Mark of Kain is Leif on lead guitar, Cory on rhythm, Steve on bass, Matt on drums and Ryan on vocals. They are a powerful five-piece metal/rock/hardcore unit with great guitar riffs and brooding minor chords cutting back and forth across deep, dark bass lines. They also have something that a lot of hardcore bands in town don't have: a vocalist who can actually sing.
Sometimes the only vocals in hardcore are screaming. That's all well and good if that's what the band is about. But, sometimes it seems as though the screaming is just to cover the fact that the vocalist can't sing. Now, Ryan does his share of screaming. He said that used to be all he did but in deference to his soon-to-be-damaged vocal cords decided that he would add singing into his repertoire. Turns out he's damn good. He has good voice control and good tone. He also does a nice job of not competing vocally with the bass and guitars. When Leif, Cory, Steve and Matt are pounding out the sounds, Ryan's voice complements the music instead of overshadowing it or drowning out beneath it. "Empire Fallen" is a good example of all of the separate sounds blending well together.
Mark of Kain are a tight group of guys who've only been together since the beginning of this year. They are staunch supporters of their musical peers, as well as being fully supported, and Leif wanted to particularly give a shout out to the Family In Black (you know who you are). In the big, beautiful space that is the Loft, you'll get a chance to see Mark of Kain and you better get out and do just that. They are definitely a band to keep your eyes and ears on.
Thursday, November 17, 9:30 p.m., $2, The Loft, 622 W. Idaho St., Boise, 344-5223.
Friday, November 18 and Saturday, November 19, 8 p.m., Monkey Bizness, 724 1st St. S., Nampa, 467-1507.