Earlier this year, Chino, CA post-hardcore band Hail The Sun preformed at Knitting Factory to celebrate their latest album, 'Mental Knife'. The Mental Knife Tour reached 24 cities in 30 days, stopping in Brooklyn on 9/29. The sold out crowd provided no shortage of crowdsurfers, with not a silent voice nor still foot in the house. Few can reach the level of energy and style that Hail the Sun bring to their live performances, a perfect blend of existential angst and divine craftsmanship that sets a high bar for other acts to match. Their set included a selection from their entire catalog of work, prominently featuring new material while also throwing back deep cuts from their 2012 EP Elephantiasis. Frontman Donovan Melero, who provides both vocals and percussion, switches between playing both in unison and allowing a touring drummer to fill the kit while he leaps around the stage with charisma and flair. Guitarists Shane Gann and Aric Garcia noodle with technical wizardry, supplying both hypnotizing melody and chaotic math panic. Their recorded work is equality impressive and affecting. 'Mental Knife' feels like a spiritual successor to their 2014 masterpiece 'Wake' while building on the impressive catalog they have built since forming in 2009. Fans of Circa Survive or The Fall of Troy will feel right at home enjoying their math inspired, atmospheric soundscapes, but Hail the Sun truly does stand alone as one of the best progressive acts you will find today.
After the show, the band posed for pictures with fans on the sidewalk outside. As a special surprise, Donovan preformed an intimate acoustic set with guitarist Sergio Medina. Together they play in the band Sianvar, as well as their new project Nova Charisma, who's debut album is now available via Equal Vision Records. Hail The Sun's Mental Knife is also available from Equal Vision, please enjoy the music video for their latest single 'Devastate and Recalibrate' below. If you have the opportunity to attend Swanfest on April 25th 2020 in Sacramento, CA do not pass it up, they will be joining an incredible lineup including Dance Gavin Dance, Animals as Leaders, Veil of Maya, and many more.
Words and Photography by Jon Reino
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