In The Pit: Until I Wake; Dark Divine; Catch Your Breath; Sakoya

On March 16, six emerging metalcore bands took the stage at The W.C. Social Club to bring forth a nuance sound, astounding talent and garner a sound rooted in the community.


Rachel Wager

Photo of Cody Johnson, leader singer of Until I Wake

Antonio Llanos and Noah McBrien

Metalcore is commonly misconstrued. We tend to associate metal with large scary men with guitars with two necks, leather jackets, long hair and a fanbase as brutal as the music. While this may be the truth for a number of artists, this stereotype only makes up a very small percentage of the genre. Since about 2010, when the metalcore scene was imploding, not only has the face of metalcore changed but the sound as well. On March 16, six emerging metalcore bands took the stage at The W.C. Social Club to bring forth a nuance sound, astounding talent and garner a sound rooted in the community. Taking a look around the room as the first band was setting up, I saw mostly black. Everyone in the room was wearing black.

Independent, Indiana metalcore band, Sakoya, blasted onto the stage set to end the show right there. The set was a full-forced melodic progression with each song. Vocalist Alex Nauth captivated the audience with his powerful, baritone voice, and drummer Josh Randolph rhythmically motored through every song, chaotically spurring unexpected grooves. During the set, a pit erupted with little prompting. It felt like I needed a dance partner, more accurately, someone to metronomically slam against. Going around, I met a few people unwilling to really jump. Once I did, we danced for a few hours, pushing each other around, really, and head-banging and raising our hands to the band and in doing so saying, “Rock on.”   

Discrepancies, a band from St. Louis that leans on heavy influences from Linkin Park and Hollywood Undead, quickly followed with a fresh take on a metal-fused rap. Vocalists Aaron Bracher and Antonio Metcalf brought an electric energy to the stage that enticed the audience with his aggressive flow and rhymes. Establishing a dynamic over a fully loaded band invested in blending breakdown with trap beats is a huge undertaking but creates an enveloping phenomenon on stage that keeps the audience screaming for more.

Following Discrepancies was Catch Your Breath. Hailing from Austin, Texas, Catch Your Breath is a band fully imposing their name on the audience. The band is not only fully invested in the melodic side of Metalcore but discovering nuance in a genre redefined and solidified with every emerging band. Essentially, the band cathartically captures life’s complexities and remixes their sound with sensual vocals and intricate synth polyrhythms. When this energy transcends to stagecraft, not a single audience member is motionless, but synched in with the rhythm of each song. Hearing the first wave of sound come over me, I could feel it reach my heart. My heart. It was the first time I had felt that, and realized that sound could reach the depths of my body, my soul. It was a metalcore concert.

Then, the atmosphere shifted from the light and melodic to the crimson heaviness of how truly heavy the genre can be. Leaning into the hardcore element of the genre was Dark Divine, a band from Orlando, Fla. The band encompassed the chaos and transmitted that very element to the audience. Dressed in a black body suit, combat boots and spider-like make up, across their face, Dark Divine encompassed the talent to put on such a show, the thematic element of the band carried into the gritty heaviness of their sound. 

To round out the night, headliners Until I Wake took the stage and delivered the most powerfully enticing blend of aggressive and sensual metalcore of the night. Upon the release of their new Album, Inside My Head, Vocalist Cody Johnson established a stage presence merging not only music and band but audience and band as well, bringing the night to an utter climax, ending the show with their singles and a number of songs from their previous EP.