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Lamb of God, Anthrax, Power Trip Roared While Deafheaven Snored

Photo of Lamb of God

Band Photo: Lamb of God (?)

Richmond, Virginia’s Lamb of God is one of the hardest working, best bands in metal. When I first caught the group open for Gwar on the “New American Gospel” sixteen years ago, I knew this band was destined for greatness. They were like a combination of Meshuggah and Pantera. I saw them as the next Pantera. Today, they really are continuing the tradition set down by Pantera and their rough grooves. Randy Blythe has a monstrous voice that, after tonight’s show, doesn’t seem to be losing any power.

In 2009, Lamb of God once again toured with Gwar. Even though this was a co-headliner tour, Gwar played before Lamb of God. Also this is not their first rodeo with Anthrax. Anthrax brought LOG on the road with them in 2001 . The wheel went full circle with the current tour with Anthrax. LOG toured with Anthrax early in their career as a support act. Now Anthrax supports them.

LOG has always brought a great package with them. I caught them in ‘2004 when they toured with Children of Bodom and headliner, Fear Factory. The best package, though, was opening for Cannibal Corpse, Dimmu Borgir and The Haunted. Of course, tonight’s package was nothing to complain about, other than Deafheaven. This was one of the most thrashing tours LOG has partaken in. Warming up the band were Big 4 thrashers, Anthrax (should have headlined) with a great, young thrash band, Dallas thrashers Power Trip.

While Power Trip’s vocalist stuck his microphone stand high in the air and ran around the stage to some vicious speed picking, Deafheaven stood around playing soft melodies. When the group was fast, they were something to contend with and played well into the ears of the LOG/Anthrax fans, but then they would slow down or opt for an alternative section, most of the crowd sang the zzzzzzs.

Anthrax was a great follow up. They were a bundle of energy. Scott Ian did his patent stomp while Joey Belladonna ran around the stage, often taking a giant leap in mid stride. The band that put New York on the map for thrash metal were in fine form, energetic and together. Drummer Charlie Benante screwed up during the “war dance” section of “Indians,” but that was jokingly played off and then the crowd went ape shit when the most parts came.

Their set was a mix of forthcoming material from “For All Kings,” “Worship Music” and classics like “Caught in a Mosh,” “Anti-Social” and “Indians.” The seven-minute tribute to Dimebag and Dio, “In The End” was one of the highlights of their set and surely a favorite in Pantera country. The song seemed more in step with Dio, especially Joey’s voice, but there were some definite odes to Dime in the guitar solos. I stepped out of the photo pit and was accosted Allan Price and Scott Sevall who admitted how inspiring Anthrax was on Deadhorse. Allan even showed me a “Spreading The Disease” album he had just bought from a merch table.

Lamb of God put on a greater production from the last time I saw them in 2009. They had awesome projectors that constantly fed the crowd images of the topics Randy Blythe screams his head off to. There was everything from album covers such as “Sacrament” to sky scrapers no longer blocking the sky to the ravages of war. In addition to being a powerful vocalist, Blythe understands the power of image as he is a great photographer in his own right.

The Adler brothers (Chris Adler-drums and Willie Adler on guitar) were spot on, as one would expect from brothers who have been jamming together for so long. At the center, the meat and potatoes of Lamb of God, was Randy Blythe whose vocals are in no hurry to leave him. His screams were enormous as was the pain he felt in his songs. He’s definitely one of the hardest vocalists to emulate in metal. The band blazed through songs from throughout their catalog, but I was most drawn to songs from their first three albums such as “Ruin,” “Now You’ve Got Something to Die For” and “Laid to Rest,” which featured some harrowing images of war.

Other than Deafheaven, who just didn’t belong on this bill, the show was killer, through and through. It was a great package of thrash artists, old, new and sort of in the middle. ACL-Live at the Moody Theater once again offered one of the best concert experiences (other than the security guy roughing me up in the photo pit) in Austin with it’s mega-sources of light, excellent sound, clean venue and nice workers. Big ups to Michael Eisele for filming the clips of the bands.

Rex_84's avatar

An avid metal head for over twenty years, Darren Cowan has written for several metal publications and attended concerts throughout various regions of the U.S.

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