JAM Magazine Concert Reviews

January , 2013
Fitzgerald's, Cactus Music
Houston, TX USA
Review by Michael Victorick
Photos by Michael Victorick

Brothers of Brutality Tour - Whitechapel, Emmure, Unearth

Brothers of Brutality Tour

Thank God for metal. And I say that with the utmost respect. If you're into the scene, and I don't care what subgenre you bang your head to, then you know it's the perfect style of music for venting pent up emotions. For the near capacity crowd at Fitzgerald's in Houston on Jan. 11, the cause for celebration this evening was the Brothers of Brutality tour that came roaring into the venue. The sonic boom delivered from the stage this evening proved to be the perfect release valve for the audience and their inner angst.

The historic Fitzgerald's is an ideal place for rock fans to deal with the "metal anguish" that smolders inside them. When it collides with death core bands like Emmure and Whitechapel, metal core heroes Unearth and understudies Obey the Brave as well as The Plot in You, you literally have presented rock fans with the ‘perfect storm.'

Obey the Brave and The Plot in You revved the crowd up. Each band delivered non-stop metal core action the crowd absolutely appreciated. They were the ideal warm up acts for the musical mayhem that was to ensue when Unearth took the stage.

Unearth set the tone for the entire evening with their aural assault on the mind's five sense by unleashing "Watch it Burn" from the band's 2011 gem, Darkness in the Light. The album's opening track was the perfect fuel to drive the fiery rage of this crowd as they pounded their fists in the air and themselves in to one another. The sonic assault led by guitarists Buz McGrath and Ken Susitook supported an awesome rhythm section of bassist John Maggard and new drummer Nick Pierce, that enabled vocalist Trevor Phillips to literally will the crowd into a schizophrenic frenzy during their hour long set.

Emmure picked right up where Unearth left off. Known for their intensity on stage, singer Franky Palmeri blew through the opening lyrics to "Solar Flare Homicide" and immediately the head bangers in the crowd started doing "body shots" with anyone who would respond in kind. This veteran metal outfit currently residing in Queens, New York also showcases a powerful twin guitar attack spearheaded by Jesse Ketive and Mike Mulholland. The total command of the instruments these two displayed was especially powerful as they whipped the crowd into ecstasy during "Drug Deal Friend". The music had the audience shouting obscenities that led to chants. Not sure how this all came about, but it certainly was an integral part of the Emmure show tonight.

Whitechapel was given the honors of closing the Houston performance. Whether part of this crowd was on hand to experience Unearth, or relish the intensity of Emmure, everyone came together for the madness that ensued with Whitechapel. It was sonic madness from beginning to end with this Tennessee based, six-man wrecking crew.

True metal diehards in the audience looked like bobble head dolls during songs like "Somatic Defilement" and "Breeding Violence". When the triple-guitar attack of Ben Savage, Zach Householder and Alex Wade launched into their masterpiece, "Possession," kids in the crowd went straight for the stage just so they could dive right back to where they came from. Vocalist Phil Bozeman ate up every second of the chaos, with his guttural utterances sounding like calls from beyond as it filtered through the P.A. system.

As the final notes ended from the stage, a beaten up, yet extremely appreciative audience filtered out of the club totally exhausted and extremely satisfied. Whatever restlessness anyone felt going in to Fitzgerald's was definitely whipped out of them by night's end. Sweaty bodies and smiling faces could be seen everywhere. The aptly named Brothers in Brutality had more than lived up to its tour billing. Sore necks and bruised bodies would testify to that the next morning.