Words and Photos by Kyle Bergfors
June 21 is the official start of the summer season, but it wasn’t the summer solstice that marked the beginning of summer…rather it was the Summer of Hard 2 Kill Tour featuring I AM, Orthodox, and Boundaries at the Subterranean in Chicago that officially kickstarted the summer.
Chicago locals Bad Blood and Kharma opened the show both delivering their own approach to hardcore and metalcore with Bad Blood sounding like a combination of Slipknot with new age hardcore, while Kharma brought their political message over hard-hitting riffs and a harsher style of vocals both proving Chicago continues to deliver some of the best and heaviest hardcore/metal currently.
The tour package followed delivering a true metalcore takeover that night starting with Boundaries who is quickly making a name for themselves due to their constant tour schedule while also touring with other up-and-coming names within the thriving metalcore scene. Boundaries delivered that perfect mixture of ominousness and heavier in-your-face instrumentals resulting in the perfect first act to introduce the tour package.
Next up was Orthodox, who are the definition of a come-up having been more of a straight forward style of hardcore for their first two EP releases, then, for one reason or another, decided to slow down the pace on tour, shows, and music. Then, almost seemingly out of nowhere, Orthodox burst back onto the scene following the release of their first full-length titled “Sounds of Loss” propelling them onto the up-and-coming hardcore/metalcore list due to combining elements of metalcore with hardcore in the most perfect way possible, while also making a point to tour with as many unique artists and tour packages as possible to not limit themselves to a single demographic showcasing their talent to crowds of metalcore, hardcore, deathcore, and heavy metal fans proving to be the key to their success.
I Am followed Orthodox with their own unique and one-of-a-kind style of metal known as TEXAS DEATH due to taking influence from Slayer, Metallica, Megadeath, and Anthrax in combination with thrash metal such as Cro-Mags and Pantera while also mixing in a little bit of modern deathcore resulting in a melting pot of heavy metal. I AM performed a truly heavy set that any fan of heavy music can enjoy or, at least, find parts they personally enjoy due to the mixture of multiple sub-genres being utilized for their music leaving no one disappointed or feeling left out of the show. I AM continues to displays how the Lone-Star state of Texas is still a force to be reckoned with when it comes to heavy metal. That Texas can and continues to breed some of the best and heaviest music past, present, and future.