It’s crazy to think that Sumerian Records tenure in the U.S. metal scene has only lasted 10 years, from 2006 to 2016. The inception of the annual Summer Slaughter Tour in 2007 brought several new metal acts such as The Faceless and Born of Osiris in its inaugural year as Sumerian Records quickly began climbing the ranks of the metal underground. As more metal fans discovered the label’s intriguing roster of artists over the years, increase in support of bands like After the Burial, Veil of Maya, Periphery, The Haarp Machine and Animals As Leaders signaled that instead of being in the right place at the right time with the right trendy bands to promote, Sumerian Records were not only here to stay, but planned on keeping metal moving in the right direction.
Since their explosion of popularity, the label has continued to sign elite up-and-coming musicians in T.R.A.M. (ft. members of AAL, The Mars Volta and Suicidal Tendencies), Mestis (ft. Javier Reyes of AAL), Evan Brewer (former bassist of The Faceless and Animosity) and CHON while also stocking up on veteran metal acts like Body Count (ft. ICE T), Dillinger Escape Plan and Darkest Hour as they each continue to carve their paths through metal music history. What Sumerian Records has accomplished between 2006 and 2016 is truly impressive, and most metal heads would agree that paying homage to the label for changing the mainstream metal landscape has been a long time coming.
Upon arrival at the Ready Room just a few minutes after 7PM, I joined the line of black-clad patrons that were still waiting to get in since the doors opened at 6PM. When I finally entered the packed club (which was changed from Fubar to The Ready Room due to high demand on ticket sales) I pushed through a few rows of people at the back of the floor to get a better vantage point for ERRA, the third band of the night but the first I was able to watch. They received decent response and participation from the crowd throughout their set. They combine a solid mix of harsh vocals and clean singing that the guitarist belts out surprisingly crisp live. I thought they really set the tempo for the rest of the show.
Although the crowd started moving around more toward the end of Erra’s set, you could tell they were saving their energy for After the Burial. The amount of people that packed in close to the stage was impressive, even without a barricade. As soon as the opening riff from “Lost in the Static” off of their latest album started, the rambunctious crowd shifted to a higher gear. Throughout the set the pit was raucous. At several different points, the entire crowd seemed to jump in synchronization as the band encouraged us to do so. There are only a certain few bands that I will go all out for at shows, and After the Burial has always been one of them. There’s something about their talented song-writing and intense live performances that get my blood pumping. Needless to say I’m a bit sore as I sit and write this 24 hours later… And it feels great! \m/
After the Burial:
Lost in the Static
A Wolf Against Ravens
A friend of mine had seen this tour in Denver 3 nights before and another friend has seen it in Lawrence the previous night, and at both shows Veil of Maya were forced to perform instrumental sets due to the vocalist being ill. As soon as we were inside the venue before Erra, I was checking out the merch and decided to ask the guy at Veil of Maya‘s merch booth whether or not vocals would be incorporated into their set and he kept giving that “We’ll see” (aka “No”) answer… Later, as I found a nice spot to chill out and take it their set next to the sound board, I saw the him again because he was also their lighting tech and finally he caved in and told me that they were going to be playing instrumental. Honestly, I couldn’t have been happier with some of their performance because it was a neat change of pace from the rest of the show and the crowd did a pretty damn good job belting out the lyrics in the singer’s absence.
Veil of Maya (Instrumental set):
It’s Not Safe to Swim Today
The last band of the evening was Born of Osiris, who came out to greet the chaotic crowd with a few tracks from their latest album Soul Sphere. Their set feature a good mixture of old classics from A New Reign all the way up to the new stuff. They had tons of energy as they always do, and their dual vocals always intensify their life performances. Fans were crowd-surfing and moshing and chanting the words of each song throughout the set. It had been a while since Born of Osiris played in Saint Louis, and their return to the Gateway to the West was well worth the wait.
Born of Osiris:
The Other Half of Me
The Sleeping and the Dead
Open Arms to Damnation
Goddess of the Dawn
Throw Me in the Jungle
Follow the Signs
Overall this was one of the funnest shows I’ve been to in a while. It was a nice Sumerian Records showcase that featured several of their most successful artists to date, along with up-and-coming acts ERRA and Bad Omens. Our show was the last date of the tour, and each band thanked the crowd for coming out on a Friday night. Each band also mentioned that our show was one of the best on the tour as far as response and participation. Unfortunately, the long line and the slow entry caused a lot of fans to miss the first few bands, but the majority of the show they were able to witness still made the price of the ticket worth it.
Congratulations to Sumerian Records on 10 solid years in the metal scene, and here’s to 10 more! \m/
Concert photos in this review are courtesy of our very own, Nick Licata. Because there wasn’t a barricade at this packed show, it was hard finding a spot to shoot, so the ERRA pics are sparse. Eventually, he found a sweet spot for the rest of the bands. Feel free to comment, like, and share any of the pictures to show your love!