Live Sounds: Affiance

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On October 4th, I saw Affiance on the last stop of their “Blackout Album Release Tour” at Mojoe’s in Joliet, Illinois. Which means, the album is out and I highly recommend you going out and picking it up.

The first band to play was Shoot The Messenger, who I can only assume is a high school band. They weren’t horrible, but suffered some technical issues that I’m not even sure they noticed. They are what I consider “screamo” and not my cup of tea.

Next up was a local Joliet band, An Undying Allegiance. They were pretty good and definitely know how to rock. I would put them in the Hatebreed category, though that might not be fair. These guys were fucking aggressive.

The third band of the night and direct support on the whole tour was Phinehas. I really didn’t know too much about this band before the show. I watched one YouTube video (“Blood On My Knuckles”) and found out they were a Christian band. That being said, these guys fucking rocked. I would actually go see them again. They had tons of energy. They, too, suffered from some technical issues. Vocalist Sean McCulloch used the down time to “preach” to the audience. While I didn’t appreciate the message, so to speak, I do appreciate his conviction. He knows what he believes and ain’t afraid to tell you about it. Though he was rockin’ the horns, so whatever with that. They had quite a few fans there (you could tell by the shirts), but the fans didn’t know how to act. When Sean tried to get the crowd to move, it was short lived. They played a short but full set and I have to admit; yes, I was impressed by them.

Now for the band we were there to see; Affiance.

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They took the stage with guns blazing. They opened with their latest single “Fire!” and it was pure metal bliss. They have such a stage presence. For as technical as they play, with the insane drumming, blazing solos and the epic vocals of Dennis Tvrdik, they are so calm. That is not to say they lack energy. The band was on “Fire!” (not literally. For that, check out their video. No, seriously check it out). Lead guitarist Dominic Dickinson tears through solos without flinching while walking. Drummer Patrick Galante’s legs and arms were a blur. This dude is a beast when it comes to pounding the skins. If he played with one arm tied behind his back he would still be better than most drummers in the industry today. Next up they played “Limitless,” the first single off the new record. This was followed by “We The Machines,” “Peace Of Mind” and the title track, “Blackout.” The next song though, “Monuments Fail” just about had me putting business aside and jumping in the (weak) pit. I was stoked that they played it as it is one of my favorite tracks off the new record. They followed this with “Warriors,” one of their staples and fan favorites. A lot of the venue was singing along with this one. This was followed by “Death Cycle” and “Kings Of Deceit.”

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Unfortunately, this finished their all too short set. I would have liked to have seen them play “No Peace” and/or “Midnight,” both off the new album. In talking to Dennis after the show, he told me that this was the second show on the tour that the audience didn’t ask for an encore. Unfortunately, this crowd was sad for a metal show. Dennis had to make people mosh. Literally. He jumped down and physically moved people.

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As for their attire for the show, they all wore their actual shirts from the “Fire!” video. Torn, charred and proud. I had to ask, and then felt like a heel, because I hadn’t watched the video yet. So, do yourself a favor and check out this video and get your ass to a show.

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