Battlecross singer Kyle Gunther

Although currently on the road with In Flames for their “Another Year Another Tour” tour, I had the opportunity to catch Battlecross, All Shall Perish, and Demon Hunter on an off-date in Nashville, TN at the Exit/In.  Being the capital of Country music, I was skeptical as to how the turnout would be.  I knew that All Shall Perish would be good from having seen them in the past, but I was excited to check out Battlecross and Demon Hunter for the first time live, especially since, being an off-date, all three bands would have longer sets.

Battlecross kicked things off with their thrashy brand of metal, spurring circle-pits and headbanging from the 100-150 concert-goers wise enough to get there early.  For an opening band, I was pleasantly surprised by their level of musicianship and energy.  They commanded the attention of the audience and were the perfect band for pumping up the crowd with their windmill-headbanging antics and vocalist, Kyle Gunther, bounding across the stage, bellowing like a demon.  For me, the highlight of their set was their final song, “Push Pull Destroy”.

Next up, Oakland, CA natives, All Shall Perish, continued the onslaught of brutality, launching into a 40-minute set featuring a mix of songs from their past three releases.  This was my first time seeing ASP without founding member, Ben Orum on guitar, but the new rhythm guitarist seems to be a good fit for the band and handled his duties well.  I’ve always been amazed by how tight and flawless their live performances are and tonight was no exception.  Highlights of their set included tracks “My Retaliation” and “The Past Will Haunt Us Both” from their newest album, This Is Where It Ends, and the audience-favorite, “Wage Slaves” off of their album, The Price of Existence.

Battlecross and All Shall Perish were definitely going to be hard acts for Christian metal act, Demon Hunter, to follow, but the band seemed to rise to the occasion, blasting out a 50-minute set featuring songs spanning across their lengthy discography.  The audience seemed to enjoy it, with many people singing along or moshing.  Highlights included fan-favorites, “Undying” from 2005’s The Triptych, and “Collapsing” from their 2010 release, The World is a Thorn.

Check out some photos I took from each band’s set in the gallery after the jump.