On the road to Northern Invasion, I found my new favorite band. From the ashes of Skrape, Mudvayne and Hellyeah, Audiotopsy was born. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the band’s live show. I was initially drawn to the band because of my familiarity with the band’s members. Vocalist Billy Keeton was a founding member of South Florida rockers Skrape, and I’d been a fan of their music since the band’s debut release in 2001. Having Keeton’s vocals backed by bassist Perry Stern, drummer Matthew McDonough, and guitarist Greg Tribbett of Mudvayne, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that Audiotopsy would put on a brutal live show.
Opening for P.O.D. on this tour, Audiotopsy shredded into their 6 song set. It took a few songs for the audience to wrap their head around the band’s sound, but the cheers grew louder with each track the band played. Keeton’s energy was just as eruptive at tonight’s show as it was a decade ago. Tribbett’s serious stance while performing still gives shows his level of dedication to hit each chord perfectly. Perry Stern is still one of the most entertaining bass players to watch. His scowls, smiles, and smirks highlight his head banging as he’s slapping his bass. I could even see McDonough smiling from behind his drumkit. These guys were genuinely enjoying their brief time on stage, and so were the fans.
Even though the band have been categorized as alternative metal and post-grunge, Tribbett refers to Audiotopsy’s sound as progressive hard rock. To me it’s good ole fashion metal. The idea of Tribbett and McDonough working together again was enough for me to check out the band. After hearing their full album and witnessing the brutal energy they put into their live show, I’m sticking around.
It’s not unusual for a new band that’s comprised of members from other bands to perform tracks that the crowd is familiar with. Saint Asonia is the perfect example. They still play cuts from Staind and Three Days Grace. This is not the case with Audiotopsy. Their sets are comprised of original music. As much as I’d have loved to head bang to the band playing old Skrape or Mudvayne tracks, it’s refreshing that they choose to play all original material. No one wants to hear a cover band. These four men proved without a doubt that they are more than capable of stepping away from their previous musical endeavors and crafting music that is more than just rehashed from the styles we’ve come to expect from them.
Even if Spicoli’s isn’t the best venue for a band to preform, Audiotopsy took it in stride. “We’ve been in a van touring the country for the past year,” Keeton told the crowd at one point. “We’ll play anywhere.” You can bet your ass that I’ll be at the show the next time they come close to Omaha.
Disguise Your Devils
Darken the Rainbow