Words and Photos by Masen Smith
Featuring two of the biggest deathcore acts in the scene, Born of Osiris and Chelsea Grin, The Simulation Tour brought a full-to-bursting crowd to the Blind Tiger in Greensboro, NC. With both bands riding the success of their respective recently released records (BOO’s Simulation and CG’s Eternal Nightmare), this was sure to be a raucous night.
First up was the California-based Kingdom of Giants. As a new listener to this band, I was excited to see the atmosphere they could create- and damn, did they deliver. Violent riffs clashed with the antics of their boisterous frontman, in the best way. With the air of a true headliner, the band commanded a truly massive wall of death-which was extremely surprising and set the tone for the night to come. Next up, Make Them Suffer brought a symphonic element to complement their heaviness. The convincingly ominous vibe was a definite change of pace, the melodic aspect of the keyboards creating an effectively complex mix. They were definitely a welcome surprise in a night of unrelenting heaviness.
Utah deathcore four-piece Chelsea Grin ramped up the intensity even further, fronted by new vocalist Tom Barber. As soon as the opening riff to their 2014 track “Playing With Fire” hit, the frenzy began. The backline of drummer Pablo Viveros and bassist David Flinn laid down a crushing wall of sound, creating a massive sonic presence accentuated by Barber’s vocals. With an emphasis on their latest record, the 11 song set delivered all the classic tracks fans have come to love. The band’s new direction, though, was evident through new tracks like “Across the Earth.” Haunting piano interludes coupled with the dueling growls of Barber and Viveros created a uniquely haunting yet brutal performance. The set concluded with “Dead Rose,” the single heaviest song (in my view) that CG has ever released. The ending breakdown shook the stage, reverberating through the venue with a vengeance. Their performance, start to finish, reminded everyone why CG is atop the ladder in the deathcore genre.
Finally, headliners Born of Osiris took the stage. Once again, a duo of vocalists created an interestingly dynamic sound – Ronnie Canizaro and Joe Buras played off each other perfectly. Buras’ infectious energy was reflected immediately in the crowd, inciting plenty of hardcore dancing. However cacophonous and violent the performance was, that didn’t preclude a genuine connection with the audience. Every member (save for drummer Cameron Losch) interacted with the crowd, creating an intimate atmosphere without lessening the intensity. Classic tracks like “Open Arms to Damnation” and “Empires Erased” went back to the band’s roots, proving that while Born of Osiris has evolved, the music that started their career has not aged a day. The four-piece ripped through a fifteen song set, spanning their latest four records and four tracks off their breakthrough debut The New Reign (2007). If you’re looking for a brutal, diverse, heavy night of deathcore with both new blood and classic bands, this tour perfectly fit the bill.