Rock and Shock Festival Disbands

Sad news on the Festival and Convention front as the long-running Rock and Shock Festival in Worcester, Massachusetts has disbanded after 15 years. The announcement was made in a post to social media about the festival canceling all further festivals. The fest paired the best Horror convention and concert series in the USA and made use of both the famous Worcester Palladium venue and the convention center at the DCU Center up the block. Ghost Cult covered many Rock N Shock fests which featured incredible conventions, horror celebrities, amazing vendors , indie films,  headliners such as Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, Disturbed, Danzig (including a pre-reunion Misfits headline set with Doyle), ICP, Ministry, GWAR, King Diamond, Type O Negative, Lordi, Disturbed,  Mushroomhead, Voivod, Amorphis, Twiztid, Dark Tranquility, Hatebreed, Devildriver, Motionless In White, Death Grips, Superjoint, Wednesday 13, Sabaton, Prong, Witch Mountain, Sanctuary, Soilwork, OTEP, Shadows Fall, God Forbid, Cavalera, Conspiracy, Anthrax, Overkill, Misfits, and more! Continue reading

Rock And Shock 2015: at The Worcester Palladium

rock and shock 2016 first band announcement

Another year, another Rock and Shock Festival arrived on the scene to get us even more in the Halloween mood. A terrific lineup of iconic personalities, and amazing vendors at the DCU Center along with a strong lineup of music titans over at The Worcester Palladium made this a year to remember. I have been to eight of the eleven years of this great festival and it gets better and better every year. This was one of the years where the convention ran slightly ahead of the show for me in terms of love, but that is less about the bands and some the horror giants that were in attendance, among my favorites in the genre, ever.

Friday was marred slightly by the typically shitty I -90 traffic heading out to the venue, taking almost 2.5 hours to arrive from Boston. Not only did we miss a tight group of local bands, I missed some of the bands I really wanted to see like Brick By Brick and Shattered Sun. Getting there in time to catch some of Soilwork at least made up for it. Not only did they play some more recent tracks from The Ride Majestic (Nuclear Blast), they played the throwback classic cut ‘Bastard Chain’ which was amazing.

Sanctuary, by Meg Loyal Photography

Sanctuary, by Meg Loyal Photography

Following Soilwork it was time for some more old-school jams with Sanctuary and Soulfly. The reactivated power metal/thrashers Sanctuary were super tight and sounded great. Better than I expected or remember. Soulfly also put on a great show. Max Cavalera and crew played a lot of hits as well as Sepultura classics and even a little Nailbomb jam. Maybe about the best Soulfly set I’ve ever seen. Max is just really great at extolling the crowd to move: screaming, rapping, or playing some percussion instruments, the guy does it all.

Soulfly, by Meg Loyal Photography

Soulfly, by Meg Loyal Photography

As expected Hatebreed’s career spanning, 20th anniversary set was as great as could be. Jamey Jasta and his crew have boundless energy and played an almost two-hour set. Track after track of classic beat-down songs and deep cuts from every era of the band rained down from the speakers. Many times Jamey jumped into the barricade and had fans screaming along with him. It was epic feeling and people were just throwing down all over the venue. It was a pretty amazing time and Jamey made sure everyone new Hatebreed is coming back with a new album in 2016.

Getting up early on Saturday, we made sure to spend a lot of time at the convention at the DCU center and really get to see and do everything over there. There were many awesome vendors, specifically a lot of local businesses, which was great to see. There were also several dog rescues and pet adoption tables with people doing great work to find some puppies and kitties new homes in the middle of all this metal and horror greatness. While I was only able to get glimpse of George A. Romero, some of the movie personalities I got to chat with made up for it such as Doug Bradley (Hellrazor), William Sanderson, Bill Mosley, Traci Lords, and especially Stephen Macht and Michael Mackay from Monster Squad. Most of the band signings were happening here, with the longest line I saw being for Superjoint.

Saturday’s lineup was a little deeper and more eclectic than most years too. The second stage had an array of diverging styles represented by The Relapse Symphony, Byzantine, Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein with his solo band, and Eyes Set To Kill among others. The main stage was led off by doom masters Witch Mountain. New singer Kayla Dixon has a tall order to fill replacing the much adored Uta Plotkin, but Kayla has amazing pipes and stage presence. She does justice to all of Uta’s material, the other past material of the band, and definitely brings her own style to the table too. I am so looking forward to a new WM album with her at the mic.

For a bit of consistency, the next three bands had a common thread in Wednesday 13, New Year’s Day and The Rocking Dead, all bringing an old/new take on horror punk, glam rock and metal. Wednesday performed the best, NYD had the most fans in the house, and The Rocking Dead was beautiful wreck. Both the later two performed with The Rocking Dead, an all-star collection of talented folks playing all covers. It was exciting to see and hear Doyle and Taime Downe of Faster Pussycat jam out to some great songs, but the band hadn’t rehearsed at all and the sloppy performance was not amusing.

Prong, by Meg Loyal Photography

Prong, by Meg Loyal Photography

Prong was up next and were one of the best bands of the weekend. The band seems reinvigorated by some new blood in the band and performed a mix of old-school (‘Beg to Differ’, ‘Unconditional’) and new-ish (‘Revenge Best Served Cold’) tracks. Props to Tommy Victor for pulling double-duty this tour with Danzig. I’m waiting patiently on that new Prong album in early 2016 too.

Veil of Maya, by Meg Loyal Photography

Veil of Maya, by Meg Loyal Photography

After catching a little bit of Veil of Maya’s performance, we had to grab some provisions (beers and food) and do a final sweep of the band merch for the weekend. Then it was time for Superjoint to open up a total can of whup-ass on The Palladium. Easily the most brutal set and pits of the entire weekend by far. Between Phil Anselmo’s between song levity, the amped up playing it was a really fun time. With an excellent blend of hardcore, doom riffs and heaviness, the band was actually tighter and better than they were back in the day to me.

Superjoint, by Meg Loyal Photography

Superjoint, by Meg Loyal Photography

 

Superjoint, by Meg Loyal Photography

Superjoint, by Meg Loyal Photography

Finally the set changed over for Danzig. As always he had an impressive stage set up and props, with the ominous “Skull Horns” mascot emblazoned on everything. The backdrop and stage were definitely the best of the entire weekend in contrast to the other bands except for maybe Soulfly. The band came out strong with ‘Skin Carver’ and ‘Hammer of The Gods’. Glenn still has a mighty voice live after all these years. The good thing about being an enigmatic artist and not touring all the time is that people are not burned out on seeing you. Even the songs you have heard a million times on record sounded good live. Feeling every note and dramatic beat, the front man flung himself around the stage like a much younger man. While this challenged him to keep his breath and tone steady, he held up well. The set list was also pretty eclectic with three new cover songs from his new Skeletons album (Evilive/Nuclear Blast).

One thing that was a bummer was the much talked about photo policy. As everyone now knows, Danzig hates photographers; professional or otherwise. I saw at least 25 people kicked out of the show by security for taking pics or videos, and that number may have been 3-4 times that number from what I have been told. Although I admit this policy is extreme, Danzig has a point. Everybody put your phone down and watch the goddamn show! Plus there were signs everywhere and it wasn’t exactly a secret since security guys were warning people all night and stopping the from filming.

Overall Danzig’s set was pretty sweet, although some people I talked to after quibbled with the song choices. He did mix it up well with 15 tracks spread across 7 albums. And I might have chosen a different closer than ‘Brand New God’ from Danzig 4P (American), but no matter. If it’s the last time I ever see the guy live, it’s all good to me.

See you next year Rock and Shock!

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WORDS BY KEITH CHACHKES

PHOTOS BY MEG LOYAL PHOTOGRAPHY

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Festival Preview: Rock And Shock Festival 2015

rock and shock 2016 first band announcement

Once again it’s on at the annual Rock And Shock Festival at Worcester MA this weekend, October 16th, 17th and 18th. The amazing horror convention slash- music concerts is one of the best combo experiences and certainly one of the dominant concert events on the east coast yearly. Bands now route their tours just to align with the festival and this years biggies are Hatebreed, performing a special 20th anniversary show, Danzig’s Blackest of The Black Tour, and the We Sold Our Souls To Metal Tour featuring Soulfly and Soilwork. Ticket information can be found at this link:

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Many people come to Rock and Shock just for the horror convention element, one of the best organized and heavily attended of its kind. The collection of talent, vendors, and films premiering on display are enough to satisfy the most discerning gore-obsessed fan. While there is a big presence of major stars and mainstream film coverage, it is the chance to meet (or is it meat?) the biggest names in celluloid axeman-ship and scream queens galore that will keep you coming back. Luminaries of the bloody sliver screen such as Tobin Bell (Saw), industry legend George A. Romero, director Adam Green, Naomi Grossman (American Horror Story), Samantha Mathis (The Strain, American Psycho), William Sanderson (Blade Runner, True Blood), Bill Mosley (The Devil’s Rejects, Halloween) Derek Mears Friday The 13th) Doug Bradley (Hellraiser), and Traci Lords (Blade) are just the tip of the iceberg.  Many will be meeting fans, taking pictures and signing autographs most of the weekend. There are costume contests, tattooing, discounted entry for America’s Armed Forces servicemen and women and much more.

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Friday night is the a fore mentioned Hatebreed retrospective set. The Palladium is basically a hometown type show every time the band plays there, so expect chaos. Following right behind are Soulfly, Sanctuary, Soilwork, Decapitated, Shattered Sun, and Brick By Brick. They will be joined by a host of local bands on the Upstairs stage.

Saturday is the day of Danzig’s Blackest of the Black tour with Superjoint, Veil of Maya, Prong, Jeremy Saffer’s The Rocking Dead all-star jam (Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein–The Misfits/Doyle, Alex Story–Doyle/Cancerslug, Wednesday 13–Murderdolls, Kyle Castronovo–Wednesday 13, Ace Von Johnson–Faster Pussycat, Taime Downe–Faster Pussycat, Ash Costello–New Years Day, Nikki Misery–New Years Day, Mike D’Antonio–Killswitch Engage, Acey Slade–Joan Jett And The Blackhearts, and Bret Von Dehl–The Relapse Symphony), New Year’s Day, Wednesday 13, and Witch Mountain on the Main stage. Upstairs features Get Scared, Eyes Set To Kill, Doyle, Hatchet, Byzantine, and The Relapse Symphony.

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Sunday features horrorcore rappers such as Twiztid, Blaze, Boondox, Prozak, Wolf Pac, Scum, Kissing Candice and many more. There is also an after party performance too.

Staff Picks 2014: Bella Vendetta on King Diamond’s Return

King diamond fall us tour

 

All Hail the King

OR The best metal show I saw in 2014

OR

How King Diamond ruined My life by being so awesome.

I sat down with the intention of talking about all the highlights of the best metal shows I saw in 2014. But I want to be brutally honest here.

It all boils down to: KING DIAMOND

King Motherfucking Diamond.

 

As fans of King’s know the band inked a deal with Metal Blade records back in 2012, and since then all sorts of awesome new things have been going on. Reissues, boxsets, remastered tracks, new merch and all sorts of stuff that has Me excited. Now, I had never seen King Diamond before and have been a fan for so long, I was extremely excited to say the least. So excited I bought My ticket soon as they went on sale. And I only bought ONE because I didn’t know who I was going with and didn’t care if I went alone, but I was NOT missing the show.

The leg of the tour I got to see was the Worcester, MA show, a pre party for The Rock and Shock festival http://rockandshock.com/ at The Palladium, http://www.thepalladium.net/ which is one of My favorite grungy little venues in New England.

It was RIGHT before Halloween, cold and dreary the leaves had all fallen off of the trees. As I said it was the pre party for Rock and Shock so everybody was appropriately spooked out and ready for horror mayhem and metal!

King Diamond

What a wonderful way to kick off a horror convention. It was the most involved and spectacular stage setup King Diamond had EVER done. Incorporating horror aspects from many of his albums and songs. It was SO intense! The vocals were on point, the lighting and stage was almost overwhelming, I never knew where to look. Like the metal version of a three ring circus in the best way possible. Grandma was there in a coffin, for awhile the show was in a graveyard, huge red lit Baphomet floated over the stage. You really were in King Diamond’s world. The musical aspect alone would have it the best show of 2014 for Me, but with the added theatrics it might just make it the best show of all time.

This show was so good that I was almost sad while it was happening. Because I know that no other show will probably ever come close to being that good…ever, for the rest of My life. King Diamond ruined My life by being so good. It was the best show of 2014 for Me by a long shot.

I have no idea how 2015 is going to measure up!

King Diamond

King Diamond on Facebook

WORDS: BELLA VENDETTA
PHOTOS: HILLARIE JASON PHOTOGRAPHY

On The Road…. with Unearth

dh-unearth-web FINAL

Unearth is currently riding high with the recent release of their new album Watchers of Rule (eOne). The band recently wrapped up the “Hell or High Wattage” tour with Darkest Hour, Origin, Black Crown Initiate and I, The Breather. That tour stopped off last month at The Worcester Palladium for the 11th Annual Rock And Shock Festival, where Unearth played a headline worthy set on the main-stage, being that they are truly a hometown band from nearby Boston. Meg Loyal caught all the chaos with her camera lens and she brings us this photo set.

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unearth (18)

 

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Make sure to catch Unearth starting next week on the road with their labelmates Crowbar and once again, Black Crown Initiate.

 

Unearth on Facebook

PHOTO SET BY MEG LOYAL PHOTOGRAPHY

On The Road (Behind) …. with GWAR

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GWAR is on the road again for the GWAR Eternal tour, searching for their missing leader, Oderus Urungus, and steamrolling every venue, and every fan with madcap mayhem in the process. The band is out on their first tour since the passing of Dave Brockie earlier in the year and they last show of the current leg ends tonight in Seattle with Decapitated and American Shark. With Decapitated leaving and, the band is being joined by their fellow metal/punk brethren in Corrosion of Conformity for the next leg beginning on 11/15. The current stage show, which addresses the disappearance of Oderus, and features of who’s who’s of scumdogs, including new additions Blothar and Vulvatron, in a hilarious, wholly reprehensible and heartfelt way that Brockie would have loved. Meg Loyal caught GWAR in front her lens during their stop at this years’ Rock And Shock Festival in Worcester MA. Check out her photo set:

Gwar (15)

Gwar (26)

Gwar (49)

Gwar (7)

 

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GWAR on Facebook

 

MEG LOYAL PHOTOGRAPHY

 

Rock And Shock Part III: Live at The Worcester Palladium

rock and shock poster

Day 3 of Rock and Shock was underway by the time I arrived in Worcester. Rock and Shock, like all events at this venue is a big party type atmosphere. Especially when you run into all of your peers and scene regulars who make the shows here so fun. Some of my peeps were looking pretty rough from a few longs nights and days of metal and gore-tastic fun. I was feeling pretty fresh since I took it easy this year and only made it to day 3. As much as I am a fan of King Diamond and Overkill (a huge fan) I have seen The King before and the `Kill countless times, so I was good. This date of the fest has some amazing bands, but most notably The return of Life of Agony and GWAR‘s return to Worcester without Oderus Urungus (RIP Dave Brockie).

One of the downsides to the stacked bill on both the large downstairs stage and the smaller upstairs room was the over-lapping of band sets that took place. More about this in a bit. I showed up a little too late to see local stars in the making such as Conforza and Swarm of Eyes share the small stage along side of national touring bands such as American Shark and Thy Will Be Done. I caught some of their blistering set and I always wonder why these guys aren’t better known by now. I’m sure their new album is going to be killer. I also caught a little bit of Carnifex who is always solid and had a big showing of fans in the pit by the main stage.

Decapitated

Then came the consternation-having part of the day. Origin was to headline the small stage, which if you’ve ever experienced them live, you know how much fun they can be. However, playing at the exact same time was Origin’s Nuclear Blast label-mates Decapitated, fresh off the release of their amazing new album Blood Mantra. I went through all the stages of denial. How could this be allowed to happen? Two of my favorite bands competing for my attention. Them came the torn and angry stage. How the fuck did this happen? And the final stage, righteous indignation: this better never happen to me ever again!!! Seriously…. what the hell is my problem (a first world problem at that!). I tried to be pragmatic as ever, but there was no way to really see both bands. I watched the intro and the entire first song from Decapitated, which was face-melting fast! There was a huge crowd for them, but not too much of a pit for such a killer opening song as ‘Exiled in Flash’. As the second song started I turned on a dime and ran (or my approximation of running) upstairs to see Origin positively destroying the second stage. The tiny presentation just made them seem larger than life, awesome. On of the things that makes me crazy about Origin is how out of control technical they are, while looking like the barely break a sweat. One guy sweating was vocalist Jason Keyser who has really taken over and owned his spot on the mic. The pit action was non-stop and there were even some chubby vest wearing crowd surfers! Playing a mix of old and new tracks, the proved to be one of the best bands of the day, and can rival Dying Fetus as a live act any day. Towards the end of the set they had the fans do a river of death or a red sea of death or um, a chicken dance of death… I couldn’t tell. All I know is the entire floor of people bumrushed each other in a a cool new way I never saw before. Game. Set. Match. Origin.

With scant little time to spare I darted out of the building to hit the convention center briefly. I essentially did a victory lap in the venue and I have to echo the sentiment of my esteemed colleague Tim Ledin from his review, which is one must really earmark time to make sure to get over to this. It looked pretty amazing with horror movie stars meeting and mingling, tons of vendors, a horror movie film fest, live tattooing, and much more. My other motive for hitting the convention up was a brief but fun interview with Alan Robert of Life of Agony. Not so fun was the look of death stare Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein gave me as I interrupted, him, LOA’s Joey Z and Alan from talking to get my interview done. Thems the breaks when your a music journo folks! Sometimes you gotta risk a beatdown from a legend to get your story.

Finishing with Alan, I ran back in the venue to catch most of Darkest Hour’s set. With the newly shorn of his long locks, front man John Henry struck an even more imposing figure on the stage. DH is always a solid live band, if some days not spectacular. They never have a problem playing with any kind of bill and certainly brought out their heavy material playing between Decapitated and Dying Fetus. They definitely had their fans in the house, as they always do, but the rest of the crowd wasn’t feeling them as strongly as I have seen in the past.

 

Dying Fetus

Next was one of the highlight bands of the fest in Dying Fetus. I have spend many hours in the past espousing how brutal and tight the DF crew is live, so for a change of pace, I am going to just list some observations that I noted during their set.

Begin Observations:

No band has as many female moshers or crowdsurfers as them.

Trey Williams is perhaps tireless and flawless as a death metal drummer.

Even when Dying Fetus doesn’t play their “hit” songs, as a fan you are never left disappointed by what they did play.

I have never seen John Gallagher smile once. Ever.

Sean Beasley’s forearms look like giant butternut squashes, holding up a bass guitar.

There is almost no band except for Cannibal Corpse that is as good live in death metal.

End observations.

 

Unearth

Despite following that tough act in Fetus, Unearth came up like they owned the stage. The usual almost-hometown band schtick always works for them at The Palladium. This time was no exception. Their new material from their new album Watchers of Rule (eOne) was very solid and I think will surprise people with its throwback (hardcore metal, less metalcore) angle. At the same time, some of the fun Unearth has playing live seems to feel a little scripted to me these days. Maybe I have just seen this band too many times in the past. Could be. Still tuneful and entertaining.

 

Life of Agony

For me seeing Life of Agony again was always going to be emotional, as it always is. I was most looking forward to seeing this band, before the fest happened. I was blown away by how many LOA heads were in the house, especially since to me they are such a quintessential New York metal band, and Worcester is spitting distance to Boston. I told myself I wasn’t gonna cry, but exactly three notes into ‘River Runs Red’ and tears were rolling down my face. I couldn’t really help it. I know a lot of people feel like LOA is an unknown commodity these days, but even the toughest hardcore dude from back in the day dare not front on the sanctified, emotive lyrics of this killer band. They played great considering they only had one show recently, a sell-out, comeback-type affair in New Jersey in September. They also chose an immaculate set list full of gems. I definitely lost it a few more times, most notably during ‘Bad Seed’, ‘I Regret’, and ‘Lost At 22’. Anyone in attendance could vouch for the fact that Mina Caputo’s spot on performance was the individual, musical highlight of the day. Part fiery blues shamaness, part rocking chanteuse, part hardcore hellion all grown up: she gave a chilling and inspiring display. Fans who are going to catch this act live in a few months time in Europe, I am jealous of you all.

GWAR

Last and not least, it was go time for GWAR. With many Bohabs traveling far and wide (and local) to see one of the first shows minus the late great Dave Brockie, there was a lot of pre-fest talk if they should be touring at all without the visage of Oderus Urungus in tow. People asked me if I thought they have the right to go on. I say, yes, yes they do! For a full 20 minutes before the band took the stage, the crowd loudly chanted for the band and Oderus. Fans were already moshing and surfing with no band on the stage! Finally a sampling of ‘War Pigs’ over the PA got people a little under control. The reaction of the crowd was succinct: GWAR was back, and the death of its front man wasn’t going to stop people from wanting to get fake blood and jizz on them.

GWAR

And they backed it up with an amazing show! Starting with the premise of a missing Oderus (and an appearance I was not ready for, of Oderus performing from outer-space via video) the entire troupe of scumdogs running through an intricate story of missing their leader, coping without him, everyone vying temporarily for his spot in the band, and finally, accepting his death. It was heavy, but I could not stop laughing or smiling until the end. Oddly enough the entire band seemed a lot more animated and mobile on stage with out the big guy there. New additions Blothar and Vulvatron were fine and it was killer to see Gor Gor too.

GWAR

The end of the set, where they acknowledged his death was one of the deepest things I have ever seen in metal. They had a moment of silence for Brockie/Oderus and brought his sword on stage, with everyone taking a knee and bowing. Tears were flowing, including the band members who broke character for a few minutes of painful realism. With the singing of ‘The Road Behind’ nearly everyone in the venue was welling up and losing it. It was tough, but good a group to share this experience. Then after another brief silence the band celebrated their “breakthrough” of acceptance by playing their new cover song ‘West End Girls’ and calling it a night. It was a draining, but satisfying way to send out the show and night. Yes, it is not the same old GWAR and I hope in time they can go back to a more traditional type of show. At the same time, how many bands had to deal with this kind of loss and have done so well with it? The moral of the story is GWAR rules and even death can’t stop them.

Day I Review

Day II Review

The Rock and Shock Festival on Facebook

 

WORDS: KEITH (KEEFY CHACHKES)

PHOTOS: HILLARIE JASON PHOTOGRAPHY

Rock And Shock Part II: Live at The Palladium, Worcester MA

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Day 1 of Rock and Shock 2014 had many doubters after Machine Head had canceled their tour which was to make their stop in Worcester, Massachusetts on this day. Children of Bodom and Epica were on this tour but were not able to make it out after the tour was canceled. Having said that, we were still offered a great day with Overkill taking over the headlining spot, Doyle from The Misfits and his “Rocking Dead” band playing a one off show filled with Misfits covers, as well as Battlecross who even after the MH tour was caput, still found a way to play for us. There were also a great list of opening acts before the day officially started with Swedish group, Avatar, and a sweet dose of technical death metal from Arsis. I wish I had more time to catch the local openers, but unfortunately the convention down the street at the DCU center sucked up a lot of time (fortunately not money).

In the small stage upstairs, the freak show look-a-likes in Avatar brought their unique personality and stage presence to a larger than expected crowd. Lead man, Johannes Eckerström, truly set the mood with his odd on stage antics including swinging his cane around and drinking straight from a gasoline container (please note: I am positive that he was not actually drinking gasoline). Fan favorites seemed to be ‘Let It Burn’ and ‘Smells like a Freakshow.’ This having been my first time seeing Avatar live, I am looking forward to my next experience. Possibly a headlining show with a bigger stage show perhaps?

Arsis

Moving downstairs after a quick bite to eat, I put myself right on the barricade for tech death stars, Arsis. Lead guitarist and vocalist, James Malone, was on fire as per the usual. This was also my first time finally seeing Arsis (very delayed I know) so most of my time was spent staring in amazement at the fancy fretwork being displayed in front of me. However, crowd favorite ‘We Are the Nightmare’ hit towards the end of the set and that got my head banging the hardest it had all day. As if that wasn’t enough, we also got a cover song, ‘Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)’ by W.A.S.P. which certainly got the fans engaged with Arsis. I am certainly looking forward to seeing these Virginia Beach natives again with a longer set time of course.

Battlescross

Easily my favorite band to come out in the last 5 or so years hit the stage next, Battlecross. Unfortunate for this Michigan five piece not having their tour with Machine Head to go on, they made sure that they could still make it to R&S. The Worcester audience was treated to two songs off the previous album (‘Push Pull Destroy’ and ‘Kaleb’) while getting a steady dose of the latest material as well (‘Ghost Alive’, ‘Never Coming Back’, ‘My Vaccine’, ‘Beast, Flesh & Bone’). To close out the set, Battlecross made sure to go out with a bang with their cover of arguably Slayer’s greatest song, ‘War Ensemble.’ The pit grew into hysterics and ended the set chanting Battlecross. Before the band took their leave, lead singer Kyle Gunther (aka Gumby), reminded the Worcester crowd that they will return for a headlining show in December on a tour with the likes of Wretched. Also, Gumby may have spit out some news as he confirmed that after this late 2014 tour ends, the boys will be heading back into the studio to write their third album to follow up War of Will (Metal Blade).

The Rocking Dead

Next up was Doyle of The Misfits with the “Rocking Dead” band behind him, playing Misfits tunes. The rest of the Rocking Dead consisted of Wednesday 13 (Murderdolls), Ace Von Johnson (Faster Pussycat), Kriz DK (Deadstar Assembly, Genitorturers), Alan Robert (Life of Agony) and Virus (Device, Dope, Lords of Acid) for this one time live show. Unfortunately I never got into the Misfits outside of a handful of tracks so I couldn’t be certain as to which songs they actually played. I did recognize singles such as ‘Last Caress’ and ‘Die, Die My Darling’ which got me to sing the vocals triumphantly. At one point in the set, Lamb of God vocalist, Randy Blythe, took the microphone for a song that he stated “is about being locked up in an international prison” which certainly is a statement in and of itself. Overall it was cool to know I was one of only a few people who actually saw this one time only performance.

 

Overkill

Closing out Day 1 of Rock and Shock was thrash legends, Overkill. Having just released their newest album, White Devil Armory (eOne), I expected a heavy selection of new material. To my surprise, there were 3 selections off of the new album (‘Armorist’, ‘Pig’, ‘Bitter Pill’) and at least one selection off of 8 other previous albums! Fans of all ages enjoyed classics such as ‘Wrecking Crew’, ‘Hello From the Gutter’, ‘End of the Line’, and ‘Rotten to the Core’, while also digging newer tracks such as ‘Electric Rattlesnake’ and ‘Ironbound’. The in between songs banter from front man Bobby Blitz was at its best as per the usual, calling out Boston sports fans due to his love of all things New York and the rivalry between the cities. Bobby was also very active on stage running around like it was still 1986 which is always a delight to see as there is no one else like Mr. Blitz. Closing out the show saw typical closers with ‘Elimination’ and their ever popular Subhumans cover, properly titled ‘Fuck You!’, bring the audience at the Palladium to the climax of their day.

Having been to a few of these convention/festival weekends now over the past few years, I still cannot seem to get all the timing down to ensure I get to all of the bands and cover the convention. Having said that, I am glad I got to see the bands involved on this day of Rock and Shock. Overkill and Battlecross continue to put on some of the most energetic live shows today, I got to see Arsis and Avatar for the first times, and I was also lucky to catch the one time only show of The Rocking Dead super group. Even with Machine Head deciding to kick their tour to the curb, I firmly believe that this day worked out for the better anyways and it will be hard for future R&S band day lineups to beat this one.

Rock And Shock on Facebook

Overkill on Facebook

 

WORDS: TIM LEDIN

PHOTOS: HILLARIE JASON PHOTOGRAPHY

King Diamond Announces Headline Tour This Fall

 

King diamond fall us tour

 

Metal legend King Diamond has announced his comeback headline tour of the USA, this fall. The full US tour, with full production promises to be the proper King Diamond live presentation fans stateside have been clamoring for. Joining him will be longtime band members Andy LaRocque, Mike Wead, Hal Patino, and Matt Thompson, making this a must see tour.

 

For the uninitiated (or just the un-metal) King Diamond was a legend before he ever went solo, leaving Mercyful Fate in 1985. Building on Don’t Break the Oath’s success, King has put out countless amazing albums, especially his first four: Fatal Portrait, Abigail, Them and Conspiracy; which still hold up well today despite being 25-30 years old.

 

 

Abigail_(King_Diamond_album)

 

King Diamond is an inspiration musically and aesthetically for two generations of metal bands, as well as being a pop culture figure as well (Clerks II, Dethklok). Best by injury and illness, save for an occasional festival appearance, this is the first full-scale tour KD has done in nearly a decade. Surely this announcement will stoke the fires for his long in the works new album, and eventually a Mercyful Fate reunion tour in the future.

 

The pre-sale started today here and the full sale is this Friday, 6/27. The tour includes stops at the annual Rock & Shock Festival and the Fun Fun Fun Fest.

KING DIAMOND North American Tour 2014:
10/11/2014 Center Stage – Atlanta, GA
10/13/2014 The Fillmore – Silver Spring, MD
10/14/2014 Best Buy Theatre – New York, NY
10/16/2014 The Palladium – Worcester, MA (as part of Rock & Shock)
10/17/2014 Olympia – Montreal, QC
10/18/2014 The Sound Academy – Toronto, ON
10/19/2014 Stage AE – Pittsburgh, PA
10/21/2014 The Vic Theatre – Chicago, IL
10/22/2014 The Pageant – St. Louis, MO
10/24/2014 Paramount Theatre – Denver, CO
10/26/2014 The Complex – Salt Lake City, UT
10/28/2014 The Moose Theatre – Seattle, WA
10/30/2014 The Warfield – San Francisco, CA
10/31/2014 The Wiltern – Los Angeles, CA
11/01/2014 House Of Blues – Las Vegas, NV
11/03/2014 Rialto Theatre – Tucson, AZ
11/05/2014 House Of Blues – Houston, TX
11/06/2014 House Of Blues – Dallas, TX

Fun Fun Fun Fest
11/08/2014 Auditorium Shores – Austin, TX

 

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