REVIEW: Sumerian Records 10th Anniversary Show – NYC

Originally published 3/2/16

Sumerian Records brought their 10th anniversary tour to Gramercy Theatre in NYC on Saturday, featuring Born of Osiris, Veil of Maya and After The Burial with support from ERRA and newly-signed Bad Omens.  Normally I’m not one for deathcore/metalcore/hardcore/insert super-heavy, screaming-vocal genre here, but with the vibe the massively oversold crowd brought with it, how could you not feel this?

I’m going to completely disregard Bad Omens and ERRA for a moment and skip ahead to After The Burial, who just released their new album, Dig Deep, on 2/19, less than a year after the death of founding member and guitarist Justin Lowe. The energy during their set was just surreal, with the closest comparison I could reasonably make being that of a bomb going off; one group of fans went so far as to hold up a hand-made sign reading “Justin would be proud” – After The Burial’s set was one of the better sets I’ve seen in a while, and that says something. These guys and their fans made it impossible not to want to be part of something special, and for the band to continue after such a tragedy is something special. Hats off to ATB for continuing to kick ass.

Let’s double back and talk about newcomers ERRA and Bad Omens. Again, I am not now, nor have I ever been, a fan of this type of music. And again, the vibe that came with this show made that irrelevant from the opening bell. Bad Omens warmed up the very much at capacity crowd with a short, well-played set, and ERRA followed with an entertaining, albeit also short set of their own, complete with the obligatory crowd surfers crashing the stage. Well done by both bands.

On to Veil of Maya, who I was vaguely familiar with prior to this show. Disregarding the mostly inaudible lyrics that only the most devoted of fans seem to know, VoM is still a VERY good band despite being much more metal than I. Their sound is much the same as every other metalcore band I’ve ever attempted to listen to, but there’s something about the way they go about it that just sounds good, vocals aside. It’s the kind of music I could listen to if it were an instrumental, because the music itself is solid and well performed.

By the time Born of Osiris hit the stage, this writer was tired and hurting from one too many crash landings by the unrelenting crowd surfers, but that’s all part of the job at a show like this and I wasn’t about to let it deter me from catching BOO to end the night, and they certainly did not disappoint. There isn’t much to say, really, because saying BOO absolutely destroyed Gramercy Theatre says enough. There really are no words to describe how much energy this band puts into their set, and how much their fans return the favor. Mosh pits, crowd surfers, and tons of headbanging deathcore riffs were the theme of this night, and BOO delivered theirs with virtual non-stop authority, much to the delight of the now-standing-in-the-aisles crowd.

There’s something about a positive energy from an intense crowd that takes you from journalist to fan, even if you otherwise wouldn’t be, and that’s what happened to me on Saturday night. I personally would have liked to have seen Asking Alexandria on this tour, but they’re out on the road with Bullet For My Valentine and this was the best Sumerian Records could do. That said, their best was very, very good. Solid job, Sumerian. Well done.

Check out the gallery below. Photos by Sean Murphy: