Slash Ft. Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators Call For Fans In L.A. For Their New Video


Slash ft. Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators will film a new music video next week in Los Angeles, to be shot on October 16 At The Palladium. To be in the video, follow the instructions to apply, download the free Cinebody App, and enter the code below. Slash is on tour in the US currently and will appear at Aftershock Festival this weekend in Sacramento. Their new album Living The Dream is out now via Snakebite Records/Roadrunner.

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Opeth – In Flames – Red Fang: Live at The Palladium, Worcester MA


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It was fitting for me that my last real show of a busy, stressful 2014 was the OpethIn Flames co-headline tour. Although both bands are now products of an older generations’ music scene, both bands still have some swerve in their steps and in the case of Opeth, they had one of the best albums of the last year. know a lot of my peers and friends were at Pig Destroyer on this night in Boston proper. Much internet squabbling was made over the preceding months about what fanbase was wasting their money on this night, by missing the other band. Plus, I had my special lady with me on this night, also an old-school fan, so date night in Woostah it was!

 

Seeing Red Fang in the opening slot shouldn’t be that big of a surprise. We get it wrong consistently in America; where we want all the bands to be the same style on every bill. I for one felt it was refreshing to have these rising stars in their own right on this tour. They also have a lot of fans in common based on the reception they got, playing a brief set of their best known material. Red Fang also leans a tad towards prog at times too, so I could totally see them come out of the blocks with their next album being an out and out Mastodon/Baroness/70s prog worship. They can pull it off too. Trust.

 

Morphing into a band with almost three distinctly different eras of a back catalogs at this rate, In Flames had a mostly excited crowd on their hands to see a set of their recent hits and singles. Although the pits were kind of weak looking, most people sang a long with newer material, showing that the fans that pay still count (record buyers, concert goers) more than haters . While older fans in the room sighed collectively at the fact that ‘Cloud Connected’ and ‘Trigger’ came back to back tonight, a signifier in the timeline when this bands’ sound changed forever, there were set high points. Maybe five percent of the crowd even acknowledged ‘Only For The Weak’ from Clayman. The band does what they want to clearly, oblivious to trends or angry fanboy wishes. Still, the band put on a fine show.

 

Finally it was time for Opeth. Considering the shared lighting rig, the change-over tonight seemed a bit overlong, but when they finally came on, it was all good. No real surprises in terms of performance, just flawless prog rock majesty. The audience seemed really keyed into Mikael Åkerfeldt tonight, they screamed with delight at him every time he took a solo or led a passage. Each member of the band really displayed their musical command in these longer-form pieces, and makes them more than just a front man with a vision and some other dudes, like many acts.

 

Even if modern Opeth albums have fallen out of favor with their original fanbase, when they started playing a track like ‘The Moor’ from Still Life the entire building shook with elation. It was a gem and make no mistake, Mikael can still growl amazingly, whenever he wants to. Other set list highlights were ‘The Drapery Falls’, the sublime and depressive ‘Windowpane’, and a brilliant version of ‘Deliverance’. When they jam that long ending start/stop riff at the end of a show, it is one of the best moments you could ever experience in rock or metal. The band had a five-minute standing ovation after they left the stage, but there was no encore on this night.

Opeth Set List:

Eternal Rains Will Come

Cusp of Eternity

The Drapery Falls

The Moor

Windowpane

The Lotus Eater

Deliverance

WORDS: KEITH CHACHKES

PHOTOS: HILLARIE JASON PHOTOGRAPHY


Motionless In White Added As Sunday Headliner For New England Metal and Hardcore Festival XVII


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New England Metal And Hardcore Festival has announced Motionless In White as the Sunday headliner to the seventeenth edition of the fest. The event is held at The Palladium in Worcester, MA on April 17, 18 and 19, 2015.

Vocalist Chris Cerulli states, “One of my favorite DVD’s in my collection has always been the 2003 New England Metal and Hardcore Fest DVD. Back then the metal and hardcore world was so stacked with a seemingly endless roster of legendary bands. Needless to say, it’s an incredibly huge honor to be headlining a day on this festival twelve years later after the first time I saw that DVD and after all these years how the fest has proven itself to be an unstoppable force. We hope to add in making this another successful year representing metal and hardcore in New England.”

UPDATED LINEUP FOR NEMHF 2015

Friday April 17th –
BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME
OVERCAST
THE BANNER
BLACK MASK
HOMEWRECKER
DOWNPOUR
NO ZODIAC

Saturday April 18th –
TESTAMENT headliner
EXODUS
NUCLEAR ASSAULT (Final New England Appearance)
NAILS
INDECISON
INCENDIARY
WISDOM IN CHAINS

Sunday April 19th –
MOTIONLESS IN WHITE
FOR TODAY
THE COLOR MORALE
MY TICKET HOME


Slayer – Suicidal Tendencies – Exodus: Live at The Palladium, Worcester, MA


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New Englanders are no strangers to low temperatures and the ever growing line of people hiding from the cold winds beside The Palladium in late November to be among the first inside showed a strong resolve. It could have also have just been plain, old idiocy but you do a lot of stupid things for people (i.e. bands) that you love. I was one of said idiots.

Exodus

First to take the stage were Exodus, fronted by Steve Zetro Sousa once again. This was only my second time seeing the band, the first was while Rob Dukes was still an active member, but they continue to put on a fantastic show for their fans. The crowd belted out the words to newer songs like ‘Blacklist’ as well as tracks like ‘Toxic Waltz,’ an Exodus classic. However, nothing ever seems to hit people quite like ‘Bonded by Blood’ does and the floor always becomes a mass of writhing bodies. Everyone knows and loves that song. Your mom loves that song. Despite line up changes, the machine that is Exodus is still going strong. Can we just take a second to talk about Gary Holt? The man has been doing this since well before I was even born and he’s just as psyched to be out on that stage as ever. He’s like a puppy made of thrash.

Suicidal Tendancies

A band that didn’t quite seem to fit the thrash themed lineup came on next; Suicidal Tendencies. I had never seen them before and I wasn’t sure what to expect since I wasn’t overly familiar with their material but I quickly learned that Mike Muir has far more rhythm than I do. We were treated to a few of my personal favorites in ‘Subliminal’ and ‘War Inside My Head’. As expected, ST performed ‘I Saw Your Mommy’ and the crowd absolutely ate it up. Michael Morgan’s bass playing was a nice surprise as well and I found myself grinning, like an idiot, to a fellow bass loving girlfriend of mine more than once. He was more than adequate in place of the recently passed away Tim “Rawbiz” Williams (RIP). I would definitely love to see them again. Uncle Mike stopped a few times in between songs to give us some life advice that can only come from someone who’s made it out to the other side in (mostly) one piece. It was a very positive experience. If you haven’t caught Suicidal yet, get out there. You’ll have a great time.

Slayer

Last, but not least, came Slayer which saw Holt back in front of the crowd for the second time that evening. The venue was smaller than the arena that they had played in last year, the prices were more reasonable, and fans came out in droves to show their support. Their set opened with ‘World Painted Blood’ and lead into a roughly two hour long performance. I got my favorite song in with ‘Dead Skin Mask’ which always just makes me want to hug the person next to me and tell them how much I love them. Just go with it. Other notable songs included ‘War Ensemble,’ ‘Seasons in the Abyss,’ ‘Disciple,’ and another feel-good favorite of mine, ‘South of Heaven’. The crowd had been moshing all night but ‘Raining Blood’ filled everyone with second, more aggressive, wind as they tore into one another again and again. Much like last year, ‘Angel of Death’ was dedicated to the fallen Jeff Hanneman. There’s been a lot of talk since Jeff’s passing and Dave Lombardo’s departure from the band but they are still worth seeing.

Slayer

I don’t think anyone walked out of The Palladiumthat night and was dissatisfied with how they had spent their evening. Exodus and Suicidal Tendencies are still going strong and putting on great performances. While Slayer may not be the vicious, wild animal that it was in years past they’re still more than capable of putting on one hell of a show and this perseverance is what keeps them relevant and keeps us coming back for more.

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Slayer on Facebook

Suicidal Tendencies on Facebook

Exodus on Facebook

WORDS: ALEIDA LA LLAVE

PHOTOS: HILLARIE JASON PHOTOGRAPHY


New England Metal and Hardcore Festival Announces Dates


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The New England Metal & Hardcore Festival will be returning for its seventeenth edition on April 17, 18 and 19, 2015 at The Palladium in Worcester, MA. Band announcements and tickets will be on sale on December 8, 2014.

New England Metal and Hardcore Festival on TWITTER
New England Metal and Hardcore Festival on FACEBOOK
New England Metal and Hardcore Festival on INSTAGRAM


Rock And Shock Part III: Live at The Worcester Palladium


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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’sJoey 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


Summer Slaughter 2014- Live at The Palladium, Worcester MA


 

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Sometimes dreams do come true, and sometimes not so much. As much as I have been a supporter of Summer slaughter in all its incarnations, it has been some time since it really lived up to the billing of “The Most Brutal Tour of The Summer”. I even heard a NASCAR or WWE wrestling announcer’s voice in my head as I typed those words. Still, it’s the true to say that this tour has been lacking in the brutality department for a while and even though I rather enjoy prog and djent bands, and the “whateverthehellyoucallit” style of bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan, something was lacking the last few summers. It was death metal and balls to be blunt. Well this year the tour got all its balls back and then some with an amazing lineup stacked pretty much top to bottom. A death metal fans dream to be sure.

 

Of course my life has a way of clusterfucking my plans over sometimes and so on the big day of the show I got waylaid by a bunch of BS things all happening at once. I ended missing a good half of the bands I wanted to see most, which had me in sick to my stomach to be honest. I hate missing any bands, let alone some amazing locals and bands I admire like Fallujah, Decrepit Birth, and Origin but that’s what happened. I showed up in time to see Goatwhore and heard a bit of their set before I had to run and interview Alex from Fallujah. He was so cool, that it almost made up for the BS I went through.

The first full band performance I saw was Thy Art is Murder and these guys are always excellent live. I actually enjoy them in concert, even more on record. Perhaps it’s because I think their explosive live act hasn’t fully translated to a recording for me yet. Nonetheless, they destroyed the stage, the pit was insane and the crowd of moshing hooligans were feeling it. I know some people griped about TAIM being higher on the bill than Origin, but believe me, they deserve the props they are getting.

 

The Faceless was up next and I have covered them a lot in my career. At one point it seemed like they were going to be a hybrid of Cynic and Meshuggah and be a legendary band. At times, they actually are. They were cursed by really setting the template for all the “Sumerian” bands to follow them on that label and others, similar to Unearth with metalcore. Still, on this warm August night, The Faceless reminded everyone in the room just how much ass they can kick when they want to. Playing a predominantly old-school set (for them) mainly from the Akeldama and Planetary Duality albums, they just crushed it. Geoffrey Ficco long ago came into his own as the front man of this band, but he left no doubt about his mastery of brutal vocals, his domineering stage presence, and his great sense of humor. Michael Keene as usual played great. He could smile a little less, but I guess he is allowed to feel smug based on what he created here.

 

Even after the last notes of ‘Zenochrist’ rung out from The Faceless, it was all about Dying Fetus. Fetus is as close to a religious experience as it gets for tech death. They are flawless live and possibly the best band in all of metal in concert. The reason being is they insane virtuosity coupled with their extreme style is just a perfect match for many fans of the genre. They were flawless on this night, true masters of the sick tempos and heavy grooves. They played a short (always too fucking short for me) set list of deep cuts and classic tracks. John Gallagher’s growl is only matched by his unrelenting guitar style. I can’t really believe I have only seen them headline one time ever, but it’s true. ‘One Shot, One Kill’, ‘Intentional Manslaughter’, ‘Justifiable Homicide’ were all mind-blowing! Trey Williams is almost underrated when you start listing the best drummers in death metal. He certainly is never mentioned by most within the first few names, but he should be. He is one of the few drummers in all of metal that can still play super fast double-bass, but still hit for power when he wants to. ‘Praise The Lord (Opium of the Masses)’ was a fitting closer, despite not getting to play ‘Kill Your Mother, Rape Your Dog’ (again). If I ruled the world, DF would be contractually bound to play that song every single show. And at my house on my birthday!

At last it was time for Morbid Angel to take the stage. I was impressed at how fast and pro their crew was getting set up with nary an extra soundcheck to be done or needed. The band came out to some fitting intro music before lighting up the stage with ‘Immortal Rites’. The band was on-point and note for note perfect. I know David Vincent and crew have had their well-documented missteps, but the band was fierce and played like they had something to prove. Actually they do, and that is they still deserve to be mentioned among the greatest death metal bands/legacy acts around. The set list choices were phenomenal. I think a lot of people forget how many killer songs and albums this band has produced. ‘Fall from Grace’, ‘Day of Suffering’, ‘Maze of Torment’, ‘Curse the Flesh’ and so many more were so good to hear! Trey Azagothoth is still an insane level guitar player and performer. I wish I was able to see more than his elbow, since he hung to his side of the stage mainly. The only guy I was less than impressed with was Tim Yeung (Divine Heresy, World Under Blood). Don’t get me wrong, Timmy can play his ass off. I’d just rather him skip the Tommy Lee worshiping drum stick twirling, and pointing crap. Dude, that shit is lame and you are not getting laid because of it.

Meanwhile, everything on this end of the night set sprang from the presence of David Vincent. Ring leader, demon master, king; he was not to be denied as he curated the set bit by bit. He kept his comments entertaining, but thankfully short. The guy is brilliant and was great at motivating the crowd to keep their energy up after a long day and night. As tonight’s performance indicates, the band is far from over, certainly can still deliver live, and are not to be trifled with!

 

Until next year Summer Slaughter

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Morbid Angel Set List:

 

Immortal Rites
Fall from Grace
Day of Suffering
Rapture
Maze of Torment
Vengeance Is Mine
Ageless, I Still Am
Curse the Flesh
Existo Vulgore
Where the Slime Live
Blood on My Hands
Bil Ur-Sag
Word of Shit (The Promised Land)
God of Emptiness

 

Summer Slaughter on Facebook

 

WORDS BY KEITH CHACHKES

PHOTOS BY HILLARIE JASON PHOTOGRAPHY

 

 

 


Mastodon – Gojira – Kvelertak: Live at The Palladium Worcester MA


Mastodon-Gojira-Kvelertak-tour-2014

 

There is nothing like a dismal, cold, rainy spring night to put you in the mood for some progressive metal. Of course the atmospheric conditions screwed up traffic royally (and it might have also been the NHL playoffs in Boston at the time), and that wrecked many a commute out to Worcester, MA for this epic show. Usually I am out to the venue early to see people and chat with bands, but on this night it was a struggle for me and my girlfriend to get to the venue on time. By the time we got there there was an unprecedented double line around the venue, waiting in the rain, just for will-call. This caused hundreds of people waiting to get in to miss Kvelertak and the start of Gojira. What a bummer for us. Weather permitting or not, I’ll be early next time a show of this stature comes to town, since this was a near sell out. Never again.

 

 

So we go into the venue in time to hear Gojira’s second song ‘The Heaviest Matter of The Universe’, and it was killer. Gojira is a brilliant band and the place was absolutely enthralled with them. Commanding the crowd from center stage, Joe Duplantier was the absolute master of the moment on this night. The audience hung on his every word and movement, and this was best crowd I have ever seen for this band. The mosh pit looked brutal and everyone in the room was singing along to songs like ‘Backbone’, and ‘Flying Whales’. Joe’s brother Mario is just godly on the drums and the band was tight as can be in the short, but amazing set. Closing with ‘Oroborus’, Gojira reminded all in attendance that they are an upper-echelon modern metal band: harsh enough to satisfy the most stringent fan of brutal bands, but tuneful and progressive enough to earn respect. Gojira is a band that as Slayer found out recently, is nearly impossible to follow for even the greatest of bands.

 

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The change over for Mastodon seemed to take forever, which was disappointing considering how sparse the stage set ups were. Still the show started early, and Mastodon hit the stage by 9:30. When the lights came up a roar let out, that signified that despite some unpopular (or popular depending on your tastes) turns in their career, a lot of people are still down for Mastodon. I was a little surprised the crowd filled in even more and had not thinned at all after Gojira. Meanwhile, Mastodon opened with the cool choice of ‘Hearts Alive’ which is not only a fine way to start the show, it added throwback feeling to the night. Crafting a slick set list of recent hits and old favorites, the band rocked all night long like the seasoned veterans they are. Usually as Brent Hinds goes, so goes the band. Tonight he was lazer-focused and brilliant, and the band followed suit. This made this one of the top times I have ever seen the band.

 

The band usually doesn’t waste time talking to the crowd until the end of the night. Basically they ran the through the set in a professional manner, mixing better known songs like ‘Crystal Skull’ with deep cuts like ‘Siberian Divide’ and ‘Naked Burn’. Some nights the bands’ ambitious writing causes the band to struggle to replicate the sound of their albums, but on this night everyone sounded strong as could be. Since they past the mid-way point in the tour, but Troy Sanders sounded especially great tonight, especially on his upper-register lines. Although a lot of fans were concerned with the set list ahead of the show, I thought this was one of the better set lists I have heard in the dozen plus times I have seen this band. Not only was there less reliance on the material from The Hunter (Warner Bros), for the first time ever, I felt that even without their best known songs such as ‘Iron Tusk’ and ‘March of The Fire Ants’, they were able to put on a satisfying, highly entertaining show. Bring on the new album and more tours, please!

 

 

Mastodon Set List:

 

Hearts Alive

Divinations

Crusher Destroyer

Capillarian Crest

Black Tongue

Bladecatcher

Crystal Skull

Siberian Divide

Naked Burn

Megalodon

Oblivion

Blasteroid

Chimes at Midnight

High Road

Bedazzled Fingernails

Aqua Dementia

The Sparrow

 

 

Mastodon on Facebook

Gojira on Facebook

Kvelertak on Facebook

 

 

KEITH CHAHCHKES