to hear this and we let them know that we really appreciated their support.

The rest of the night was more of the same old sit at table, load out gear, sleep in van, so I won’t bore you with those details, but will close with the mention that our merch guy (Mandroid Echostar drummer, Matt HK) had has tattooed finished up by The Safety Fire’s Joe. He opted for an image of a cardinal; a bird that hangs out in Canada and frequents the States. Seems pretty appropriate for our current situation.

Orlando, FL: Pretty interesting night this night. We played another one of the smaller venues of the tour, which may have been the smallest, though I can’t confirm that by any numbers. We had heard that the night had sold out in advance and so were excited to play to a packed house. Happily, this is how things turned out, even at the offset of the evening.
The stage for the venue was very long and shallow, so it saw us spread out in our own spaces, and for the most part kept us from traveling too far from one side to the other. As such, we all worked our own sections individually, playing to those in the pit in front of us, as well as to the watchers behind the banisters all around.

The crowd was very loud tonight; happy to let loose, and it really fed in to the energy of the set. Being in Orlando, it was yet another hot one on stage, and so we soaked our show clothes, exerting ourselves for performance sake.

When we finished, the crowd roared to what seemed the sound of a crowd much larger than could fit in the place, and we received many kind words from viewers as we made our way back to the merch table. We also had some more encounters with supporters who had been following us since early days, and it made us feel really good to know that what we’ve been doing has been able to spread so far from home.

Having finished our duties for the evening, a good number of us turned our attention to what was happening next door: a performance by Gwar, which was being put on by the same promoter, and therefore, so long as armed with our laminates, was viewable by all tour members. We had never heard anything but ludicrous things about Gwar’s live show, and so felt that if we didn’t go to check it out, it would be something we would end up regretting.

We watched as the larger than life, extra-terrestrial creatures performed there music and fought with other ETs, all the while with blood and other questionable liquids spraying far out and in to the crowd. It was definitely something to see, and so whether we had stained our clothes or not, the lot of us were happy we had the opportunity to take it in.

While the show went on in front of us, I thought to myself that this would be something my brother would be really in to, so I pulled out my American phone to put in his number and text with him about it. I told him that it was his brother, and we began holding a pretty involved conversation on the elaborate act. It wasn’t until he was ready to get to bed, that I discovered that the number I had entered was one digit off, and I had been spending all the time speaking with a stranger named Sarah. We laughed about that for a while, said it was nice to be almost-siblings for a bit, then went our separate ways.

Both our show and Gwar’s came to a close at about the same time, and so with images of ridiculous, sci-fi space violence fresh in our minds, we took back to the van, in preparation for a near 10 hour drive to Raleigh, North Carolina. Ghoul, one of the bands touring alongside Gwar had almost the exact same touring rig, and so members from their crew and our own, spent the rest of the night nearly stepping in to each other’s vans without paying much attention to the different interiors, or the unrecognizable people contained within. This caused quite a bit of funny confusion, and was a good, light-hearted way to end the night.

Raleigh, NC: We arrived in Raleigh, and the weather was pretty nice, so we took some short trips around to see what the well-kept city streets had to offer. We made our usual stops for coffee, and tea, then returned to the venue for sound check.

After sound check some of us went to a small urban pitch, where The Safety Fire involved themselves in a game of football; soccer for us. It would have been nice to join in, but it wasn’t long before we had to return to the stage for our set. As such, we watched for a little bit, then made our way back to the evening’s hub.

We took our usual stage positions shortly after returning, and played through a set blinded by bright white spotlights. As the performance rolled along, I took note of how quickly it seems to come that we hit the tail end of our set; I always wish to play for longer, and in those moments on stage, look forward to days we’re allotted the time to do so.
Coming off stage we introduced ourselves to many new names and faces, who expressed their appreciation for our set. Throughout the remainder of the evening, we held further conversations with enthusiastic audience members, taking trips, back and forth, from green room to merch table.

Speaking to The Safety Fire before they took the stage, they expressed their regret in regards to exerting themselves in sport before having to perform for the night. We had a light laugh about it, but it really seemed to have no effect on their consistent ability to put on a good show.

Shortly after all the acts finished playing tight and entertaining sets, it was time to head to the van, in order to catch up on some much needed rest.

Check out the song: “From Bulwark to Bane”


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

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

Features

Track-by-Track: Beyond Unbroken Discuss Some of Their Greatest Hits

Hard rock/metal band Beyond Unbroken join us for a special track-by-track rundown of some of their most notable and significant songs.

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Beyond Unbroken
Beyond Unbroken

Beyond Unbroken has proudly unleashed “The Madness” via FiXT Music. It’s a fitting title for the metal quartet’s brand-new single, released with an accompanying music video earlier this month. The clip matches the song’s intensity, a deep dive into the small pockets of our minds where our demons lurk. “The Madness” depicts a psychological struggle where the mind succumbs to manic thoughts. The prison in the video is a metaphor for this struggle and the fact that one’s mind can become its prison. With “The Madness,” the message that the band is trying to convey is that you are not alone. Pain comes, and it’s often only temporary. Facing obstacles is a part of life, and we derive strength from these experiences. We’re all in this together, and Beyond Broken wants to emphasize that.

Beyond Unbroken celebrated their tenth year together last year, originally formed between Monte and Michael Money after leaving Escape the Fate. Although “The Madness” is a very aggressive metal song, the band is not defined by one genre. They enjoy trying new sounds, mixing genres, and, in doing so, defying expectations. The Money brothers and their bandmates derive inspiration from all of life’s experiences, culminating in a hard-hitting sound widely appealing to fans of both rock and metal.

With the recent release of “The Madness,” Beyond Unbroken joins us today for a special track-by-track feature in which they expand on the stories and meanings behind some of their most notable songs.

1. “The Madness”

“Lyrically, the song deals with the negative thought patterns we sometimes find ourselves in when facing struggles such as depression and anxiety, which can have negative impacts on our mental health. The song is about finally facing and breaking through those barriers. We wanted the music to greatly relate to the impact on the potential of the mind’s destruction, from heavy, ground-shattering guitar riffs and high-octane scream vocals from Michael Money, until you are met with the blissful vocals of Monte Money on the chorus to tie it all in. We literally couldn’t be happier with how this track turned out. It’s so great we had to do it justice by complementing it with an equally crazy music video.”

2. “Blood On My Hands”

“This was the first song to debut the dynamic we wanted for Beyond Unbroken and its future sound going forward in correlation with our label FiXT. The song truly resonates with a dark nuance of a tale of the aftermath of murder, demons, drowning, and blood, literally losing one’s mind and the regret of the aftermath of it all, begging for forgiveness only to be faced and judged as the criminal at hand hears the words ringing ‘Burn It, Burn It, Down, This Is Your Hell!’ as the embodiment of the victim finally gets payback. The song’s breakdown is truly unique and heavy and does the story justice in this dark, sinister world.”

3. “Running Out of Time” (Remaster)

“The official first single off the album debut. The song defines the band’s growth with modern originality, depicting as we age how little time we truly have and how we shape our destiny. We wanted to bring up the track with a slightly new touch to signify our signature sound as a remastered version with intense drums and big, booming guitars that complement the vocals. The song is a staple of our sound.”

4. Andromida – “Break the Cycle” (feat. Beyond Unbroken)

“With ‘Break the Cycle,’ we wanted to vocalize the effect the routine of everyday life has on us. Doing the same routine day after day becomes a monotony that you never even question, but are left just sitting in silence and suffering with all these thoughts in your head. The song is about finally breaking that vicious cycle of repetitiveness. The music defies all natural law and order of the world with big, chunky guitars, screaming verses and breakdowns, and a mind-bending chorus met with a screaming metal vocal choir to really kick you out of your seat and inspire you to take action.”

5. “With or Without Me”

“In ‘With or Without Me,’ we took you into a digital world influenced by big blockbuster movies like Blade Runner 2049 and TRON: Legacy, and games like Cyberpunk 2077. We wanted the touch of mechanical machines and digital sounds to meet heavy guitar-driven choruses to really bring a big impact to today’s music. We absolutely love the track and how it resonates with all our listeners.”

6. “Falling Down + Heathens”

“2020 was the year of lockdowns and COVID-19, with everyone staying inside. We noticed a significant increase in at-home quarantine-type cover songs that began to take social media by storm. With ‘Falling Down + Heathens,’ we wanted to do more than just a cover. We aimed to create a mashup consisting of two entirely different genres of music, putting them together to make something new. The result is this masterpiece, a song that truly unleashes Monte Money and Michael Money’s capabilities without any restrictions. The monstrous dueling guitar solos leave listeners hitting the repeat button. We never imagined that the song would end up being one of Beyond Unbroken’s greatest releases to date. We are truly thankful for every one of you who contributed to its success.”

Beyond Unbroken “The Madness” single artwork

Beyond Unbroken “The Madness” single artwork

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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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