Words by Masen Smith

Bring Me The Horizon

Coming off their first US arena tour in 3 years, Bring Me The Horizon has taken American shores by storm in support of their latest record, AMO.  Their graceful contrast of style from album to album is sure to captivate audiences. From deathcore medleys to haunting melodies, punchy riffs and catchy hooks,  BMTH are one of many bands you’d be sorry to miss on this lineup.

Motionless in White

If you’re looking for gothic metalcore with immersive stage production, look no further than Motionless in White.  Graduating from club tours to warped tour to huge festival stages, MIW is no strangers to massive crowds. They’re sure to create some of the most raucous pits of the weekend, as their connection with fans inspires countless crowdsurfers and moshers without fail.  If you’re looking to slam dance, this set is a must-see.

Korn

Nu Metal legends KoЯn are no strangers to the festival circuit.  Their characteristically dark, eerie vibe coupled with an incredible stage presence proves that they are headliners for a reason.  Joshua Davis’ unmistakable voice and Ray Luzier’s creative, unique drumming will make their set a true marvel to see on night one.

Fever 333

Fever 333 are newcomers to the metal world, but you wouldn’t know it by their purely electric “demonstrations”.  Jason Aalon Butler (formerly of Letlive) spearheads the madness- their demonstrations are always unique, and you never know just what stunts they’ll pull next time.  From playing in the center of a mosh pit, to handing off a balcony, or Butler launching himself through a drum mid-show, each experience is eclectic, new, and insane.  Don’t miss it.

Vein

Fresh off a tour with Every Time I Die, VEIN brings some new-school hardcore punk to an almost exclusively rock and metal lineup.  If dark, violent, abrasive and wicked heavy moshing music is your niche, trust your gut. Get to the festival early on day 1 to catch what will be one of the heaviest sets of the weekend.

Meshuggah

The Fathers of Djent play no games.  A personal favourite of mine, Meshuggah is by FAR the heaviest, most technical band on the lineup, and one I’m most excited to see.  Their distinctive, polyrhythm-driven riffs offer some of the most neck-snapping grooves imaginable. The mathiness of their music only adds to their ambience and enormous sonic presence.  The more I think about it, enormous is the only word to accurately describe their sound. If you love dark, crushingly heavy, progressive metal, then chances are you’ll already be there.

TOOL

Will there EVER be another TOOL record? We don’t know either, but a headlining set at such a gigantic festival is a promising sign.  The mysterious and proggy legends TOOL will grace the Epicenter mainstage to close out day 2. Be ready for an experience like no other- Vocalist Maynard James Keenan’s voice is simply transcendental.  Couple that with the layered percussion and guitar tones that will shake you to your bones…they’ll combine to create an ethereal, otherworldly sonic experience. You think I’m being dramatic? Just wait.

Architects (UK)

British metalcore heavyweights Architects come to Epicenter after finishing up an arena run all across Europe and the UK, and they bring an attitude to match.  Their last two records, All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us (2016) and Holy Hell (2018) chronicle the emotions surrounding the death of their main songwriter and guitarist, Tom Searle.  Both their lyrics and live performance drip with emotion, the wounds of losing one of their brothers still being so close to the surface. Architects are nothing if not genuine, and the pain, loss, grief and reflection wrapped in each track they play has made them a personal favourite of mine.  If you’re looking for an emotionally charged, unique performance that simultaneously has the intimacy of a club show and the onstage presence of arena-ready metal, these guys will be your favourite set of the weekend.

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