Posted by: Necci – Jun 19, 2012
Philadelphia metalcore veterans A Life Once Lost have been making heavy, powerful music for over a decade now. They released five albums in the previous decade, each representing a stylistic growth and maturation. This evolution culminated with 2007's Iron Gag, an album that mixed their previously chaotic, sludgy sound with a catchier, groove-metal oriented approach. The final product bore resemblances to both Meshuggah and Lamb Of God, and was indisputably brutal. Since that album was released five years ago, though, A Life Once Lost have largely been absent from the metal scene. Founding members Bob Meadows (vocals) and Doug Sabolick (lead guitar) have been working steadily on a followup to Iron Gag for years now, amid lineup turmoil that saw every other member of the band replaced, and struggles with songwriting and studios that led to most of an album being scrapped. But earlier this year, A Life Once Lost journeyed to Richmond to work with renowned local producer Andreas Magnusson, who owns Planet Red Studios and has worked with such bands as Black Dahlia Murder, Down To Nothing, and Haste The Day. This turned out to be a winning combination, and A Life Once Lost were finally able to complete their new album.
And now they're back! Their performance at Kingdom this Saturday is the beginning of a Northeastern US tour with Black Sheep Wall, and marks their first performance in Richmond in several years. They'll be bringing plenty of new material, as well as a new spin on the classic A Life Once Lost sound, to the stage with them. I was fortunate to be able to interview Bob and Doug during the recording sessions at Planet Red, and having heard one of the songs they were working on, I can tell you that it's got a darker, swampier edge to it than previous material, with just a bit of stoner groove mixed in, and a great deal of pure, unchecked aggression that will please those like myself who retain a strong fondness for 2003's A Great Artist and 2005's Hunter. And there are other sonic intricacies that will come to light during the performance--but for now, I'll decline to elaborate. After all, I've got to save something for the interview, right? Look for that fascinating conversation in the pages of RVA Magazine #9, which will hit the streets in early July, and in the meantime, make sure you're at Kingdom this Saturday to see A Life Once Lost in all of their live glory once again!
WHAT: The Return of A Life Once Lost!
WHO: A Life Once Lost, Black Sheep Wall, This Time It's War, LTW, Reckoner, Before The Massacre, Vice Or Virtue, Seductive Switchblade, Eyes Of Eli
WHERE: Kingdom, 10 Walnut Alley (between Franklin and Main St in Shockoe Bottom)
WHEN: Saturday, July 23, Doors open at 5 PM
ADMISSION: $10 in advance (purchase advance tickets HERE), $12 at the door
And just in case you're not already totally amped for this show, check out this recent A Life Once Lost live performance, filmed at a tiny underground club in New York back in January. Yes, it's low fidelity, yes, it was filmed at a point when A Life Once Lost only had one guitarist (they've since returned to their traditional five-piece lineup), and yes, it's a totally chaotic viewing experience. But it's pretty awesome in spite of all that--and can you imagine how much more awesome it was for the people in that room at the time? You could have that experience this Saturday at Kingdom. Don't blow it--get your ticket now!
By Andrew Necci