Hatebreed, God Forbid, Evergreen Terrace, Terror, The Acacia Strain 

Emerson Theater
Saturday, June 9

Two words sum up the Hatebreed show Saturday night at the Emerson Theater: “hard” and “core.” And if you expected anything else, you had no business being there.

Indianapolis was the final stop on the Monsters of Mayhem II tour, and the city responded by selling it out. Attendees got their money’s worth with a six-band bill and performances starting before 6 p.m.

The Acacia Strain was the second act to play. They offered a sheer bludgeoning force that was only seen and heard by a smattering of fans. The Massachusetts quartet often changed speeds, but always maintained a lumbering attack.

The temperature in the joint noticeably warmed up when Terror took the stage. The heir apparent to Hatebreed, this SoCal outfit was completely devoted to the hardcore style. Vocalist Scott Vogel had a commanding presence. He stalked the stage and barked orders to a seething, acquiescing audience. And just to prove how hardcore they are, one shirtless, sweaty maniac could be seen in the middle of the pit wearing boxing gloves.

Evergreen Terrace followed with a more virtuosic thunder. Clean singing was combined with the traditional growl. A lot of brusque melody was mixed in the rampage. The fans down front responded in kind, but all the band could really muster from two-thirds of the audience were head nods. Give Evergreen Terrace credit for playing in the middle and changing things up, though. Their style, if anything, warranted paying closer attention.

New Jersey’s God Forbid was easily the most metal outfit on the night’s schedule. Byron Davis, also an intimidating figure on stage, offered plenty of bloodcurdling screams to go with the band’s hellish guitar solos. They returned the energy level to a rabid high.

Even with so many artists playing and the venue feeling like a sauna, the crowd still had a reserve of ardor to expend on Hatebreed. Then again, it was hard to resist the legendary act’s violent swing when getting an earful of it. Singer Jamey Jasta acted as the wise older brother while pummeling the audience, imparting advice on believing in yourself and living every day to its fullest. It’s been 10 years since Hatebreed emerged on the scene. And while they’re still going strong, bands like Terror undeniably prove the hardcore sound and style will live on.

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