Vocals- Brian Langley
Guitar- Denis 'Sasquatch' Barthe
Guitar- Dave Watson
Bass- Jon Power
Drums- Ryan Murray Idris
Our very Own Lucius Blackworth was at AMF 2017 with a great team covering the festival. Here are some awesome photos
Vocals- Brian Langley
Guitar- Denis 'Sasquatch' Barthe
Guitar- Dave Watson
Bass- Jon Power
Drums- Ryan Murray Idris
ANNIHILATOR – Ripping Through Canada Tour Toronto’s Opera House, June 24 A Concert Review By Reckless Ronny
Toronto was annihilated Saturday night with four high-caliber metal bands performing at the iconic Opera house. The evening started off with Montréal’s MUTANK delivering their raw and aggressive thrash metal punk. Stephen Reynolds manic vocal presence led the charge covering songs from their newly released EP W.H.A.T.S.T.H.A.T and a couple tracks from their debut M.E.C.H Metal. A highlight for me was hearing Thrash Back To The Future which is going to be on their forthcoming full-length and a continuum from M.E.C.H Metal’s Thrashback In Time. The twin guitar work of Costa Skoulikas and Chris Nasty jelled seamlessly with Ahmed Dass’s intense percussion and Reynolds deep bass pocket. Their mutant blend of speed thrash (fuck the posers) lyrical content was well received by the crowd whipping up the first of many slam dancing mosher’s of the night.
Australia’s Mason were probably somewhat the underdog of the evening as I’m sure most from these parts (including myself) may have never heard them before. I was totally impressed with their thrash metal style that is a cross between the bands Harlott and Death Angel. Tight high-impact fretwork from Grant Burns and James Benson was as relentless as Nonda Tsatsoulis’s monster skin bashing and Steve Montalto’s rolling melodic bass .Driving through numbers from their debut album Warhead and their newly released LP Impervious. The band conquered the stage and another fan base, with their potent full on thrash metal sound.
An added bonus of the evenings billing was GTA’s veteran metal outfit Entropy who are celebrating 25 years since the release of their debut LP Ashen Existence. Their crushing old-school technical thrash rage had the hometown crowd headbanging to every beat. Gerry Schreinert’s howling vocals hitting Halford-est levels with brute passion engaging all, along with founding member Dan Lauzon’s gnarly guitar passion, led the band through all of their best works from their debut Ashen Existence, some tracks from Transcendence as well as their E3 LP. Blake Lemieux (as well as all the drummers at this gig) rambled on the kit, that would’ve made Bonzo proud. Along with newcomer on bass, Oscar Rangel the band tore through with triumphant ease performing Underneath, Premonition, Succubus, Encrytion, Means To An End, Machines End and Ashen Existence.
By 10:45 everybody’s mood is high with anticipation for tonight’s headlining appearance from Annihilator with roughly 250+ metal-heads mingling through this, once vaudeville-ian landmark. I really enjoy the acoustics of this old venue and the capacity is perfect, around a thousand including a balcony section to-boot. Having hosted one of Metallica’s one-off club gigs earlier this year- too capacity, she is strong as ever. The Annihilator set was well received indeed with the band opening with Creeping Again (one of a couple tracks that they played from their latest CD Suicide Society). Rather than an in-your-face total guitar assault (which will come later) the smooth melodic opening and eerie electric vibe filled the air. The sound mix was perfect-full with rich harmonizing melody and crushing breakdown mid-riff-leads that bellowed from the amps. By now the mosh floor is wet with sweat and beer; the graceful camaraderie when one falls is in order.
The addition of Richard Hinks (Bass) Aaron Homma (Guitar) and Fabio Alessandrini (Drums) on this tour cycle perform phenomenal. They execute every Annihilator song to perfection and breathe new life. They covered all of the heavy classics from Set The World On Fire, King Of The Kill, Welcome To Your Death. No Way Out, Second To None and a blistering rendition of Brain Dance and \m/ore, delivering close to two hours of metal assault. Brash-full and interactive with the audience, Jeff Waters recalls with the crowd his experiences over the years and how different apexes along the road shaped him today. The band pulled out all the stops and delivered a bombastic set including a two song encore!
Annihilator ~ have their shoes tied tight and their heads held high, ready to unleash another chapter of heavy metal insight across the globe. Their new DVD Triple Threat has a combination of live concert material with intimate acoustic renditions of past classics that lead me to believe that we are at a hallmark in time and the best is yet to come.
Review by Ron Reader http://www.brokenneckradio.com/
Diemonds – “Free Play Tour” concert review
From Reckless Ronny
Toronto ONT born Diemonds have been gigging around the GTA metal scene since 2006. They independently released their debut EP “In The Rough” in 2008 and toured North America supporting such bands as Rough Trade ,LA Guns and Teenage Head. After signing with Underground Operations, the band released “The Bad Pack” in 2012 with extensive touring and many festival appearances; Seattle Hemp Fest, Rocklahoma, SXSW ,Heavy MTL ie: sharing the stages with the likes of KISS, Megadeth, The Darkness, Slash. By 2015 Diemonds released “Never Wanna Die” with eOne Music/Underground Operations produced by Eric Ratz , garnering them a Juno nomination .Well known among local underground circles and consistently honing their craft, Diemonds have set out on a short 30 day tour –taking a long (5000+ kilometers) trek across Canada. Zig-zagging from Ontario to Victoria BC showcasing their live energy and appeasing hard rock talent. I had the pleasure to attend their debut show November 30 at Rum Runners -Music Hall in London Ontario.
Commanding the stage with charisma , confidence and down-to- earth integrity Diemonds delivered a solid set for the crowd. Selecting a set list that highlighted their heavier tracks from “Never Wanna Die” while slipping in the odd wicked track or two from “The Bad Pack”- (Get the fuck out, Left for dead, Mystery ) Forever untamed Piyra’s vocals are stellar with a beautiful metal punk range that explodes on - Ain’t That Kinda of Girl -the song is one of those numbers you’ll be humming and headbanging to the next day. The guitar chemistry between founding member C.C Diemond and Daniel Dekay weld a teutonic twin metal attack intertwining blues and heavy metal speed with attitude. Having respects for past members that are no longer with us, whether here or gone, Aidren Tranquada delivers a diverse backbone on the drums connecting precisely with Tyrone Bucciones’ rhythmic bass pocket. Aside from a blazen set list from “Never Wanna Die” ~ Diemonds unleashes a track they are working on for their next CD tentatively called “Our Song”. Invigorating and heavy \m/ full of new dynamics and intense metal synergy! Every song feels fresh and raw, from the rager “Wild At Heart” to the brooding seductiveness of “Secret” Diemonds has a diverse brutal beauty to their music, which is best experienced live.
Before the show began, I showered, put on jeans and a tiny Suffocation top (both of which would be soaked by the end of the day), and ordered the third food item from the festival's vendors: a breakfast burrito from The Burrito Man food truck. In fact, I got the last one. Within the flour tortilla was sausage, bacon, eggs, cheese (mild cheddar is my guess), and tomato. Pretty good stuff, and I like the fact that each ingredient stands out.
Gutted Alive, brutal New York death metal. Music to my ears. With song titles like "Headless Love Slave" and "Force Fed Acid", how can you go wrong? The band's sound does have some semblance of old Cannibal Corpse, while guitarist Jason Acquilano offers screaming vocals that are distinct from lead vocalist Ryan Michael's brutality; I am quite fond of each vocalist sounding distinct, whenever a band has more than one singing member.
Bleed the Victim was next. Hailing from Origin's hometown of Topeka, Kansas, these guys play with a good amount of technicality, as well. They are less brutal and a bit more thrash, however. Not unlike the first few bands of day one, neither they nor Gutted Alive felt like moving much onstage due to the heat; given that day two started approximately four and a half hours earlier than day one, I imagined that the bands would be far more interested in playing well than putting on a show. That's not to say that these guys were boring, which goes to show the dedication of metal musicians.
Before Koza, Sleazy B thanked the crowd for helping keep the campground tidy. Next is Koza, a...core-ish sludge band. Stoner sludge? Whatever you call it, this is a rare slow band in this festival, yet the songs clock in at around 4 to 5 minutes. Vocalist Brooks Rose sings in a yelling, screaming, almost raspy style while his bandmates chug out some simple but good stuff. I'm not sure that I like the vocal effects in some songs, but that's just me. He also mentioned that FTA is the band's first show in the Midwest, but they also somehow brought their humidity with them; I find that a band's first time in a region is a big deal.
Fourth band, and I was already getting tired of returning to the camping area to check for text messages from Origin vocalist Jason Keyser to set up the interview, due to the shitty coverage in the stage area; I am willing to do what's necessary, however. The Mound Builders, which sounds like southern metal, maybe southern thrash, had started. Their set began with a minor technical problem with the guitar rig, but is resolved quickly. These guys also care far more about playing well than being a spectacle; in this heat, I don't blame them. Like Koza, the music is simple but good; the two strings bearers gave nice backing vocals that sound distinct from lead vocalist Jim Voelz, but the same as each other. No complaints, though.
Dismemberment started late, indicating some issues with the NRR stage. The band started in good spirits and put on a visually interesting show to go with the great music. With a name like Dismemberment, I expected more brutal death metal in the same vein as Gutted Alive, but this band is less brutal than fast and old-school. I am nevertheless satisfied, and judging by the large crowd in front of the stage from the start, so was everyone else. The lead/backing vocal combo sounds much like hearing double, which is still killer, and the vocals themselves are guttural mid-range growls.
The next band, Child Bite from Detroit, wasted no time giving their all as soon as Sleazy B introduced them. The vocalist is particularly energetic, like a crazy grind-pa version of Airacobra's Vhommit. The band delivered fast grind/noise the was nicely complimented by the vocals, equal portions of shouts and screams.
Product of Hate was next. This quintet plays a sort of melodic death metal with some clean vocals; yes, a metalcore band or two would come to mind from this description, but those bands ripped off melodeath with clean vocals. The weather still hot, back and forth between sunny and overcast, but that doesn't stop these boys from performing like they mean it.
During this set, people were climbing into the cages again (which I failed to do), and Vhommit was watching while drinking and shooting the shit with fans again. The best metal musicians are those who play and perform like they mean it, respect their fans, AND genuinely enjoy shows.
Next was Enbalmer. This outfit plays brutal grinding death metal with fast and mid-tempo songs. Their set consisted of old and new material and album title tracks. The band members felt the heat and played quite well while keeping the spectacle a minor priority; I find the music more important than the showmanship, whenever bands need to choose one. And with song titles like "Dead Female Stalker", I'm surprised that every female attendee didn't throw herself at the band.
During this set, the PBR guy was back to start pits. I had also spotted a crocheted boob coozie; I have no idea whether it was homemade or purchased, but it seemed effective.
It was also during the end of this set that I had my sights set on Mimmo's Pizza. I had to wait; turns out that they use a brick oven that takes a while to heat. This is already a good sign.
Chicago's Starkill is next. Much like Lucifist and Airacobra the previous day, this is one band who plays and performs with everything they've got, and also dresses the part with ripped jeans and shirts. Their music is damn good; I would describe it as...well, "accessible". Between the heavy yet melodic guitar work, harsh screams and dual clean singing, and more keyboard backing tracks, Starkill's music easily appeals to a wide audience. Starkill is a definite crowd pleaser, and a few fans even brought a flag to show their respect. The boys have also assured the crowd that after their set, they will be hanging out and, later, throwing a party. Another band that sounds great and enjoys metal shows as much as the next fan.
The death/doom metal band The Lion's Daughter was next. It was during this time that my goddamn phone started dying. This would not normally be a crisis, but I needed the stupid thing to take pictures, record observations, and record the interview later. And so, with some sorrow, I charged the phone in the car. From what I heard from a slight distance, the band sounded great.
The band Aggravator was next, and after snapping some pictures, I was forced to sit this one out, as well, while my phone charged. I can tell you that the band's music matches the name: aggressive, old-school thrashy death metal. I also took this opportunity to eat; I ordered a pepperoni calzone from Mimmo's Pizza. It took a short while to make, which bode well. The calzone was pretty big, and the crust was thinner than I expected, but I liked that as it gave more attention to the filling. As for said filling, the sauce was sweeter and blander than I would have liked, but the abundant cheese and pepperoni made up for it. Generally, cheese and pepperoni improve many things. It was a good lunch/dinner and a decent platform for the Sriracha that I had brought.
Next was the one-person grindcore/death metal project Putrid Pile. Shaun LaCanne, the brains behind the band was alone onstage, playing guitar and singing while an iPod drum track backed him up. While backing tracks can improve or overpower a whole band, it makes sense that he didn't hire musicians, as some solo artists do for live shows, because he made all of the music himself and wanted nothing less than the best. His crowd was impressive. I had to miss half of Putrid Pile's set to interview Jason Keyser of Origin; the wireless signal on the festival ground was not good enough to reach him via phone, so I spotted him at one point and he was friendly enough to grant his time on the spot.
Once I got back to the stage area, Portland sludge band Lord Dying had started. This underground icon delivered their sound along with a decent show.
And now, Abigail Williams started their set. This traditional ambient black metal band, which had started as blackened deathcore, drew quite an impressive crowd given the festival's turnout. The trio also gave a visually appealing performance; interestingly, no bassist was present. The band didn't move much and frontman Ken Sorceron wasted very few words between songs and after the set, they just wanted to play music.
Before Rotten Sound's set, Sleazy B brought three volunteers onstage for a dance off; they would perform the "Carlton" from the show "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air", and the winner would be determined by crowd reaction. All three danced one at a time, and the first contestant, who had introduced himself as "Fucking Jimmy Motherfucker" and concluded his dance by mooning the crowd, won the prize: a Full Terror Assault fitted hat.
Rotten Sound was next; being from Finland, this was the first international band to perform at FTA. I had some expectations of the speed and dirty punk elements for a band with such a name. They delivered a sludgy sound with a hint of punk rock, often fast with some slow intros, but befitting the name, nevertheless. The band is also visually entertaining, with vocalist Keijo Niinimaa in particular giving an energetic performance.
Austrian Black metallers Belphegor were up next. Even though the lighting sometimes did them no justice, their show was as drawing as their music, and the band drew most of the fans to the stage. Vocalist dedicated a song to the festival's first aid staff for tending to his hand earlier. The band's somewhat melodic yet evil music, with it's slow and melodic bridges, made them a crowd pleasing, eclectic pleasure to listen to.
Next up was Swedish black metal band Shining, another time/stage swap (in this case, with Belphegor). To start, we were greeted by tons of amp feedback before the set, which took quite a while to start; of course, this occurred at the NRR stage again. Once everything was ready, the goat skull adornments and recorded intro gave an accurate impression of what to expect. The band displayed Satanic imagery and evil black/death metal music, accompanied by trademark black metal attire and deep growls from vocalist Niklas Kvarforth along with high screaming backing vocals. During the set, a horse or donkey (hard to tell) balloon was kicked onto the stage and tossed back by staff more than once.
During the band's last few songs, a lady bearing a bottle of strawberry vodka and a t-shirt asked me to sign the shirt; I had seen her collecting signatures around the property throughout the festival. I took this opportunity to shamelessly plug BNR and myself.
And now...one of the two bands that I most looked forward to: Kansas tech death metallers Origin. This is one of the few bands on the bill that I had seen before, which is both good and bad, as I love to discover new bands, but I also already know what to expect from these guys. Shortly before the set began, rain started and frontman Jason Keyser quipped that it was the first shower he'd taken in weeks. As the rain increased, Origin opened with "Finite", which is their most popular song with little doubt. Guitarist Paul Ryan and bassist Mike Flores contributed badass vocals of their own, shrill screams and brutal grunts respectively; I know that Paul and Mike provided the vocals on the album "Entity" before Jason was on board. His dynamic performance added the perfect live element, and his voice is amazing. This set also prompted the festival's first stage diving and wall of death; that Jason knows how to put on a show AND make the crowd put on their own show.
In retrospect, I would have been better off keeping my phone in the car at this point, but I have trust issues with leaving my belongings unattended in public, and I also needed my phone for pictures, which are hard to take when holding an umbrella. Even with my umbrella over me as I watched Origin kill it, my enormous ass was still getting rained on, a common problem for people with big asses. At that point, I figured that I was still getting wet, and all I needed to keep dry was my phone...how much fun would it be to headbang in the rain? So, with my umbrella on the ground covering my stuff, I did just that.
The rain continued as headliner Dying Fetus took the stage; this Maryland technical death metal outfit was the other band I had seen before and was looking forward to seeing. At this point, the ground was too wet to place anything upon, so after some pics, I clutched my purse until I found a platform on which I could put it, umbrella on top. The rain started to increase as Dying Fetus opened with fan favorite "Your Treachery Will Die With You"...only to discover that bassist/vocalist Sean Beasley's microphone was not working. After said issue was resolved, the power trio dove into my personal favorite "One Shot, One Kill" before trying the previous song again, with success this time. The band's trademarks, technical songwriting, slam breakdowns, and the dual vocals that made this a favorite of mine, provided the musical element that was met by little physical movement; I already knew that this band plays exceptionally well and cares less about stage antics. Hey, not every band can be Kiss. The dual vocals had always grabbed me because, up until the current trio that is Dying Fetus' lineup, founder John Gallagher shared vocal duty with a revolving door of dudes; furthermore, when his singing partner Vince Matthews left, remaining band member Sean took over the mic, rather than necessitating a new hire. The pit was the most impressive so far, even though people were falling over due to the rain and mud.
I got a glimpse of Sepultura tribute band, Clenched Fist, while attempting to greet the musicians left on the grounds; they clearly focused on Sepultura's material before "Chaos A.D." and recited the songs decently. While showering and returning to the van, I discovered that quite a few tents were flooded; I came to realize how fortunate I really was by not bringing one. I really felt bad for the concertgoers who needed to work around this problem that night.
After approximately 17 hours in a car (rest stops included) and lots of $$ on gas, I arrived in Cave-in-Rock for Full Terror Assault. While driving from the Hogrock park entrance to the ticket booth, I could understand fully why a parking pass was highly recommended; the driving distance was long enough that I could not imagine the average concertgoer walking into the festival.
Once inside, the staff is quite friendly and usually has the answers that you might seek; if not, they know which person does know. For instance, the organizer showed me a few spots with electricity. Even so, the festival website recommends that one does not leave their generator on overnight. The campground includes vendors for food, drinks, and ice; booze was apparently not included last year, as the event is BYOB, but I saw several food vendors sell beer. I find this preferable to Mayhem Festival with beers going as high as $13 a can. Whatever your sustenance of choice, bringing your own, whilst trying the cuisine in the booths and food trucks, is recommended by the officials. For the latter, however, money must be drawn prior to entering because the campground has no ATMs.
Navigating the festival ground is...tricky. For starters, the festival officials have blocked off a few areas of the Hogrock campground that were not used last year. As pointed out by staff, this makes it slightly difficult to access certain areas that are still open to the public at this time (e.g. the swimming area, which I intended to visit). Good thing the first two stages and the food vendors are in close proximity to each other.
Sooooo, I took a shower and changed before the bands started playing; I intended to wear a shirt that I had forgotten was the wrong size, but ended up in my obscure Sinaya shirt (death/thrash metal from Brazil). The first band, Carpathian Funeral, urged the fans to the stage area before their set while I started my food critiquing; I made a secondary goal to try something from each food vendor. I ordered a dreaded deep-fried Twinkie from the Little Red Food Wagon, along with a burger to make it seem like I cared about a meal.
It was much like a very thick funnel cake with creme filling. Very guilty.
Black metal band Carpathian Funeral delivered a good performance considering the insane heat. The singer even attested to the heat, the adverse effects of stifling heat to person of his size, and how much he loves to perform anyway. As if attesting to the heat as well, the crowd was minimal for the first band, even moreso than I usually see. The set included penty of anti-Christianity banter, reading a Bible verse, and frontman Brian Ritchie ripping said Bible apart. Dude, that move is SO old...but it does still get some attention, I gotta give him that.
The next band, Blood Tribe, was simpler and more core-ish. The band sounded decent, albeit with a keyboard intro before each song that made me wonder why they didn't just hire a keyboardist; that's only a personal quirk, though. Vocalist Gary Doolittle gave the usual frontman banter (thank you for coming, buy our merch, etc), but I suppose that is still more original than ripping up a Bible.
For this one, most of the fans were understandably gathered in the shaded RATdaddy's Hangout with benches and beverages.
Oh, speaking of beverages, I dropped my water jug to take a picture and the fucker completely broke on the bottom. Good thing they were only $.88, I had 4 more.
Compare that to the $1 waters on the festival grounds. Granted, it's better than $8 water bottles in certain other festivals, but this still makes sense of the BYOB concept.
The next band, a sludgy hardcore punk act named Everything Went Black (which seemed to have switched stages and set times with Lucifist), was up. I normally would not complain about walking between the two stages that are close together, but dude, it was hot and I was carrying an umbrella, probably looking stupid in the process (hey, portable shade). I would have caught more of the set hadn't my sunblock started to wear off. I was going to wait longer, but sunburn is not an option, so back to the car I went for sunscreen and another drink; a diet cola can this time.
And now, a DJ, Sleazy B, provides banter before Lucifist's set. Among the rambling, he described the band's party after their show previous to FTA; a lady had apparently smuggled a 40 ounce of King Cobra in her asshole. After that engaging story, the band proceeds with some fast to mid-tempo thrash metal. Very good to my ears, and the audience started to increase, as if to provide testament (not the band) to Lucifist's entertaining music and the vocalist's jokes.
Next was A Threat to the Enemy, whom Carpathian Funeral vocalist thanked for "saving their asses". I expected a band with such a name to sound like technical core-ish death metal...and I was right on the nose. Even though the name and genre are predictable in junction, I happen to like metal like that. Just before ATttE's set, I ordered food item #2: a "man salad" from the Bitesize kiosk. It was the most expensive item at $12 and took a while to make; these guys cook the items to order. I finally got the thing during the set, and took pics before eating. During which, the vocalist informed the crowd that each shirt purchase includes a free tequila shot or beer.
Now I sat to eat the man salad, which surprisingly contains no sausage. This interesting combination of lettuce, radishes, red onions, carrots, cucumbers, parsley, meat, and fries is FRIGGING GOOD! I recommend the man salad to all of the ladies who plan to attend FTA next year. Hey, you don't even need a side of fries with it.
The next band, the trio Nevalra, sounds like blackened death metal, and the lead vocalist's Satan goat shirt reinforced that notion. By now, my phone was struggling to pick up any wireless signal; if you come here, be prepared to only make occasional phone calls. Anywho, at this point, it had become apparent that the bands like to point out where they are from; Nevalra is from Missouri. This trio delivers a good sound and performance, with two vocalists delivering distinct vocals and vocalist jockeying for just the right position to make the wind blow his hair upward. One bizarre thing about the set was the guitar backing tracks. It personally irks me a bit more than the aforementioned keyboard tracks because, in this scenario, they backing tracked an instrument that they use onstage. But I'm kinda critical.
Next was grind band Sexual Atrocities. This band uses bizarre masks and costumes, and the vocalist sings into two microphones with different effects, sometimes simultaneously, and enjoys burping between songs (how original...). During the set, the band threw two inflated boob balls at the crowd to pass around and commandeered a volunteer from the audience to drink from a boob-shaped beer bong, all the while a person dressed in a PBR costume started moshpits. Hey, it's a festival. Gotta have at least one band who goes all the way, right?
Next, Kilbury Unit. Another band in masks? Why not? To start, more backing tracks; however, I'm not sure which instruments were used, so it's all good. The vocalist sounds great and the band takes the apparent technical issues like champs. I also started smelling bud at this point; nothing can stop the most dedicated smokers. Finally, vocalist ends the set with a few politically incorrect jokes.
The next band, Airacobra, sounds like heavy metal with some growls, or blackened heavy metal. While the other bands either played music and moved onstage enough not to be boring, or went over the top with costumes and gimmicks, Airacobra consists of performers who play bitchin music while performing for the sake of performance. This is especially true for lead vocalist Vhommit; he killed it on the stage with vigorous headbanging and old-school "stage moves" such as swinging the mic stand around, even more energetic in movement than Kilbury Unit vocalist. His vocals range from screams right in between raspy and guttural, and clean vocals that reminisce Airbourne at a medium tenor range. Of course, his bandmates give it to the crowd with energetic performance and nice backing vocals. So far, if you asked me which band I would like to see immediately after the festival, in a venue of any size, Airacobra would be my first answer, followed closely by Lucifist.
During this set, I found some fans who had their own way of working around the festival's ban on glass bottles and containers. Wine titty, anyone? The trio offered a sip to several people, including me; I felt bad turning it down, but I fucking hate wine.
Also during this set, who should I run into but Airacobra vocalist Vhommit swigging from a bottle of Jack Daniels (of COURSE the singer is done loading out first). He enjoyed the attention that he was getting, so I just had to bug him for a picture.
Next up, hardcore/grind band Strong Intention from Maryland. Sadly, I used part of this band's set time to record my observations on Airacoba, because I couldn't look away during their set. This band does a good job, musically and onstage.
The next band was Interment, who must be so fond of their home state, Texas, that even the day's schedule includes a note of where they are from. This is definitely a band to see live just for their music; the trio plays death metal that is more reminiscent of Bolt Thrower than anything newer like Cannibal Corpse, while singer/bassist delivers vocals reminiscent of Chris Barnes in his early days. Beyond that, the strobe light was rather distracting to me; not to mention, here is the umpteenth band today to proclaim their hatred of Christianity and the church. Don't invite Dave Mustaine.
Organ Dealer was up next. This grind outfit keeps things short, simple, and fast, the same way that grind musicians fuck (or so I hear). All joking aside, these guys are an obvious crowd pleaser.
Also, some fans climbed up into these cages during the last few bands on the National Rock Review Stage. I guess that these are used by fans and/or dancers during Hogrocktoberfest. In this instance, a few fans are just chillaxing in the cages for a better view. Maybe I should try that tomorrow.
As we waited for headliner Waco Jesus (on the stage opposite to what was announced), the DJ fellow who has introduced most of the bands told the audience about the band's original drummer, Nick Null, who had passed away years ago, and his twin brother who had passed away recently; this announcement was followed by a "moment of noise", which the crowd enthusiastically gave. And now, Waco Jesus takes the stage; this is definitely a band that people flock to see for their underground reputation and edginess. The music itself is an entertaining brand of grindcore and the band members are not too boring. The set consisted of a bunch of newer songs, but interestingly, vocalist Shane Bottens introduced "Respect the Fist, Bitch", a track from the obviously misogynistic "Receptive When Beaten", as "four words you say before you knock someone out", as if trying to be politically correct. Like the concertgoers won't know what it really means? Like these fans would care?
Our Very own Reckless Ronny got to attend and cover this amazing show. Not only did he get great photos but he got a chance to chat with Scott from the band. Tune in today Sunday August 14th for the Sunday Thrash Blast and have a listen to his chat with Scott.... Here are the pics from the show
One show in a cramped venue, seven death-core bands (five of which I managed to film), interview with the headliner Whitechapel...challenge accepted.
The Whitechapel show was somewhat better than Summer Slaughter in terms of concert experience, the vibe was immediately great. The venue Cafe 611 in Frederick, Maryland is small and roughly one-third of the space is dedicated to selling merchandise in a separate room, whilst a portion of the show room consists of the bar on the opposite side from the stage. But, despite the lack of space, the attendance was phenomenal as was the audience enthusiasm. The crowd activity prevented yours truly from filming as well as I did at SS, which I love at metal shows and I would have joined right in if I hadn't been trying to figure out where and how to hold my video camera. On the upside, I remembered to bring the charging cord this time.
I admit that I hadn't paid very much attention to the first two local openers, Emerge a Tyrant and Alukah, as I wanted to ensure that the Whitechapel interview went smoothly when it happened.
The first band that I was able to shoot was Encasing Embrace, with whom I hitched a ride to and from the show. I know from a few conversations with their bassist that the band's lineup has never been stable; now lacking a guitarist, he needed to fill the traps with his bass alone. The result was a uniquely fulfilling sound that steps the bass game up.
The next band, Silence the Requiem, was a little bit more than an average metal-core band. Their influences are all over the music spectrum, which many modern bands claim but few deliver. STR adds a few flavors to their sound and put on an adequate stage show; the vocalist was particularly entertaining in terms of performance. I ended up buying an EP from their merch table.
Culture Killer was the first among the tour bands to take the stage. If I may be so brutally honest (as usual) I was less fond of them than the two openers before. This was only by a thin margin and the band is good, but CK is certainly what I would call typical deathcore. That is a good thing for fans of straightforward deathcore music, thus the crowd was enthusiastic and gave me a bit of a hard time shooting the set. As a side note, the band merchandise which features the heads of infamous bigots and rapists on stakes caught my interest and made me curse my bank account.
Psycroptic might have been my favorite band on the bill in terms of music alone. Their sound was more along the lines of technical death metal than the others, yet did embrace a good amount of modern influence. The band is as entertaining to watch as the music is to hear; as can be seen in the video, I had an even harder time shooting these Aussies, which is a good feature for a metal show. Of course, being the only non-Americans on the bill, they did joke about perfecting their American accents for this tour.
And last but not least, Whitechapel takes the stage. This band has a foundation/core sound for deathcore, for sure, but it is one of the few bands that I have ever heard pull off three guitarists. Whether that is due to the infamous egos of guitarists or musical arrangement, very few bands can successfully do anything with more than two guitars, but WC has made the most of this instrumental formation throughout their history; even Iron Maiden needed to learn how to make it work out after decades with two guitarists. As can be expected from reading this review and watching my Psycroptic live video, the headlining set was the most difficult to film. Metal elitists (like me, most of the time) would be wise not to underestimate the enthusiasm of modern metal fans in any size group. Additionally, the band members and manager/ex-member Brandon (who had also recorded Encasing Embrace in the studio) are among the nicest humans that I could have ever hoped to meet and, guitarist Ben Savage participated in the BNR interview in the best of spirits.
Hey Everyone DJ DEATHHEAD here
I was late and missed the local opener (damn it!), but it was a great show. The venue isn't the biggest, but the fans that didn't fit in the stage area did our best to get a good view, which wasn't difficult; for those who somehow couldn't, there are TV screens throughout Rams Head Live. It was a bummer to see only one of the venue's three bars open to concertgoers, but at least the concession stand was also open.
The crowd didn't move much throughout the show; it seems to me that the Summer Slaughter audience has been more and more still each year. Most of the moshing and other movement was, more or less, only done when prompted by the band (minus that during Arch Enemy's set). I'm not sure why; it could be due to the closing of several metal venues in the DMV (District of Colombia, Maryland, and Virgina) area, saving energy to mosh constantly during the headliners' sets, and possibly the death of Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. The increase in crowd surfers may have also played a part; there were no stage divers, but more people are crowd surfing each year at SS, and people standing still can more easily take part in catching and carrying them.
For various reasons, Obscura and After the Burial were absent from this show; Obscura had visa issues, and After the Burial had recently lost a band member (R.I.P. Justin Lowe).
Beyond Creation rocked, wish they had a longer set. In fact, I wish that every band prior to Born of Osiris had a longer set.
Cattle Decapitation also kicked ass. I might have personally preferred to see the death metal and grindcore bands AFTER the deathcore bands, and right before Arch Enemy, but like my friend who drove me home, I admire the ability of SS's organizers and promoters to make a death metal/deathcore festival work.
The Acacia strain is nothing too exciting to me, but they are good performers. They also brought up Justin Lowe's untimely passing, and the entire audience chanted, "Justin! Justin!" Interestingly, Veil of Maya started their set with a clip of "The Lion King"s opening song. Again, they're one of my favorites, but they were entertaining.
Born of Osiris' light show was aesthetically much better than my crumby video shows. Musically, it thrilled me about as much as TAS and VoM, but they are quite befitting as a headliner of the "core" portion of SS (sorry for being such an elitist cunt, but I'm just being real).
At one point, I heard two simultaneous vocal lines and starting to wonder if BoO uses backing tracks, which I'm not a fan of; turns out that their keyboardist also shares vocal duties, and even ditched the keyboard to join their singer Ronnie in "frontmanning" (I'm not familiar with BoO).
Then came Arch Enemy, and right from the start, I nearly came. I honestly thought that the news of Jeff Loomis joining Arch Enemy was a prank for a few days after it was first announce, but he was right there killing it. Alissa's stage performance was great and kept everyone engaged; if I had to describe it, I might say that it was an interesting mix of Doro Pesch and Bolt Thrower's Karl Willets, but honestly, I think that Alissa White-Gluz sings and performs like Alissa White-Gluz.
The only thing I would have changed if I somehow had the power to do so was the disproportionate set times. And opening all of the bars; that does require more staff, but the inflow of money should be worth it.
You can catch my Show The Death Pit Every Saturday Night at 9 PM PST for 3 or more hours of crushing metal on www.brokenneckradio.com
The forefather titans of thrash metal Testament and Exodus kicked off their Dark Roots Of Thrash 2 tour April 1 in their hometown of San Francisco with opening act Shattered Sun from Texas. With dates set through ‘till June 5 (possibly more to be added), I had the opportunity to attend their Toronto gig at the Phoenix Concert Theatre and witness a truly legendary performance by these early innovators of thrash metal.
Shattered Sun got things rolling with their brand of Texan metal-core, drawing the fist pumping patrons in and delivering a solid yet short set covering songs from their early EP’s and music from their new CD release “Hope Within Hatred”, having been recently signed by Victory Records, Shattered Sun was hand-picked by Chuck Billy himself.
Exodus hit the stage on fire with a blistering set full of energy and excitement and heavy-metal fun. Black 13 opened their set followed with other choice songs from their newly released Blood In Blood Out CD while peppering in the old-school classics such as, A Lesson In Violence, Toxic Waltz, Blacklist, War Is My Shepherd is, Strike Of The Beast and Bonded By Blood . With Steve Souza behind the mic belting out the vocals it just felt right and sounded even better blending their new music and the thrash metal classics into a reinvigorated form. Exodus is firing on all cylinders this time around, full of energy and thrash metal strength, that newer bands considering a 30 year career should take note of.
Headlining Dark Roots Of Thrash 2 is the mighty Testament covering songs off their first 3 albums; The legacy, The New Order and Practice What You Preach, the band rips through a brutal 17 song set list with no “ballad” (s) or lulls! Opening with Over The Wall Testament sets the pace with a feverish pitch that drives the crowd into a frenzy. The set list is a metal heads dream of handpicked thrash gems such as; The Haunting, Burnt Offerings, Raging Waters, The Preacher, Do Or Die, First Strike Is Deadly, A Day Of Reckoning, Apocalyptic City, Eerie Inhabitants, The New Order, Trial By Fire, Into The Pit, Alone In The Dark, C.O.T.L.O.D, Practice What You Preach and Disciples Of The Watch. With state-of-the-art technology these old-school classics were brought to life and sounded superb through the PAs. The stage show was spectacular with intense colorful lighting - lasers and firebreathing pentagrams
True masters of their craft Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson were on their game all night trading riffs and playing as one with Gene Hoglan delivering a thunderous backbeat on the kit and Steve DiGiorgio’s pounding bass backbone. Chuck Billy was unstoppable with his range and power, grand slamming every tune out of the ballpark - hitting a homerun every time. The band is alive and well, doing what they love best- kicking ass!
As this is the first time these two metal powerhouses have had an extensive together, my advice to you is
don’t miss this one, if you appreciate great thrash metal music and a really good time!
Geoff Tate-Ryche brings Queensryche’s music one last Time
Yes it’s been confirmed by Tate and his management that this is the end. Yes, the name has been confirmed as changing to Operation Mindcrime and yes, what fans are witnessing on tour now is the end of a legacy in rock and metal music fronted by one of the genre’s most unique and easily recognizable voices. What comes next, we don’t have the answers to.
On August 4th, the Geoff Tate version of the band Queensryche took the stage of the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, CA and fans were elated. Tate reflected the image of a man on a mission. Looking twenty pounds lighter than his last Los Angeles performance in April of this year at the House Of Blues, Tate was in prime form. Bringing a slightly different version of the previous on-stage line-up, drummer Simon Wright (Rhino Bucket, AC/DC) took the throne above the stage where as last time we saw Brian Tichy on board. Rumors flew prior to show time that Rudy Sarzo would be on bass, rather than that, and appearing for the last time with the band on this tour, John Moyer (Disturbed, Adrenaline Mob) held down the low end alongside the rest of Tate’s usual suspects. Those include Kelly Gray and Robert Sarzo on guitars and Randy Gane performing on keyboards.
The set list brought out some old favorites, touching on tracks that fans responded to both positively and strongly. As this is proposed to be the last time that Tate will perform “old Queensryche songs” live on tour, attendees were happy to sing along with music they know by heart and cherish as dedicated fans. The set was a follows:
01. Best I Can
03. Another Rainy Night
05. Real World
06. I Am I
07. The Needle Lies
08. Della Brown
09. The Thin Line
10. Breaking The Silence
11. I Don’t Believe In Love
13. Jet City Woman
15. Eyes Of A Stranger
Adding to the surprises in song choices, Tate also thrilled the crowd with stories leading in to songs and during track nine, he appeared on stage playing a saxophone along with the band.
The opening acts for the night featured Los Angeles natives Superfix, a metal genre band that was the perfect fit to warm the audience and a fairly new valley area band that is comprised of long standing musicians that have been on the national scene for years, Crack In The Shell. Word has it from Crack In The Shell associated patrons that the band is committed to 20 shows with Tate’s Queensryche, offering a chance for the band to gather a larger national following as the tour continues.
Geoff Tate’s current tour schedule continues north through California and on through parts of the Midwest. To find the dates when they appear in your area, visit the new www.operationmindcrime.com.
Reported by Joe "Yeah that guy" Dolan
Joe's Photo Site: www.YeahThatGuy.com
On Wed July 30th We had the pleasure of hanging out with Max and Soulfly.
We also got to catch his son doing double duty behind the kit.
Here are the photos taken at this show
Rock on the Range Day 3 Photos are here....
Stay tuned as we have a bunch of interviews to be posted showcasing this amazing festival
Our very own DJ Insanity is On site sporting his Station T Shirt so say hi to him. Hes got a list of interviews done including Suicidal Tendencies to stay tuned for that. Full Gallery of Photos are below
Our Very own Dj Insanity covered press for the show Battlecross with Trivium 05/12 Johnson City, TN – Capones
He sat down with Tony Asta and had a nice long chat (Audio interview at the bottom)