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Archive: Reports

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Watain Declares Lawlessness In New Orleans

Although it was cold out, not everyone wanted to go in. Rumors of the worst smell imaginable emanating from wherever Watain plays kept many people at bay. But The Bar was still full to the brim with fans of black metal and those wanting to see if this tour was really as creepy as people said. Let me say this, the next time Watain comes, I don’t think everyone from this show will come back. The scary show filled with meat, blood, fire, and extreme music might just be too much for them. More...

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Bison B.C. Returns To B.C.

In an extremely short amount of time Vancouver, Canada's Bison B.C. have gone from local bar hoping metallers to international headline touring act. With three full length albums released and countless tours throughout North America and Europe Bison B.C. have become an unstoppable force, notorious for its intense live performances. Fresh off an extensive European tour the band returned to its home city of Vancouver to treat its loyal hometown fan-base to undoubtedly one of the city's most destructive concerts it has seen in years.

Having its welcome back show take place at the severely under-rated Biltmore Cabaret meant that the show would be a definite sell out, which it was was well before the doors were to even open. People of all different backgrounds were in attendance; from patch vest metalheads to flannel engulfed hipsters and everyone in between but while the crowd was diverse they all came for one thing, to watch Bison destroy everything in its path. But more about that later. Unfortunately, due to some issues not in my control, I was forced to sit out on the opening act Purple Rhinestone Eagle. I was told they were a female fronted power rock act that kicked out some decent and heavy tunes. That's all I can pretty much say as far as they are concerned. More...

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Gwar Lays Vancouver To Waste

Gwar shows in Vancouver are always a sell out and there was no doubt that the Commodore Ballroom, located in the middle of Vancouver’s trendy Granville Entertainment District, was packed to full capacity. In a day and age where many shows are being down-sized or cancelled all together Gwar somehow manages to keep the Vancouver bohabs crawling back for more each November. While this time around Gwar had brought with them a few of the weaker openers it has chosen in the last few years once the almighty Antarctican space thrashers took the stage the real show began. More...

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Blind Guardian Conquers Everything In Chicago

After I bought my ticket to the Sacred Worlds and Songs Divine Tour I realized I had never seen Blind Guardian play live, which in turn sparked some questions: would I have to recite Gimli’s entire family tree to get my ticket from will call? Would the audience be acting out the grand tales Blind Guardian spins in real-time? Would I need a suit of armor? A battle axe? Should I ride my war horse or would my lighter travelling mare be better suited to the evening? Fortunately all my questions would be answered by the great bards…

I arrived just as opening act Seven Kingdoms was getting rolling. Hailing from Orlando, Florida these power and speed metal troubadours have the chops and desire to be quite good, even though silky vocalist Sabrina V could use a couple semesters in the Angela Gossow School of Stage Presence for Women. The songs ranged from overwrought to outstanding; set closer “Seven Kingdoms” was the standout as the eponymous tune was Maiden-meets-Yngwie-meets-Doro fun, and Seven Kingdoms was warmly appreciated by the already full house. More...

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3IOB And Alexisonfire Team Up For A Secret Show

Its quite amazing how in the span of just one hour you can go from sitting in a friend’s basement drinking beers to being one of the lucky few in attendance at an exclusive "secret show." My Friday evening on November 27th certainly wasn't planned to go in that direction, but as soon as the text message was received proclaiming that 3 Inches of Blood and Alexisonfire would be performing a secret show under different names in a small, 300 person venue, myself and a few friends were rushed out the door and began our frantic journey into downtown Vancouver, which would transform into one of the best concert memories in my lifetime. Sound eerily similar to the movie "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist?" I hope not. More...

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GWAR Gives New Orleans A Tour Of The Pit

GWAR is no stranger to New Orleans, they make it here about once a year. Unfortunately one of the opening bands Infenaeon could not make it to this show. They’ve had extremely bad transportation issues throughout this trek across the states and had to miss our town. But I wish them well in the future. Although it wasn’t packed gut-to-butt as usual, there was a great turn-out, and all of the crazy crowd surfers were there. More...

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Cannibal Corpse's Plague Strikes Nashville (video)

It’s not often venues pack the house for a Tuesday evening show. However, it’s not that often that Cannibal Corpse, Dying Fetus, Vital Remains, and Devourment are in the same place at the same time. On November 9th, 2010, Brutal death metal fans came out of the woodworks and packed the Exit/In for this show, with even the venue’s balcony area being filled. Not your everyday sight in the “Bible belt” of America, many fans who were waiting in line on the side of the street sported shirts with some of the most obscene artwork known to metal on them. The doors opened unexpectedly late, with Devourment taking the stage as fans were still pouring in. More...

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New York Hardcore Invades Bristol

While many British fans were disappointed to see that the proposed tour featuring Sick Of It All and Sepultura would not be coming to the United Kingdom (Sepultura has since been replaced on the tour by D.R.I.,) they were more than compensated with the news that Sick Of It All would be coming to Great Britain after all, and that they would be bringing fellow New York hardcore icons Madball with them.

Although I arrived a little late to catch the start of opening band, No Warning Shot, I was still able to catch around half of their set. This marked my second time seeing No Warning Shot, having previously seen them in April opening for Sick Of It All (whose singer Lou Koller stood next to me throughout much of their set tonight) and once again, the band put on a fantastic display. It came as a surprise to learn that the band doesn't perform regularly because they are perhaps one of the best hardcore bands going if in the United Kingdom, or at least the West Country. Their banter with the Welsh patrons was hilarious and the group have a sense of fun mixed with intensity, much like the evening's headliners. I would honestly recommend fans of hardcore from all over the world to try and get hold of the band's EP.

The first group of hardcore legends to take the stage was Madball, who opened with the classic, "Set It Off." Truely the song sounds as devastating today as it did when it was first released in 1994. Frontman Freddy Cricien is still an unmatchable force on stage and his voice was in perfect shape on this night, tearing through classics both old and new along with long time bassist Hoya Roc, guitarist Mitts and new drummer Igor (who I had mistaken for former Sepultura drummer Igor Cavalera. To be fair he does look like him.) The West Country crowd loved every second of Madball's performance and receieved the new material from the band's recent release, "Empire" with open arms, being treated to the title track as well as "R.A.H.C." Of course, the staples went down a storm too, with "Heavenhell" being the latest song to be considered an honest Madball classic, along with "Down By Law" and set closer, "Pride." the audience greeted these songs with moshing, headbanging and sing alongs. Exactly the way a hardcore show should be. Frankly, the show could have ended after Madball and everyone would have gone home happy.

That said, there were four more legends yet to grace the stage. Sick Of It All is definitely one of, if not the best hardcore group to ever release a record, and their live performances are second to none, a statement which they backed up themselves on this cold Bristol night. Kicking things off with "Good Lookin' Out," the brilliant opening song from 1997's, "Built To Last" album, the band captured the excitement of every member of the crowd and fed off their energy perfectly. More recent songs followed suit, with "Death Or Jail," the single from their excellent new album, "Based On A True Story," and "Uprising Nation" from 2006's "Death To Tyrants" being memorised by around 90% of the crowd. Although there were a few sound issues to begin with, these were rectified quite quickly and the band continued to put on an excellent performance, aided largely by material from their new album, which also included the songs, "The Divide," "Good Cop," "A Month Of Sundays" and "Waiting For The Day," all of which are frankly outstanding.

As one would expect, the older material wasn't left out either, as the band showcased songs from their debut full length, "Blood, Sweat & No Tears" as well as the standard, but by no means ordinary, airings of such classics as "Step Down," "Scratch The Surface" and "Injustice System." One of the things that makes a Sick Of It All show so spectacular is the raport that they have with the audience, joking with them, taking song requests (which resulted in a brilliant cover of Sham 69's "Borstal Breakout") and playfully demanding five pounds from a fan for stage diving while no music was being played. Set closer "Us Vs. Them" capped off what was a truely a magical evening for fans of hardcore.

One can only hope that both bands return to the British Isles as soon as possible.

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Whitechapel's Corruptour in Nashville (With Video)

A weekend metal show is the perfect opportunity for every metalhead in a hundred-mile radius to get their fix of headbanging and ear damage. A weekend metal show with bands that complement each others’ sound and keep up a consistent level of energy through the entire show is a big reason not to miss the opportunity. Five bands specializing in crushing riffs, otherworldly death metal vocals, and syncopated rhythms teamed up for such a show -- Nashville, TN at Rocketown on the night of October 22nd into the morning of the 23rd. With Whitechapel headlining, I Declare War opened the show. Following them were Oceano, Miss May I, and Impending Doom. There were enough sub drops throughout the show to make Rocketown’s foundation shift. More...

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The Housecore Records Showcase

Housecore Records is pumping out some awesome music these days. Although relatively quiet in the past, it’s owner Philp Anselmo of Down and Pantera notoriety is working with the bands he signed on to get their albums out, get them on the road, and get Housecore out there for everyone to enjoy. To celebrate the beginning of something big, Housecore Records put on a show of a few of their biggest bands; sludge legends Crowbar, Phil’s favorites haarp, and classic thrashers Warbeast all the way from Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas. I was able to get footage of each band of the night. The decibel level was very high, however, so the sound is slightly grainy. If you see any people wearing shiny party hats in the videos, it’s because it was my birthday. I passed out the hats to my friends and they went in the mosh pit with them. More...

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Goatwhore Comes Home

There’s a lover of metal in the midst of the New Orleans House of Blues. Holderbeast has been granted a monthly metal show where he brings in the best of the NOLA metal gods. Past shows have included Flesh Parade and Crowbar. This month’s show featured the hardest working band in the biz: Goatwhore. Just before they left on two back-to-back tours (currently touring with Black Dahlia Murder) Goatwhore obliged to play the town where it all started. Pro-shot footage of Goatwhore by REKFilms can be seen below. More...

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Marseille And Company Shake Swindon To The Ground

The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal created dozens of fantastic bands, many of whom got lost in the shuffle, leading to them being overlooked and eventually causing their demise. A good example of this would be Marseille, who broke grounds for young British bands during their first run, but were overshadowed by bigger British bands such as Iron Maiden and Def Leppard. However, the band is back now, with a sense of celebrity about them somewhat, owing to guitarist Neil Buchanan’s time as the presenter of the smash hit television show Art Attack, and I had the pleasure to witness them at Riffs Bar in Swindon.

Kicking off the night was local act, Vivaxi. The band possess a quality about them which tends to focus more on their musicianship than on an entertaining performance, with each member looking thoroughly concentrated on their respective instrument, which each member plays with undeniable skill. The songs themselves are drawn out to a degree but contain a catchy quality to them, thus ensuring an enjoyable listening experience. While a good band, their focus on music over performance would make for a more boring tenure were it not for lead singer Chris Hawkins, who brings barrels of energy on stage as well as an impressive voice, mixing the screams of Rob Halford with the American party attitude of David Lee Roth. All in all, a solid performance and a good start to the evening.


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American Carnage Comes To New Orleans

The biggest names in thrash finally returned to New Orleans! Old fans wanting to see their favorite childhood heros, young kids just learning about good music, most of the people in the NOLA metal scene, and more turned out in droves for this show; the biggest show of the year. These bands need no introduction. You’ve been listening to them for a very long time, and all the bands you like have been too. The American Carnage Tour has the same lineup as the Clash of the Titans tour in 1991. Slayer and Megadeth are paying homage to that by emphasizing the albums they released that year. Anthrax is made complete by singer Joey Belledonna, and he will be performing only your favorite tunes. Get ready for pure intensity. More...

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haarp Crushes The Locals

Not the first venue on the metal circuit, the Allways Lounge was clean and quiet. A pair of boots covered in disco ball mirrors hung from the ceiling lighted by a single stagelight. A decrepit paino sat next to the low, round stage. The bands of the night were all different from each other; each had a style miles away from the next. Punk, jam, and sludge; what a tasty mix. Of course, every band was incredible in their own way. And although it didn’t take place in the smelly, dank places we’re used to, it was kind of nice to breathe semi-fresh air. More...

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Metallica Shakes Up Christchurch

Biggest metal band in the world, good friends and a 4 hour road trip – what more is needed? After pressure from a Facebook group of all things, Metallica decided to head down south for two dates on the final leg of the “World Magnetic Tour” in Christchurch, New Zealand, and I went to see what breath was left in the great four horsemen.

Supporting acts for the night were Christchurch locals Tainted, Texan band The Sword and metal luminaries Fear Factory. For the normal reasons (meeting people, searching for alcohol, parking, travel etc.), we turned up part way into the show when The Sword was just closing, so it's unfortunate I can't comment on the first two bands much. I've seen Tainted several times now (who plays a modern brand of Lamb of God styled groove metal), so I wasn't too disappointed there, but from what I heard from others, The Sword subdued a baying Metallica crowd well enough, taking the stage with "Hey... we're The Sword" and then blasting out some tunes. More...

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Katatonia Makes A First Time Visit To Vancouver

Although being located in the least favourable part of Vancouver, the Rickshaw Theater has quickly become one of the city’s top venues for all things metal. Countless bands from all genres and areas of the underground have been congregating at the small theater on Vancouver’s famed “Downtown Eastside,” treating the city to a wide range of different metal sounds. On Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010 the Rickshaw played home to one of Europe’s top dark metal acts in Katatonia along with other international metallers Swallow the Sun (Finland) and Orphaned Land (Israel). The crowd, while not sold out, was highly anticipating Katatonia’s first ever appearance in the city and once the lengthy show came to an end they surely left satisfied. More...

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Malevolent Creation Brings Out The Old Metalheads

It’s been too long since Malevolent Creation has graced New Orleans with their awesome presence. So there was, of course, a good turnout when they finally came back. Just before they went out on the March of Brutality Tour with Exodus, Florida death metallers Malevolent Creation went on a short headlining tour in support of their latest creation “Invidious Domain.” The show featured all local support by Demonic Destruction, Machine Made Slave, and Built to Destroy. I was able to interview some of the members of Malevolent Creation. Watch the interview and the grossly hilarious Pit Story. More...

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The Nashville Incident

Porcupine Tree’s second time playing in Nashville, TN came on the 22nd of August, three years after their first visit. The first time, the band played to a packed house at City Hall, with progressive rock act Three opening the show. During the three years in-between, City Hall closed its doors for good. The second time saw the band co-headlining with Coheed & Cambria, playing to a sold-out crowd at the War Memorial Auditorium with The Dear Hunter opening the show. More...

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Death Angel Blasphemes The Sabbath In New Orleans

Three of Nuclear Blast’s best took a free day off from their huge tour with Soilwork to play in New Orleans, and we were very grateful. Although it was a Sunday (even the heaviest metallers have day jobs) many showed up to see Death Angel, who have not visited our swampy soil in decades. I was able to tape the first few songs of Death Angel’s set for your viewing pleasure. More...

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American Carnage Tour In Chicago Kills Everyone

*Before you start into this report, do yourself a huge favor, scroll to the bottom, see which tour stop is most convenient and buy a ticket. Pay however much you have to. If you like metal, and presumably you do since you are on MetalUnderground.com, then don’t make the biggest mistake of your life and not go – even bigger than the raspberry cosmo you had at Harry’s Drink Shack last Wednesday. And if you already have a ticket, buy another. You’ll need the extra space to clean your melted face and blown mind off the floor.*

Strolling onstage as thrash underdogs to the sounds of “For the Glory Of…,” which is the intro crush from 2009 full length “The Formation of Damnation,” Testament took the stage like a MAC truck pulling to the starting line of a drag race. When the opening chords of “More Than Meets the Eye” hit it was clear we were tied to the tracks at the end of the racecourse and we were going to get run over by a MACK truck. Or something like that anyway. About halfway through the set, it was clear Chuck Billy’s demonspawn roar (which has aged like a fine boxed wine, by the way) had ripped my brains out through my eye sockets, chewed on them for a while, and then jammed them back in through my earhole. The only ones that avoided the carnage were members of the vigorous circle pit, which grew throughout Testament’s 40-minute set and culminated in an impressively large wall-of-death, which Testament built up like fine orchestra conductors and finally set off during the real good head-banging part of set-closing song “The Formation of Damnation.” Leaving the stage, Chuck Billy thanked the crowd for “Kicking Our [Testament’s] Ass.” Well Chuck, thank you for kicking ours. More...

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