Facedown Fest 2016, The Glass House, May 14, 2016
Facedown Fest 2016 took place for one big night at The Glass House in Pomona on a raging Saturday, a celebration of music and ministry from the Facedown Records roster of talent. This year’s edition of the Fest brought the very first Impending Doom show in three years as well as the only Southern California reunion of the Christian hardcore band Seventh Star. Collectives from around the globe were well represented, featuring the annual appearance of New Zealand’s Saving Grace as well as the first ever local appearance of the dynamic For All Eternity from Sydney, Australia.
Founded in 1997 by No Innocent Victim member Jason Dunn, nearly 20 years later, Facedown Records remains a compelling force within the music industry. It is always exciting and inspirational to attend Facedown Fest, and here is a review of some of the bands who made 2016 so wondrously memorable this year!
The first band we caught up with at Facedown Fest 2016 was their latest signing Poured Out, bringing their exhilarating brand of Maryland hardcore to the Southland. Taking The Glass House stage for a 4:15 in the afternoon show, Poured Out set that day into motion and even had some early pit action going on. Facedown Records recently re-issued Poured Out’s Blind Heart EP, and the band is now on the verge of recording their debut full length for the label. Songs such as Unpredictable and American Justice garnered Poured Out the undivided attention of the early arrivals.
Another highlight of the set was Enslavement to The Substance, a powerful song about addiction which certainly left a lingering impression. Closing their set with their namesake tune Poured Out, there was no doubt this thrilling new band made a tremendous impact on at this year’s Facedown Fest celebration. The Poured Out membership consists of Randy Lyvers on vocals, Ridge Rhineon guitar, Grant Johnstone on bass, and Matt Dooley on drums.
Poured Out on Facebook
For All Eternity
Those who made their way to Facedown Fest 2016 were treated to the only US appearance of For All Eternity. Based out of Sydney, Australia, these lads from down under made the trek halfway across the world to unleash one of the most memorable performances at the Fest this year. Unveiling songs from their debut Facedown release Metanoia, For All Eternity delivered an impassioned set of metalcore artillery that truly enraptured the crowd. Songs such as Break it Down, Mountainside and The Divide left a tremendous impact within a live setting. And longtime converts of the band were presented a scorching rendition of Vacant Room from For All Eternity’s 2012 Beyond The Gates entreaty.
Fans of August Burn Red and Parkway Drive need to take note of what For All Eternity has to offer the world at large. Included within the massively talented For All Eternity membership is Shane Carroll on vocals, Michael Buckley on drums and clean vocals, Jeremy Mosiejczuk on guitar, Nicholas Page on guitar, and Scott Dibley on bass. Expect to hear a whole lot more from For All Eternity in future days ahead!
For All Eternity on Facebook
Each year at Facedown Fest, My Epic may be counted upon to present a truly inspiring set of alternative rock to the hardcore and metal masses. Whether they play acoustic or with a full band in tow, My Epic is always one of the glorious highlights at Facedown Fest. Truly humble musicians presenting spiritual based songs that transcend time and genre, the majestic beauty found within a My Epic composition was in full force at The Glass House. The entire membership was present performing cuts from their recently issued Viscera EP as well as other fan favorites from their various Facedown releases.
My Epic takes time out of their set to acknowledge their spiritual beliefs, and their messages of faith and hope reverberate just as passionately as their stratospheric auditory soundscapes. The band has promised an EP a year and to tour more often, so be sure to catch My Epic the next time they show up in your hometown. On a bill where intensity and breakdowns are key, My Epic truly makes an impact in even the quietest of moments.
My Epic on Facebook
Bringing back to the glory days of pure hardcore with an all-out vengeance, Seventh Star made their way into The Glass House for Facedown Fest 2016 and sent the pit action into overdrive! Committing to a series of reunion shows, this would be the only Southern California appearance of Seventh Star – and what an absolutely devastating set! “Does my faith disgust you? Because your sins disgust me!” bellowed front man Johnny Intravaia with a ferocious sense of conviction. Songs such as Resistance To Resistance and The Undisputed Truth were just as vibrant today as they were when first released – and Seventh Star delivered them all with a strong sense of urgency which was exciting to witness!
All members were in top form, presenting to the fans an absolutely unforgettable performance! The church lady may not understand this type of extreme worship, but those flailing frenetically in the pit were praising the Lord and vastly enjoying the rapturous refrains of one the most scandalously underrated hardcore bands ever!
Seventh Star on Facebook
If the hardcore pits are not enough to scare off the church lady, the return of the almighty Impending Doom is sure send the dear thing screaming into the streets proclaiming that the rapture was upon us! Ferocious death metal in its finest hour, Impending Doom took to the stage and slammed into a ferocious set of tunes. Opening with the deadly refrains of Murderer, the crowd response went through the roof as this Riverside-based collective returned to the stage after several years in a state of dormancy. From The Serpent’s Servant, Anything Goes, Doomsday and well beyond, Impending Doom presented an explosive performance that absolutely pummeled the senses.
The band refers to their style of music as “Gorship“, which is described by front man Brook Reeves as “Worshiping God through our gore-sounding music.” The blistering refrains of Impending Doom oozed throughout The Glass House, with the band performing tighter and more intensive than ever before. Here is hoping we see a hell of a lot more from Impending Doom in the future, as they truly remain a sonic attack force to be reckoned with a live setting.
Impending Doom on Facebook
Other bands that made Facedown Fest 2016 so wondrously memorable include Saving Grace, Everything In Slow Motion, Hope For The Dying, Rivals Choirs and a thrilling opening set from Comrades of West Virginia! Congrats to Jason Dunn, Shannon Quiggle, and Facedown Records for presenting such a powerful, well organized Facedown Fest! We’ll see you all next year!
Facedown Records on Facebook
(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)