Do you remember that feeling you get when you hear and see a band that leaves you utterly in awe? I’m still in a daze from seeing Oathbreaker last night. I’ve been looking forward to seeing them live since I first heard their masterpiece Rheia, and they were every bit of what I expected and more. Seeing Oathbreaker live is poetry in motion. The true essence of artistry and personal connection seethes through every note played and sung/screamed. The purity of how the music and words come through live is beautiful. This show and band is a perfect example of how to leave a lasting mark.
Kicking off the night was Jaye Jayle. Conceived by Evan Patterson of Young Widows, this group set the night off with a stark mood that was drenched in blues and dreary vibes all the while creating a sense of calm before the storm. I’ll admit when I checked them out before seeing them live I wasn’t sure what to expect but, as they played through their set, I became more and more engrossed in what they were doing. Mixing blues with bits of folk and southern gospel, Jaye Jayle is quite the sight to see live. As good as they sound on their album, seeing them live really makes it stand out.
Direct support came from Khemmis. Their doom metal meets 70’s rock vibe was a wise choice for the evening. Dueling guitar solos and tight rhythms bellowed through the Roxy as Khemmis played through a chunk of songs from their highly touted new album Hunted. At times during their set I kept thinking that Khemmis is what Rush would sound like if they were metal and didn’t have the synths. With that in mind, Khemmis delivered an epic set that left the audience lining up by their merch spot after they played.
The main event of the evening though was Oathbreaker. To say that I’m totally enthralled by this band is an understatement. There is really something special about Oathbreaker. I haven’t been this excited by a new band in a long time. From the moment they started their set with “10:56/Second Son of R,” it was on. Unrelenting and beyond powerful, Caro Tanghe, Gilles Demolder, Lennart Bossu, and Wim Coppers delivered one of the most sonically menacing yet crisp sets I’ve seen in a long time. Other songs like “Being Able To Feel Nothing,” “Immortals,” “Needles In Your Skin,” “Where I Live,” and Where I Leave” each left their own mark. As I mentioned in the beginning of this review, Oathbreaker live is poetry in motion. Instead of the crowd stirring up a pit, everyone in attendance was fully engrossed in what the band was doing on stage. The translation from record to live is seamless and smooth and I’d even go as far as saying that their live sound is even more astounding than their album. Each song played seemed to really conjure up the sense of passion and belief from their band as they delivered their soul to you.
Seeing a band like Oathbreaker is a great reminder that music is art. And when you truly believe in what you are doing, the chances of making something substantial and great is even higher. My faith in music is alive and well because of Oathbreaker. I haven’t left a show in a while feeling this good and inspired. I truly hope that people recognize all the talent and art that Oathbreaker has to offer. They deserve to be held in the highest regards. Go check them out if they are in your area. You won’t be disappointed in the least.
Review By: Brian Lacy
Photos By: Cam Smith https://camsmithphoto.com