THE CONVALESCENCE (2021) Live Concert Review!

THE CONVALESCENCE (2021) Live Concert Review

  • Venue: The Forge – Joliet, Illinois
  • Date: July 17, 2021
  • Special guests: Hellgrind, Vile Cynic, Orinoco, Sleep Tight
  • Reviewed by Michael Juvinall – Horror Patch
  • All photos Copyright Michael L. Juvinall/Monu-Metal Photography – All Rights Reserved

Special thanks to Chris Bianchi and Legend Recordings

It seems like I was just raving about how great it was to be going to shows again after the pandemic was slowing down last month when I was at my first show since all this crap began a year and a half ago. I gotta say that now I’m not taking any shows for granted anymore because you never know when the shit will hit the fan and we’ll be in the same boat again. 

This is why I was loving every minute of seeing The Convalescence and some of their supporting bands this past Saturday night, July 17th at one of Chicagoland’s premier rock clubs, The Forge in Joliet. 


Capping off the evening was headlining act THE CONVALESCENCE. If you’re not familiar, these guys are a metalcore/deathcore outfit hailing from Toledo, Ohio. The band is currently celebrating its 10-year anniversary. The band is unique, to say the least. All six members wear makeup onstage. I would probably describe it as a cross between the corpse paint of Nordic black metal bands and the face painting of Scottish Knights around 1300 AD during the William Wallace era (Braveheart). 

The Convalescence’s sound is also unique. The band features a keyboard player (Katie McCrimmon), which is kind of unusual to have keys in metalcore. In their music, you have the sound of metalcore and deathcore. You have the cookie monster growling vocal style of frontman Keith Wampler. He does a really good job of using that singing style and has a pretty powerful voice. 

The blazing guitar work of both Toby Wright & Zac Lunsford is both aggressive and technically proficient. They both compliment each other with their brutal riffs and breakdowns. Ronald Buckley plays a mean bass as well. Finally, we have Charles Webber behind the kit and he plays like he’s the God of Thunder. 

The band kicked off their set with the powerful track, “This Is Hell” from their 2017 album of the same name. A few of the standout tracks for me were “The Pit”, “Murder Machine”, and of course “Scum”. 


  1. This Is Hell
  2. Parasite
  3. The Pit
  4. I, Dreamer
  5. Broken Mirror
  6. Murder Machine
  7. Surgical Sanity
  8. A Legacy In Blood
  9. Reflections
  10. The Human Disease
  11.  One Of The Dead
  12. The House Of Suffering
  13. Scum

The Convalescence has been touring relentlessly over their ten-year career and has really developed into a road dog band. To me, that means they are seasoned when it comes to playing live and they know what they’re doing. After seeing them perform live for the first time, I was impressed by their stage presence. They really know what they’re doing and it shows. The band puts on a really good live show which was fun to watch. 

I was impressed with the showmanship and versatility of the group. Adding keys to their sound was impressive and gave the music an added element that you don’t usually see in their subgenre. Great show, great band, and really good music. With all of their touring, they’re bound to come to a city close to your location. Get out and see them live!

3.5 out of 5 Pentagrams.


Direct support came from the death metal band, HELLGRIND. These guys are based out of Chesterton, Indiana. The band considers itself as a death metal band, but they have a tinge of doom metal thrown in there as well. 

I was already familiar with The Convalescence’s quality and sound, so no real surprise there. But, Hellgrind, I was pleasantly surprised by this band. I was not familiar with them before this show. But they seriously shocked me and kicked some major ass during their set. 

This quintet is, how should I say it – mature. They’re not some young kids just starting out. They’re all, not old at all, but maybe in their 50’s. They’ve experienced some life and have been around the block a time or two. This tells me that they have had time to learn their craft and know how to write songs. 

In no uncertain terms, these guys came out and played their hearts out. And boy did they rock The Forge! This death metal outfit that I’ve never even heard of blew me away. They only played for 30 minutes but left me wanting a whole lot more. They have one album under their belt but I want to know more about these guys. Where have they been all my life? A bio for the band I found on the internet said the band formed in late 2014. The band seems to be made up of members of former death metal bands around the area. 


  1. Horrific End
  2. 20th Century Genocide
  3. Spirits of the Gallows
  4. Cold Blue Whore
  5. Killing To The End
  6. The Rotted Hunting
  7. Planetary Devastation
  8. Ancient Terror

4 out of 5 Pentagrams!


Third up in the night’s festivities was the local band ORINOCO. This Joliet, Illinois band blends death and thrash metal with metalcore as well. The band has been around since 2011. They are a good band that has a pretty decent sound. All seem to be good musicians that play well. 


  1. Dissolve
  2. Sheets
  3. The Claw
  4. Kill The Creator
  5. Weak
  6. Mimic
  7. Waste

2.5 out of 5 Pentagrams!


The second band to play for the evening was VILE CYNIC. They are a Chicago area death-thrash quintet. VC was the second band to surprise me during the show. I was quite impressed with their sound. These are younger guys who have been a band for only a few years. They have two EP’s under their belt. They are seriously heavy and sound incredible live. 

Vocalist Angelo Hakey has some great pipes for belting out the growls and screams. The rhythm and lead guitarists play some heavy shit and are technically sound. Bass and drums are no slouches either. 

Vile Cynic is an up-and-coming band that I really want to keep an eye on because they are going to go somewhere if they get the right breaks. 


  1. Tools Of The Tormentor
  2. Sovereigns Of Death
  3. Blood Eagle
  4. Lightbringer
  5. As Good As Dead
  6. Ghost Of Vindication
  7. One Of Us
  8. Hell Priest

3.5 out of 5 Pentagrams!


Kicking off the night was South Haven, Indiana’s SLEEP TIGHT. They are a progressive deathcore outfit. 

These guys have a lot of great energy and put on a great show. They seem to be good musicians and know what they’re doing. I’m just not a huge fan of their music. This is the second time I’ve seen these guys perform. 

2.5 out of 5 Pentagrams!

About Michael Juvinall (5958 Articles)
I am a devoted husband and father. I have been a voracious horror fan since the early age of 5 and metal fan since I was 14. I watch all horror films but my great loves are classic horror films: Universal Monsters, Werewolves, Hammer Horror and an all-around affinity for things that go bump in the night! I'm also a huge fan of extreme metal music.

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