The show began early, the doors opened at 6:30pm and when I arrived at Culture Room around 7:00pm Hammerhedd had already started playing so I rushed inside to catch their set. The crowd was unusually active for being so early which was a great indicator that it was going to be a great night. I was not very familiar with Hammerhedd’s music so I stayed back and observed. As they progressed through their set I noted the influences of traditional heavy metal bands like Motorhead combined with Slipknot and thrash metal notes which reminded me of Sepultura from the “Nations” album era.
Tracks like “Disturbance”, “Primitive” and “Foundation” dug a trench in the floor as the crowd started to mosh and head-bang. Their progressive vein became more evident as they started to play their newest single “Tunnel”. Hammerhedd closed their set with an epic cover of “Territory”, one of my favorite songs from the Brazilian icons, Sepultura. I have to say that seeing these three young men display their talent and passion for heavy music gives me piece of mind that the future of American metal is in good hands.
HAMMERHEDD Photo Gallery
The next band to take the stage was D.C.’s Darkest Hour, their melodic death metal fit perfectly in this epic puzzle of a night. Last time I saw them live was in 2017 during their tour with Havok and Jesus Piece. The highlight of their set for me was “Convalescence” from the 2005 album “Undoing Ruin”. The night continued to get heavier as Upon A Burning Body took the stage with their explosive metalcore sound straight from Texas.
DARKEST HOUR and UPON A BURNING BODY Photo Gallery
The moment we all were waiting for arrived as In Flames took the stage and hit the ground running with their new single “The Great Deceiver” and followed by their already classic “Cloud Connected” and at that instant it hit me, I have been listening to this band for 20 years and this was my first time seeing them live. I started to remember the endless nights I spent as a teenager debating with my friends which of the early albums was better but tonight I got exactly what I needed because In Flames’ set took us through their discography, stopping in every hit and new single along the way.
The venue was packed and the audience was extremely engaged with every note as Anders kept everyone signing alone and head-banging. He took a moment to thank the fans for keeping live music alive after 2 years of pandemic and other nonsense. To close this legendary set they played the 2006 banger “Take This Life” and the moshpit ignited one last time, melodic and fast riff with great lyrics that’s exactly the formula that put In Flames in the worldwide heavy metal map forever. If you can catch this tour don’t miss the opportunity you are definitely in for a night to remember.