Former Manowar guitarist Ross the Boss returns with all guns blazing on Conquered Lands (Steel Cartel), the third full-length release from his subtly named Death Dealer project. In a gloriously predictable manner, the riffs come thick and fast as gods, blood, battles and all other true metal necessities rain down like exploding magma from the skies.
40 years of the loudest rock n roll band known as Motörhead made its presence felt as despite recent rumors of frontman Lemmy Kilminster’s health dilemmas, they still powered through a somewhat up and down performance that lacked the magic of their legacy.
Following a classic Lemmy opening greeting, they opened with ‘Damage Case’ and ‘Stay Clean,’ (both from their 1979 Overkill album), which brought out the classic Motörhead feel that fans have grown to love. While guitarist Phil Campbell and drummer Mikkey Dee were on fire and lit up the room with their larger than life performances, Kilminster’s vibrant stage personality took a back seat and was not quite as electric as usual. Regardless of the reasons, Dee still blew the crowd away with his dynamic drum solo and Campbell brought out his guitar solos that fans have grown to love.
The highlights of the evening included their well known tunes ‘Going to Brazil’ and ‘Ace of Spades’ to close the main part of their set list, and Kilminster’s son Paul Inder joining the band on stage for ‘Overkill,’ which Dee once again lit up the room with his lightning feet pounding away on the drums.
Motörhead set list:
We Are Motörhead
Over the Top
The Chase Is Better Than the Catch
Lost Woman Blues
(With drum solo)
Just ‘Cos You Got the Power
Going to Brazil
Ace of Spades
(Lemmy’s son, Paul Inder, joins on guitar)
Veteran UK metallers Saxon are celebrating 35 years as a band and coming out of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal scene, they showed the crowd despite their semi-cult status in the US, they are a force to reckon with elsewhere and still have quite a bit left in the tank. Frontman Biff Byford was on fire and belted through a strong cross section of classic tunes fans have grown to love. Favorites such as ‘This Town Rocks’ and ‘Power and the Glory’ got the crowd going, and rarely was the room quiet while they performed. Campbell joined the band during ‘Denim and Leather,’ closing out a strong set that hopefully will bring them back to US shores again in the near future.
Saxon set list
This Town Rocks
Power and the Glory
Heavy Metal Thunder
Wheels of Steel
The Eagle Has Landed
Princess of the Night
Denim and Leather
(with Phil Campbell)
WORDS BY REI NISHIMOTO
A beloved haven of British punk rock, the Star and Garter pub is rough and ready, but a great setting for an intimate performance from SST Records luminaries Bl’ast. Many will have felt the pull of guest rhythm section, namely former Queens Of The Stone Age men Joey Castillo and bass playing hellraiser Nick Oliveri, himself fresh off his second solo acoustic tour of the UK. Make no mistake about it, this is a set of high-octane punk from a much overlooked underground act that helped shape the face of American hardcore.
Before the main event it’s time for Denim and Leather to warm up an already sweaty venue with their skinny frontman flailing across the stage. The group mainline Black Flag intensity with a few soiled Discharge riffs in an effective manner, warming things pleasantly for the headliners.
Bl’ast are like a kick to the gut. The predominantly thirty plus audience really wake up to the raw intensity before them. Vocalist Clifford Dinsmore passes the mic around and Oliveri hammers out guttural basslines while Castillo is a hive of activity behind the kit. Focussing heavily upon their It’s In My Blood and Take The Manic Ride records, this may be an exercise in punk rock nostalgia but it cannot be denied that this old workhorse can still “go”.
A frantic moshpit ensues at the front of the stage with Dinsmore gleefully egging the crowd on, with the punters hanging on his every word. Even members of Denim and Leather get in on the action hurling each other around amongst the audience. The venue may be an intimate one but it is barely able to contain the celebratory atmosphere within it.
The punishing “Something Beyond” rides another grimy Oliveri bassline with Castillo beating his drums with such vigour he manages to dislodge a fan from the app above him. Without missing a beat he hurls the offending item into the audience who catch it and parade it around like a trophy before dumping it unceremoniously back on-stage.
They may be greying, but this was still a righteous display of exuberance which belied their veteran status.
WORDS BY ROSS BAKER