For two regional metal bands, the all-ages Coastal Rock Productions show Dec. 16 at The Space Station, a new extension of Starlandia Creative Supply, will be a bit of a double reunion.
Comprised of mostly Georgia Southern University students, Solomon’s Ghost hasn’t played a live show since the spring. Frontman Chike Onyliogwu has been traveling and finishing up a master’s degree program at GSU.
Drummer Drew Purvis, who helped mix and master the band’s debut album “Singularity,” has been working on new material with guitarist Josh Cook. But due to the geographical constraints of the other members, the band hasn’t written a full song as a unit since the album.
“We’re talking about doing some new material and getting it recorded,” Purvis said. “I’ve got a home studio we can work with as opposed to the studio on GSU’s campus we had to go to last time. It’ll be a little more of a comfortable environment. I’ve got a lot more experience working with everything.”
Going back to “Singularity” now, Purvis has noticed little things he could have tweaked better, but stands by the band’s debut work in the end.
“For where we were at the time, that was the best we had,” Purvis said. “For me, personally, I did all of the mixing and mastering myself; that was my first attempt at the recording process. I know, going back and listening to it now, so many things I did totally wrong the first time through.”
The nine-track album is dubbed progressive metal, but toes the line of extreme metal with strong metalcore influence. Throughout the album, heavier, screaming vocals pushed by fast, down-tuned guitars give way to sugary sweet breakdowns with straight singing, forging a unique sound out of a wide array of metal influences.
In a similar fashion, Awaken The Dawn will make a return to the stage with the Dec. 16 show. Over the last year, the metalcore band has had a string of lineup changes and delays that’s kept them from performing live.
The quartet picked up a new drummer, Will Sapp, formerly of Savannah’s Pridemeat, and a new bass player, Brandon Stark. They’ve just finished tracking leads and vocals for a new EP, set to be released in early 2017.
“It’s going to be pretty intense,” guitarist Alec Gulledge said. “We tried to go with that 2008 feel, back when heavy music was at its finest. Most of us are not big fans of this digital stuff. So we did this with all real amps and real drums. There’s not going to be a lot of anything that we didn’t track ourselves. We wanted it to be organic. To be real.”
Gulledge cites early Whitechapel, As I Lay Dying, Impending Doom, Bring Me The Horizon and Opeth as some of the band’s strongest influences.
“Everything was just real,” Gulledge said of those band’s early albums. “Everyone was putting work into it. I feel that was when deathcore was at its finest.”
Both Solomon’s Ghost and Awaken The Dawn have shared Savannah and Statesboro as platform scenes for their music, although in recent years, the bands agree Statesboro has been a better place for their brand of metal.
Conjecturally, the rise of Statesboro’s metal scene several years ago could have been a reaction to the city of Savannah implementing a new alcohol ordinance that secluded the under-21 crowd from bars and clubs.
“In Statesboro, if you’re in a good band and you don’t suck, they’re going to enjoy your music,” Gulledge said. “We’ve played all kinds of mixed shows there. A.U.R.A. Fest that was there, the last one … you have punk bands headlining and the next day you have Upon a Burning Body. The same crowd showed up both times.
“They were there more for the music. In all the years I’ve gone to Savannah, it seems like whatever is trending is what people want to listen to. Statesboro is little more about the metal. They aren’t too picky about sub-genres.”
At the hub of the Statesboro scene is an all-ages venue, Bigshow’s Burgers and Bar, which according to Purvis has drawn large crowds of metal fans.
“We used to play a lot of shows at Sweet Melissa’s,” Purvis said. “We started playing in Statesboro when Bigshow’s opened. I started talking to the manager. They were hesitant at first to have metal shows, but then it took off.
“There were concerts there that were in the 150 to 160 people range. Which is crazy for little ol’ Statesboro. Part of it was there just hasn’t been a lot of that in this town for a long time. There’s a lot of people that listen to that music and were happy they didn’t have to go to Savannah or Atlanta to find a concert.”
“We’ll play anywhere, with anyone that will have us,” Gulledge said. “All-ages is cool, though. It gives kids something to do.”
IF YOU GO
What: Solomon’s Ghost, Awaken The Dawn, Amor Exitium
When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16
Where: The Space Station at Starlandia Supply, 2436 Bull St.
Cost: $6; all ages