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Archive: Reports

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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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Nominon Back In The U.S.

Just hours after an all-day punk and metal crawfish boil there was an international show called from the Death Metal Darkness Tour with bands coming from the U.S., Europe, and even Mexico that was not to be missed. Oppressing, extreme heat in the late night hours permeated the wooden bar. The three touring bands, Quinta Essentia, Infinitum Obscure, and Nominon, are all signed to Deathgasm Records, definitely a label to check out with a show like this. More...

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Metalcore Invades Baltimore on The Cool Tour

I recently got out to see the Cool Tour in Baltimore for a much-needed break. Featuring eight bands from every corner of the metalcore genre, one might be surprised to hear that this is the new tour by some of the Sounds of the Underground organizers, in it first year of the planned annual outing.

Let’s get one thing out of the way right away: With a name like “The Cool Tour” and a lineup full of metalcore bands, one might expect a bunch of straight/floppy haired teens in girl jeans as the audience. Luckily this was not the case, but it was clear that this tour is marketed to the younger and more trendy crowd. This was not your typical metal crowd, as short hair was the order of the day, but it was not what I expected either. While the name and first impressions might actually be a turn off to older and “true” metalheads, a closer look at the lineup reveals a few good reasons to check it out. I realized that if nothing else, headliners As I Lay Dying would put on a great show, and I also wanted to check out the much-hyped Between The Buried and Me as well as highly underrated Cancer Bats. If you are one who hates all things ‘core, don’t bother, however.

This was my second show at Sonar, and my impression of the venue since the first time was much improved. It seemed more organized and the security and staff were extremely helpful, the latter putting up with bands’ verbal jabs at them looking bored while encouraging the crowd to crowd surf to give them something to do.

While the entire venue was in use, the bands played only the main stage. Fortunately they had the process of switching bands down to a science and there was only a 10 to 15 minute gap between bands’ 30 minute sets for the most part.

Note: with a only passing familiarity with many of the bands, I am not able to name many songs or give set lists for this tour, even for the bands whose CDs I own. But read on for my account of the concert. More...

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Evil Army Comes Back To New Orleans

They may live in another state, but we New Orleanians love Evil Army as if they were our own. Hailing from Memphis, Tennessee, the extremely brutal thrash-threesome is back from the grave and ready for action. Their first show in New Orleans this year was packed with their soldiers. The extreme summer heat in the small un-air-conditioned bar couldn’t stop the sweat-drenched, stinking legions from packing in to see what they’ve been waiting anxiously to see for almost a year. More...

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Charred Walls of the Damned Kicks off Tour

The biggest oddity of Charred Walls of the Damned’s first tour is they are playing smaller venues – bars and small theaters and the like. With the amount of experience and reputation this supergroup has (although admittedly half of the studio members aren’t on the road), it seems like they should be playing arenas and ampitheaters, or at least opening for big name headliners.

But as it stands, Charred Walls of the Damned kicked off their first ever tour in Chicago at the Empty Bottle. The Empty Bottle is the type of old school dive where the air feels sticky, not to mention the restroom floors. Thus, it is perfect for an old school traditional metal show. And suffice it to say there wasn’t anyone in the crowd that became a metal fan after hearing “Nothing Else Matters” in high school, and nobody was rocking the latest Hot Topic sampler on the way to the show either. The folks here were all metal-for-life types, even the young ones. More...

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The Big Four Rock by Satellite

Thrash veterans Anthrax, Megadeth, Slayer and Metallica have never before all played the same show or festival. This isn’t too surprising, as that is a lot of stars and egos to get into one place at one time – someone has to play first, and only one band can play last. But finally in summer of 2010 the Sonisphere Festivals wrangled all four together to play seven dates in Europe. Because there are no North American dates the bands arranged to have the show in Sofia, Bulgaria beamed by satellite to hundred of theaters back home. And while there are plenty of ways to nitpick the negatives, the end result is a hugely entertaining concert via video. More...

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Thorny Bleeder Holds Vancouver Showcase

This definitely goes down as being one of the most interesting and unique heavy shows that Vancouver has seen in quite a long time. The venue for this event was not your typical metal venue. It was barely a venue at all. The Shark Club, as its known, turns out to be a trendy upscale version of a sports bar. Complete with soft plush booths for dining, cute but high maintenance waitresses running around in every possible direction, a DJ that seems to only own European techno records and last but not least a bathroom complete with interactive video screens plugging products while you wait. A metal show was taking place here? Really? Everything seemed a bit odd and out of place, the setting just didn't seem right for a heavy label’s showcase. Especially compared to the usual dingy clubs that metal shows take place within this city. But this is where Thorny Bleeder Records chose to hold their talent showcase so there is nothing that can be done, or said. More...

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Pentagram Spreads Evil Over New Orleans

People turned out in droves to see the show with so many amazing bands on the bill. If they couldn’t afford to get in, they would hang outside and listen because it was just too good to miss completely. The slow, swampy, southern metal was complimented so well by the high humidity and heat of the night. Beer flowed (everywhere) and ears became numb as each of four bands took turns breaking amps. More...

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Saint Rose Rocks Feelgood’s in Las Vegas

Tired of the massive hotels and casinos I found myself wandering off the Las Vegas strip (20 minute taxi ride West of Las Vegas Blvd) to check out Saint Rose at Feelgood’s Rock Bar and Lounge last Friday.

First let me say that Feelgood’s is not your typical Las Vegas celebrity rock bar (Read: Sammy Hagar’s Cabo Wabo Cantina at Planet Hollywood), but rather an authentic rock bar complete with a dark atmosphere, a second floor cage area for go-go dancers in leather and chains, large stage, motorcycle parking (in full use this particular night), and state of the art sound system. With the exception of the name and small shrine on your way to the bathroom you wouldn’t even know the owner is Vince Neil (Motley Crue). More...

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Warbeast's CD Release Show in Fort Worth, Texas

The musicians that make up thrash powerhouse Warbeast are no newcomers to the scene. Using years upon years of experience in creating extreme thrash in bands like Rigor Mortis and Gammacide, Warbeast has just released their debut album backed up 100% by Housecore Records and it’s owner Phil Anselmo, who joined the band on stage to show his support. At Warbeast’s CD release show in Fort Worth, Texas, last week, old fans of the musicians and curious youngsters just learning about the legendary thrash scene of Texas showed up to get their heads bashed in with damaging riffs and paralyzing growls from all of the bands on the bill. But most of all, just to get a peek at the supergroup that will soon dominate the thrash genre. More...

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Nashville Pussy's Rolling Party Rolls and Parties!

The fantastically named band Nashville Pussy likes to be on tour. So much so that they must have spent at least twice as many nights on the road as they have at home since they began playing their dirty, bluesy rock back in 1996. Out on their most recent tour, the “Parental Advisory Tour,” along with comedy rock/metal outfits Green Jello and Psychostick, Nashville Pussy is bringing their rolling party to a club near you! And if you like rock and booze, or if you like just one of those things, you want to see this show really bad. More...

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Sick Of It All Spreads The Hardcore Reality

New York hardcore legends Sick Of It All are about to begin a short tour of the United Kingdom supporting AFI to promote their forthcoming new studio album, "Based On A True Story." Luckily for the English folk who are not too keen on AFI, Sick Of It All announced a couple of headlining shows before the main tour kicked off and very luckily for myself, one of these shows was at The Croft in Bristol.

First things first, The Croft is an excellent venue. It appears to be brilliantly run along with having some really friendly staff and a great lounge area. Apparantly, Sick Of It All specifically requested this venue and it's not hard to see why, especially when one enters the stage area, which while not huge, packs plenty of people in and is the perfect setting for a hardcore show. More...

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Kreator with Voivod at The Bottom Lounge

Thrash is back. After dying off in the 1990s and returning in the mid-2000s it's finally returned, with four of five bands playing coming from metal's most headbangable genre. And it was a very special night given that two of the bands touring were originally local bands, one based in Kenosha, Wisconsin and the other from Wheaton, Illinois which proves that the Chicago metal scene has finally come into its own rather than simply live in the shadow of Ministry and Disturbed. More...

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W.A.S.P. at Cubby Bear North

I have always had a soft spot for W.A.S.P. as the "Crimson Idol" is my second favorite metal album of all time after Faith No More's "Angel Dust." They're a legendary name in metal circles since 1984, W.A.S.P. to this day still manage to put out quality heavy metal while many of their 80s peers have stagnated or worse. Thankfully, W.A.S.P. is still together, still touring and while they may not have the same amount of popularity that they have in North America that they have in Europe, W.A.S.P. still manages to put on a kickass show twenty-eight years into their career. More...

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Kreator and Evile Pack Nokia Theater in New York

On March 6, 2010 I went to see Kreator perform at the Nokia Theater in New York City. I was very eager to see Evile, Voivod, and Kreator. I have been a fan of Kreator for some time now, but have only heard one album, “Extreme Aggression.” Evile is a band I was interested in seeing because I have their demo, but have yet to explore much outside of what is on their MySpace page. Voivod has been recommended to me by friends, but I’ve never taken the time to properly explore them. When I arrived at the venue, Lazarus A.D. started playing. More...

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Hank III and Assjack Spread Evil in New Orleans

You may be wondering why the grandson of country artist Hank Williams is showing up on a metal website. Hank III does play traditional country music akin to his grandfather’s style, but he’s been a fan of punk and metal all his life. Along with his country band, Hank III has been making metal with his band Assjack for years, and finally recorded (all the music and vocals by himself) and released “Assjack” in August of last year. He also plays the drums in the classic hardcore/thrash band Arson Anthem alongside Phil Anselmo of Down and Mike IX of Eyehategod, and was a member of the now disbanded Superjoint Ritual. Hank III’s show was a three-hour barrage of three styles of music; country, hellbilly and metal. And it was only fitting that “Hell’s House Band” should use only red stage lights throughout the night to create an aura of evil. More...

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Metal As Art Second Leg Hits Chicago

The Metal As Art Tour had some good success on the first go round, with Hypno5e, Revocation and The Binary Code headlining clubs across the U.S. The currently running second leg features Starring Janet Leigh and Fallen Martyr as the touring bands, and they are supported by local metal outfits in each city. The 2nd leg hit Reggie’s Rock Club in Chicago on February 17, 2010, and crushed an appreciative, but small, audience. More...

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Crowbar and Exhorder Together After 20 Years

For the first time in over twenty years, two amazing metal bands from the sludge-covered city of New Orleans shared a stage. The crowds came out in droves for the show, bearing the freezing temperatures to see what will be considered a landmark show. There were many familiar faces in attendance, but the large amount of middle-aged non-metalheads was staggering. I can only speculate that these people came because Exhorder was one of their favorites as a kid, and even though they don’t like metal anymore, they wanted to see a band from their youth. It was similar to the crowd from their first show in years in November 2009 that had even less younger people. Regardless of the differences in the crowd, everyone had a great time watching the incredible event unfold. More...

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Arch Enemy Conquers Philadelphia

For the first time in almost two years, Arch Enemy made their way to the United States to cause devastation using blistering melodic death metal. Touring in support of “The Root Of All Evil,” which included re-recorded Arch Enemy songs from the band’s first three albums, the band made their presence known at the Theatre Of Living Arts in Philadelphia on January 21st. The “Tyrants of Evil” tour was a monstrous package that not only included Arch Enemy, but up-and-comers Mutiny Within, technical death metal shredders Arsis and legendary thrashers Exodus. The show was strong from start to finish, and the audience that packed into the intimate venue ranged from respectful to outright ruthless at times. More...

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