Fit For An Autopsy, Bad Omens, Goodbye Kilter
Sat Jul 21
Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 7:00 pm (event ends at 12:00 am)
Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill
$22.50 - $500
This event is 16 and over
$22.50 Adv/ $25 DOS/ $45 Balcony/ $200 Tables/ $500 Cabanas
On their eighth full-length offering The Sin and The Sentence [Roadrunner Records], Trivium choose the latter once again. In fact, the record represents an apotheosis of every element that at once defined the Florida group since its 1999 formation. Moments of malevolent melodicism give way to taut technical thrash, black metal expanse, punk spirit, and heavy heart tightly threaded together by the musical union of the quartet—Matt Heafy [vocals, guitar], Corey Beaulieu [guitar], Paolo Gregoletto [bass], and Alex Bent [drums]. Unsurprisingly, these eleven songs resulted from an unquenchable hunger for improvement.
“It was a do-or-die moment,” exclaims Heafy. “There were no two ways about it. We’ve always had this will to be better. I started taking inventory of everything we’ve done right or wrong, and it made me apply that thinking to the new music. What ended up coming about was, in my opinion, a combination of the best things we’ve ever done. We all agreed, ‘We have to make the best record of our career right now.’”
Given their global success, this goal proved nothing short of a tall order. 2015’s Silence in the Snow ignited something of a renaissance for the boys. Moving 17,000 copies upon debut, it bowed Top 20 on the Billboard Top 200 and claimed the #3 spot on the Top Rock Albums chart. “Until the World Goes Cold” arrived as their biggest single to date, achieving the band’s first Top 10 at Active Rock and generating a staggering 17.1 million Spotify streams and 14.9 million YouTube/VEVO views and counting. The Guardian, Classic Rock, Ultimate Guitar, and more praised Silence in the Snow as they sold out shows worldwide.
Despite the explosive nature of the previous campaign, the musicians quietly commenced work on what would transform into The Sin and the Sentence, collating ideas and assembling songs on the road. Without telling anyone outside of the inner circle, they retreated to the Southern California studio of producer Josh Wilbur [Lamb of God, Gojira] for just a month in 2017.
“By the time we got to Josh, 99% of this was written,” explains Heafy. “With Vengeance Falls and Silence in the Snow, we came into the studio with about 50% completed. When we’re as prepared as possible, we make our best music. This was more like Ember to Inferno, Ascendancy, Shogun, and In Waves where we brought a cohesive vision into the studio. Josh pushed us to refine that and make it even better. We made the kinds of songs we wanted to hear.”
An important first, Gregoletto took the reins writing lyrics. The results freed up Heafy to soar on the mic.
“Matt and I were really collaborative in the studio writing a lot of the lyrics for Silence in the Snow right before he went in to track them,” he recalls. “On The Sin and The Sentence, I pushed for lyrics and vocals to start much sooner. We devoted the same amount of time to them as we do to the riffs, drumbeats, and music. We put the lyrics through the ringer. I’ve helped Matt a lot in the past, but I wanted to learn more about the craft and technical side of writing. I was reading books and trying to glean different things. By the end of it, I was picking up more about how to use rhymes and how words bring momentum to a song.”
“This thing was like a film,” adds Heafy. “Paolo was the writer. Josh was the director. I was the actor. I feel like I was able to actually get into different headspaces singing the lyrics, because I wasn’t the one attached to all of them from creation to completion. I think Paolo did an incredible job.”
Without so much as a social media plug or formal recording announcement, Trivium broke the silence about their latest body of work and uncovered the music video for the first single and title track in the summer of 2017. It arrived to a groundswell of fan enthusiasm, racking up 1.9 million YouTube views and nearly 1 million Spotify streams in just four weeks’ time. The near six-minute lead-off charges forward at full speed on a double bass drum gallop, thrash intricacies, and hummable guitar lead as Heafy delivers one of his most powerful and ponderous vocal performances ever.
“The idea is condemnation, being ostracized, being pushed aside, and not quite understanding how to deal with those feelings,” remarks Heafy. “This is definitely reactionary to the world and things that have happened to us.”
“I read this book called So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed,” Gregolotto reveals. “It was all about internet shaming culture. The whole thesis of the book was the amount of punishment for something. Somebody makes a tasteless joke and loses a job. I kept thinking about that and the idea of the witch hunts blaming people for inexplicable happenings. It’s easy to pin something on others because you don’t like them. You join the mob by attacking someone over something little. The Sin is the infraction to the public. The Sentence is the pile-on and ruining someone’s life and career. Does it add up? You might be on the other end at some point, so be careful.”
Meanwhile, “The Heart From Your Hate” hinges on a gang chant, fret fireworks, and an undeniable and unshakable clean refrain, “What will it take to rip the heart from your hate?”
“The emotion of hatred is so powerful,” Gregoletto sighs. “It’s the opposite of love. When someone is deeply in love or hate, it can be very hard to change this person’s mind. That was the concept. It’s the inability to kill off emotions like that.”
“We love to have a dynamic contrast,” adds Heafy. “Ascendancy is the fastest thing we’ve done, but it’s got one our simplest songs, ‘Dying In Your Arms’. ‘The Heart from Your Hate’ shows that end of the spectrum.”
On the other end, “Betrayer” unleashes a barrage of intensity driven by black metal percussion, tremolo picking, and earth-shaking screams before yet another hypnotic hook.
“I wrote it around the same time as ‘The Sin and The Sentence’,” says Gregoletto. “They have a brother-sister connection. Matt’s speaking directly to ‘The Betrayer’ who could be a friend, significant other, or someone you thought you knew who ended up using you. It’s personal.”
Everything leads up to the crushingly epic closer “Thrown Into The Fire.” A conflagration of incendiary riffing, guttural growls, and entrancing harmonies, it’s a fiery final word.
“I wanted to build a character like a preacher or televangelist who’s leading his flock and taking and taking from the congregation,” Gregoletto continues. “He’s preaching how they should live, but living the opposite.”
Following the 2003 independent breakout of Ember to Inferno, Trivium arrived as metal’s hungriest contender on 2005’s Ascendancy. Heralded as “Album of the Year” by Kerrang!, it stands out as a 21st century genre landmark. As they went on to cumulatively sell over 2 million units, they scorched stages with idols such as Metallica, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, and more in addition to regularly making pivotal appearances at Download Festival, Bloodstock, KNOTFEST, and beyond. In Waves and Vengeance Falls both soared to the Top 15 of the Billboard Top 200 as the band staunchly secured its place in the modern metal pantheon.
By growing by leaps and bounds, Heafy, Beaulieu, Gregoletto, and Bent become what they were always meant to be—Trivium.
“With this, we wanted to knock everything down and think from the ground up about how we write songs,” Gregoletto leaves off. “We enhanced everything we’ve done.”
“I want everyone to know we made this with our hearts and souls,” Heafy concludes. “It was all or nothing; we gave it our all. We’ve been through lots of ups and downs and felt like this had to capture that. It had to summarize everything that is Trivium. I feel like we did that.” – Rick Florino, August 2017
It seems there’s a new catastrophe hitting the headlines everyday, from corrupt politicians and crooked business people, to criminal mischief and the oppressive renegades within the ranks of those entrusted to protect the people from crime; extreme divides between rich and poor, ideological battles, shrinking resources, the constant threat of war, terror, famine, disease. The problems of the world are every bit as grim, perhaps more so, than during the Cold War, when protest, counterculture, and music from punk to thrash helped give voice to the voiceless.
The crushing music of Fit For An Autopsy is for any fan of extreme metal, as it’s devoid of preachy politics or grandstanding soapboxing, but its sound and fury is absolutely unflinching in purpose. The band expertly blends excessive-force fueled death metal with atmospheric groove and impassioned personal diatribes, reflecting back the dark state of current events. Their fourthalbum,TheGreatCollapse,doesn’twastetimewithfantasybullshitorclichégore horror. Fit For An Autopsy are metal guys, to be certain, but they grew up in the hardcore scene. They embrace the responsibility to put as much devoted purpose into their lyrics and message as they do into their dense, heady, songs, forging a magnificently powerful new post-deathcore.
“When I write a song, I’m trying to feel emotionally connected to it. I really don’t like saying things that don’t matter over music that I want to matter,” says Will Putney, guitarist, principal songwriter and cofounder. “We’ve always addressed serious topics going back to our first album. We aren’t a politically charged band up on a podium yelling at people – anybody can relate to the aggression, anger, frustration, and sadness often communicated in our music. But we absolutely raise important questions in the lyrics. Those themes are there to discover.”
Putney’s fellow guitarist/cofounder, Patrick Sheridan, strongly agrees. He emphasizes that
while the music of Fit For An Autopsy may evolve it will always be aggressive and will always have purpose. “We think it's important to carry that torch. Somebody's got to say something about the shit that's going on. If you're not using your music, which is a great platform, for something meaningful that you care about on some level, then you're kind of wasting it.”
The six-men of the New Jersey based group - which includes vocalist Joe Badolato, bassist Peter Spinazola, third guitarist Tim Howley, and drummer Josean Orta - put maximum intentionality into everything they do. They are constantly challenging themselves as musicians, adding to the band’s overall creative arsenal, connecting with audiences around the world, and supporting one another in the band as individual people.
Fit For An Autopsy first summoned one of the most crushing takes on the then-burgeoning deathcore genre with their 2008 demo and the following year’s self-released Hell on Earth EP, which led to a deal with The Red Chord vocalist Guy Kozowyk’s Black Market Activities label.
The Process of Human Extermination earned them a place among the genre’s giants, cementing them as energizing leaders rather than stale followers. As MetalSucks observed: “The band’s brutal, glowering take on [deathcore] reminded [us] of the squandered potential of the genre. Hardcore grooves and swagger, when incorporated correctly, blend quite well with death metal.” Fit For An Autopsy’s determined drive, work ethic, and devilishly unmistakable talent next elicited the attention of Good Fight/eOne, the group’s home since their sophomore album.
On Hellbound, Fit For An Autopsy expanded their commanding approach to death metal with hints of metalcore by absorbing increasingly diverse elements, from the rhythmic experimentalism of Gojira to the aggressive post-Noisecore of Converge, with a dose of the New Wave Of Swedish Death Metal, and a touch of groove unique to the New Jersey six-piece.
The group toured with The Acacia Strain and Within The Ruins on the No Way Out Tour, followed by Hate Across America with Thy Art Is Murder. In 2014, they hit the road with Chimaira, Iwrestledabearonce, and Oceano; with Whitechapel, DevilDriver, Carnifex, and Revocation; with Crowbar; and with Suicide Silence and Thy Art Is Murder. Toward the end of the excitingly productive Hellbound cycle, original frontman Nate Johnson split from the band.
The band’s third album served as the recorded introduction of powerhouse vocalist Badolato, whose impressive range (from guttural growls to pitch screaming and beyond) helped destroy all remaining self-imposed boundaries. It’s something the group’s instrumental members had yearned to do as even as they prepared the material prior to enlisting their new singer.
Absolute Hope Absolute Hell cracked the Top 20 on the Hard Rock Albums chart and hit #3 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart. As Putney often noted in interviews, the record stood defiantly apart from those that offered little more than thirty minutes of blast beats and breakdowns.
Sure, that kind of nonstop pummeling has its place, but Fit For An Autopsy concentrated their focus less on crazy tempo changes and more on atmosphere and vibe, keeping one foot in the crushingly heavy while drawing more deeply from traditional metal influences, post-rock, and esoteric nuance. In 2015, the same year as Metal Injection and other tastemakers hailed the group’s progression, Fit For An Autopsy joined the Stronger Than Faith Tour with Suicide Silence, Emmure, and Within The Ruins, followed by a co-headlining tour with Aborted, a trek with Old Wounds, and the Tune Low Die Slow Tour with Acacia Strain and Counterparts.
“Being out there touring, I can say that our fans have been very accepting of each change and progression,” Sheridan notes proudly. “I’m very grateful, as oftentimes bands are scrutinized heavily as they evolve. We definitely took a step in a direction that people were stoked about.”
Putney points to Absolute Hope Absolute Hell as a definitive moment in the band’s career when they truly came into their own. “I like the earlier records a lot but we were definitely lumped in with a lot of similar-sounding bands at the time. I was happy that we were able carve our own path a little bit more on the last album, which we carried into this new album.”
Between Absolute Hope Absolute Hell and The Great Collapse, the group’s members were able to broaden their creative horizons even further with what became known as The Depression Sessions, a uniquely collaborative project that combined Fit For An Autopsy with their friends in Thy Art Is Murder and The Acacia Strain. Jettisoning the cutthroat competitiveness that often gets between bands, the trio of extreme metal acts joined forces for experimental sessions more akin in spirit to the jazz greats and hip-hop artists, but within the context of heavy music.
All of that collaboration and experimentation, to say nothing of Putney’s accomplishments as an in-demand genre producer whose credits include work with both of the bands who joined them in The Depression Sessions, among others, led to an all new focus on The Great Collapse.
“Iron Moon” is an aggressive shot across the bow of the status quo, railing against the mundane servitude of the 9-to-5 grind, yearning for a life of meaning and purpose. It’s as anti-establishment in tone as the album is in sound. Fit For An Autopsy break with genre convention even as they reshape and redefine their chosen sonic landscape. “Heads Will Hang”
confronts the worldwide refugee problem, demanding empathy, placing the listener in the shoes of someone displaced from their home, hungry to escape into a safer life. “When the Bulbs Burn Out” expresses the group’s deep concerns about conservation and sustainability. “Black Mammoth” was inspired by the conscientious activism of the Dakota Access Pipeline protesters. Other tracks are more abstract lyrically, but no song on The Great Collapse is without intensity.
The album’s underlying death metal foundation serves as strong support for its more adventurous forays into chaotic hardcore, bits of deathcore, and a meditative, almost droning rumination not unlike the best of shoegaze and desert rock, like a hazy collision between Queens Of The Stone Age and Russian Circles. The omnipresence of rock titans Tool weaves in and out in powerful doses, with The Great Collapse inviting ever more favorable comparisons to Gojira, a band whose evolutionary trajectory is not dissimilar from Fit For An Autopsy’s path.
“It’s definitely easier to make a living as a band by growing your fanbase within one specific style,” notes Putney. “But it's more rewarding to go this route. There’s a certain struggle you face when you’re constantly evolving, obstacles you have to face, but we’re happy to do it.”
Sheridan concurs. “I don't want to sound like any one band or do any one thing. I always want to figure out ways to incorporate new elements that inspire us into what we already do.
“We made a promise when we released our first record, which is that we will never do what somebody else wants us to do as a band. We will always carve our own way.”
“We tried to spread awareness about being open minded when it comes to heavy music,” exclaims Noah. “We wanted to go beyond the realm of heavy and incorporate everything from industrial to soundtrack-style moments.”
It’s a goal that Noah’s possessed since first writing for what would become Bad Omens in 2013. The Richmond, VA native logged time in a prominent local band, but he wanted to focus on his own artistic vision. He wrote and recorded a handful of solo songs without mentioning a word to anybody. When it came time to recruit other players, he linked up with old friend Nicholas. He added another buddy Vincent who introduced him to “Jolly”—all the way in Sweden. Nick joined last after submitting a cover online.
“The band started as me and two of my close friends and two other guys I’d never even met outside of Face Time or Skype,” he smiles. “This music just spoke to everyone, and we felt a bond.”
It also spoke to Sumerian Records who offered Bad Omens a deal in 2015 based off the strength of the demos and songwriting. The guys spent months rehearsing in Nick’s basement before hitting the studio with Will Putney [Upon A Burning Body, The Amity Affliction, Body Count] to record the album.
“We chose Will because he specializes in a more raw sound,” Noah goes on. “It’s not over-produced. It’s real.”
Early 2016 saw the group unveil the single “The Worst In Me.” With its jagged riffs, sweeping harmonies, and towering chorus, the track immediately set the internet ablaze, racking up over 860,000 views on YouTube in less than a month.
“For me personally, it’s about a very intense and unhealthy relationship I was in, but we wrote it in a format that’s universal to all bad habits,” he says. “More specifically, it’s something you can’t let go of even though it’s not good for you—whether it’s a relationship, a drug problem, or terrible situation. You’re addicted.”
On the other end of the spectrum, the record concludes with the sprawling epic “The Fountain.” Tempering an industrialized hum and sweeping soundscapes punctuated by flutes and booming war drums, Alternative Press debuted the cinematic music video.
“We watched The Fountain with Hugh Jackman while we were recording,” he goes on. “It’s a sci-fi thriller romance with an insane plot and 3 different universes. The romantic aspect resonated with me. It’s unique for us and metal at large, because we’re using a lot of atypical instruments.”
Over the past year, Bad Omens has amassed a diehard following, delivering live alongside everyone from Born of Osiris and After the Burial to Veil of Maya, Upon a Burning Body, and Erra. Now, they’re ready to break more ground.
“I want people to feel inspired the way I do when I listen to music, because I’m listening all day,” Noah leaves off. “I want to share that inspiration to do something different.”
Jason Wood- Vocals
Ronnie Davis- Percussion
Dano Davis- Guitars
Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill
10261 Technology Blvd E
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