Greywalker’s latest album, Without Control, is poised to make them as identifiable with Pittsburgh’s metal scene as current shooting stars Code Orange, and did they ever turn out a swelling crowd at Southside’s Rex Theater last night. That much was encouraging, showing the nation that Steeltown does care about its bands.
Greywalker, like Klaymore, have a sense of whimsy to them, their frontman Brian Howe performing like a comical rapper at times, and at others like a raging Bjorn Strid. The band’s love of both metalcore and melodic death bursting through, Greywalker demonstrating a mastery of styles owned by Shadows Fall and Dark Tranquility. The audience was left parched and happy, Greywalker melding aggression to fun like few bands do.
Victims of Contagion opened the affair with their intensely brutal tech-death, dialing up bands such as Obscura and Rings of Saturn, their equally humorous frontman, diffusing the anger with his stand-up stage banter. A steamroller of a band, VoC knocked down a path for the rest of the evening’s bands by effectively firing up the eager fans in attendance, moshers finding their appetites stoked adequately.
The Breathing Process, an ensemble that has seemingly been inactive for some time until recently, proved themselves to be one of the Pittsburgh scene’s more original bands with just one short set. The guitarist duo of Jordan Milner and Sara Loerlein are the engines that propelled this band into a command performance, The Breathing Process visiting everyone from Soilwork to Nile and Emperor within a half-hour, keyboards tinkling, invoking Opeth’s softer moments, drums and bass pounding like an Excision rave. The Breathing Process deserve to be Steeltown’s next big metal stars, and they played as if they wanted to prove it.
Blackmarket Bodyparts were frighteningly hardcore, like a mugging or riot. Like Hatebreed full of PCP, Blackmarket Bodyparts performed with a virulent wrath that would pummel with a death/trash hybrid that would probably make Lamb of God a little leery to get in the pit with them. Choked with carbon monoxide, Blackmarket Bodyparts are as “street” as it gets.
A triumphant night for local music this was, Greywalker leading the charge for a new era of Pittsburgh metal. It’s shows such as these that should make any yinzer headbanger proud to hail from here.