Though Nashville may not always be the first market you think of when looking for metal, Music City has, in recent years, become a real magnet for some of the best heavy bands around, catering especially to fans of more experimental and progressive stylings. Marathon Music Works has, in particular, been a great host to some of the best metal around, and with the Devin Townsend Project, the latest outlet for prolific Strapping Young Lad frontman Devin Townsend, c0-headlining tonight, Sept. 9 along with returning favorites Between the Buried and Me, playing their most recent LP Coma Ecliptic in full, with openers Fallujah, metalheads have one hell of a show to look forward to to kick off the fall. Tickets are still available here, so grab yours now and read on for more about the show!
DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT
Best known for his role in fronting extreme metal band Strapping Young Lad, Devin Townsend has, in his 25 year career, released approximately 23 albums through a variety of different and interconnected projects. After early exposure through collaborative work with big names Steve Vai and Jason Newsted in the early ’90s, Townsend leveraged label interest and shed his own name to create prog, thrash, death, and extreme metal inspired tunes under the Strapping Young Lad moniker, hitting a critical high with 1997 sophomore effort City. Throughout his career, Devin has always had a dichotomy of more calm, progressive, layered, and experimental music, in opposition to his loud and aggressive metal, and the former has typically been branded under some form of his own name, first The Devin Townsend Band, and more recently the Devin Townsend Project. The Project began in 2008, after a brief break from creating music, during which Devin cut his signature long locks, learned to write and record without the influence of substances, and flirted with a behind the scenes role as strictly a producer. Though he originally conceived of the Devin Townsend Project as a four album endeavor, in order to showcase what he perceived to be the four distinctive sides to his sound, it has since extended well beyond that, with most recent and seventh album Transcendence set for release the same day as this show. Frequently compared to legends like Frank Zappa and Phil Spector, Townsend’s sound certainly checks his metal past, while venturing in the territory of broader, epic, progressive rock. Certainly a modern legend, and a prolific one to boot, Devin couldn’t be better suited to play alongside Between the Buried and Me for a show any thinking man’s metal fan will surely love.
BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME
Just last summer, seminal North Carolina progressive metal act Between the Buried and Me dropped their long-awaited seventh full-length, Coma Ecliptic, shortly after injecting Bonnaroo 2015 with a healthy dose of heavy metal. Not long after that, they made a stop in Music City, but this time around on their return, we’re in for something even more special, as the theatrical, proggy, metal act are set to play Coma Ecliptic in full for the first time, as it was intended to be experienced. Formed in 2000, BTBAM really rose to prominence a decade ago, following a few lineup shakeups which culminated in locking down the quintet of talented players who’ve remained since ’05, for the release of their buzzworthy third album, Alaska. Throughout their Victory Records years, the band quickly found an audience in the metal and hardcore scene, going on to perform at the likes of Ozzfest, Warped Tour, and countless other high profile events, and to tour with Mastodon, Every Time I Die and more. Though their earlier years saw the band experimenting with metalcore (a thriving genre in North Carolina in the early ’00s), progressive metal, and death metal, they’ve evolved to become a lot heavier on the prog with recent releases, incorporating more technical prowess, broader instrumentation, and more unique and unpredictable songwriting, widening their scope with a variety of unorthodox instruments. Drawing also from prog rock, alternative, and more, Between the Buried and Me are group built for fans of sweeping, technical songwriting and heavy sensibilities, and their Marathon return promises to be one of the best Music City metal performances of the year.
Formed almost a decade ago in San Francisco, Fallujah have been entertaining the metal minded masses with their technical death metal and progressive sound since first erupting onto the scene with 2011 debut The Harvest Wombs. Most recently the band, who’ve shared the stage with tons of big names in modern metal, inked a deal with tastemaking label Nuclear Blast, and unleashed their third album, Dreamless, back in the spring. Not only rounding out the bill and repping for the newer scene, but also helping make this lineup more diverse, Fallujah are well-suited to warm up the stage, for a night of heavy tuneage any fan of serious metal is sure to love.
Devin Townsend Project, Between the Buried and Me, and Fallujah will perform Friday, Sept. 9 at Marathon Music Works. The show is 18+, begins at 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $26.