» Blog Archive Destrage Make Explosive NYC Debut -
Evan Conway Hard Music, News, Reviews, Tours

 

I can’t fathom how difficult it must be to travel to a new continent to open up an entire tour. That’s the place Destrage find themselves them in currently, as they’re on the road with Protest the Hero and Good Tiger. I remember stumbling on the band as they put out the video for “Purania” in 2014 and being perplexed by the band, not able to discern what it was that I liked about them. Flash forward four years and I’m not sure I can tell you what about this band that’s so enjoyable, but words are better formed when you have a live show to couple the music with. Destrange an anomaly, and in 2018 when metal is rarely seeing anything unique, that’s a good thing.

While one could listen to a Destrage album, especially when you have a taste for modern progressive metal, the band seems made for the live setting. Tight musicianship, clean playing all around, and an entire band springing with energy help elevate the eccentricity of their music to a more physical aspect, making the stage antics and poses the band strike a defining, visual component to the music that very few  artists can benefit from. While many prog metal bands may replicate their studio work perfectly live, Destrage do it with a greater sense of animation, which is only going to propel them forward as a band in the near future.

Returning to Gramercy Theater, people were already packing in to the venue to get situated for the show ahead. Protest the Hero were performing their acclaimed album Fortress in full, and Destrage were fit to take to the stage. All things considered, Destrage seemed to be a perfect match for Protest the Hero, as both bands seemed to feed off of their own brands eccentricity, yet Destrage had much more to prove than their headliners. As their first NYC show ever, you could say there was some understandable pressure.

Right away, Destrage strided onto the stage. Wasting no precious time, it was an immediate display of technicality and hooks as guitarists Matteo Di Giola and Ralph Satali quickly showed everyone the frantic-yet-melodic nature of their playing. While lead and rhythms parts were more established between the two, both guitarists got their chance to shine, especially with songs like “Destroy Create Transform Sublimate” where the guitars were (seemingly) at their most complex for the axemen.

I stand firm in my belief that Europeans put on the best shows, and frontman Paolo Colavope is definitely a testament to that. Barely able to stand still and constantly doing something, Colavope simply hasn’t gotten the credit he deserves yet. Obviously confident in his ability to perform, it seems only appropriate that the musician and the rest of his band eventually get a bigger stage to be on, even if only as an opening act once again. Nothing upsets me more than energetic music with a band member being stationary the entire time, and it’s essentially an unspoken rule for the frontman to be the energetic one. Forgiveness is given when the music is challenging and requires focus, but obviously that’s not always the case as Destrage balance both beautifully.

But what perk sets Destrage from the rest? The fact that I was genuinely surprised when their set ended. I was absolutely ready for more from the band, yet they wrapped up “Purania” just as I got lost in their music. Though a fitting ending to the set, I wasn’t ready to let the band leave. Now, I understand this: the band are obviously coming back at some point and it’s all an effort to make me come see them again, but damn does it work. When compared to Good Tiger and Protest, (Both great bands, make no mistake) they’re less conventional and more jagged in their riffing, while the hooks aren’t a simple sung chorus or hyper-melodic melody. There’s more to the texture of the band and a conscious effort to be different without coming across as forced.

All in all, judging by the crowd’s reaction, Destrage seem to be in a good place in New York. Judging by how they handle their live shows (Not to mention how clean everything sounds, too) it would be safe to assume they’ll be opening for more acts in the coming years. Seeing the band was definitely a highlight of the show, and given the distance they’ve traveled, it’s safe to say they’ve made the exact kind of impression they’d have wanted to make all along.

 

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