New England Metal And Hardcore Festival 19, At The Worcester Palladium

The long running New England Metal And Hardcore Festival held its 19th annual event recently and the lineup was excellent. As usual, fans came from all of New England and even further reaches of musicdom to hangout and rock at the grand old lady of music venues in Massachusetts, The Worcester Palladium in Worcester, MA. Hillarie Jason covered the festival once again for Ghost Cult and shot the awesome pictures for this piece! Continue reading

New England Metal And Hardcore Festival Testament, Sabaton, Sepultura, Katatonia, Hammerfall, Prong And More

 

Sabaton, by Lisa Schuchmann

Sabaton, by Lisa Schuchmann

The long running New England Metal And Hardcore Festival returns for a 19th time with Testament, Sepultura, Prong, Kublai Khan, The Last Ten Seconds Of Life, Varials, Left Behind, No Zodiac, and Precious on Friday and Sabaton, Katatonia, Hammerfall, Amorphis, Caspian, Delain, Swallow The Sun, Battle Beast, Leaves Eyes, and Circuit Of Suns.

 . More bands TBD. Continue reading

New England Metal And Hardcore Festival 17: Day 3

new england metal and hardcore april 2 2015

 

Day 3 of The New England Metal And Hardcore Fest drew to a close with a lot of diehards in attendance, but a little less of the fanfare of the previous two days. When you go to a music festival or any show really, typically you are familiar with the bands that you go to see. But just like tape trading was back in the 80s, and downloading a decade ago, a music festival is a great place for music discovery, checking out new bands, and getting outside your comfort zone for fun. A lot of this happened today.

 

By day three of anything, a comic-convention or a destination music festival, people are spun out a little from the last few days of action. Industry folks, (most of) the photographers and the vendors were a lot more relaxed on day 3 with the lighter crowd. I chatted with Matt Bachand (Shadows Fall/Act of Defiance) about his new venture, Manshark Entertainment. It was cool catching up with him and other people from the scene I usually see at these things. At the same time you have to give it to the staff of a venue that has seen an endless stream of people come in and go out in a weekend, metal fans from all walks, and still have them keep their shit together, and do a great job. I gotta give it up to the staff of the Palladium for the work they put in keeping everything moving and everyone safe.

Exalt, by Meg Loyal Photography

Exalt, by Meg Loyal Photography

Sunday is traditionally the “hardcore” day at NEMHCF and the the early bands brought that vibe. There were some killer early performances on Sunday from the likes of the more hardcore bands such as Oath, Living Laser, and Ghost X Ship, the nu-metal stylee-o of Gift Giver, and the phenomenal performance of Lorna Shore. They had their own crew of fans repping New Jersey in the house and I even saw some WSOU shirts on a few people that got me open! Also of note was a killer showing from New York’s Brick By Brick, now fronted by Ray Mazzola (Full Blown Chaos), for a sick set of ignorant (in the best way possible) hardcore and metal. Their set truly was a moshfest!

Brick By Brick, by Meg Loyal Photography

Brick By Brick, by Meg Loyal Photography

 

Later in the day following excellent performances from Sworn In, Vanna, The Color Morale and Cruel Hand on the small stage, Motionless in White took the stage as the final band of the weekend. Putting on a show that an amazing visual spectacle, stellar goth rock showmanship, the band owned the night. Their fans, many I met whom waited all day and checked out all of the bands before them, fell rewarded by a captivating show. The fans sang every word, jumped up and down when Chris Motionless said to jump, and generally yelled fuck you at all the appropriate moments, two middle fingers to the sky. It was a fitting close to a fun weekend. See ya next year Metalfest!

Motionless In White, by Meg Loyal Photography

Motionless In White, by Meg Loyal Photography

 

Motionless In White, by Meg Loyal Photography

Motionless In White, by Meg Loyal Photography

Motionless In White, by Meg Loyal Photography

Motionless In White, by Meg Loyal Photography

 

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WORDS BY KEITH CHACHKES

PHOTOS BY MEG LOYAL PHOTOGRAPHY

New England Metal And Hardcore Festival 17: Day 2

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Day two at Metalfest is usually more like a marathon than a sprint. It’s about going hard or going home, but also taking care of yourself too. You gotta stay hydrated when you’re hot and sweaty, take a breather from time to time, and not eat like crap the entire weekend. I made sure to fill up on some terrific energy boosting organic juice at the Paris of the 80’s Cafe next to The Palladium. Because juicing is metal!

Saturday is also where I spent a little more time with the upstairs bands. While the main-stage has more of the metal bands that I favor, the upstairs is for real warriors. Hardcore is still loveless to the mainstream. Nobody plays this style of music for riches and fame. So there will be violence in the pit, there will be glorious pile-ons, sweaty hands grabbing the mic, and there will be shout-a-long choruses. Catching acts such as No Zodiac, Disgrace, Gods Hate, and the mighty Wisdom In Chains, you can see the past meet the future of music, and the fans who care deeply about these bands.

Shattered Sun, by Meg Loyal Photography

Shattered Sun, by Meg Loyal Photography

 

The first main-stage band I caught on Saturday was Texas-bred Shattered Sun. While they are opening the Dark Roots of Thrash II tour for tonight’s final acts, at Metalfest they hit the stage at about 2:30 PM. They whipped the early crowd into a frenzy with their modern take on neo-thrash. As I was jamming out, I look over to my left and there was Gary Holt (Exodus/Slayer) giving his seal of approval, banging his head.

The main-stage was so good this year, it was hard to peel away for some grub. Worcester (or Woostah if you are local wildlife) certainly has some decent food options, including the stellar Kenmore Diner within walking distance to the venue. I’d love to see some food trucks participate in future years, considering how many awesome ones we have locally.

After catching parts of good sets from Thy Will Be Done and The Agonist, it was time for some more death metal. We haven’t had much classic death bands of late here, so it was cool to see Incantation and Vital Remains on the bill. While the later band is immensely popular here, Incantation ruled supreme. Lots of people were seeing this great band for the first time today and they slayed.

Nails, by Meg Loyal Photography

Nails, by Meg Loyal Photography

The most talked about band before metalfest the last two years has been Nails. Their set last year may never be topped for intensity. Moving down to the main-stage, the entire floor did not devolve into a violent pit of epic proportions as I predicted. However, there was one large circle pit in the middle and some rough stuff up front, but for the most part people were able to enjoy the band and not die, which was good. Nails crushed it hard. That new album cannot come fast enough for me.

Nuclear Assault may be going into retirement, but not before hitting the road and ripping us a new one. They sounded fresh as ever, especially John Connolly’s chirping high screams. I’m looking forward to their new EP in June.

Exodus, by Meg Loyal Photography

Exodus, by Meg Loyal Photography

 

Exodus is another band that has gone through some changes. With a recent album, Blood In Blood Out (Nuclear Blast) and a returning Steve “Zetro” Souza on vocals, the band sounded tight. I was happy with the set list, which included some of their more recent stuff, and of course classics like ‘Toxic Waltz’ and ‘Strike of the Beast’. Props to security for handling all the crowdsurfers and moshers without the usual nonsense I see at other venues.

Testament, by Meg Loyal Photography

Testament, by Meg Loyal Photography

 

Testament closed things out in style with a stage set right out of Iron Maiden’s playbook. And why not? Testament is one of those legacy (pun intended) thrash acts. They had a huge production with creative lights, billows of smoke, and the crazy bursting strobe lights that were a little overpowering frankly. Although they had a slightly over-loud sound mix, the band was incredible as they played only their first two albums, plus ‘Practice What You Preach’. With all of their talents, Testament is like The Avengers, and they are thrash metal’s mightiest heroes.

Testament, by Meg Loyal Photography

Testament, by Meg Loyal Photography

 

Testament, by Meg Loyal Photography

Testament, by Meg Loyal Photography

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WORDS BY KEITH CHACHKES

PHOTOS BY MEG LOYAL PHOTOGRAPHY

New England Metal and Hardcore Festival 17: Live At The Worcester Palladium

Death Angel Just Added on Friday

Death Angel Just Added on Friday

It was a celebratory mood as I waltzed into The Palladium for another go-around of “Metalfest”. My 10th time attending and 17th overall in the history of the fest proved to be one of the most fun I can remember. Sure festivals can be grueling, all weekend affairs, logistical nightmares and just exhausting. But it’s also like a family reunion in which you hate almost nobody. Lastly, I was lucky to work with Meg Loyal of Meg Loyal Photography all weekend, providing the awesome shots of the bands all weekend for Ghost Cult.

The venue was swelling with people when I arrived, and I was glad to see support for early first day acts such as Begat The Nephilim, Lody Kong, Downpour (featuring Shadows Fall, Unearth and Seemless guys), The Atlas Moth, and Fit For An Autopsy. I usually do a loop of the venue right when I get in. Checking out the vendors, meeting old friends and making some new ones, it’s always a blast.

Within The Ruins, by Meg Loyal Photography

Within The Ruins, by Meg Loyal Photography

Finally getting down to the main stage floor, Jamey Jasta’s solo JASTA set was just ending. Being a Connecticut guy and a Palladium regular, the place was packed and seemed to end the set on a high note. Checking out the merch tables in between bands, it was cool to see sponsors such as Tama and Ibanez offering cool contests anyone could win. I caught some of Within The Ruins’ set and they were killer, as a bunch of bro dudes punched each other silly in the pit. Settling in at the main stage to watch the rest of day one was a tough choice. I love Overcast and Code Orange, but they played opposite COC Blind, which I could not miss. Playing hits off of Blind, this entity of Corrosion of Conformity includes singer Karl Agell (King Hitter), drummer Reed Mullen, and guitarist Scott Little (King Hitter, Leadfoot) among others was in great form and the audience seemed to enjoy the cuts much deeper than ‘Vote With A Bullet’.

Death Angel, by Meg Loyal Photography

Death Angel, by Meg Loyal Photography

Next up were thrashers Death Angel. It seemed like they might be more at home on the Saturday bill with their Bay Area brethren, but they killed anyway. Playing a short set of mostly recent tracks, they nearly stole the show on day one. Following them was Cavalera Conspiracy. A long changeover seemed to stall the momentum, but there was a lot of excitement to see Max and Igor play together once again. I spent a lot of time focusing on Igor, since watching him play is a treat for me. The set leaned heavy on the “hits” of CC, as well as choice Sepulutra jams and a Nailbomb song featuring Richie Cavalera on vocals.

Cavalera Conspiracy, by Meg Loyal Photography

Cavalera Conspiracy, by Meg Loyal Photography

The Red Chord, by Meg Loyal Photography

The Red Chord, by Meg Loyal Photography

The Red Chord was next and I was pumped up to see them, since I missed the band in their last few comeback shows. They played a set heavy on their masterwork album Clients (Metal Blade) and one new song. Again, the deathcore brings out the crazy pit ninjas en masse. Guy Kozowyk was in great form, as the was the entire band who has been missed much.

Between The buried and Me, by Meg Loyal Photography

Between The buried and Me, by Meg Loyal Photography

Closing out the night was Between the Buried And Me. While I really appreciate the North Carolinian prog metallers, (who gave a neat shout out to COC), I have never been a rabid fan. On this night they played the best set I have ever heard from them. They had a sweet production of video screens, smoke and lighting. Not only was their choice of songs slick, but their pacing and patience as a band has really risen up to the level of the veterans that they are. For an added bonus just for the Metalfest crowd, the band closed with a cover of Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. Except for Paul Waggoner playing the iconic piano parts on guitar (of course), the band became Queen, with Tommy Rogers transforming into Freddy Mercury; immaculate right down to his stage moves, voice, and half a mic-stand. The entire venue was singing and some people were crying too. It was an unforgettable end to Day 1.

Between The Buried and Me, by Meg Loyal Photography

Between The Buried and Me, by Meg Loyal Photography

Between The Buried and Me, by Meg Loyal Photography

Between The Buried and Me, by Meg Loyal Photography

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WORDS BY KEITH CHACHKES

PHOTOS BY MEG LOYAL PHOTOGRAPHY

FESTIVAL PREVIEW: New England Metal And Hardcore Festival XVII

new england metal and hardcore april 2 2015

Today marks the start of New England Metal And Hardcore Festival XVII (that’s #17 for you Roman Numeral deniers among you), which is the unofficial start of spring in the northeast USA. That and the fact there is still some snow on the ground. Ready to thaw out and rock with some amazing bands, this years NEMHF promises to be one of the most diverse bills in its history, according to co-founder and talent booker Scott Lee. Held over three days this weekend on two stages, the fest is a must attend event I nth region which offers something for every heavy music fan’s taste.

Friday is headlined by Between the Buried and Me, which is sure to pack the venue as they usually do. Re-activated Boston mashers The Red Chord are in the spot right before BTBAM, highlighting the depth of this night. Other top billings for Friday go out to Cavalera Conspiracy, veteran thrashers Death Angel, COC BLIND, Code Orange, Overcast, Jamey Jasta solo, The Atlas Moth, Fit For An Autopsy and Within The Ruins.

Day 2 has the all out attack of the “Dark Roots of Thrash Tour” with headliners Testament playing an old-school set, and Exodus in tow making for circle pit heaven. Also from that tour is opener Shattered Sun playing much earlier than usual. Following Exodus is the final New England appearance of Nuclear Assault who are soon to retire. Another excellent band you should not miss is Nails, graduating to the main stage after last years’ bloody pit up at the small stage slot upstairs. Other Saturday bands of note include the recently added Turnstile, death metal overlords Incantation and Vital Remains, Rivers of Nihil, The Agonist and popular locals (from nearby Rhode Island) Thy Will Be Done.

Sunday is always the hardcore centric day, but this year has the added bonus of being led by Motionless In White. The band has worked their way up from nothing with relentless touring and recording, and looks poised for bigger things. A cavalcade of hardcore bands follows MIW such as The Color Morale, Vanna, Death Before Dishonor, Cruel Hand, Lionheart, Sworn In, Brick By Brick as well as Lorna Shore and Last Ten Seconds of Life.

Ghost Cult will be bringing you the review from the weekend full of action, so check back here next week.

Being Terrified Is Part Of The Game – Scott Lee of Mass Concerts

new england metal and hardcore april 2 2015

 

Spring is in the air and that means music festivals all over the world. One such festival we always attend is the New England Metal And Hardcore Festival, held at the Worcester Palladium in Massachusetts. We caught up with festival co-founder and talent booker Scott Lee to get his take on the 17th edition of the festival, taking place this weekend.

 

We started off by asking Scott about this year’s line-up:

It’s great! We have a lot of diversity this year. Friday where you have Between the Buried and Me, The Red Chord Cavalera Conspiracy, Corrosion of Conformity (BLIND), and Within the Ruins, that day is stellar. Testament, Exodus, Nuclear Assault’s final new england appearance, so proud to have that. Nails is really exciting! Sunday has Motionless In White. People gave me a little crap for that, which is funny to me. They are just as much a metal band, with hardcore roots as anybody else. Just because they wear makeup and the type of label they are one, whatever. They are a metal band. They have done metal tours. They did Mayhem and other metal tours too. They are an awesome band. And they wear make up. So did Kiss. So do The Misfits. So does Dimmu Borgir. Who cares? The lineup is super stellar. Code Orange headlining upstairs on Saturday. Overcast… and there might be a surprise for Saturday for the hardcore world.” (Editor’s note: now revealed to be Turnstile).

Scott also discussed the significance of having two legendary Boston metal and hardcore stalwarts on the bill together in Overcast and the recently reactivated guys in The Red Cord:

Oh they came up together you know? They came up at the same time, in the same vein. Same kind of New England thing. You wouldn’t be surprised to see a split 7” from the two of them. Actually that would be really cool! There are all kinds of genres this year, it’s a really good mix. It really is an all-star lineup . I am not going to be like “it’s better than last year” or “its better than the year before”. I hope people see what we are doing here and getting excited about it. There are not too many times you will see Nails and Testament on the same bill, on the same day.

Scott Lee, photo by Jeremy Saffer

Scott Lee, photo by Jeremy Saffer

 

Returning to the fest for a second straight year, Nails put on one of the most intensely violent shows ever at last’s year’s fest. We vouched for being terrified at the level of aggression the band coaxed out of the rabid fans in the pit. Just complete bedlam. This year they are on the main stage, and Scott shared his thoughts on the band:

Being terrified is part of the game, my friend. I went and saw them at This Is Hardcore and it was amazing to me. That band is no joke! It’s great how they are true to their craft. They are really great people too. They write really great music. If you haven’t heard this band, you need to check them out. They are the real McCoy.”

 

On the complaints on a yearly basis about certain bands, and certain types of bands on the bill which he helps bring together:

It’s called the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival. It’s bringing metal and hardcore tied into together with the entire scene like this: everything everyone here has ever done. It is not called the New England Death Fest. It’s not called the New England Hardcore Fest. It’s not the New England Metal Fest. It has a long name so everyone abbreviates it to NEMHF. With these bands, it doesn’t matter. The majority of these bands are fans of the music of the other bands too. If you are close-minded, I can’t argue with every single person about this that or the other the thing. This is what the scene is meant to be, open-minded. That’s what it’s supposed to be, for me doing this. We are not putting Black Veil Brides on, we put on Motionless In White. Motionless In White is a metal band. The whole kit and kabboodle on the situation is this: if you have enough time to ridicule, then you should go get another hobby.”

 

KEITH CHACHKES

In The Minds of Evil Tour: Deicide and Septic Flesh: Live At The Webster Theater, Hartford CT.

Deicide-In-the-Minds-of-Evil-Tour-2014-Martyr-Septicflesh-Carach-angren

 

On October 8th, 2014, In the Minds of Evil North American tour featuring Carach Angren, Abysmal Dawn, Inquisition, Septic Flesh, and headliners, Deicide, took The Webster in Hartford, CT by storm. It is not often that a tour package truly puts together from to opener to headliner a bill where every band brings out excitement in the audience. This tour, however, defied those odds and had every fan in attendance wanting more after the final note ended.

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First up is symphonic black metal three-piece, Carach Angren. Coming into this show, I had not heard a single peep about this band or what they were all about. Sure, some of you may think that is ignorant and I should listen to the band’s work first. I, however, love the element of surprise and this band surely had the upper hand on my ignorant ears. Most of the set was dedicated to the latest album, Where the Corpses Sink Forever, with half of the songs being from said album. Personally, my favorite track played, entitled ‘Bloodstains on the Captain’s Log’, is off of the previous album that is entirely about The Flying Dutchmen legend. Upon doing some research, I found that Carach Angren albums are all concept albums, each about a different folklore/legend. This band will certainly be making their way onto my iTunes library in no time.

 

12 Jacket (3mm Spine) [GDOB-30H3-007}

Another new band to me was up next on the bill, Abysmal Dawn. Awkwardly enough, I confused this band for Amberian Dawn which is a vastly different band. In my opinion, I think I made off a lot better with Abysmal over Amberian. I unfortunately do not have any of the song titles that played, but I am certain we got one song off the yet to be released album entitled Obsolescence (Relapse). If that song was just a taste of things to come, I will be sure to pick up the next release without a doubt. Abysmal Dawn rocked The Webster hard throughout the whole set with their aggressive yet groovy death metal which certainly left me wanting to hear more of what the LA foursome had to offer.

 

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The celestial black metal two piece known as Inquisition had the middle of the card to play (which I was extremely excited for as they have become one of my favorite black metal bands out today). I figured with a new album out last year and minimal North American tour exposure we would get a good chunk of new material and we did. The set opened up with ‘Force of the Floating Tomb’ (yes I chanted “raise the chalice” with Dagon) and saw other new favorites ‘Master of the Cosmological Black Cauldron’ as well as the closing song, ‘Infinite Interstellar Genocide’. The Hartford crowd also got older tracks such as ‘Those of the Night’, ‘Nefarious Dismal Orations’, and ‘Command of the Dark Crown’. Overall, Inquisition got to play 8 songs in total over a 40 minute span which actually seems like a lot, but of course I could really go for a headline tour at some point by the next album’s release. If you have not checked this band out yet, the new album, Obscure Verses for the Multiverse (Season of Mist), was one of the best albums to come out in 2013 and I highly recommend it.

 

Septicflesh Titan promotional photo

 

What better way to follow up the band that released my favorite album in 2013 then to have the next band playing be the creators of my favorite album of 2011! Septicflesh, who may be the greatest extreme metal band out there today, brought their A game as per expected with the creepy sounds of the Prague Philharmonic playing over the PA. I may have mentioned how good The Great Mass (Season of Mist/Prosthetic) was in 2011, but Septicflesh’s newest release that came out this year, Titan, is also a larger than life release from these Greek geniuses. Ironically, only two new songs made the cut for the set. Even so, the two choices were excellent choices with ‘Order of Dracul’ and ‘Burn’. Staple songs such as opener ‘Vampire From Nazareth’, ‘Communion’, and ‘A Great Mass of Death’ kept the fans head’s banging and bodies colliding in the pit. Typically, I have seen Septicflesh close their sets with ‘Five Pointed Star’. This time around, I actually got to see one of my favorite SF tracks as the closer, ‘Anubis’. I am happy to report that I sang along with the Sotiris vocal recordings over the PA while others just started at me like I had six heads.

To close out the night, The Webster attendees were greeted to a lengthy set list from the death metal icons themselves, Deicide. The set list contained a couple of select tracks from the newest release (‘Beyond Salvation’, ‘End the Wrath of God’, ‘Thou Begone’, and the title track, ‘In the Minds of Evil’). However, most of the remainder of the set list brought a ton of classic Deicide for fans ranging from as young as 17 to as old as 48! Some of the classics played were: ‘Once Upon the Cross’, ‘They Are the Children of the Underworld’, ‘Dead by Dawn’, ‘Dead but Dreaming’, ‘Trifixion’, and the set closer, ‘Kill the Christian’. The moment that I got the most excited (along with a lot of other fans around me) is when album track ‘Scars of the Crucifix’ was played. Something about that song live just brings out the crazy side in people which I absolutely loved. Front man/bassist Glenn Benton was in his usual form. He even got a good laugh out of the audience when he flicked a bass pick over to a fan, the fan missed it, and he exclaimed “Nice catch, Fuck Face!” Overall, this showing by Deicide was the best I have seen them yet and I am looking forward to the next time they come around.

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Even though I was coming right from my day job almost two hours away, had a hard time finding parking with no cash on hand, and was a little nervous for my interview with Christos from Septicflesh (coming soon) this journey was very much worth it! This was also my first show at The Webster in Hartford and I have to say I certainly enjoyed the venue. I will definitely be making a return to Connecticut for the next big tour that does not make it to Massachusetts for sure. For now, I am going to catch up on my Deicide and Inquisition while growing my music library with albums from Abysmal Dawn and Carach Angren.

Decide on Facebook

Septicflesh on Facebook

Inquisition on Facebook

Abysmal Dawn on Facebook

Carach Angren on Facebook

 

 

TIM LEDIN

The 11th Annual Rock And Shock Festival Returns To Kill This Weekend

 

rock and shock poster

 

The orgy of gore, music and horror and just great culture in general collide this weekend in Worcester, MA for the 11th Annual Rock And Shock Festival. The event is always the highlight of the fall concert and horror convention season and is once again using the Worcester Palladium and the DCU Arena and Convention Center as its home base.

The weekend of music kicks off Thursday night with fests pre-party night featuring the triumphant return of King Diamond. Our spies at the few few dates of the King’s first headline tour of America, complete with full stage production, has been just sick! Hand picked openers Jess And the Ancient Ones are sure to be a treat for unsuspecting American audiences.

 

Friday brings headliners Overkill (stepping in for Machine Head and their tour cancellation). The Kill is always prime live and it will be great to hear some new songs from White Devil Armory (eOne) added to the set of thrash classics. Backing them up is the one-off supergroup The Rocking Dead, hand picked by photographer Jeremy Saffer. Led by Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein, Alan Robert (Life of Agony), Virus (Dope), Ace Von Johnson (Faster Pussycat) and Kriz DK (Device, Dope) will play a set of covers of The Misfits sure to delight festive fans. Also on the Friday bill are Battlecross, Brick By Brick, Arsis, Jamey Jasta’s namesake solo band, Avatar, Zire’s War and a bunch of great locals.

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Saturday might be impossible to top with the GWAR Eternal Tour adding weight to the bill. And by weight we mean Blothar, the new co-frontman of GWAR, along with Vulvatron and the rest of scumdogs searching for their lost leader Oderus Urungus (RIP). Joining them will be a reactivated Life of Agony, fresh off of their recent sold-out comeback show in New Jersey last month. Other bands doing damage to your brains will be Palladium favorites like Unearth, Dying Fetus, Darkest Hour, Decapitated, and Carnifex all on the main stage. The small stage will be full of torturous mosh pits for Origin, Thy Will Be Done, American Shark, Tomorrow Will Fall, Conforza, and Swarm of Eyes.

Sunday has Juggalo protegees Twiztid and a bunch of similar acts if that is your thing. There is a also  very cool free entry for Armed Services veterans Sunday too! 

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The Horror Convention part of Rock and Shock is always a fun time for the entire family (yes, really) full of celebrities, tons of vendors, a Film Festival, guest panels and Q & A sessions, Tattooing, contests and many photo op sessions. In addition to the signings by movie icons, The Rocking Dead people will be doing signings and photos. Not only that but Jamey Jasta will have a booth sponsored by his Hatewear clothing company and will be joined doing a signing with Randy Blythe of Lamb of God, Mike D’Antonio of Killswitch Engage/Death Ray Vision and Skateboard legend/Actor/Black Flag front man Mike Vallely.

 

Get your tickets here

Rock And Shock on Facebook

Haters Gonna Hate – Scott Lee of Mass Concerts & NEMHF

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Once again it is time for the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival. The sixteenth edition of the fest looks to be a great group of the finest death metal, black metal, hardcore, grindcore, crust punk, thrash (although less of it this year), metalcore, tech death, prog and power metal like few weekend long events in America can match. Held at the Worcester Palladium on two stages, it’s always a fun time and a great place to discover new bands and meet your heroes. Among the headline acts this year are Behemoth, Iced Earth, Nile, All That Remains, Goatwhore, Nails, Whitechapel, Bleeding Through, Darkest Hour, Broken Hope, Carnifex, Unearth, 1349, Inquisition, Sam Black Church, and many more. We caught up with the festival co-founder Scott Lee to discuss the 2014 incarnation of the fest.

We jumped into our conversation touching on the history of the fest and some of the surprising names on the bill:

Sweet Sixteen! I think it’s pretty cool. I’m really excited about it! Thursday is going to be a regular door, so it’s going to feel like a regular show, just earlier doors. Doors are at five, so we just want to ease people into the madness! I’m really proud of this lineup with All That Remains, Emmure, the last east coast appearance of Bleeding Through, Gideon, Kublai Khan, and Oceano. Darkest Hour was just added. Broken Hope and Wilson were just added. It’s a bunch of cool bands. It’s kind of like you go out to drink: you have little base, and some snacks, and then you start chugging!”

I just try to put on the best festival I can. I try to make the fans happy. I try to make everybody happy, but you can’t please everybody. The haters are gonna hate, but probably about 50% of the haters are still going to come. It’s going to be great.”
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Scott took out the time to single out how proud he is to have Behemoth on this year’s lineup, as part of the inclusion of the Metal Alliance tour:

Behemoth is one of the best bands in extreme heavy music today. They are on a huge comeback. He (Adam “Nergal” Darski) beat leukemia and that is hard as shit! Back in the early days of the earth they would build monuments to to a guy like that and I think somebody should today. That band is incredible, and they are great people too. They tried to take him out and he said “Fuck no! I gonna keep making music.” That band is sick! I think people are just jealous of him because he is trying to make something of himself. Back the guy, you know what I mean? Just because his lyrics or beliefs are of some nature, people are still human. He’s not hurting anyone. He is not committing murder, he’s not committing hate crimes. He’s making a name for himself and he’s repping Poland hard man, so back the motherfucker!”

 

All though a lot of spring tours in the US now plan their routing around Metalfest weekend, Scott makes sure to stay true to his roots and book the second stage, dominated by hardcore bands, first.

I book that first. The second stage gets booked first and everything else comes into play afterwards. I look at other festivals like This Is Hardcore and other hardcore festivals and see what’s going on, and who is doing what. And by the way, did you see that This is Hardcore lineup? Oh my god! That is sick! I saw that and I hit up Joe Hardcore and sent a screen shot of the lineup and wrote “I quit!” (laughs) That is the best lineup I’ve ever seen in my life and I’ve been doing this for 22 years. But for our second stage we take the best of the best for hardcore, grindcore, that type of style. Nails, All Out War, Twitching Tongues, Ramallah, Reign Supreme, and you put them all on one show it’s gonna be sick! It’s gonna be a party.”

 

Having been long time supporters and attendees of the fest, we have seen the sponsors and partners list grow over time.

Tama and Ibanez are our big sponsors. Tama is actually going to give away the back-line drum-set to a lucky fan that buys a ticket. You buy a ticket for the fest, your name goes into a raffle to win the drum-set that has been played by all of these bands. It’s like a $5000 drum-set You could go home with this on Saturday! All from Tama.”

Since Scott, and the company he works for, Mass Concerts books major acts, we asked his opinion of the recent Mayhem Festival lineup announcement.

Mayhem fest is a different animal than we are. It’s a larger animal than we are. We are like a pitbull and they are like a fucking lion. That’s different. That’s the best analogy I can come up with. Looking at everything, their lineup has to put butts in the seats. That lineup has to get people out of the parking lot. Do I think that lineup sucks? No I don’t. I’m gonna to attend. You are not going to make everybody happy. Do I think it’s the strongest lineup ever? It’s a good lineup. I think it’s pretty cool personally. More people want to see death metal, and some people want to see Asking Alexandria, and some people want to see Killswitch Engage. You are not going to make everybody happy. But they are going to get thousands and thousands of people to go.”

nemhcf sxsw

The Fest also puts on a showcase at the annual South By Southwest (SXSW) music festival in Austin, TX as a way to bring up and coming bands to a great audience. The event this year was headlined by Veil of Maya and Comeback Kid. Scott gave us an account of the festival, including the harrowing car accident that happened: “I was literally four blocks away from that accident. And I was like “Fuck!” I have to say the Austin Police handled that awesomely, and the people of Austin, what I saw of them, were awesome. It was tragic and sad, but it doesn’t reflect on the festival. I hope it doesn’t leave a bad mark on the festival. I mean I live in Holyoke Massachusetts, and people do stupid shit here all the time. It’s just some fucking asshole who wants to be a rapper, go got in his car and killed people and hurt people. I hope it doesn’t put a black cloud over this. But the police did a great job. And the whole festival kept going strong. There were some memorial services and everything. As far as our showcase, it was there,m it was sold out and it was awesome. Dude, you know something? Where are you going to go where Lady Gaga gets pukes on someone, or gets puked on by someone? It was like a 12 foot burrito machine! It was great! awesome. House shows happen! I love house shows, they are great! I recommend everybody going to it.”

Get tickets to the fest here

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Keith (Keefy) Chahckes