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Archive: Reports

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Firestorm Fest Hits Chicago

Last night Firestorm Fest (American Hardcore Lives) rolled into Chicago. My sons, along with one of their friends, accompanied me into the city to see the show.

And what a show it was. I think my ears have stopped bleeding and I think my hearing is beginning to return. We all agreed that it was one of the best shows we've seen in some time.
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Queensryche and Dokken Rock Atlantic City

In the 1980's, when metal ruled MTV and the radio airwaves, two of the greats from the era are the legendary Queensryche and Dokken. When the news of this pairing for a 2008 tour was released, fans made sure they purchased their tickets early. They did not want to miss what was sure to be an evening that evoked long-lost memories and truly great music. There were many surprises in store on this tour--even more that usual.

Queensryche is known for their social awareness, and being artists who do more than write music about it, they take action and get their fans involved too.

During their Mindcrime I and II tour in 2006 they partnered with Buell motorcycles and VH1 to raise money for the Save the Music foundation, fans donated and got to ride along with vocalist Geoff Tate and guitarist Mike Stone from one venue to the next on their one of a kind custom motorcycles Eric Buell designed especially for Stone and Tate.

I do not have the exact tally of the funds raised for Save the Music Foundation, but I understand it to be in excess of $80,000.

Mike Stone told me both he and Geoff Tate are very passionate about music programs remaining in the schools and that it offers children a chance to grow and develop creatively. It is in fact one the reasons Stone is a musician today. Seeing Queensryche live is proof positive that the world and our children stand to lose too much that can be derived from music programs, so they must be kept going, period. More...

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Bane Show Report From The Knitting Factory, NYC

Ah, Bane in New York City’s Knitting Factory: non-stop straight-edge hardcore at its finest. Boston’s Bane plugged their gear in, and from the first force of front man Aaron Bedard’s strong vocals and heavy and energetic 3-chord and punch-packed drum backing from the band, fans were singing along in unison while moshers threw themselves across the floor. Bane made it clear they were excited to play New York City.
Bane’s merchandise booth was jam-packed with fans waiving their money and pointing to shirts. Personally, I fell in love with their black shirt with gold glittered ‘BANE.’ Inevitably, Bedard gifted me with a shirt and a hoodie. I can’t express enough how much this band RULES in every way! More...

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Sonata Arctica Plays The Warehouse

Currently trekking across North America on a 15-date tour, Sonata Arctica made a pit stop Monday night at The Warehouse in Calgary, AB. Kicking off the show was homegrown progressive/death hybrid Nebucadnezzer. Barely in their 20s, but playing the local circuit for over three years, the quartet did a fabulous job of warming up an already enthusiastic crowd. Performing local favourites like “Leviathan,” as well as tunes from their soon to be released independent album “Affliction,” Nebucadnezzer proved that the opening slot can be just as audibly intense as the rest. With talent beyond their years, Nebucadnezzer showed up with what seemed like no other plan than to slay. More...

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Amon Amarth Conquers Vancouver

It was a cold and dreary winter night on December 14th, 2007 in rain-soaked Vancouver. Viking ships disguised as tour buses pulled up in front of the Croatian Cultural Centre, carrying a crew of Norsemen prepared to pillage the venue and to unleash Swedish death metal upon the crowd of angst-ridden teenagers and drunken metalheads. After a pat-down by the anal retentive security guards at the CCC, we made our way into the main hall that already smelled of a mixture of various kinds of smoke and kids who hadn’t yet realized that deodorant use comes with puberty. More...

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The Dillinger Escape Plan Bring Chaos to KY

Live shows are always about taking the good with the bad. December 6th at Headliners Music Hall in Louisville, KY would be no different. The bad things: Severely insufficient parking, The long, seemingly endless line to the door in the blustery cold, outrageous alcohol prices, fans trying to scream through their cell phone rather than taking in the performances, young couples bickering and opinionated Machine Head fans. This is all normal. Fortunately the bands came through in spades. A toasty venue, responsive bartenders, and expedient band crews didn’t hurt matters either. More...

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Marilyn Manson Returns To Perth, Australia

Returning for the first time since the now-infamous Big Day Out festival in 1999 - when he walked off stage after being hit by a bottle - Marilyn Manson played Perth's Challenge Stadium on Saturday 15th October, with Melbourne all-girl band The Spazzys in support.

As the venue filled with goths and wannabe goths. The Spazzys played some Ramones-inspired pop-punk and received a largely disinterested response, although they weren't booed off stage as apparently happened at the Melbourne show. The crowd were there to see one man and weren't in an accommodating mood. More...

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Summer Festival Slaughters New York City

On July 8th 2007 I went to see the Summer Slaughter Festival at BBkings in New York City. Of the venues in my area that book metal bands, BBkings has been one of my favorites for its amazing sound and size. It is never too loud that I feel like I’m going deaf, but still loud enough that I feel the music and rock out. The venue definitely has great tech guys running the soundboards and lights. With this in mind, I knew that I would get proper enjoyment of the bands and not focus on how much I can't hear a certain instrument or the vocals. I entered without knowing what to expect because I am not a fan of most brutal death metal, but there were a few bands I recognized and wanted to see how they were live, namely, Necrophagist, Beneath the Massacre, and Cephalic Carnage. I really wish I could have seen Arsis, but they had troubles with their van on tour and couldn't make it out. More...

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Ventflow Take Back Their Territory

August the 3rd may well have been the most important and highly anticipated night all year for Swindon metalheads as two of the areas biggest and best bands returned and a much hyped band performed their first gig together as well as a visit from the best Welsh band since Budgie. And not one band disapointed. More...

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Forwardhead Takes The Next Step w/ Pieces Release

Now that Forwardhead has announced the first batch of their headlining tour dates, I am officially late on this show report. On Saturday, May 26, over Memorial Day Weekend, I made my second trip to Baltimore's excellent Ram's Head Live, this time to catch the Metalunderground.com-sponsored Forwardhead CD release party. The bill sported five local bands playing a show in celebration of Forwardhead's long-awaited album "Pieces" being released. The all-ages show was to feature a screening of their first video as well.

I entered just as the first band, Phantom Communique was taking the stage. The crowd was a decent size - somewhere upwards of 200 people I'd estimate - which worked well for the Ram's Head Live's configuration. The balcony areas were closed off, as the main floor (that I consider small for a sold out show) was sufficient for a crowd this size. The venue seemed ideal for a smaller crowd like this and the show had a feel somewhat more professional than a local show, but more laid back than a bigger concert. More...

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Swindon Town Demonstrates Some Of Its Metal Talent

Swindon town, located about an hours drive away from the capital of Great Britain, London, isn't the first place one would think of when it comes to British metal. People would normally associate places like London, Birmingham, Newcastle and maybe Swindon rivals Bristol for that. Swindon itself is known more for having... roundabouts and trains. Cool eh?

However, within this growing town lies a movement, one that half of the towns youth follows like a rabid cult. That movement is the Swindon metal scene, and few people would doubt that Kilians Red rule that scene with an iron fist!

On June 30th at Swindon's most well known rock club, The Furnace, Kilians Red headlined a bill which would show any visitors to the region that the scene in Swindon is not be ignored. The show opened with a band named Death Of A Warlord. A band which wore their influences on their sleeve (quite literally as a member was wearing a long sleeved Burzum shirt!). Any fan of black metal was in for a treat as DOAW tore into their set with full power. Black metal may be joke to some but these boys were more serious about their music than any black metal band yours truely has ever seen. Indeed from first glance and from their proffessionalism, you would never believe the members are only thirteen and fourteen years old! One to watch for the future of British black metal!

After Death Of A Warlord's set, the crowd was clearly excited to see the next band, Blessed By Death. Although this band have only played a handful of shows, they are anything but inexperienced seeing as how they include members of a band which did alot for Swindon metal named Buried Beneath. I had witnessed Buried Beneath only once before and that was at their farewell show so I wasn't sure what to expect from Blessed By Death. However, as soon as the first note was struck, they proved that they weren't just Buried Beneath part two, they were Blessed By Death and they were here to conquer! And conquer they did as they tore into their set with blistering precision and tunes which are destined to become staples of the scene before long such as Watching You Die. Blessed By Death have an attitude that only they can carry in the Swindon area, one of "If you like us great, if not we don't care", other bands should take note of how they pull this attitude off without being too cocky. They also recruited one Lee Brennan of local metal heroes Ventflow to perform with them much to the delight of everyone. All in all Blessed By Death certainly won over some new fans on this night, myself included!

Next to take the stage were Black Skies Burn, although they often play in Swindon, they are actually from Oxford (as British football fans will be able to tell you, Swindon and Oxford despise each other), however there was no negativity directed towards them from the Swindon boys tonight and with good reason, they know their stuff! They were there to make a statement which they clearly did with their t- shirts alone (a picture of The Pope with bleeding eyes and hands with the slogan "God is dead, he gave up on mankind") but their music overshadowed the image strongly. Ripping into their set with standout songs like Born Of Hate and Cast Darkness Aside, they got the floor into a frenzy of pure hatred and aggression like no other. Expect Black Skies Burn to be headlining their own gigs soon, they deserve to!

Finally we come to the band everyone had come to see, Kilians Red. Although it was revealed after the set that this would be their final show with bassist Joe, no-one would have ever have been able to tell as they took to the stage with nothing but admiration being given to them by the crowd. They surprised everyone by charging full speed into a cover of Soil's "Halo" with everyone, including people who don't even like Soil shouting the title back at them. From the get go it was mosh pits galore as bodies flew everywhere in the name of Kilians Red. Indeed some people could hardly stand up when they left the carnage being caused on the floor! Kilians then launched into their own material, performing their new self titled EP in it's entirity. Standout songs of the night had to be "The Bleeding" and "Retribution". As any Kilians fan should be able to tell you, "The Bleeding" is a song written by Kilians Red for their fans and they showed how much they truely do appreciate the fans by playing this song with ferocity turned up to the max! "Retribution" is perhaps their most well known song and carries the message of standing your ground much better than any speech made by a character from the movie Green Street ever could. As if they didn't already have the audience eating out of the palm of their hand, they received their respect fuly aswell as they launched into Machine Head's latest single Aesthetics Of Hate with pure heart and soul. Then came something I had never seen before from a local band as the crowd demanded an encore and Kilians Red were more than happy to comply with this request as they brought Paul Elston from another local band who are recognized with nothing but respect, Prometheus, to perform a second Machine Head cover. This time they delivered a cover of Imperium with no prisoners being taken. A scorching end to a blistering night! More...

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Coldworker Having One Hell Of A Tour

Coldworker drummer Anders Jakobson checks in from the road, currently on tour with Misery Index and Dew-Scented throughout Europe, to vent some much needed misery at the ongoing challenges they face as they take thier fledgling Swedish death metal to the masses.

"The (München, Germany) show was OK, we are sort of suffering from "first band disease" which means that the people who are coming to these shows are basically there to rock out to Misery Index and Dew-Scented. But never mind - it's fun to play anyway."

The three bands went on to play Schweinfurt with Converge, Rise and Fall, Animosity, Job for a Cowboy, Bring me the Horizon and a few others, but things weren't really looking up. Jakobsen tries to look on the bright side, "The crowd was a little bit held back, but the venue was quite cool and of course I got to see Converge again.
The night ended with a loud thunderstorm, which was rumoured to come during the festival, but fortunately it came while we were in our hotel beds." More...

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Re-Discovering The Metal Scene In Frederick, MD

Saturday, May 19 marked my first venture out to the new local metal spot in Frederick, Maryland - Krug's Place. They've been booking local metal bands there for nearly a year, but my last local show was at the Braddock Inn in December 2005, which had since stopped booking bands after several changes of ownership. Krug's is a decent sized place located on East Street - and much better suited for live performances than the Braddock Inn - with a total capacity nearing 300. The bar and billiards areas are separate from the room with the stage, however, so it would probably accomodate 150 people at most for the show. That would be pretty packed since there are tables in that room and the floor area directly in front of the stage ("the pit") is fairly small. More...

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Dimmu Borgir Brings Invaluable Darkness To MD

Continuing my quest to explore the Baltimore metal scene, as I've previously gravitated toward DC and Northern Virginia exclusively, I made my first trip to Sonar to catch the Dimmu Borgir, Unearth, Devildriver and Kataklysm on the "Invaluable Darkness Tour" Sunday, April 29, 2007 - making this report long overdue. I'm not sure I would have ventured out to see Dimmu Borgir and Kataklysm alone even though I like them, but I enjoy Unearth's live show immensely and had yet to see Devildriver, whose last album I enjoyed a lot. I was still very interested in see Dimmu Borgir live, both because I have enjoyed their recent efforts and I had yet to catch a black metal band live in an intimate environment (Ozzfest appearances not withstanding). More...

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Static-X Cannibalizes Starland Ballroom

Saturday, May 5, 2007, I saw Static-X for my third time at the Starland Ballroom of Sayreville, NJ. This time was different from all the others because this time, I got to meet Static-X. Well, ok, I’m exaggerating a bit; I got to interview Tony Campos from Static-X, the bass player for those who don’t know. The interview was an amazing opportunity for me and was a great way to start off an awesome show. After the interview, which took place at about 7:00pm, I headed into the venue just as the second opener was finishing. The band’s name was Divinity Destroyed. More...

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Jager Puts The Heavy Back In Their Music Tour

On Tuesday, April 10, I made my first trip to Baltimore's Ram's Head Live to catch the Jagermeister Music Tour, featuring Stone Sour, Shadows Fall, and Lacuna Coil. This lineup is one of the most promising metal lineups since the Fall 2005 tour, when Disturbed headlined with support from Corrosion of Conformity, bloodsimple and A Dozen Furies. With the least heavy bands headlining on both that tour and the present one, it's still a far cry form the days when Slayer headlined. But the tour was clearly designed to once again be a metal tour, but also draw in a comparable crowd to its more mainstream rock line-ups. More...

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God Forbid at the Amplifier in Perth, Australia

"We're American, but we don't act like Americans," announced frontman Byron Davis in a pause between songs midway through God Forbid's set – summing up the political bent of much of the material played to a small but enthusiastic Tuesday evening crowd at the Amplifier on the 20th of March.

The New Jersey five-piece, comprised of brothers Dallas and Doc Coyle on guitars and backup vocals, John Outcalt on bass, and Corey Pierce on drums in addition to Davis on vocals, played songs from throughout their 9-year, 4-album career, with focus on songs from 2005's critically acclaimed release IV: Constitution of Treason. More...

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Lamb of God Lead DC Metalheads To The Slaughter

Last week on Monday, March 26, I had the chance to get out to DC's 9:30 Club to see Lamb of God's Sacrament Tour with Trivium, Machine Head and Gojira as support. This year has been chock full of amazing tours and doesn't look to be letting up. This concert was the third sold out show in a row I've seen at the 9:30 Club, which has a capacity of over 1300 people. I was amazed upon my arrival just after 7:15 that the place was already filled to about three quarters capacity and the smell of hot, sweaty bodies already filled the air. More...

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Perth, Australia's Soundwave Festival Report

The SoundWave Festival rolled across Australia this southern hemisphere summer with dates in Brisbane, Sydney and Perth. While billed as an "all day rock and mayhem experience", headliners Deftones and +44 (a band made up of former members of Blink 182) meant the festival was always going to attract a diverse audience. The inclusion of Suicidal Tendencies, Hatebreed, The Bronx and Terror in the lineup ensured a healthy metal contingent was in attendance.

The official web site stated that the capacity of each venue was around 10,000. If this was the case, the Claremont Showgrounds, where the Perth show was held, was not filled to capacity. This meant that the crowd around each of the three stages (one indoor, two outdoor) was quite small - more so considering the licensed areas were fenced off some distance from each stage. The thin crowds meant members of some of the bands playing early sets could be seen wandering around throughout the day, chatting to fans and checking out the other performances. More...

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The No Fear Music 2007 Tour Hits Washington, DC

On Saturday, March 3, 2007 I went downtown yet again to the 9:30 club to see Chimaira, Dragonforce and Killswitch Engage perform the second of two sold out shows on the DC stop of the No Fear Music Tour. He Is Legend were openning the show, but due to prior commitments, I wasn't able to catch them.

I arrived a couple songs into Chimaira's set. The club was already packed very close to capacity. Chimaira continued to belt out what would be the heaviest songs and performance of the night with songs mostly from their previous two albums "Chimaira" and "The Impossibility of Reason." They played a couple of new songs from their then-upcoming album (since released March 6), "Ressurection," as well. "Needle" seemed very heavy and fit well within their set. Other favorites included "Pure Hatred" and staple slow-and-heavy song "Salvation." More...

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