Photos courtesy of Shark Bait Photography.
LA-based metal band Westfield Massacre hit Idaho Falls, ID at The Gem on their North American Meltdown tour on July 12, 2017. And meltdown they did, pumping up the crowd to brutal guitar riffs and solos, mind-altering drum beats and killer bass lines topped with amazing vocals.
Westfield Massacre was formed in 2014. Most of the members have been in other acts: Ira Black (I Am Morbid, Lizzy Borden, Metal Church), Erik Tisinger (Otep), Stephen Brewer and Dio Britto. At the beginning of this tour, the band announced Seann Nicols (Adler’s Appetite, Quiet Riot, Ratt) as their new vocalist, replacing Tommy Vext.
Having listened to the tracks recorded with Tommy Vext I was unsure just how the vocals would sound with Seann Nicols. Quiet Riot and Ratt are vocally and musically different than the style of Westfield Massacre, but to say I was impressed is an understatement. Seann showed his range in both clean vocals and screaming.
The band released their self-titled album in March 2016 on Urban Yeti Records. The album debuted on Billboard Heatseekers at #14 and at #3 on the iTunes Metal Charts. Their singles “Underneath the Skin” (which features Lamb of God vocalist Randy Blythe), “Build Your Thrones” and “Time To Rise” have continued to be played on Sirius XM’s Liquid Metal and Octane. The band also had a guest spot on a U.S. tour with Sevendust and Trivium.
“We believe in our fans as much as they believe in us,” said former vocalist Tommy Vext on their Kickstarter campaign. He attributes their success to their fans, touring and social media, which made up for the absence of in-store distribution.
Westfield Massacre will release a new album later this year. The album is being completed with direct support of the fans in the form of a successful Kickstarter campaign. On Dec. 20, 2016, just a month after the campaign was launched, 499 backers pledged $32,865, surpassing the goal.
After seeing these guys on stage and meeting them after the show for autographs, it’s easy to understand how they could exceed the goal they started with on their Kickstarter campaign. Before their set, the bandmates were standing in the crowd supporting Desolate the Few. Even after their set, they stayed and met with fans instead of retreating to their tour bus.
There is plenty of energy when Westfield Massacre take the stage. They know how to get the crowd moving. Even though they weren’t well-known in the area, that didn’t stop them from getting the crowd to sing along to their songs, moshing, and jumping all over the floor. When they announced their song “Underneath the Skin” with Randy Blythe, I saw eyes searching to see if Randy would join them on stage. Admittedly, I was curious too. Randy wasn’t there, but that did not take away from the song. Westfield Massacre left the crowd begging for more when their set was over.
Catch these guys on a stage near you if given the chance. It will be a show to remember for a long time.
Check out the entire gallery on Shark Bait Photography’s Facebook page.