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Ice Nine Kills, Afterlife, HAWK (This or the Apocalypse) 04/05/2019

March Into Madness Tour (off date)
Ice Nine Kills, Afterlife, HAWK (This or the Apocalypse)
April 5th, 2019
Sokol Underground
Omaha, Nebraska

There’s no better way to spend a Friday night than with several hundred people sweating their asses off to some of the most brutal, rock, metal, and metalcore music currently touring the U.S.
There was an incredible energy from Afterlife, and HAWK (This or the Apocalypse). It didn’t matter that these bands are still relatively new to the scene, Sokol Underground’s sold out crowd treated them like rock royalty. It’s easy to get into the music when it’s as great as these two bands are. Along with the hundreds of people who seemed lost in the music, there were more than a few fans who sang and screamed along with every song performed, and the bands totally set the tone for tonight’s headliner.
It’s been a little over a year since my first time seeing Ice Nine Kills, and in that year the band has released a new album, The Silver Scream, toured across the globe, and secured their postilion as one of the bands to watch in 2019.
With the release of the “Grave Mistake” single put into heavy rotation at hundreds of radio stations across the country, it’s no wonder that the guys have gone from the opening band slot to headlining their own tour in less than a year. Their live performance is also enhanced by the stage show.
Ice Nine Kills are a horror movie inspired band. Each of the tracks on their The Silver Scream release was inspired by a classic horror movie, and their stage show has evolved to reflect those inspirations.
How many other bands do you know of that can successfully pull of writing a song about JAWS and have someone in an inflatable shark suit bouncing around the stage while performing that song? How about a drummer in an incredibly realistic hog’s head mask pounding away behind his drumkit? Maybe Jason Vorhees’ Mother singing a duet and using a butcher knife to slash at the crowd during “Thank God It’s Friday”? A bassist dressed as Brandon Lee’s portrayal of The Crow? What if they added a guitarist dressed as Leatherface? Are you getting the idea now? Major props going out to guitarist Ricky Armellino who was dressed as Georgie from IT. Not only is he brutally energetic on stage with both HAWK and Ice Nine Kills, but the dude kept his yellow rain slicker on for the entire set despite it being 100 degrees on stage. He didn’t even lose the red balloon tied to his mic stand.
Vocalist and founder Spencer Charnas has found his niche. Over a decade of touring has given Charnas a brutal stage presence, and the guy knows how to feed off of the crowds energy and give the crowd a reason to get lost in INK’s live show. Charnas also takes INK’s stage show to a new level by basically morphing into the character that each song is about. Wearing a tattered green and red Freddy Kruegar style sweater, Charnas changed into broken hockey mask, bloody Santa hat, and Ed Gein-esque flesh mask. The dude knows how to lose himself in his music.
I’ll be the first to admit that I was pretty impressed with Ice Nine Kills after seeing them open for Motionless In White in 2018, but I wasn’t yet a hardcore fan. Tonight’s performance elevated them into heavy rotation for me. These guys are definitely a band that need to be on your radar.

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