The new generation of metalcore bands arrived to The Gramercy Theatre on November 22nd, and with it the entire community that strongly supports the ever-growing genre. Phinehas, Like Moths to Flames, Fit for a King and In Hearts Wake all form part of the new-wave of metalcore bands that continue to create a community of youthful attendees.
When it comes to understanding where metal as a genre is today, there is perhaps no better band than Fit for a King to explain. The Texas natives have become one of the most popular bands within the metalcore genre, a genre that itself is a hybrid and has been transformed through its fan base in recent years. If heavy metal and hardcore punk had a baby, you’d get metalcore, a genre that continues to evolve into smaller subgenres and has become particularly popular with youth post 2010. Where bands like Converge and Sepultura laid the groundwork for the metalcore genre, Fit For a King bring in a new layer to the already complex field: Christian metal. Strongly influenced by their Christian beliefs, the band expresses their faith throughout every album they have released while still maintaining the gritty aggression of metalcore.
What is so interesting about this genre (as it has been remade in the last decade) is that most of their fans are in their teenage years or young adults in their early 20’s. It draws many similarities to what emo once was and meant for the younger generation during the mid 2000s. This makes bands like Fit for a King an interesting and important staple in the heavy metal genre as a whole, as they hold an important place in its musical evolvement and history.
The show was an early one, kicking off at around 6:30pm. While we missed Phinehas (whom you can follow here), we arrived right before Ohio natives Like Moths to Flames hit the stage at about 7:45pm. Members Chris Roetter (vocals), Aaron Evans (bass), Greg Diamond (drums), Jeremy Smith (guitar), and Zach Pishney (guitar), draw in a huge crowd with their approachable image. The guys look like everyday people, dressed in jeans and t-shirts; it’s this natural image that really allow their fans to feel closer to them. It’s impressive to hear the massive roars and growls that come out of Roetter, and contribute in their energetic appeal. With set that included “You Won’t Be Missed”, “GNF” and “Bury Your Pain”, the young audience maintained an energetic feedback that kept the long night going.
The third act of the night, Fit For A King, hit the stage at about 8:40 pm. What makes Fit for A King so unique and favorable is their intense aggressiveness conveyed through Ryan Kirby’s voice and Bobby Lynge’s guitar work. Besides their faith driven lyrics, which may draw in a larger Christian crowd, the fans don’t let the content of the lyrics dissuade their aggression in the pit.
Songs like “II Diluvio”, “ Hollow King (sound of the End” and “Slave To Nothing”, allowed the audience to show their hardcore dancing skills. As the metalcore genre has progressed with bands like Fit for A King, the hardcore dancing that accompanies it has also evolved into a more aggressive and acrobatic form of dance. Many attendees who were not experienced knew better than to get caught in the middle of the pit.
Fit for a King have become one of my personal favorite bands to catch live for their pure, aggressive energy but, also the liveliness that inevitably comes with their faithful lyrics. Their music does what any good metal bad should; serve a a therapeutic means for what life makes us deal with. Although they’ve only had about an eight year career (with Ryan Kirby leading), it is quite impressive for the band to continue putting out records every two years. Their latest release Death Grip was released on October 7th, 2016, and is available for free streaming on Spotify or for purchase via iTunes.
Like Moths to Flames:
Fit for a King: