In Flames, the Swedish metal band that made melodic death metal more palatable to the masses, brought two American acts to support them last week in Pittsburgh. All Hail The Yeti from L.A./Hollywood opened the show and the increasingly popular All That Remains from MASS. was the “middle act”. All three bands came out swinging and made the Rex Theater a sweaty mess.
All Hail The Yeti are no strangers to Pittsburgh stages and their change in sound and trajectory in popularity has changed quite a bit.
Connor Garritty, the vocalist, has a commanding presence with the crowd. AHTY has gone less hardcore, much like All That Remains and seem to be grasping for that fine line between heavy and possibility of radio airplay. The songs are solid as is their performance, but they are much better when they stick to a harder edge.
All That Remains have been through some rough times lately as their guitarist Oli Herbert died of what some may call “suspicious causes”. Singer, Phil Labonte has been fairly quiet on the situation, though recently he did express his absence of love for Oli’s wife and skepticism of the changed will and timing of Oli’s death. In lighter ATR news, Oli’s replacement, Jason Richardson (formerly of Chelsea Grin and Born of Osiris) is an unbelievably talented guitarist and Oli was super impressed by him when he played for other outfits. In fact, Phil was very adamant when stating,
“There is no one in the world that Oli would have wanted to fill that spot on the stage other than Jason.”
This writer would go so far as to say Richardson’s playing was the highlight of the set, Phil’s voice was fine when going gruff and tough, but he was a bit off when it came to the melodic areas.
It’s hard to believe that In Flames has been killing it for as long as they have. Pre-show we had a chance to sit down with Anders and he could not have been nicer (see here). Their modest stage show, complete with lasers, was just the thing to place them a bit above as headliners and veteran masters. The combo of Anders and Bjorn is as strong as ever and they sounded amazing, showing what 25 years of chemistry looks and sounds like. The new material on I, The Mask is definitely heavier than the past few records and it is definitely just what the Dr. ordered. Considering the guys just released the record (a few days after the PGH show) they should be on tour for roughly two years and hopefully, Pittsburgh will get to see them again and possibly in a more suited (read bigger) venue.
All photos © AWeldingphoto 2019