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

LIVE REVIEW: Gatecreeper – Exhumed – Necrot – Judiaciary: Live at Sanctuary

The Fresh-faced act Gatecreeper and the veteran collective Exhumed both recently released shiny new full-length albums. Just six weeks ago we were gifted with some fresh and fearsome material from these great groups. Now they have joined forces on the road to play their new fantastically foul tunes. The Sanctuary was an ideal venue to host a stop on this tour. It’s the perfect size and atmosphere for the fans to experience an intimate and enjoyable encounter with these Death Metal experts. Just outside of Detroit, The Sanctuary caters particularly well to the heavy. This pocket-sized music club proudly hosts some of the best metal shows that come through Michigan. With venues like this, and local acts like Mutilatred, show us that the metal scene in this state is alive and well. The enthusiastic gang of guys in Mutilatred opened the show with a spunky, spirited set. They even handed out actual paper flyers which gave the night a marvelously old school feel. Continue reading

LIVE REVIEW: Agnostic Front – The Take: Live at Mama Roux’s, Birmingham, UK

For years, metal and hardcore have been regular bedfellows but that wasn’t always the way. Back in the ’80s, metalheads regularly ran the risk of getting beaten up if they attended hardcore or punk shows. Skins and Mohawks did not take kindly to long-hairs stepping onto their turf, and vice versa. It wasn’t until the emergence of more popular bands like Slayer who, by straddling both genres, showed that the two sets of fans were capable of co-existing without confrontation.

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LIVE REVIEW: Cold: Live at Fine Line, Minneapolis, Minnesota

I can still remember the very moment the band Cold came hurtling into my atmosphere like a brilliant meteor, hell-bent on causing upheaval. Scooter Ward and his musical cohorts were the direct support band for the St. Louis, Missouri Industrial band, Gravity Kills. Cold, with their first studio album, just released, was still flying under the radar as far as getting mainstream exposure and radio play. The small venue in La Crosse, Wisconsin was sold-out on that balmy summer evening. I was unaware of how my life would be altered forever by a band I had never even heard of when I walked into that venue. Continue reading

FESTIVAL REVIEW: Exit 111 Festival 2019 – Manchester, Tennessee

Exit 111 Festival, aptly named for the highway exit in Manchester TN, made its début October 11-13, 2019. Arriving in powers of three, it was three days of riffs, rock, and rowdiness. One part Metal, one part Rock, one Southern rock, and a whole lot of nostalgia, the event hosted three stages: the Rise Above Stage (honored suicide awareness and featured many of the Classic rock/Southern rock acts), Heaven Stage (the main stage and home to the headliners), and Hell Stage (spotlighted mainly heavy artists). Continue reading