FESTIVAL REVIEW: Decibel’s Metal & Beer Fest 2019

Decibel Magazine’s Decibel Metal & Beer Fest was, to put it simply, stacked. Fourteen bands across all variants of Death, Grindcore, Prog, and Doom, descended onto Orange County for a weekend of heart-pounding jubilation. The two-day event was held this year at The Observatory, a large yet paradoxically intimate standing-room-only venue, intelligently designed to put the audience at three different heights across the entire space, offering uninhibited views of the stage beyond the perils of the pit. Continue reading

CONCERT REVIEW: Municipal Waste – Toxic Holocaust – Enforcer – Skeletal Remains: Live at Club Academy

I think it’s fair to say that there is nothing unexciting about the prospect of seeing Municipal Waste and Toxic Holocaust perform under the roof of a sweaty club on a Friday night. Through their consistently solid releases and even better live reputation, these highly regarded acts in equal parts reignited interest in the possibilities of what modern thrash metal could truly offer. With Municipal Waste’s image and sound playing heavily into nostalgia for 80’s crossover acts such as D.R.I. and Suicidal Tendencies, Ryan Waste and the boys reminded us, for better or for worse, just how blistering the genre could be during an era where metalcore dominated the loud rock mainstream when they dropped The Art of Partying back in 2007. Continue reading

CONCERT REVIEW: Max and Iggor Cavalera – Birmingham 02 Academy 2

Probably due to the bitterly cold December weather, the Academy 2 is already full to bursting by the time opening act Healing Magic hit their stride. Featuring a Cavalera who prefers to spell his name correctly, the Arizona based band are fronted by Max‘s youngest son Igor, and kick off the evening with some Black Sabbath inspired riffery which unsurprisingly goes down well in the home of metal. Continue reading

RECAP: Electric Wizard – Midnight: Live at The Worcester Palladium

The Palladium, Worcester, MA 11/22/19

Ghost Cult caught Electric Wizard on their all-too brief recent US tour last month. The six date run saw the British Doom Metal legends supported by Kvlt Punks Midnight for a run of clubs and theaters, as the band is still supporting 2017s excellent Wizard Bloody Wizard album. Having just spend a good deal of 2019 on the road, including a stop here for Pyscho Las Vegas, the band brought out a setlist celebrating their etire twenty-five year career. Check out these photos from Hillarie Jason.

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LIVE REVIEW: Amon Amarth – Arch Enemy – Hypocrisy: Live at Birmingham Academy

There’s a wonderfully surreal moment in The Simpsons when Abe Simpson inexplicably proclaims, “the Swedish are coming! The Swedish are coming!”. Well, tonight in frosty Birmingham, that’s exactly what’s happening. Hailing from the land of Abba, Ikea, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, three of the finest exponents of melodic death metal have landed in Blighty to bang heads and kick bottom. Continue reading

FESTIVAL REVIEW: Adult Swim Festival

For just one weekend the Banc of California Stadium was transformed into a carnivalesque outdoor funhouse for the Adult Swim Festival. The stadium was alive with colorful distorted animations reminiscent of children’s cartoons and claymation scenes warped and hyperbolized beyond the mind’s comprehension, while a giant Meatwad dome sat across an even larger inflatable slide shaped like Morty’s head vomiting a rainbow.

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Atreyu – Whitechapel – He Is Legend – Tempting Fate- Santa Cruz: Live at Toad’s Place

 

On November 3, 2019, the relatively quiet college town of New Haven, CT welcomed a five-part, earth-shaking line up to their prized venue, Toad’s Place. Back-to-back headbangers, Santa Cruz, Tempting Fate, He Is Legend and Whitechapel, all supported Atreyu on their 20th-anniversary tour and packed out the intimate venue. None of the “do not mosh” signs stood a chance against the excitable and enthusiastic fans who could not resist a circle pit. Continue reading