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10 Vegas acts to watch in 2016: Presagers

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Presagers, when heavy gets heavier.
Photo: Bill Hughes

Listen to A.J. Perez’s speaking voice and you probably won’t sense the menacing growl lurking within. Justin Fornof felt its presence, even as he heard Perez fronting a straightforward punk outfit back in 2013. “It seemed like he was on the edge of not fitting in with that band, and I wondered if his voice might fit a lot better with our heavy music.” Fornof recruited Perez, just 17 at the time, for his latest metallic-hardcore project, and Presagers was born. Since then, the lineup has shifted some (current task: find a new drummer), but Fornof and Perez have stayed at the center of a band with plans to further bolster its sound and its fanbase in 2016.

Teaming with longtime pal Jeff Schuster—who lives in Yuma, Arizona, but joins up for some live performances—Fornof wrote and recorded last summer’s self-titled album, an assemblage of pummeling riffs and shifting tempos, topped by lyrics Perez describes as “introverted and personal.” “The first time I saw them I was floored by the intensity,” says promoter Patrick “Pulsar” Trout. “It didn’t sound like anything else here—a mix of post-hardcore, thrash and some really good melodic parts. I thought they might mellow as they went, but if anything they’ve gotten more aggressive.”

Playing locally at Dive Bar, Eagle Aerie Hall and East Side Joe’s, Presagers also pushed out across the Southwest and Texas in 2015, with plans to go farther east—and record a new LP—in the months to come. Beyond that? “Of course, our goal is to dominate the world,” Fornof laughs. “But if I could be a touring musician and live modestly, it would be a complete success.” presagers.bandcamp.com

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Spencer Patterson

Spencer Patterson is the Editor of Las Vegas Weekly, having previously served as Managing Editor, Arts & Entertainment Editor and ...

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