Cinco de Mayo here in the borderland is a huge day of celebration, every bar, restaurant and venue has something going on and the Rockhouse here in El Paso was certainly jumping up and down that evening with Unearth kicking off their album release tour 2023 The Wretched; The Ruinous with Upon A Burning Body and 156/ Silence in support and to my surprise local support was Scattered Storm, I knew we were in store for one hell of a evening, lets get to it.
The Wretched; The Ruinous is Unearths 8th release in 22 years, they’re a Boston based band entering their 25th year together, Trevor Phipps and Buz McGrath are the founding members and show no sights of slowing down. No strangers to touring is a fact, they’ve kept company with the A list of Metal Core / Melodic Metal Bands such as Norma Jean, Slipknot, As I Lay Dying, Devildriver and Lamb of God, truth be told, this list goes on and on, they have toured the world with everybody and melted millions of faces along this undying path of musical metal madness and we had a front row seat, doesn’t get any better.
Scattered Storm hit the stage at 8pm, they are the local favorites, I for one was excited when they were added to the evenings card, I’ve shot them a couple of times in the past, the music has a melodic spin to it, powerful if you will, music that pushes an audience to an acute edge of pleasure. it has an enticing sound that moves the crowd, an energy you cannot ignore, the perfect start to an evening of metal. Next up was 156/Silence from Pittsburgh, loved the show, intense and also an unchained vein of energy, got to speak to Jack the front man during change over, shared a Pittsburgh story or two, yeah, I lived there for a period of time, but regardless of that, complemented him on his performance and hopefully they’re return. On deck is Upon A Burning Body, straight outa San Antonio, these guys are no strangers to El Paso, I’ve covered them several times over the years and every time, they bring the fire and pack the house, Danny Leal is one of the better frontmen in the business, its always a pleasure watching him and let’s not forget Ruben Alverez on guitar, a true master of his craft, El Paso loves these guys and maybe that’s why we get to see them once or twice a year, if we’re lucky, yeah, we’re UABB friendly here in West Texas. Finally, its 10:30 and the stage is set, Unearth commenced to taking no prisoners as they dove into the 16 song set list, devouring it as if it were the last meal they would see for quite some time, they kicked it off with My Will, it was like throwing gas on a fire, this crowd was primed and ready for anything the band would produce, songs like Mother Betrayal, My Heart Bleeds No Longer, Zombie Autopilot and Into the Abyss was exactly what this West Texas rabid crowd was looking for, total bedlam and kaos. Trevor Phipps had the crowd eating from the palm of his hand, typical, for a skilled journeyman as he is, he too, is hard not to watch, together with him and Buz McGrath, metal at it finest, the pit was ragging, and heads were banging thought-out the evening, in conclusion, this show was a huge success due to all four bands fantastic performances, one of the more powerful shows I’ve witnessed in a minute or two, really something else, in my opinion, this concert sends a message that metal is alive and well here on the border and has been for quite some time. Unearth is currently touring 5 different countries and as I write this has 17 shows left on the schedule, the month of June, they’re in Belgium, France and Germany, they return to the states on 6 July, last show is in Dallas on the 9th. Great show, super fun, super metal, I highly recommend it.
My Will / This Lying World / Sancity of Brothers / The Wretched; The Ruinous / Giles / Zombie Autopilot / Mother Betrayal / Endless / My Heart Bleeds No Longer / March of the Mutes / Incinerate / Anaria / Into the Abyss / The Great Dividers / Black Hearts New Reign
Trevor Phipps- Vocals / Buz McGrath- Guitar / Mike Justain- Percussion / Chris O’Toole- Bass / Peter Layman- Guitar