On Saturday, August 25, 2018 I made my way to Atlanta’s busiest music venue, The Masquerade, to attend the CD release party for Bloody But Unbowed, the latest offering by Atlanta’s own Halcyon Way (you can read our review of Bloody But Unbowed right here). For the uninitiated, Halcyon Way is a 5-piece metal band formed by guitarist Jon Bodan. As the band states on their official website: “Halcyon Way’s sound cannot be neatly slotted into any sub-category of metal, but it can be described as heavy, catchy, technical, and above all, focused on mature song craft.” After listening to their new CD and witnessing them live, I’d have to say that I agree with every word. The music on Bloody But Unbowed is both a challenging listen from front-to-back and a non-stop metal assault. I was curious to see how it would translate to a live environment, so, camera-in-hand, I headed in to the venue for a taste.
The band appeared to be in good spirits as they took the stage in front of a crowded room of family, friends and fans. Employing matching stage outfits, a la Iced Earth or Sabaton, Halcyon Way dug in from the very first note, unleashing a pummeling assault of drums, bass, guitar and vocals. The band do a great job in “performing” their music – they just don’t stand there and play. There’s lots of movement and interaction between band members on stage as they rip into their originals. Speaking of originals, of the new songs that the band played, “Crowned in Violence,” “Burning The Summit” and “Ten Thousand Ways” stood out in my mind, which was obviously heavily loaded with new material. These are the songs that I feel really capture who Halcyon Way are right now.
I really don’t know what else this band can do to potentially break out to a larger audience since all the pieces are already in place. They are all talented, skillful musicians (and singers); they have a series of successful releases; they have a unique sound all their own; their stage show is on point; they have terrific CD artwork (work done by Travis Smith); they have toured all over the US and Europe with some very well-known bands. I mean, what else is there to do?
You can pick up a copy of Bloody But Unbowed at the band’s official website or on iTunes, and you can stream from Spotify, Apple Music and wherever else you stream music from. Do yourself a favor and check these guys out. You can certainly thank me later.
HALCYON WAY Set-List:
Bloody But Unbowed / Hatred Is My Cause / Crowned in Violence / Blame / Desecration Day / The Church of Me / Ten Thousand Ways / Desolate / Slaves to Silicon / Burning The Summit / Home