The presence of heavy metal in Music City seems to be on the rise in 2016, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to see it spike. The latest, best metal tour coming to town features some of the scene’s finest metalcore, alt metal, and prog metal, new and old, as Killswitch Engage tour in support of their new album, Incarnate, along with a stacked supporting bill of Memphis May Fire, 36 Crazyfists, and Toothgrinder! The tours hits Marathon Music Works, quickly becoming to the de-facto spot for mid-sized metal acts, tonight, March 21, and tickets are available right here! Read on for more about the show!
Heralded for helping define and popularize modern metalcore, Massachusetts-based Killswitch Engage have been an important fixture in the heavy scene now for more than a decade and a half. Celebrating the release their seventh full-length, Incarnate, which dropped on March 11, the band are enjoying something of a second wind, with the return of original vocalist Jesse Leach, who rejoined in 2012 after a decade-long absence (Leach worked on the band’s first two LPs, and has recorded one other record with Killswitch since his return). Swept up in the metalcore explosion of the early ’00s, it was 2004’s The End of Heartache that first helped the band become a household name, nabbing them a Grammy nomination and achieving Gold certification. Mixing elements of extreme metal and hardcore, balancing melodic tendencies and clean vocals with heavy riffs and visceral screaming, Killswitch have found fans in both the classic metal community, swept up in events like Ozzfest, as well as the younger, punk-leaning scene, participating in festivals such as Warped Tour. Versatile, beloved, and a tenacious live force, Killswitch put forth their most inspired effort in years with 2013’s Disarm the Descent, and seem poised to repeat its success with Incarnate; expect plenty of new songs to be on display tonight!
MEMPHIS MAY FIRE
A decade into their career, Texas-based group Memphis May Fire (some of whom now call Nashville home) represent the second major wave of American metalcore, a reactionary rise in the mid ’00s to the success and foresight of groups like Killswitch. Decidedly more aligned with the younger, punk-skewing “scene crowd,” they have, so far, released four full-lengths, with a fifth on the way this year. Honing their skills through constant touring, the band have shared the stage with acts like The Word Alive, Sleeping with Sirens, and Issues, and serve as a perfect act to alert younger fans to Killswitch.
The longest running band on the bill, 36 Crazyfists started out 20 years ago in Alaska, harboring a more alternative metal appeal in the ’90s before incorporating elements of nu metal and, later, metalcore into their sound. They’ve shared the stage with Killswitch off and on for over a decade, and harbor plenty of crossover appeal, appearing at many of the same metal fests and tours. The band’s most recent, and first release in five years, Time and Trauma, was released in 2015, and, opposite of Memphis May Fire, they check the “older, more eclectic” box in reaching a wide swath of Killswitch fans.
Relatively new to the scene, Toothgrinder came together in 2010 Asbury Park, NJ, and adopt a more progressive metal sound. Adding a balance of more young blood to the bill, they’re more than up to the task of kicking off the month’s best show for getting your heavy metal fix.
Killswitch Engage, Memphis May Fire, 36 Crazyfists, and Toothgrinder will perform tonight, March 21 at Marathon Music Works. The show is 18+, begins at 7 p.m. (doors at 6 p.m.), and tickets are available for $30.