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Connecticut Destroyed Everything For Hatebreed’s 30th Anniversary

Thirty years... for thirty years, Hatebreed has brought destruction and brutality to the world since emerging onto the scene in 1994. All those years culminated into one special night at the Toyota Oakdale Center in Wallingford, Connecticut where the band celebrated its 30th Anniversary, called The March Metal Matinee. The historical night also featured DemonScar, Eyes Of The Living, Dead By Wednesday, Sworn Enemy, With Honor, 100 Demons, Shadow Of Intent, and Shadows Fall across two stages; the Dome stage and the main Theater stage.


Starting the day off on the Dome stage was DemonScar. DemonScar is a band from New York City that was formed in the late 90s. The members consist of Nick “NZA” Graystone (vocals/bass), Meds (guitar), and Johnny “5” Cents(drums). The band has been categorized as a straight-up rock band that draws inspiration from bands like Motörhead, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Lamb of God, and Mastodon. Their latest single, “Same Old Show” was released back in December and has gathered almost 30,000 streams.


DemonScar started their set with "Don't Bite the Hand That Feeds" off their 2020 album, Dsxx.  DemonScar has released only one full-length album called Dsxx  which was released on November 13, 2020. The band played only two songs off that album with the other song called “MDCXCII”. The rest of the set consisted of stand-alone singles, “Web of Deceit” and “Hand of Kings,” which were released in 2022, and “The Coldest Hell” which was released in 2023. DemonScar ended their set with a cover of “God of Thunder” by KISS.


Next up was the Pennsylvania-based quartet Eyes Of The Living. Eyes Of The Living is a thrash metal band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with its members consisting of Tim Swisher (vocals/guitar), Mike Straiton (guitar), Chris Moore (bass), and Cliff Fritts (drums). The band combines elements from thrash metal and modern metal in a unique formula that produces an appealing modern-day sound. Their most recent work comes in the album Fear Comes Knocking which was released in 2022 with the song “Scream For Me” sitting at #1 on Spotify with over 12,000 streams. The band excelled in their instrumental performance but the vocals provided by Swisher and Straiton added more value to the songs.

Eyes Of The Living


Taking the stage next was a Connecticut-based band known as Dead By Wednesday. Dead By Wednesday is a metal band from New Haven, Connecticut formed in 2005. The band has gone through multiple lineup changes over the years but they now consist of Esteban O Alvarez-Bonilla (vocals), Dave Sharpe (guitar), Michael Modeste (bass), and Christian “Opus” Lawrence (drums). In their almost 20-year career as a band, Dead By Wednesday has built a strong following and unique identity for themselves through relentless touring, high-energy performances, strong stage presences, and distinctive sounds ranging from angst metalcore to acoustic soft ballads. In 2023, the band embarked on a successful European tour that visited eight countries. The tour had a significant impact on the band, establishing their place in Europe's metal scene and contributing to their growth. Dead By Wednesday captured the audience's attention with their high-energy performances and strong stage presence. They did an excellent job making themselves look like they owned the stage. Bonilla delivered his vocal performance with great conviction and Sharpe was shredding it up on the guitar. 

Dead By Wednesday


Moving on to the main Theater stage, we kick it off with Sworn Enemy. Sworn Enemy is a metallic hardcore band from Queens, New York formed in 1997. The band is made up of Sal Lococo (vocals), Jeff Cummings (guitar), Matt Garzilli, Mike Pucciarelli (bass), and Taykwuan Jackson (drums). It has established a prominent figure in New York’s hardcore scene. The band released their first two EPs, Negative Outlook and Integrity Defines Strength in 2001 and 2002 via Hatebreed vocalist Jamey Jasta’s Stillborn Records. Their most recent release was Gamechanger in 2019 via M-Theory Audio.

Sworn Enemy


Going back to the Dome stage, another Connecticut-based band takes the stage; With Honor. With Honor is a hardcore band that was formed in 2002 in Connecticut. The band is currently signed to Pure Noise Records and it consists of Todd Mackey (vocals), Jay Aust (guitar), Jeff Aust (guitar), Jack Caron (bass), and Jon Ross (drums). The band was a mainstay in Connecticut’s hardcore scene from 2002 - 2005 when the band became inactive shortly after the release of their second album This Is Our Revenge. After a handful of sporadic one-off shows over the years, the band reconvened again in 2021 for an appearance at Furnace Fest which would be the catalyst for With Honor's full-time return. The band started writing new music again and released their latest album, Boundless on September 8, 2023.

With Honor


Next up at the Theater stage was 100 Demons. 100 Demons is a metalcore band from Waterbury, Connecticut, consisting of Pete Morcey (vocals), Collin Reilly (guitar), Rick Brayall (guitar), Nick August (bass), and Rich Rosa(drums). The band was formed in 2002 and is known for incorporating their agnostic beliefs into their lyrics. The name ‘100 Demons’ comes from a book of traditional Japanese tattoo artwork by Japanese tattoo artist Horiyoshi III. 

100 Demons


Closing out the Dome stage was the symphonic deathcore band Shadow Of Intent. Shadow Of Intent was formed in 2013 out of Hartford, Connecticut, and consists of Ben Duerr (vocals), Chris Wiseman (Currents) (guitar), Andrew Monias (bass), and Bryce Butler (drums). The band is known for their use of mixing symphonic metal elements with traditional deathcore to create music both brutally heavy and atmospheric. The name ‘Shadow Of Intent’ references an alien covenant ship seen in the video game Halo 3. The band has never once been signed to a label, having released all four studio albums independently and toured with high-profile acts such as Whitechapel, The Black Dahlia Murder, and Cannibal Corpse. Their most recent album, Elegy, was released on January 4, 2022.

Shadow Of Intent

Shadow Of Intent started off with "Gravesinger", from their 2019 album, Melancholy. The song has a symphonic, orchestral intro that is then accompanied by Butler playing a drum beat that warns fans of the impending destruction they are about to hear. Duerr lets out a deep, demonic growl and the band gets right into it. The pit had already opened up by the time the intro started and fans started running around in a circle, making a circle pit. Wiseman closed the song with a mind-blowing guitar solo as Butler was blasting away at the drums. They then played "Barren and Breathless Macrocosm" which is also off that same album. The song features the late Trevor Strnad from The Black Dahlia Murder on guest vocals. Duerr held down all the vocals for the song and did Strnad's part justice.

Duerr congratulated Hatebreed on their anniversary and informed the crowd that they were working on a new album. They didn't have any new music off it to play live yet but they played a newer song called "The Migrant", a standalone single released in March of last year. Shadow Of Intent played an older song next, "The Heretic Prevails'' from their second album Reclaimer. Old-school Shadow fans made their presence known in the pit once the song dropped. The pit took no prisoners once the breakdown hit and it felt like an old school, Shadow Of Intent show for a few minutes. Ben Duerr is one of the best vocalists in deathcore today as he possesses the ability to go from demonic low growls to shrieking high screams, all while not running out of breath. He can even do rapid-fire screaming, using proper breath control to growl or scream lyrics very fast and it never fails to impress the fans when he does it live.


Up next in the Theater were early 2000’s metalcore icons Shadows Fall. Shadows Fall is a metalcore band formed in 1996 out of Boston, Massachusetts. The band’s lineup consists of Brian Fair (vocals), Jon Donais (guitar), Matt Bachand (guitar), Paul Romank (bass), and Jason Bittner (drums). The band had just celebrated an anniversary of their own the night before, playing their fourth studio album The War Within in its entirety for its 20th anniversary at The Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey.

Shadows Fall

Shadows Fall started off with "The Power of I and I" from their 2004 album The War Within. Fair took center stage, started spinning his hair around, and came very close to hitting security. A classic song, fans started singing to it loud and proud once they started playing, with Fair holding his mic out so the crowd could chant "ALL IS ONE". Fair, who is a phenomenal vocalist, showcased his incredible singing voice on "Thoughts Without Words" and Donais was shredding away on guitar. It's amazing how the band showed no signs that they were tired, despite having just played a show the night before where they played a whole album and a handful of other songs for over an hour.

Unlike the previous night, Shadows Fall played a mixed set but still played a number of songs off the The War Within. The mixed set included songs like, "My Demise", “King of Nothing”, “Destroyer of Senses”, and “Fire From The Sky'', among others. Fair serenaded the crowd before letting out a deep growl during "My Demise" and the pit took itself to another level once the breakdown hit. The pit turned into a dance floor as everyone was two stepping during “Destroyer of Senses”. Bachand is not only a great guitar player but an excellent backup vocalist, providing both backup cleans and backup screams for multiple songs, like on “Fire From The Sky '' with his backup growls complimenting Fair’s leads. Fair wished the crowd a happy St. Patrick's Day and remarked how the crowd should’ve been drinking since 8 am while laughing. He then congratulated Hatebreed on their anniversary and reflected on how Shadows Fall has been playing shows with them for three decades, praising them as the greatest hardcore band of all time.

Shadows Fall closed their set with "Eternity Is Within" and "The Light That Blinds" which are both off The War Within. For "Eternity Is Within", Fair once again had the crowd count along with how many beats Bittner plays before the guitar solo kicked in. Everyone counted a total on twenty times with Fair flipping off the crowd at 20, leading right into Donais' guitar solo. The band played one last song which is the fan-favorite, "The Light That Blinds". Fair demanded the crowd to give him everything they had and didn't want anyone standing still, the crowd obliged by moshing their hearts out once the breakdown hit and proceeded to sing along to the rest of the song. Shadows Fall thanked the crowd and congratulated Hatebreed once more before telling the fans they will see them again very soon.


Now we’ve reached the end of the night and it’s time for the mighty Hatebreed. Hatebreed is a hardcore band from Bridgeport, Connecticut that was formed in 1994. The band is made up of Jamey Jasta (vocals), Wayne Lozinak (guitar), Frank Novinec (guitar), Chris Beattie (bass), and Matt Byrne (drums) and are currently signed to Nuclear Blast Records. Hatebreed has become a prominent figure in the hardcore scene and has paved the way for many of today’s hardcore bands. Their debut album, Satisfaction Is the Death of Desire was released on November 11th 1997 via Victory Records and put Hatebreed on the map. It got them out of Connecticut’s local scene and established a cult following for the band and even got the band a record deal with Universal where they would then release Perseverance and The Rise of Brutality under in 2002 and 2003. The band has a total of eight studio albums and they have shown a wide range of hardcore, metalcore, heavy metal and even beatdown across all releases. Their most recent album Weight of The False Self was released on November 27th, 2020.

A montage played at the beginning of the set, showing the band's legacy over the years as well as multiple artists and well known figures including Lamb of God, Terror, Anthrax, Shinedown, Ice-T, Slayer, Biohazard, former Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Randy Johnson and WWE wrestler Braun Strowman, paying tribute to Hatebreed and congratulating them on their recent milestone. Hatebreed made their way onto the stage and the crowd was already getting hyped up. Jasta screamed "THIS IS THE SOUND", the opening words to "To The Threshold" the fourth track off their 2006 album, Supremacy. Fans recognized the words immediately and sang them right back at him and the pit was already going crazy. Jasta wanted to see everyone off their feet for the next song, "A Stroke Of Red" and the entire floor was on their feet once the song kicked in. Jasta knows how to command a crowd and get them to do what he wants them to do and fans will happily oblige. 

Jasta wanted everyone to wake up the next day without their voices after this next one which was two simple words; "Destroy Everything". The pit was going crazy by the time Jasta chanted the words. Every time Hatebreed plays this song live, it's nothing but complete chaos and the floor turns into a battlefield and fans start to crowd surf as well. The song sits at #3 on Spotify with over 34.3 million streams and is one of the band's most popular songs. Jasta would give out specific instructions to the crowd on opposite sides but he would instead refer to the left side as “Wayne’s side” and the right side as “Chris and Frankie’s side” in reference to where Lozinak, Novinec and Beattie were standing on stage. He did this to prepare the crowd for the song “In Ashes They Shall Reap” from the 2009 self-titled album Hatebreed. He instructed “Wayne’s side” to say the words “fighting to succeed” and “Chris and Frankie’s side” to say “what this world throws at me” and each side learned their part fast.

Hatebreed had some surprises in store for the night and brought out original drummer Dave Russo and rhythm guitarist Larry Dwyer Jr. for the songs "Not One Truth" and "Under The Knife", both off of the 1996 Under The Knife demo. Old school Hatebreed fans started two stepping and a circle pit formed. Fans were in delight seeing a piece of Hatebreed history live, especially since it was the original lineup, plus Novinec. The surprise guests didn't stop there though. Shortly after Russo and Dwyer Jr exited the stage, Jasta introduced another former member of the band that played a prominent role in the bands growth; former guitarist Sean Martin. Martin was the band's rhythm guitarist from 1999 to 2009 and has appeared on the albums; Perseverance, The Rise of Brutality, and Supremacy, he joined the band on tour in late 2022, celebrating the 20th anniversary of Perseverance and currently plays in the band Twitching Tongues. Martin joined his former band on stage for the songs "Proven", "This Is Now", and "Beholder of Justice".

The band's 30th anniversary wasn't the only thing they celebrated, for it was also Lozinak's 50th birthday. A cake was brought out for him while Jasta led the audience into singing Happy Birthday to Lozinak. With anniversaries, birthdays and even St. Patrick's Day, the whole day was filled with nothing but celebrations. The pit turned from a circle to a trenched shaped one during the song “Tear It Down” which is off Rise of Brutality. The fans were two stepping and throwing down while screaming back “TEAR IT DOWN!” and just going crazy. The rowdiness from the pit continued well into the song, “Smash Your Enemies”, as there was a lot of two stepping and pushing with not one person standing still the entire time and fans were chanting “PERSEVERANCE” during the song “Perseverance”.

Hatebreed had two songs left and Jasta said they would just play through them without doing an encore. The first song was “Looking Down the Barrel of Today” which is the second track off their 2016 album The Concrete Confessional. This song is known for its infectious hook chant “NO SLEEP! NO REST!” which fans were chanting back with every last bit of strength they had while another circle pit formed. With one last song left, Hatebreed intended on ending this special night with a bang, and that was in the form of the fan-favorite, “I Will Be Heard”. The song is the lead single off Perseverance and has been a set staple since its release, usually as the closing song. Jasta teased the song to the crowd by telling them to get ready to either sing the words with him or give them every last bit of energy they had left from “Chris and Frankie’s side to Wayne’s side”. He then proceeded to chant the opening line “NOW, IS THE TIME !” which fans recognized instantly and started changing the words back to him. Fans gave it everything they had and more, from crowd surfing to hardcore dancing to pushing to two stepping to just simply singing along to every word, fans made sure the show ended in a memorable way. The band finishes the song and Jasta thanked the crowd one last time before walking off stage.

That concludes The March Metal Matinee, Hatebreed’s 30th anniversary AND Lozinak‘s 50th birthday show. A night full of moshing, two stepping, drinking, riffs, birthdays, and straight up hardcore and heavy metal music. This is only just the beginning of the band's anniversary celebrations as they are heading to Europe this summer for a number of festival appearances as well as headlining shows with Crowbar as support. They will then tour across North America in the fall with CRYPTA, Harms Way, and Carcass.

Purchase tickets here.


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