7 Angels 7 Plagues Bucketworks, Milwaukee WI - December 17, 2006

Featuring two current members of Ferret Music upstarts Misery Signals and boasting a massive influence upon the development of melodic metalcore, the hometown reunion shows of the long-defunct 7 Angels 7 Plagues sparked a flurry of interest, and even some degree of controversy (mostly concerning the absence of drummer and founding member Jared Logan). After a solid set from Since By Man, the anticipation within the 600-strong crowd, comprised of many out-of-towners, had reached an almost unbearable degree. Upon the opening chords of "Silent Death, Crowded Lives," it was clear that the expectations of even the staunchest elitist would be blown clear out of the water. Blazing their way through a half-hour set consisting of almost all of their recorded material, the group showed no signs of rustiness after a four-year absence, even exceeding the technical performance on their single full-length, Jhazmyne's Lullaby. Misery Signals drummer Branden Morgan proved to be a more than adequate replacement for Logan, tightening up the double kick from the recording while replicating almost every fill with astonishing accuracy. Initially appearing awkward and nervous, vocalist Matt Mixon failed to disappoint, delivering his consistent mid-range yell without reservation and inciting the already furious mosh pit to new heights during key moments. There were no shortage of stage-diving, head-walking, and pile-ons, including a 30-person monster that literally caved the centre of the stage in, forcing the band to finish the set while narrowly side-stepping a considerable hole in the floor. It was an unforgettable, emotionally overwhelming experience.