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1349, Origin, Wolvhammer, Yesterday’s Saints, Cladonia Rangiferina @ Empire, Springfield, Virginia, USA

1349 / Origin / Wolvhammer / Yesterday’s Saints / Cladonia Rangiferina
in Tuesday, 24 March 2015 at Empire
by Edward "Deaddie" McConnaughy

Black Metal, Death Metal, which one is the most brutal??

Who gives a damn? Surely not the fine array of bands that took the stage with 1349. It’s always awesome when they mix the genres up a little. It opens room for a larger turnout, plus if you got a bunch of awesome fellows, they can make it interesting. The evening included a pillow fight mosh pit as well as a wall of death where they had Death fans verses Black fans. And what fun it was.

Opening the evening was CLADONIA RANGIFERINA. They were announced as a local opener, and I had not previously heard of them. These guys definitely started the night off the right way, with their eerie dark melodies. It’s a shame that the venue was not at its peak for their set, because they killed it. Their sound is as Black as you want, and they add the extra ambiance and atmosphere as well. This is a band that will fit right in in any metal collection. Unfortunately they did have their time cut a little bit, as the show started an hour late, but they nonetheless made an impression. As stated before they were the perfect opener for the night. I’m looking forward to see what they do next.

The second group to take the stage was the mighty YESTERDAY’S SAINTS. Now I did get lucky to grab an interview with these guys. I spoke with the vocalist and bassist, and what a fun couple guys to chat with! Their set was killer. They descried themselves as having a mix of subgenres to their sound, and they certainly make it work. The boys had lots of energy, and put on a wonderful performance. I was thoroughly impressed. This is a band that’s on fire, the vocal range was incredible, and yes he has a great voice. The music was fast, heavy, versatile, and kept me head banging the whole time. (Luckily it cause me to spill my beer.) They can definitely contend, and again as with CLADONIA, I really can’t wait to see what they do next. I really expect great things from these guys.

Third in the evening was WOLVHAMMER. Now I had heard of these guys before, but was never overly familiar with them. They kept the metal rage going, with their pure metal antics. Another set that could have been longer, but they used their time slot to its fullest. Mosh pits were rolling, people were head banging, and it was easy to see why. Flat out, these guys are a force to be reckoned with. They were on cue, and just killed it.

Next was ORIGIN!!! They need no formal introduction, as they have certainly made their mark on the Metal community for 15 years now. When they took the stage, the crowd went crazy. This is where the pillow moshing began, and they also incited the wall of death between the Death fans and the Black fans. Their performance was superb. The speed, ferocity, and altogether tightness was above and beyond. They interacted with the crowd the whole time they played. As a drummer I would like to say that John has got it, god damn he is a beast!! I did have the opportunity to interview Jason, and even though he called me out for not being familiar with the band, it turned out to be a great interview, a great performance, and they had the perfect energy to keep the night going at full pace.

We are reaching the end of the night, which at Empire unfortunately they had to cut by 11, but that’s not the venue’s fault. Ordinances can always be a bitch, but 1349 took Virginia by storm and came on strong. Now 1349 is a band that I’ve been into for a few years now, and finally I made it to see them live. They did have a different drummer playing with them, and you could tell minutely, but this is no fault of the drummer. I think that he kept it going quite well. Of course by this point the crowd was in a frenzy, everyone was hammered at this point (not me of course), and going wild in the pit. These masters of grimness did what they do best, and raised the black flames. It was a little disappointing that they couldn’t do an encore, it felt like it was cut off way too soon. I wanted more, we all did. But! That doesn’t mean that they were disappointing, oh no quite the opposite.

All in all the night was just awesome. Lots of great music, great people, and of course great beer!! The money we spent on merch certainly made up for us getting in on free passes. The crowd was a bit light, but then again it was a Tuesday, and the people that did show up were great. Everyone had a lot of fun. I would certainly go see any and all of the bands again. Kudos Fellows, and keep fucking rocking!!!

*Photography: Michelle Hopkins

Ticket Price: 20 USD


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