Malus Clothing presents The Portals Tour


Malus Clothing presented The Portals Tour, an entire evening of kick-ass hardcore and metalcore acts, who arrived at the Cobalt Café on a Saturday night to wreck havoc within the wilds of Canoga Park.  It did not even matter that All That Remains and Asking Alexandria were performing on the opposite side of town – the Cobalt was packed the entire night ready for some heavy pit action.  Five touring bands were joined by three locals, making for a long yet thrilling evening of music and mayhem – brought to you by the fine folks at twoHEARTS Promotions.

First up was Heart Of The Void from Santa Barbara, a band who clearly aspires for innovation well beyond any chosen genre. With groups such as Opeth and Between The Buried And Me as subtle references, Heart Of The Void deliver poetic yet extreme compositions that are a genuine thrill to the senses. Performing songs from their self-titled independent release, the dark and dynamic opuses left a lasting impression. Including in the set were Lamia, Atmosphere, and the wondrously epic The Observatory. A stunning collective who shows a good deal of promise, it will be exciting to see just what the future has in store for Heart Of The Void. The resourceful lineup consists of Riley Giffin on vocals and keyboards, Ryan Bealer on guitar and vocals, Mike Woods on lead guitar, Joey McDermott on drums, and Davey Jones on bass.

“You are not alone, we are with you,” says the logo on the Myspace belonging to Bermuda of Oxnard, CA. A hardcore band who really sent the pit into overdrive, the inspiring lyrical content and driving break beats of Bermuda make you want to take on the world. One of the most exciting songs in their set was The Human Herd, which is also currently the featured track on their Myspace. Life Lines was another grand slam that appeared to be an audience favorite. Don’t expect these guys to find themselves lost in a mysterious triangle of forgettable bands – Bermuda is an unsigned talent whom we are sure to hear a lot more of within these future days.

Another band with a ferocious sense of conviction and values is Derringer from Santa Clarita, CA – another powerhouse local who sent the room into a frenzy with their thrashin’ hardcore anthems. Derringer is fronted by dual vocalists Justin Hinson and Tyler Coe, two highly charismatic individuals whose passion for the lyrical content really drove the material into an admirable light. A Lie On Life Support sent the throngs into action and was a definite highlight of their set. On the mighty Ignorance Is Taught, one of the vocalists introduced the tune by saying, “This goes out to every racist, homophobic piece of shit!’ Trevor Plough and Jeff Chowdhury shred away like true pros while Daniel Romero on bass and newest member Frank Cardone on drums tore it up as the relentlessly driven rhythm section. Derringer has both heart and brutality within their music, and these vibrant aspects are sure to take these guys far.

On to the bands of The Portals Tour, where Destruction Of A Rose kicked off the event with a vengeance. Performing songs from their BlkHeart Group full-length debut American Hell, DOAR once again proved why they are a band on the verge of a serious breakthrough. The first song in their set was No Need For A Crutch, a thunderous anthem-like track that instantly had the audience paying heed to the call of metal! Other songs performed included the ferocious Open Your Eyes Not Your Legs and the curiously titled I Kissed A Vulture. DOAR vocalist Evan Foxx possesses a good deal of energy and star quality, delivering the fiery lyrics with an all-out aggression that was absolutely intense. The musicians in DOAR are first rate, enveloping the walls of the Cobalt with the pure sounds of what is truly Sin City metal in your face! In addition to the aforementioned Foxx, the DOAR lineup consists of Danny Diablo on guitar, Nick Barker on guitar and vocals, Daniel Castro on bass, and Larry Reynolds on drums.

Up next was And Hell Followed With, a group of truly pissed off young musicians who can really throw it down like no other. Signed to the legendary underground label Earache Records, this Detroit, MI based band was more than ready to bring a bit of devastation to Southern California. The band performed tracks from their sophomore release Proprioception including This Night Is The Coroners and Rotting Procession. The barrage of sound coming from the stage was both chaotic and exhilarating, and the entire Cobalt audience response was  fierce and rancorous. Surely a band whose live performance will gain them a good deal of attention and notoriety. And Hell Followed With us guaranteed to drop kick your ass into the nearest and most fevered of mosh pit!

The metallic hardcore and stage dives continued on when Within The Ruins took to the stage, tearing yet another sonic hole into the walls of the Cobalt. Although this band is going into their 8th year of existence, 2010 seems to be their biggest career highlight yet. Not only do they have am astounding new release on Victory Records entitled Invade, but they perform with the passion and energy of a brand new entity ready to break themselves out in a big and glorious way. One of the most exciting songs of the set was Behold The Harlot, which many in the crowd were singing along with. Based out of Westfield, Mass., Within The Ruins is now invading towns all across the nation, and with a stage show this superlative; it won’t be long before they find themselves headlining their very own tours.

The night surely belonged to Ion Dissonance, judging by the applause and overall excitement the band was generating even before they hit the stage. This Montreal, Canada based band certainly live up to the hype, and performed a dazzling set of metallic hardcore tunes for a nearly packed Cobalt. Performing selections from all of their recordings, their time on stage was gripping, filled with thunderous moments of passion and musical artistry. Top songs in their set included the brilliant You People Are Messed Up, the heavier than hell Kneel, and the crowd favorite She’s Strychnine. This is the type of band that other musicians clearly admire, as many of the other performers playing that night were watching as Ion Dissonance tore up the stage. The massively talented membership includes Kevin McCaughey on vocals, Antoine Lussier on guitar, Sebastien Chaput on guitar, Yanic Desgroseilliers on bass, and Jean-Francois Richard on drums. Expect to see these guys in a much bigger venue the next time they amble into town. Their latest album is entitled Cursed, out now from Century Media Records.

Headlining the night was the wild and quirky Arsonists Get All The Girls from Santa Cruz, CA. It was getting late and a lot of the kids were tired, but that did not faze the Arsonists dudes in the least. They were here to party, and many received their second wind when encountering the extreme yet rowdy tunes the band had to offer. Performing songs from their Century Media release Portals and many other selections, AGATG certainly had the late crowd paying attention. Cleverly mixing deathcore violence with eccentric keyboard and dance passages, their sound remains creative, clever and madly extreme. Vocalist Jared Monette was the host with the most, delivering the lyrics with a fiendish glee. Also notable was the always-inventive keyboard interludes courtesy of Sean Richmond. A mind-blowing conclusion to a night of bands that many will want to revisit again in the future. Thanks to Malus Clothing for sponsoring the tour, John of twoHEARTS for booking at the Cobalt, and to all the bands for delivering a memorable night of extreme music in the SFV!

(Review and Photos by Kenneth Morton)

Heart Of The Void on Myspace
Bermuda on Myspace
Derringer on Myspace
Destruction Of A Rose on Myspace
And Hell Followed With on Myspace
Within The Ruins on Myspace
Ion Dissonance on Myspace
Arsonists Get All The Girls on Myspace
Malus Clothing on Myspace


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