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Archive: Reports

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Another Wave of Decimation of the Nation Hits NOLA

The Decimation of the Nation 2 Tour is packed with big names and even bigger music. Veteran bands Hatebreed and Cannibal Corpse alongside Unearth, Hate Eternal and Born of Osiris makes for an unforgettable evening that no metalhead has an excuse to miss. For the New Orleans show, Crowbar made a last minute decision to join in the fun making it even more awesome for the crowd in attendance. Luckily, I was able to film their set so those who didn’t have the privilege of being there. More...

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Femme Metal Fest 2009 at the Asylum, Birmingham

The Femme Metal Fest 2009, the first of what is set to be an annual event, was a huge success, with a great turnout and amazing performances. Before the Femme Metal Festival had even started, anticipation was running high outside the Asylum in Birmingham, where I took the opportunity to ask my fellow festival-ers who they were looking forward to watching. Unsurprisingly, symphonic metal band Delain came out on top, with everyone I asked excited at the prospect of witnessing their first ever UK gig. More...

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Exhorder Returns to the New Orleans Scene

After more than twenty years since they rocked the New Orleans scene to its core, Exhorder is still together, ready to destroy anything in its path. Ending a rather long break of eight years, the men of Exhorder proved that they aren’t done making extremely heavy punk, hardcore and metal mixed music. Exhorder was merely laying in wait, holding the fans in agonizing anticipation and striking at the perfect moment to ensure a kill. And, believe me, they killed everyone at that venue with extreme prejudice. More...

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Motorhead Takes Over The Swindon Oasis

It's almost a given that if you like any form of hard rock or metal, you like Motorhead. No other band has the longevity, the honesty and the volume that Motorhead carry with them at all times. Not only do they live rock and roll, they are the embodiment of it. So having them come to perform in Swindon (which they have only done about three times before in their 34 year history) was a real treat for all concerned.

Opening the show this evening was Girlschool, who have been going for nearly as long as Motorhead, forming in 1978. I unfortunately missed quite a bit of their set but what I did see was alot of fun. They gave a performance that showed how much they enjoy not playing their music, but being on the stage in general. They were definitely a great opening act and set the mood for the great evening of rock and roll that was to follow. I look forward to seeing them again in the future and hopefully getting there on time!

Next up was British punk rock legends The Damned. A little bit of pub trivia for you, The Damned were the first British punk band to release a single, an album and tour the United States, not the Sex Pistols as so many people believe. As Michael Caine might say, not alot of people know that! The Damned approached their live show with a great spirit and got plenty of the crowd excited from the opening sentence of "Hello... We're The Damned.... And we sound a bit like this... Is she really going out with him?" before the pounding drums of "New Rose" kicked off a fantastic performance. I personally had been wanting to see The Damned for six years and it was well worth the wait to see them tear through classic songs like "Neat, Neat, Neat" and "Love Song." They were also as hilarious as they were exciting, with guitarist Captain Sensible joking about the recent Morrissey show in Swindon that ended after the singer collapsed on stage after one song. He declared the tour to be "very anti-Simon Cowell" and a "celebration of rock and roll." They closed with the always classic anthem, "Smash It Up" which was followed with Captain Sensible running over to lead singer Dave Vanian's microphone to perform a bit of his 1980s novelty hit song, "Happy Talk" before being dragged off the stage by his guitar straps by Vanian. If I had to ask anything of The Damned, it would be that next time they play "Machine Gun Etiquette" and "Melody Lee." "Nasty" would be a good addition too, but really, those are only requests. If you're a fan of punk rock, go and see The Damned. You won't regret it!

"We are Motorhead... We play rock and roll" was the introductory growl from the iconic singing bass player Lemmy as the headliners took the stage. After that it was into the classic, "Iron Fist" and the onslaught of loud instruments and great songs continued from there. The energy the band brings didn't stop for a second and the band brought a few surprises into their set too, which is always good to hear, performing a cover of the Twisted Sister song, "Shoot 'em Down" and the acoustic blues vibe of "Whorehouse Blues." It was also nice to hear songs from their new album, "Motorizer" as well as songs from the previous two albums, "Inferno" and "Kiss Of Death." The band performed the awesome, "One Night Stand" from the latter album and "In The Name Of Tragedy" from the former. They also included timeless songs such as "Going To Brazil," "Killed By Death" and "Over The Top." Hearing the band playing "Bomber" felt fantastic as on the two occassions I had seen them before, they left it out from the set. And for the encore? What else would you expect than the song that defines heavy metal and hard rock and roll in general, "Ace Of Spades," followed by the title track of their second album, "Overkill." Motorhead proved once again why they are one of the true legends of rock with a performance that didn't falter once, great crowd interaction and timeless songs. All in all, it was a great night, though the crowd really were a disappointment. Alot of people in Swindon complain that they don't have a proper music venue to draw bigger acts but if they are as still as many in the crowd were for Motorhead, building a venue would just be a waste of money and time. That aside, if you live in the U.K. and you like your concerts to be f'ing loud (the "f" is not for fairly!) and alot of fun, then you simply have to catch this tour!

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AC/DC Electrifies New Orleans

I honestly thought the day would never come when I would see the legendary AC/DC in person. They haven’t been my way in years. But, like a message from God (or Satan), I received the news that indeed the duck-walking schoolboy would be visiting my town. My worn-out copy of AC/DC Live at Donington gave me high hopes of an incredible show that I prayed (to Satan) the aging men could still pull off. They not only equaled the spectacle, but far exceeded it, and it was one of the most energetic, loud and stunning shows I’ve ever seen. More...

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Gojira Rises And Attacks New Orleans

When shows have similar-sounding bands on the bill, it’s hard to write a good show report. When the bands sound very different from each other, the experience becomes very different. Gojira brought along scary psychedelics Zoroaster and hard-to-classify Burst. The show was diverse but very heavy and complex. While Gojira is on tour with Metallica, they are taking the time on off-days to play in the cities that the big show is missing. Any one who goes to see Gojira’s headline show will be very glad that the band made the decision to fill in the gaps. More...

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2 Sides 2 Die Plays Acoustic Set In Frederick, MD

The other week I made a trip out to the local Frederick, Maryland Hot Topic to check out the three-piece grunge metal band 2 Sides 2 Die, who had announced they would be traveling from Pennsylvania to play an acoustic set there on a Thursday evening. It had been a couple years since I first caught 2 Sides 2 Die live, but I was also curious about the arrangement that Hot Topic had going on.

It's pretty cool of Hot Topic to allow unsigned/underground bands to come in and play. Having such a performance on a Thursday evening is probably intentional, but unfortunate. Hot Topic wouldn't want the band taking up too much space on crowded shopping day. But conversely, there is not much walk-in traffic to witness the bands' performance on a Thursday. So who does this arrangement really benefit? If the band brings a significant number of fans, it benefits the store, but with the walk-in traffic so low on a Thursday, it's really up to the band to promote the appearance to make it worthwhile to them. More...

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It was the Night of the Living Shred in Metairie!

It was a dark and spooky night at the High Ground in Metairie. All the kids had come out in abundance and pack the small club to the rafters. All of a sudden, guitars started wailing, drums were pounding, the walls rattled with bass and a man screamed loud enough to pop ear drums. It was Night of the Living Shred! More...

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The Decimation of the Nation Destroys Lafayette

In the heart of Cajun Country in Louisiana is a small town called Lafayette. The town is not only famous for being the place of my birth and raising, but occasionally, it has some kick-ass concerts (I guess in honor of me.) But anyway, the latest in the series of great shows was a visit from the Decimation of the Nation Tour featuring an amazing lineup of Toxic Holocaust, Dying Fetus, Winds of Plague, Chimaira and Hatebreed. Anyone lucky enough to be in the vicinity of this tour could not help but go to the local bar and witness their town being decimated with some of the best metal musicians of our day. More...

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Heaven & Hell Fulfills their Destiny in Chicago

There is something fitting that the day of Heaven and Hell’s show in Chicago the sky darkened with brooding clouds in the middle of the afternoon. It finally opened as an avalanche of rain on the innocent countryside toward sundown time. The onslaught ended, however, about a quarter hour before the show began, as if the Metal Gods had convinced Zeus himself to end the torrent. More...

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Soilent Green is Doled Out to New Orleans Citizens

It truly was a night to remember. The club was packed to the gills and filled with smoke from various substances. Everyone was chattering away while the bands mingled with old friends and made us wait with ardor to until they would make music for us. First on the bill was a crust punk band called Tire Fire, the singer of which is out of his fucking mind. In previous performances I’ve seen, Matt throws himself on the floor which would normally knocked the wind out of somebody, but he just keeps singing (or screaming). As the audience knocks him around, picks him up to throw him back down and kicks him, he just keeps going. He was not as crazy this night because there were barricades along the stage in anticipation of a rough night, but he still managed to kick the faces and chests of the people in the front row while he said, “Fuck barricades.” If you ever see these madmen live, check out their merch table where you can purchase a bottle of Asian whiskey that has a cobra and scorpion in it for just over $100. More...

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Crowbar Gets the Sludge Out in New Orleans

COG presents Crowbar.

It’s been a while since the sludge gods have played. Yes, they’ve been around town at other shows and have played with their other bands, but Crowbar is something that cannot be forsaken. For twenty years, they have been covering metalheads with a thick layer of Louisiana swamp muck that you’ll be hard-pressed to wash off. But with all of the rough past, drugs, bands, records and line-up changes (and, believe me, they’ve had a lot of line-up changes), Crowbar is still the king of sludge metal. On July 25th, they graced the stage of One Eyed Jacks in the heart of the historic French Quarter and killed. More...

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Testament And Onslaught Unleash A Thrash Assault

Testament are currently on tour in the United Kingdom promoting their latest studio album, "The Formation Of Damnation" which was released last year to much critical acclaim. They made the wise choice to bring British thrash metal legends Onslaught along for the trek as well as young American thrashers Warbringer. Needless to say, no-one left disappointed.

I unfortunately arrived too late to see most of Warbringer's set but I saw the last song and they seemed like a good band. I'll make a point of seeing them in the future. It was a special show for Onslaught as the concert was being held in their home city of Bristol and the venue, (the Bristol Academy) was the only venue in the city the band hadn't played yet. The band opened their set with a thunderous response from the crowd as they ripped into the title track from their 2007 masterpiece, "Killing Peace." They continued on with a set that mainly consisted of songs from "Killing Peace" and their 1986 classic, "The Force" including staple songs, "Let There Be Death" and "Metal Forces" before finishing with "Power From Hell," the title track of their debut album. Onslaught showed ferocious energy from start to finish and seemed like they were having just as much fun as the whole crowd were. The only thing that seemed to let their set down was that alot of people complained about the sound, claiming the drums were louder than the vocals and guitars. It sounded fine to me though. After their set members from the band were hanging around talking to the fans at the merchandise stand, which is always nice!

Testament have been on a roll since releasing "The Formation of Damnation" and they're showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. They opened their set with "The Preacher" and continued to give unleash a high energy, sonic assault from there. Chuck Billy cemented his repuatation as one of the best frontmen in Thrash Metal by connecting well with the audience and keeping his voice as intense as ever before, and with the guitar team of Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson behind him, in addition to the awesome rhythm section that is Greg Christian on bass and veteran thrash drummer Paul Bostaph, you can't go wrong. They performed the majority of their classic songs including, "Into The Pit," "Over The Wall" and "Disciples Of The Watch" as well as newer songs such as "More Than Meets The Eye" and "The Persecuted Won't Forget." A personal favourite moment of mine was when they began their encore with the excellent, "D.N.R." from the 1999 album, "The Gathering" before ending the show with the unusual choice of "The Formation Of Damnation." They left the stage to a great show of respect from the crowd after promising to return to Britain next year with a brand new album to support.

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Summer Slaughter Murders New Orleans

The Summer Slaughter Fest is correctly named. When the tour arrives in your town, prepare for a bloodbath of immense proportions. Decibel, Affliction and Fangoria bring you a huge tour consisting of Blackguard, Decrepit Birth, After the Burial, Beneath the Massacre, Origin, Born of Osiris, Dying Fetus, Winds of Plague, Darkest Hour, Ensiferum, Suffocation, and Necrophagist with Behemoth joining the show on some dates. Impressed? Did I also mention that the ticket prices are extremely affordable to fit into your budget during this economic downturn? That’s a deal you can’t beat. So if you’re lucky enough to have a Slaughter in your town this summer, I suggest you don’t miss it.

In the sweltering, higher-than-average heat of New Orleans, the Summer Slaughter Tour stops to do a little killing. It wasn’t an official stop, but I would like to thank all of the bands for taking their day off to rock our town. The madness began at three o’clock. All of the bands kicked ass for about half an hour each. Blackgaurd, After the Burial, Origin, Beneath the Massacre and Darkest Hour were all incredible. Their merchandise was also very interesting, but with so many bands, I couldn’t afford it all. Music was blaring from the small tunnel-shaped hall that could be heard blocks away. Band members, roadies and helpful fans were constantly moving equipment in and out to accommodate the large number of bands. Yes, it was a bit hectic. But it all added to the excitement and fun nature of the show. More...

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N.Y.C. Invades Arizona for Kory Laos Charity

N.Y.C. featuring Tommy Bolan formerly of Warlock, Hemlock, Stands With Fists, Flam Chen, Angelic To Ashes, Cities Like These, Double Speak, and great new band Sinister Mustard kicked off the Kory Laos Memorial Freestyle BMX Bicycle Park Charity summer event series with an amazing Mother's Day concert to remember.

The 150 who attended the show for the low price of $ 15 were treated to inspired performances by the acts who played this night. More...

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Testament Practices What they Preach in Detroit

Testament is currently headlining their own North American Tour, supporting their 2008 album “The Formation of Damnation.” This is after a stint on the Metal Masters tour last summer, when they were disappointingly relegated to be the first band on stage, and ended up playing only 25 minutes a night. While that may seems reasonable when the other bands are Judas Priest, Heaven & Hell and Motorhead, it is still a disappointment to see a band like Testament get the shaft. This tour is the complete opposite, with Testament ruling the night despite strong performances from Unearth and Lazarus A.D. While the openers gave a good shot at upstaging the headliner, in the end everyone knew their place.

Harpo’s in Detroit has a unique setup. First off it is a particularly blighted part of Detroit. The evening starts by going through a metal detector while being closely watched by security guards carrying big hand guns. The doors opened at 6:00 pm, but there was hardly anyone there right at 6:00, and the parking lot had no tailgating. After the show the 24-hour Popeye’s next door was completely empty. More...

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Paganfest 2 Comes To New York City

On Monday May 4th, 2009 I went to the Blender Theater at Gramercy in New York City to see Paganfest 2, which featured Korpiklaani, Primordial, Moonsorrow, Blackguard, and Swashbuckle. The venue featured movie theater style seating in the back and a comparably small general admission area. The crowd had already packed in well as the first band took the stage. More...

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Great Falls Gets A Dose Of Evil Disco

It isn’t often that a town like Great Falls gets a big name band playing anything even remotely close to metal, with country and contemporary being the dominant musical genres in the area. The metal fans of Montana arrived in force on May 11th at the Civic Center Mansfeld Convention building to show their support of the scene and let Static-X know that Great Falls can be just as valid a tour stop as any bigger city. Playing alongside the kings of “evil disco” were Skumlove, My Evolution, and the newly formed Seventh Void, which features two Type O Negative members.

All of the various news outlets, from the band’s MySpace pages to the record label press releases, stated that the show started at 8:00 PM. Inexplicably they decided to start up a half an hour early so unfortunately openers Skumlove only got a fraction of the crowd to play for. Despite the setback they still played their blend of rock, industrial, and punk with gusto. For those who couldn’t be there, or happened to show up as their set was ending, Skumlove has premiered the new song "Anti-American Idol" exclusively on the Metalunderground MySpace music player. More...

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Blaze Bayley Defies The Critics In Swindon

Everyone has at least one era of Iron Maiden that they love right? And seemingly everyone has an era of Iron Maiden they hate too. Alot of people feel the need to hate on the days when former Wolfsbane vocalist Blaze Bayley replaced longtime singer Bruce Dickinson. The same people, more often than not, have never actually bothered to listen to the albums Iron Maiden recorded with him. If they had, they'd find a great selection of songs that rock just as hard as "The Trooper" and "Fear Of The Dark."

But Iron Maiden aside, Blaze Bayley is an outstanding singer and a true heavy rocker who doesn't feel the need to act as though he's better than the people who's payed to see him. He proved to all his detractors why they should appreciate him last week when he delivered a blistering performance in the English town of Swindon, Wiltshire.

I missed the two support bands unfortunately but was there with plenty of time to catch the man of the hour. As soon as he took the stage there was a truely awesome connection between him and the crowd. "Hello. My name is Blaze Bayley. This is the Blaze Bayley band. And we play... metal," he said in a calm voice before tearing into the title track from his latest studio album, "The Man Who Would Not Die." While it took the audience a little time to get into the flow of things, before long the whole the room was roaring with cheers, flowing with beer and heads banging as hard as they could as more great songs like "Tenth Dimension" and "Samurai" were being blasted with full force.

He continued to play a mix of his excellent solo material along with Iron Maiden songs throughout the night, interacting the crowd perfectly with no pretention and without patronizing the audience in any way. Some of the biggest hits of the night came from the likes of "Futureal," "The Clansman" and show-closer, "Man On The Edge" which got everybody singing along. After the show, he made a point of heading down to the merchandise stall immediately to talk with fans, sign autographs and take pictures in a genuine sign of appreciation. Blaze Bayley is a man who doesn't take things for granted and that's one of the factors which makes him such a likable person. One of the others being that he will blow your ears away with his live set. If you ever get the chance to see him, don't pass him up because you'll be missing out on alot!

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Testament Gets Thrashy in Calgary, AB

There was a lot of buzz around Alberta before Testament unleashed their blistering brand of thrash at the MacEwan Hall Ballroom May 6.

And after their all too short 30-minute set at Monsters of Rock last summer, there were a lot of fans across Alberta awaiting the band's return, this time as headliner.

“After seeing them with absolutely horrible sound & a short set at Monsters Of Rock, it'll be cool to see them with decent sound & a full set,” enthused one Calgary fan before the show. More...

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