Metal royalty to gut Senator

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Published 2010-10-04T19:33:00Z”/>


Matt Shilts

Some of the biggest names in American metal are set to meet at the Senator Theatre, and they’re employing some local talent to warm it up.

As I Lay Dying, Unearth, All That Remains and Carnifex will tear up the stage Monday, and hometown guys Armed for Apocalypse will join them.

Unearth vocalist Trevor Phipps started Ironclad Recordings, the label that picked up Armed for Apocalypse.

“All I need to know is if the band is committed to touring and putting their best foot forward,” Phipps said in an e-mail interview.

Armed for Apocalypse write songs and riffs that create such a dark feeling, he said.

“I don’t give a fuck about trends and want to give a fair shot to any band out there that I feel deserves attention, but isn’t getting it,” Phipps said.

Unearth and As I Lay Dying are both often categorized as “metalcore,” a hybrid of metal and hardcore rock.

The term has stuck, but it may not be completely accurate, said As I Lay Dying drummer Jordan Mancino in a phone interview.

“The ‘hardcore’ part of our band isn’t necessarily a stylistic thing,” he said. “It’s more just a mentality. We’re very passionate about what we’re doing – we’re presenting something more than just music.”

As I Lay Dying were bestowed the award of “Ultimate Metal God” by MTV2 in 2007.

But, like the name of their genre, the title is just that, Mancino said.

“It’s just a title, it doesn’t make us who we are,” he said.

The award was a result of fan voting, so it’s more a testament to the passion of their fans who voted, he said.

The group has worked hard to build a devout fanbase and its live shows are a big part of that, Mancino said. They want to put on the best show possible for the people who pay money to see them.

Armed for Apocalypse is finishing up material for their second album, said vocalist and guitarist Kirk Williams. Depending on how the next record does, they could be upgraded from Ironclad to Metal Blade, the same label as As I Lay Dying and Unearth.

“This album is definitely more true to us as people and as music we actually like,” Williams said. “We’re not really trying to do anything particular here, and it’s coming out better because of that.”

Some metal fans may not put the deep, slow, groove-inspired riffs of Armed for Apocalypse in the same category as the faster, more melodic acts the band will play with Monday.

But Williams isn’t worried about that, he said.

“It’s always good to play with bands that are bigger than you are,” Williams said.

In addition to playing to a wider audience, it’s helpful to pick up on the practices of successful bands, he said.

As I Lay Dying are made up of Christian members, which could be problematic considering the image of some bands who run in the same circles.

However, that is not the case in this situation, Mancino said.

“I think that’s what’s really cool about the way the scene is now,” he said. “There are a lot of bands who can share the stage that have very opposing views on life, theology – whatever it might be.”

Matt Shilts can be reached at

[email protected]


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