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asilaydying_europe2019E-Werk, Saarbrücken, Germany
18th October 2019
As I Lay Dying - “Shaped by Fire” Tour Europe 2019 - Special Guest: Chelsea Grin, Unearth, Fit for a King

Everyone knows it by now, AS I LAY DYING is finally back and stronger than ever before. The Americans have just released their latest album, ‘Shaped By Fire’, and wanted to celebrate this with an extensive European tour. The Deathcore band CHELSEA GRIN, the Boston-based UNEARTH and the Christian Metallers from FIT FOR A KING were also part of it.


Fit For A King

FIT FOR A KING, also known as FFAK, is an American Metalcore band from Dallas, Texas. They released two independent EPs - in 2008 entitled ‘Fit For A King’ and 2009’s ‘Awaken the Vesper’ - and they released one independent album, ‘Descendants’, in 2011. Then, the band released four studio albums with their label Solid State Records: ‘Creation/ Destruction’ (2013), ‘Slave to Nothing’ (2014), ‘Deathgrip’ (2016) and ‘Dark Skies’ (2018).

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Music & Performance
With their mixture of varied Deathcore and catchy melodic Metalcore parts, the four guys have earned themselves a small name in recent years. And also here in Saarbrücken the band brought the hall a bit to dance. FIT FOR A KING clarified what to expect on this evening with ‘Backbreaker’ right at the start. Followed by ‘The Price Of Agony’ and ‘Shattered Glass’ the Saarbrücken audience started one pit after the other. With ‘When Everything Means Nothing’ the set also offered a little breather for band and audience. With older tracks like ‘Pissed Off’ and ‘Deathgrip’ they started a firework of joy for their fans. But also the new song ‘Tower of Pain’ could inspire the listeners.

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The man on bass was the main attraction on stage: when he was not needed at the microphone, he turned tirelessly in circles with his instrument or starts Kung-Fu-like air jumps, as if he had the 10th Dan in Martial Core. On the whole the Texans were able to impress with the E-Werk.

Setlist
01. Backbreaker
02. The Price Of Agony
03. Shattered Glass
04. When Everything Means Nothing
05. The End’s Beginning
06. Pissed Off
07. Deathgrip
08. Tower Of Pain

Rating
Music: 7.5
Performance: 7
Sound: 7
Light: 7
Total: 7.3 / 10

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Unearth

UNEARTH is an American Metalcore band from Boston, Massachusetts. Formed in 1998, the group has released seven studio albums. Band members mentioned in an interview with Metal Hammer that their key influences are PANTERA, SLAYER, METALLICA, EARTH CRISIS, IN FLAMES, and AT THE GATES.

Music & Performance
With UNEARTH, the next band to enter the stage was a band that is overflowing with experience. With their technique and songwriting that bows from Modern Metal to Old School they are well deservedly one of the biggest bands of the American Hardcore Metal.

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In contrast to the quite young FIT FOR A KING the band showed an extraordinary presence: The string faction around Buz McGrath, Ken Susi and Chris O’Toole used every chance to jump back on stage from their amplifiers or to heat up the crowd with skilful poses. Singer Trevor Phipps performed the songs powerfully and impressively. Circle- and Moshpits were loudly requested by the frontman and enthusiastically performed by the audience. In combination with the setlist, which contained three new songs as well as enough classics, UNEARTH delivered a sovereign and great performance.

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Setlist
01. Incinerate
02. Survivalist
03. My Will Be Done
04. This Lying World
05. Dust
06. Zombie Autopilot
07. The Great Dividers

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 7
Light: 7
Total: 7.5 / 10

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Chelsea Grin

CHELSEA GRIN is an American Deathcore band from Salt Lake City, Utah. Formed in 2007, the group is signed to Rise Records and have released two EPs and five full-length albums. CHELSEA GRIN’s musical style has been primarily described as Deathcore. Their second album, ‘My Damnation’, also demonstrates doom and black metal influences on some songs, featuring non-palm muted dissonant tremolo picking and themes of Hell and damnation. Additionally, their second EP, ‘Evolve’, features more prominent uses of technical guitar playing due to the addition of guitarist Jason Richardson.

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Music & Performance
As the third band and main support, CHELSEA GRIN were allowed to complete the pre-program. With their new singer Tom Barber (formerly Lorna Shore), they have hired a real beast as frontman, whose versatility is currently completely overshadowing their predecessor live. Supported by drummer Pablo Viveros Growls the Americans could convince on the vocal front completely. So it’s no coincidence that they are one of the most famous names in the scene. The screaming of the new singer Tom Barber, the lightning fast riff of Stephen Rutishauser and the relentless drumming of Pablo Viveros brought out the best in the audience.

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Mosh- and Circle pits were present all the time during the 40 minutes. Current songs like ‘Dead Rose’ and classics like ‘Playing With Fire’, whose choir is sung along loudly, and ‘Recreant’ thrilled the audience.

Setlist
01. My Damnation
02. Cheney Stokes
03. Dead Rose
04. The Wolf
05. Across The Earth
06. Playing With Fire
07. 9:30 AM
08. Outliers
09. Recreant
10. Hostage

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 7
Light: 7
Total: 7.5 / 10

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As I Lay Dying

Since forming in 2000, the group sold over 1 million albums worldwide, garnered a 2008 GRAMMY® Award nomination in the category of “Best Metal Performance,” notched two Top 10 debuts on the Billboard Top 200, generated hundreds of millions of streams, sold out shows around the globe, and took home “Ultimate Metal God” at MTV2’s Music Awards in 2007. Following a five-year hiatus amidst personal struggles, the musicians reconnected in early 2018. Before a note of music, they focused on where everything began: the friendship. In the end, AS I LAY DYING burn brighter than ever before.

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Music & Performance
Now it was finally time for the headliner. During the 30-minute break, you could already feel the tension in the E-Werk in the air. The crowd waited for nothing else... When behind a white curtain five shadows enter the stage for the intro ‘Burn To Emerge’, frenetic jubilation breaks out. The curtain falls, the devastating riffs of the new song ‘Blinded’ echo through the loudspeakers and chaos breaks out in front of the stage. Tim Lambesis & Co. couldn’t have imagined a better start. With a great light show, a beautifully designed stage set and fire fountains, AS I LAY DYING did everything the budget allows for this tour. The spectacle attracted its attention, but was discreet enough to keep the focus on the music.

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Already at the beginning of the set the fans marvelled at a band that was energetic, explosive, soulful and full of energy, although they already had a whole tour behind them. But this energy was also reflected in the audience. It was hard to believe that the band had been in hiding for a few years. Then came ‘Through Struggle’, followed by ‘Within Destruction’ and you could see the glittering eyes of the band from afar before they played ‘Redefined’ and FIT FOR A KING singer Ryan Kriby actively supported the band. With the 16 songs strong setlist AS I LAY DYING offered a journey through all creative phases, but unfortunately the new album is only represented with five songs (the intro outside). Classics like ‘The Sound Of Truth’, ‘The Darkest Night’ or ‘94 Hours’ were not missing, of course, but one would have wished one or the other new song more for an album tour.

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But this definitely didn’t break the mood and so there was a cheerful mood in front of the stage for the whole 70 minutes. With the encores ‘Nothing Left’ and ‘Confined’ the men from San Diego finish their set and leave a completely satisfied audience behind.

Setlist
01. Burn To Emerge
02. Blinded
03. Through Struggle
04. Within Destruction
05. Redefined (with Ryan Kirby)
06. The Sound Of Truth
07. Forsaken
08. Shaped By Fire
09. The Darkest Nights
10. An Ocean Between Us
11. Gatekeeper
12. A Greater Foundation
13. Parallels
14. My Own Grave
15. 94 Hours
---
16. Nothing Left
17. Confined

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 9
Sound: 8
Light: 9
Total: 8.8 / 10

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All pictures from Leipzig by Silvio Pfeifer
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