Primitive Man, Krallice, Wayfarer, and Fórn, is a tour that I never imagined I would attend in Dallas. Top it off with local openers Cognizant and you have a hell of a weeknight event. The crowd showed up early and stayed late for what proved to be a memorable night for a lot of fans in the Dallas metal scene, myself included.

What better way to start the show than with Dallas natives, Cognizant. They embody grind in its purest state. After returning from an east coast tour, which included a stop at Maryland Deathfest, the Dallas natives were on top of their game. The set was full of heavy, fast, technical riffs crammed into songs that lasted no more than a minute or so. I’ve never been a fan of grind, but I’ve always appreciated the musicianship behind the art. Kevin Ortega (vocals) delivered guttural vocals that set the tone for the band’s ferocious 20-minute set. It was in your face, straight forward, grind. Alex Moore (guitars) and Irving Lopez (guitars) demonstrated what flawless timing in a tech-grind band looks like. Brad Luttrell (bass) and Bryan Fajardo (drums) set the foundation of the tracks with off-timed sections and D-beat grooves. Cognizant gets better and better with each new performance.

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Cognizant @ Reno’s, Dallas, TX. Photo by Corey Smith.

The first touring band of the evening was Fórn. Formed in Boston in 2012, the band has set their foundation with multiple singles, as well as EP’s, over the years. Finally, after almost two years, a full length, Rites of Despair, is set to be released on September 7th, 2018. As the set kicked off, Fórn filled the room with beautiful doom. The crowd gazed towards the stage almost as if in a trance as the band powered through the set. Enchanting guitar harmonies coupled with a slow and disciplined rhythm section brought a beautiful atmosphere to what was now an almost packed house. I want my doom slow, melodic, and full of passion, and that’s exactly what Fórn delivered. Definitely a breath of fresh air for the doom scene and I’m glad the Dallas crowd was out in force to witness it.

Up next was the mighty Wayfarer from Denver, Colorado. With a recent signing to Profound Lore Records, who is releasing their latest album, World’s Blood, Wayfarer is taking the metal scene by storm. The band took the stage and the crowd was immediately aware that Wayfarer is not your average black metal band. Opening the set with what is also the album’s opening track, “Animal Crown,” Wayfarer delivered organic, unapologetic metal. They created a perfect atmosphere with melodic guitar riffs coupled with bass and drums that one could say mimicked marching hooves. A unique blend of black metal and the American west, Wayfarer delivered an unforgettable and passionate performance. Shane McCarthy (guitars, vocals), Isaac Faulk (drums), Jamie Hansen (bass, vocals), and Joey Truscelli (guitars), continue to stay true to their roots and create memorable melodies. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this band. If you missed the live performance, just know that words will never do it justice. It’s something I highly recommend seeing for yourself.

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Cognizant @ Reno’s, Dallas, TX. Photo by Corey Smith.

The packed house anxiously awaited for Krallice to take the stage for the first time ever in Dallas. The crowd received a not-so-straight-forward experimental blend of black metal. Technical riffs and timing changes overshadowed moments of steady atmospheric power. With almost 10 full albums, as well as multiple EP’s, in their arsenal, Krallice powered through a wide range of tracks during the set. The unique and obscure song structures didn’t allow the crowd much time to let loose and let their hair flow. A live sound that dare I say, was too talented? The composition of songs and talent of the musicians is something I still can’t comprehend. Flawless timing and heartfelt passion, I admire and respect the identity that is Krallice.

To close out the night, Primitive Man took to the Reno’s stage. The band has gained a widespread fanbase from putting in countless hours on the road and is no stranger to Texas. The sludge trio consists of Ethan McCarthy (guitars, vocals), Jonathan Campos (bass), and Joe Linden (drums). Pushing the fog machines to their limits, Primitive Man had the crowd shrouded in a blanket of haze as the set kicked off. The minimal amount of instruments allowed the crowd to hear every chord struck and every kick drum hit. Raw sludge had the crowd headbanging and shoving one another in an almost methodical way. Technical difficulties became an issue with guitar wiring, but this didn’t keep Primitive Man from persevering and finishing the show out strong. This band is an established front runner in the sludge scene. Overall, it was another great night with the Dallas metal scene and another great tour package for Renos.  

– Corey Smith


– click photos to enlarge – 

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