Amherist, Sanity Is Lost, Embrace The Legend, When Paradise Falls

AMHERIST
SANITY IS LOST
EMBRACE THE LEGEND
WHEN PARADISE FALLS
Cobalt Café
July 24, 2010

The Highwire Daze Vegas night at the Cobalt was quickly becoming a remake of the Agatha Christie classic And Then There Were None. What started out as seven bands dwindled down to four as medical emergencies, band breakups, and other forces of nature wrecked havoc on the show. The Devil Wears Prada and the Scream The Prayer tour were also playing across town making for a challenging night. The only thing that mattered in the end though were the bands that did play and the fans and friends they brought in to attend the show. And I must say, it was a good evening of music from four groups you WILL be hearing A LOT more of in the future.

Local band When Paradise Falls opened the show with an explosive set of emotional post hardcore that made the early arrivers take notice. The band played selections from their debut EP Progression Killed The Historian including the mightily fierce The Real Caesars Palace and the wondrously heavy Tigers Don’t Like Cinnamon. Their new songs show a good deal of depth and growth, including Pepper Jacks Best Ho and Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear. Front man Bryan has grown tremendously as a vocalist since his days fronting his previous band Amherist – excelling in the impassioned screams, the death metal guttural inflections, and especially in the clean singing department. Thanking Amherist for giving him his start (they were also playing later on), Bryan is very affable and has the talent and charisma to match. Andre and Mike really know has to deliver the atmospherics on dueling guitars and bassist Erick excelled in the low-end department. Drummer Bernabe is absolutely impressive, and sent the beats into overdrive with his outstanding performance. When Paradise Falls is destined to greater heights – it will be exciting to see what the future has in store for this massively talented collective. What a terrific start of the show!

Up next was Embrace The Legend from Winnetka, a small community in the West San Fernando Valley. One look at their MySpace, and you instantly see that these guys are young! So I was not expecting to be so totally blown away by the hardcore anthems these kids had to offer. Embrace The Legend performs like seasoned musicians twice their age, possessing a good deal of passion and drive in their music. Time For A Change was an excellent song that was a real crowd pleaser and is definitely one of the band’s most memorable tunes. The guys were joined onstage by Alex from And Death Will Follow for an super intensive rendition of Unite and Conquer, the studio version of which is on their MySpace page. Jeffrey Martinez is a wildly effective lead vocalist, putting a good deal of enthusiasm and energy into the material. Joey Magallanes and Chris Markarian make up the tremendously tight rhythm section, at times sending heads into the pit with the driving beats. 16 year old guitarist Zack Gilman may look like your kid brother, but the dude plays like a young Yngwie Malmsteen, really impressing (and even stunning) a few in the crowd with his fiery axe performance. To me, Embrace The Legend was the real surprise of the evening.

Sanity Is Lost took to the stage next, direct from the wilds of Las Vegas to the more sedate streets of Canoga Park. Earlier this year, Sanity Is Lost won a Battle Of The Bands competition, and opened up this year’s edition of Extreme Thing at Desert Breeze Park in their hometown. Also on the bill were national acts such as The Used, Escape The Fate, Five Finger Death Punch, Never Shout Never, and many others. Judging by the intensity and professionalism of their show, it was easy to see why they placed as high as they did in the contest. Presenting a solid set of tunes, the band played their first ever show in the Los Angeles area. Bands such as Escape The Fate and This Romantic Tragedy have found success and escaped the confines of their Sin City desert oasis. Expect Sanity Is Lost to be next in line – these guys have both the songs and the sheer enthusiasm to really make a big name for themselves all across the country. Selections performed included I Put The Man In Manatee, Nah Brah, and Pray To The Sky. And then there was their rockin’ cover of the Taylor Swift song Love Story that really won over the Cobalt attendees. The talented Sanity Is Lost lineup consists of Landon on vocals, Keene on guitar, Dalton on guitar, Tanner on bass, and Joey on drums. Their debut EP Arise will be available in September on Itunes.  A solid set from a band well on their way to the top!

Since the headliners fell to the And Then There Were None curse, local band Amherist wound up closing out the night, and did a pretty kick ass job of it too! The band is harder edged than ever, mixing in the most ferocious aspects of screamo with hints of pop and other infectious grooves. Lead vocalist Fico may come off and mild mannered offstage, but once the music begins, this guy is a sheer beast! Screaming the lyrics as if possessed by otherworldly forces, Fico takes command of the stage, conveying the lyrical content with a good amount of conviction. An outstanding presence to be sure! Just as fierce on the Cobalt stage is Brandon, who managed to break two strings on his guitar yet still kept the performance going strong. Alex on bass and Armen on drums send the beats over the top and work quite well together. And then there’s Cailey, one of the very few female lead guitarist in the Valley who plays with the confidence of a virtuoso. This girl shreds it! Top tunes in the set include Pa, Paper and Stapler, and Sins Of The Past, Truth Of The Feature. At the end, Fico switched over to guitar and Cailey took over the lead vocals on an older song No And I Can Sing It In Spanish. Joining them onstage was Ray Reyes on co-vocals. Cailey’s singing voice has improved so much – they should really have her front and center a bit more – they would definitely give Eyes Set To Kill a run for their money. Both Fico and Cailey make a good team when performing together.  Amherist seems to be ever growing and changing, so it will be exciting to see what this talented collective has in store for their fans next.

Thanks to Sanity Is Lost for driving all the way from Vegas to play the show as well as Amherist, When Paradise Falls, and Embrace The Legend for their participation in the show. And thanks to all their fans who came out to support the show and our local scene…

(Review and Photos by Kenneth Morton)

Amherist on Myspace
Embrace The Legend on Myspace
Sanity Is Lost on Myspace
When Paradise Falls on Myspace

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