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Moonspell: Bringing Halloween Home

In the age where livestream shows are becoming the closest thing we have to going to gigs again, the audience has an idea of what to expect. Normally, viewers think that they'll be tuning into a glorified rehearsal, where the band sound tight, but with no one around to cheer. While this does give a more intimate atmosphere (who wouldn't want to hang out with their favourite bands while they run through tracks?) there are plenty of fans who miss the spectacle of a live performance. If ever there was a band that wasn't going to half ass their livestream though, it was Moonspell.

Originally meaning to take place on Halloween night, the Portuguese metal ambassadors were forced to move their show back by a few days, though naturally, it proved to be worth the wait. Those who logged in were treated to a vast selection of songs from the extensive Moonspell catalogue, from their debut "Wolfheart" to their sophomore classic "Irreligious," to the epic concept album, "1755." Appropriately enough for the beginning of the show, it was "Vampira" and "Wolfshade (A Werewolf Masquerade)" which kicked things off. It's been twenty six years since "Wolfheart" hit the shelves but these songs definitely haven't lost their bite or their spirit and sound as fresh as ever, something which can be said of any of the classics and gems brought out on the night. More...

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Armored Saint Livestreams A Metal Masterclass

It certainly feel strange to be writing a gig report in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has of course, all but vanquished hope of attending concerts this year and maybe even next year, but nevertheless, some bands have been able to overcome this obstacle and deliver the live experience to fans in their own home through livestreaming. One such band who refused to be denied the opportunity to deliver live renditions of an album they're rightly so proud of, was California's own heavy metal heroes, Armored Saint.

With their new album, "Punching The Sky," released last month through Metal Blade Records, it would have been a crime if fans weren't able to hear the new material in a live setting and so, despite not having an audience, the Los Angeles quintet took to the stage of the famous Whisky A Go Go on October 10th and performed with a passion which would have fooled anyone into thinking the legendary venue was packed to the rafters.

Naturally, the set relied heavily on "Punching The Sky," opening with "Never You Fret," the first of four songs to make their live debut, followed shortly after by "Pay Dirt" from the "Revelation" album. John Bush was in fine voice as always and even got a laugh when turning to the camera, cupping his ear and shouting the live cliche, "I can't hear you!" Those familiar with the new singles, "End Of The Attention Span" and "Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants," were no doubt happy to hear these future live staples performed for the first time as well, in addition to other new songs "Missile To Gun" and "On The Way."

Of course, the classics can't be ignored either and those who tuned in were treated to everything from "Can U Deliver," from their debut full length, "March Of The Saint," to the infectious "Left Hook From Right Field" from 2010's, "La Raza." It was certainly a varied set, with only "Punching The Sky" being represented by more than one song, but it was a fun one, containing other classics like "Reign Of Fire," "Isolation" and "For The Sake Of Heaviness."

All in all, this was an excellent performance from Armored Saint, one which gives hope to fans worried that a live show can't replicate the quality of a live DVD or album. The only thing missing was a room full of rabid fans, as there's no doubt they would have gone absolutely crazy for this performance.

Armored Saint frontman John Bush and bassist Joey Vera each spoke to Metal Underground recently about "Punching The Sky." You can listen to both interviews below. More...

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Vader's North American 2020 Tour Destroys Arizona

Vader’s 2020 North American tour is so laden with death metal, it (insert your favorite witty metaphor here…)!!! But in all seriousness, Vader’s supporting act entourage consisting of Abysmal Dawn, Hideous Divinity and Vitriol, is everything a true fan of underground death metal lover could wish for in a tour package. The second date of this death metal mini festival made a stop in Mesa, Arizona recently and even though it’s early in the year, I’m pretty sure I’ll remember to include this specific show when the time arrives to write up my personal “Best of 2020” end of the year lists.

After the only local supporting band finished its short set, Vitriol, the self-described extreme metal band from Portland, Oregon, was able to get the crowd at Club Red to take notice of them immediately. The dual vocal stylings, along with the chaos that ensued onstage, showcased Vitriol as a gritty no-bullshit death metal quartet. Vitriol made the most of their half-hour allotment and by the end of their set, it was very noticeable change how much of the crowd had relocated closer to the stage.

Hideous Divinity from Italy followed Vitriols flawless set. Their style of technical death metal was a mind jolt that the crowd craved on this night chock full of complimenting death metal sub genres. Hideous Divinity was tight, full of kinetic energy and their vocalist, Enrico “H.” Di Lorenzo, looked like he wanted to tear the head off anything that would cross him while he was in the moment. I had never heard of Hideous Divinity before tonight, but their version of death metal prowess will result in me listening to their recorded discography for sure.

Next up from Los Angeles, California, was Abysmal Dawn. This veteran band with more of a traditional death metal style, has been around since 2003. By the time they took the stage, the venue was really starting to fill up. Abysmal Dawn took advantage of this and played an intense set comprised of material from their four full-length albums released to date. To the crowd’s delight, the band announced that their Season of Mist label debut would be released in April of this year.

The time had finally arrived for Vader’s return to Arizona. It has only been three years since their last visit, but it felt like an eternity. Vader is in a class by itself when it comes to death metal, and tonight, they laid waste to Club Red. Setting the tone with “Silent Empire,” Vader ripped through a setlist that blanketed their 30 plus year existence. The precision that Vader nails each and every note is rarely matched within the metal cosmos. They are masters at their respected instruments and vocalist/guitarist Piotr Wiwczarek is one of the most underrated front men in all of heavy metal. At one point he mentioned about the storms they had to go through to get to Arizona and that they brought that storm onstage with them. The rabid crowd roared at this. When Vader finished their encore, there were diehards screaming for another round.

Will Vader continue to make more albums and tour into their 40 year of existence? I wouldn’t bet against it. Vader shows no signs of slowing down and judging by the quality of supporting bands they take on tour with them, they will continue to tour well into their golden years… More...

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Jinjer And The Agonist Storm The Thekla

There's been no shortage of awesome tours this year. We've seen thrash legends combine forces, bands from different sub-genres unite and pairings as black and heavy as dark matter. With all these having come and gone, it's exciting to have had one more rumble through the UK, as Jinjer and The Agonist took their European tour to this divided island to unify head bangers. Fortunately, when they came to Bristol, they took the show to the perhaps the best venue in the city, The Thekla, a boat with the grit of old school venues yet the romance of the water.

Opening the show this evening was Space Of Variations, who hail from historically fascinating Ukrainian city of Vinnytsya. Much like their countrymen and headliners Jinjer, the band is pretty hard to define, combining metal, rock, hardcore, rap and some electronic influences. The best way one could describe their sound is Madball meets The Crystal Method. Sometimes having so many different sounds can be too much for a band to pull of live, but this quartet were absolutely superb from start to finish. Frontman Dima Kozhuhar is a particular highlight, radiating with intensity throughout the set, without coming across as trying too hard. Not everyone got to the show early tonight, but those that did will know that the latecomers missed out big time. Hopefully there's big things in store for Space Of Variations. More...

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Morbid Angel/Watain/Incantation Heat Up Arizona

After standing in a healthy-looking line outside of Club Red in Mesa, Arizona, I stepped foot inside just as Incantation was finishing their sound check. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like Incantation has been playing third fiddle on some prominent extreme metal tour packages as of late. I’ve written about their solid, yet mundane, sets several times but for the purpose of this Road Report, I’m going to skip over them and start with Watain’s set.

If you’ve been living under a rock during the past few weeks and haven’t checked a metal blog or your Facebook feed, Watain experienced a significant setback before their United States winter trek started. Pelle Forsberg, one of band’s two guitarists, was denied entry by immigrations officials when entering the United States for the tour. Long story short, vocalist Erik Danielsson is taking on bass duties and bassist Alvaro Lillo is playing guitar during this tour.

Did the last-minute changes in the instrumental duties impact Watain’s performance? Not. One. Bit. Watain burned through what I considered a “best of” set that included such favorites as “Sworn to the Dark”, “Reaping Death” and going way back into their vault with “On Horns Impaled.” The pleasant surprise of the setlist however was a cover of GG Allin and The Murder Junkies’ “Fuck Off, We Murder.” This was the perfect choice of a cover tune in regards to the recent chaos they’ve had to endure.

With the headliner up next, I have to admit, this was the first time that I’ve seen and listened to the Steve Tucker version of Morbid Angel. I have heard friends rave about this version of Morbid Angel, so I opened both my mind and ears in order to temper my expectations as “cautiously optimistic.” Trey Azagthoth is still in the line-up, so it still should sound like Morbid Angel, right? Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for my Altars of Madness loving ears…

This next part is difficult to write because Morbid Angel is one of my favorites, if not my FAVORITE death metal band during the era of their first three albums. This current version of Morbid Angel just sounds empty to me, it’s not the same band at all. I’m sure there are reasons why they didn’t play anything off their masterpiece Altars of Madness, but playing a couple of songs off the lackluster Blessed Are the Sick album just didn’t do it for me. The fierce bite that Morbid Angel used to be known for is missing. There’s no movement on stage and that equals no excitement. At least Trey stills shreds…

To end this Road Report mercifully, I’ll just say that this tour package is definitely what heavy music fans in the deserts of Arizona needed to get through this Tuesday night, and Watain was the venom this tour needed to inject some excitement into it.

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Lacuna Coil Unleashes The Black Anima In Bristol

It's truly wonderful how many bridges can be built in the realm of metal music. People from all walks of life and countries join together to celebrate the music we love and have a good time and tonight was no different. Three bands from across mainland Europe have come together and put together a tour that no one lucky enough to attend will soon forget, as Lacuna Coil, Eluveitie and Infected Rain joined forces to give headbangers one hell of a show, which was demonstrated perfectly on a cold night in Bristol.

Opening the night, almost as soon as the door opened, was Moldova's own, Infected Rain. After being independent for a while, the band released their first album through a label this year, the superb, "Endorphin," the doors are swinging open for this powerful quintet. Many opening bands struggle on a tour such as this to win over the crowd, but Infected Rain did so with incredible ease tonight. Frontwoman Elena "Lena Scissorhands" Cataraga possesses amazing talent, delivering one of the most flawless vocal performances I've ever seen, while working the crowd to perfection. It was a relatively short set, but a memorable one, which is sure to have won over plenty of new fans. Next time Infected Rain are in the UK, it's sure to be one which will see them perform in front of many of their own fans. More...

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Moonspell And Rotting Christ Enchant London

Despite it being Halloween tomorrow, everyone seems to be focused on Christmas already. For metal fans in London however, Christmas came early, despite an eight month wait, as Moonspell and Rotting Christ stormed into the capital to lay waste to all in their path. Both bands initially made their name with black metal releases but have evolved into some of the more unique bands in extreme metal, utilising Gothic and world music influences over the course of their careers to forge two amazing legacies. When it was announced that the two would be embarking on an extensive European tour together, it was something which simply could not be missed.

Opening the night was Silver Dust, a Belgian group very much focused on visuals. The band makes full use of a mirror like video screen they've brought on stage, which includes a guitarist Tiny Pistol dueling with an on screen phantom, trading off parts of the famous Bach composition, "Toccata and Fugue in D minor." The whole performance is very much like a circus show, complete with with vocalist Lord Campbell in full ringmaster mode, sporting a top hat and everything. As for the music itself, it's good. Very good in fact. They might not win over many of the black metal fans in the audience, but for those who appreciate showmanship, catchy tunes with a Gothic twist and something completely different, Silver Dust are a must see. A wonderful way to kick things off. More...

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Life Of Agony Airs The Sound Of Scars In London

Alternative metal is a tag that's been given to some of the best bands to arise from the nineties. From Living Colour to Faith No More and everything in between, this loose tag has been placed on groups which may not sound like the archetypal metal band, but bring it just as hard. One such band to be classed as such is Brooklyn's own Life Of Agony, who released three stellar albums in their initial run, before returning with a new album, "Broken Valley" in 2005. Now in their third stage, the new album, "The Sound Of Scars" proves that the band are as good as, if not better than they ever were. Of course, any album release means shows and I was fortunate enough to be in London for the opening night of the trek.

Opening the night was Doyle, the eponymous band of Misfits guitarist Doyle von Frankenstein. If truth be told, I've never been a Misfits fan, but I'm always willing to check out a band in a live setting. I'm glad I did, because Doyle and his crew have put together some really cool songs, bridging the horror punk background with metal to create something interesting. The first thing that catches one's eye when they take to the stage is Doyle himself, who is still in immaculate shape and has his stage get up perfect. The man himself is joined by some top quality musicians too, particularly drummer Wade Murff who was an absolute beast behind the kit, while bassist Brandon Strate kept the ship steady throughout. More...

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Entombed A.D. Puts On A Death Metal Extravaganza

Death metal has come a long way. From the first stirrings of Possessed to the rise of a new genre, spreading to Europe and South America and splitting into many different sub genres. Europe boasts a wide array of death metal bands and last Friday in London, three groups from three countries launched the "Hell Over Europe" tour.

Kicking off the evening's festivities were Danish up and comers Baest. Already promoting their sophomore album, "Venenum" a year after the release of their debut, "Danse Macabre," the quintet from Aarhus have been rapidly gaining pace and earning new fans everywhere. Judging from the night's performance, it's easy to see why. Baest is musically rooted in the old school Florida bands such as Morbid Angel but they bring a fresh, modern take on the style, gaining from the evolution death metal has undergone since the eighties.

They have a really strong presence on stage too, immediately making them firm favourites with the crowd, who appreciated the boisterous energy, without coming across as arrogant, in the same vein of bands like Power Trip. Songs from both albums went over huge, and their growing popularity was clear to see from the rush to the merch table. A great way to start off a Friday evening and a band which will only get bigger as time goes by. More...

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Abbath Brought Some Norway to Arizona

Right this very minute, mammoth tour package consisting of Obituary, Abbath, Midnight and Devil Master is making the rounds through North America. I was fortunate enough to catch the mighty Abbath during their appearance in Tucson, Arizona. I reviewed “Outstrider” earlier during the year (you can read it here), so I was hellbent on catching them live if they played anywhere close to Phoenix. Tucson is only a two-hours drive from Phoenix, so after a quick change of clothes at home after work, I stepped on the gas and headed south on Interstate 10 for this must-see tour package of 2019.

I arrived during Midnight’s final song of their set, so that also meant that I missed Devil Master altogether. I was a little bummed about missing Midnight, but no worries about Devil Master. (I caught them at Psycho Las Vegas, meh…). After what seemed like an eternity of sound checking before Abbath, the fog machine was turned on and put on full blast for Abbath Doom Occulta’s grand entrance into an icy blue wall of mist.

While the classical entrance music was blaring, you couldn’t help but notice the monolith hugging the whole front length of the drum riser. Standing approximately ten feet high on the ends and made of die-cut aluminum (I presume, or else it would take more than two persons to carry the beast!), was the Abbath logo. Abbath Doom Occulta sauntered in front of it, unleashed one of his trademark grimaces and started riffing the intro chords of “Count of the Dead.”

Lurching into “Bridge of Spasms” next, I couldn’t help but notice that absent on bass was the very popular and busy, Mia Wallace. This was quite a letdown for me because the visual dynamic between her and Abbath Doom Occulta was part of the allure for making the trip to Tucson. Some on the spot Google research enlightened me that Abbath’s previous touring bassist, Rusty Cornell, was apparently called upon to fill in the low end for the North and South America tours. Another thing I found out is that he’s actually from Phoenix, Arizona originally. Who knew?

With only having a pair of releases so far, and to the delight of many in the crowd, Abbath Doom Occulta dipped into some Immortal favorites to fill out the set-list. “In My Kingdom Cold” and “Tyrants” were played back-to-back followed by the overly energetic “Ashes of the Damned” from the debut album “Abbath.” Between cheers and sipping beers, there was plenty of playful banter from Abbath Doom Occulta and the Arizonan laden crowd. This is why we love him. He’s a black metal comic book hero that makes some black metal purists cringe. You know what? Fuck those guys…Abbath is good for the black metal genre and for the state of heavy music in general.

Abbath’s final song, “To War!”, was immersed in an onslaught of blood red strobe lighting and was what the now ravenous crowd was hoping for as a finale. After Abbath Doom Occulta toasted the desert dwelling crowd one last time, the icy inhabitant from Bergen, Norway, left the now vacant stage. There’s no doubt that he adores his fans and every night he gets to don his iconic badger corpse paint, is cherished by him. Unfortunately, I had to make the trek back to Phoenix, thus in turn missing Obituary. However, it was well worth the out of town trip just to see one of black metal’s most likeable acts. More...

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Samael Envelops London In Darkness

What can be said about Samael at this point? The Swiss quartet are one of the most influential bands in black metal, with Darkthrone drummer Fenriz citing their debut, "Worship Him" as "essential" and have continued to evolve their sound over a career spanning three decades. From their third album, "Ceremony Of Opposites," the group began adding electronic and industrial elements to their repertoire and now boast a unique style which no one has been able to match. At their recent show in London, I had the pleasure of not just interviewing frontman Vorph (which can be seen here) but also witnessing their one of a kind live show.

Unfortunately, I was unable to catch opening band, Hangman's Chair, but arrived in the nick of time to see the Swiss stalwarts kick off. Having previously seen Samael at 70000 Tons Of Metal last year, it was interesting to see them in their own environment (and in a more sturdy setting.) With Vorph at the helm, the band charged into battle with the title track from their latest album, "Hegemony," a record which was well represented on the night, as songs like "Black Supremacy" and "Angel Of Wrath" were also brought out to crush the audience.

There was a good mix of material on display however, going back to the aforementioned "Ceremony Of Opposites" album with songs such as "Baphomet's Throne" and "Son Of Earth," as well as the title track representing their third outing. "Solar Soul" and "Passage" were also well advertised, with three songs each boldly showing how strong these records are, including the classic, "Rain" and "Slavocracy." All of this material, fierce as it is, was empowered all the more by the band's natural charisma and image, which when combined makes for one of the most interesting live bands in the world today. Samael's reign is not over, nor it seems, will it ever be.

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Graspop Metal Meeting: Intro Night

There must be a hundred festivals in Europe by now. Every year a new one pops up, some grow, some wane, but a few sit rightfully in the hall of kings. This year, I made my sixth visit to one from the last category, travelling to the small town of Dessel in the east of Belgium, not far from the Dutch border, to once again experience the one and only Graspop Metal Meeting.

Graspop, as the name suggests, originally began as a more commercial affair, once being headlined by the likes of Simple Minds. In 1996 however, the organisers decided, having witnessed the popularity of the metal bands they'd booked previously, to steer the event entirely towards catering for metal, hardcore and punk fans and brought in the likes of Iron Maiden, Sick Of It All, Type O Negative and Slayer to kick off the inaugural brawl. Fast forward to 2019 and Graspop has become one of Europe's favourite festivals, with many bands also speaking highly of it. It boasts a consistently amazing lineup, serves as a cultural melting pot where people come from all over the globe to celebrate metal and offers fans an unforgettable weekend for a reasonable price. So was this year's event? Well...

Most festivals are advertised as three day affairs, normally the Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but at Graspop, the party gets going on Thursday, as each year, many local bands as well as a few international names descend upon the half opened grounds to welcome those who have made the journey to Dessel. Almost as soon I had set up my tent, it was off to the Marquee to see one of my absolute favourite old school heavy metal bands, Raven.

Raven has for decades, worked tirelessly on their live performances and become one of the most revered performers among their peers. The Geordie trio rolled into Belgium on the Thursday and rightly received a very strong response from the crowd, who ate up such staples as "Faster Than The Speed Of Light" and "All For One." Despite forming forty five years ago, Raven still have an energy and playfulness about them that many younger bands lack. Raven is as fun as heavy metal gets, providing sing along anthems, dry humour and plenty of crowd participation. On a personal note, the band finishing the set with my favourite of theirs, "Don't Need Your Money," made sure that this was indeed the best start to a festival this reporter could have had. More...

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Jag Panzer And Amulet Rocks London

In the modern era of metal music, we often focus, rightly or wrongly, on the extreme ends of the genre. Whether it be the sweeping and intricate melodies of progressive and symphonic metal to the crushing brutality of death metal, it's all too easy to forget where the music we love so much comes from and the old school pioneers which helped make metal what it is. On this night in London however, the old guard and the younger trustees gathered at The Underworld to witness the very first British performance from American power metal heroes, Jag Panzer.

The stacked lineup began with performances from Heavy Sentence and Aggressive Perfector, two bands following the traditional path of heavy metal, both in sound and style. Fans of the old classic metal style would do well to check them out, but the real stars when it comes to opening bands was London's own, Amulet. Celebrating the release of their sophomore album, "The Inevitable War," the quintet provide a real treat for the denim and leather clad fans of such bands as Judas Priest, Saxon and Angel Witch. Though, as mentioned, firmly entrenched in the old style, Amulet have a freshness and energy about them which makes them stand out from some of the other bands of their ilk such as Cauldron and White Wizzard. Don't miss them!

Finally, it was the turn of tonight's headliners Jag Panzer to take to the stage. While The Underworld may not have been full tonight, they nonetheless received a very warm welcome from the British capital as thirty eight years after forming, they were finally playing in the UK. It was a wonderfully diverse setlist tonight, with many albums being represented by one song, such as "King At A Price" from "Thane To The Throne" and "The Scarlet Letter" from "Mechanized Warfare" for example.

Much of the focus was on their debut album, "Ample Destruction," from which the band no less than four songs, including the closing number, "Generally Hostile," as well as their latest album, "The Deviant Chord." It was clear that the band were as happy to finally be in Britain as the fans were to finally receive them, which fed into an energy the two parties traded off all night. Jag Panzer may not be the most famous name in heavy metal, or even power metal, but they're an important one, even if they do get unfairly overlooked at times. All in all, this was a wonderful night of old school heavy metal and here's hoping that it won't be another thirty eight years before Jag Panzer play the UK!

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Nova Rock 2019: Behemoth – Lamb Of God – Trivium

Nova Rock, Austria's largest and longest-running rock and metal summer festival of its kind celebrated its 15th Anniversary this year. Reason enough for Metalunderground.com writer and photographer Georg Wilfinger to visit the event and shoot some pictures, taking place June 13th through June 16th, 2019.

Below you can see George's personal extensive photo-recap of the event, scenery, and shows of his favourite bands taking place on the Pannonia Fields near Nickelsdorf:


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Brujeria Carves Up London

Much has been made of Brujeria over the years. Do they really believe their lyrics? Are they really Satanists? Are they really Mexican? The answers to all of these are irrelevant when you consider the main one; Are they any good? The answer is a resounding yes, especially in the live environment, where their cartel inspired brand of deathgrind gets shoved right in the ears of all in attendance, whether they wanted it or not. With ear sodomy in mind then, the band recently embarked on a headlining tour of Europe to promote their latest single, "Amaricon Czar," joined by friends Venomous Concept, Canadian thrash metal stalwarts Aggression and Californian veterans Sangre.

Opening the evening's proceedings was Pomona's own, Sangre. Having released their first album, "Carrion" in 2001, with a sophomore full length arriving ten years later, maybe the band are now gearing up to release a third in two years. The music itself is very heavy and very abrasive, something of a drooling rottweiler snapping at the faces of those polite enough to attend early enough to catch them. Their sound isn't for everyone and it's not in the running for any prizes for originality, but for those of you who like their metal a little groovy and supremely vicious, Sangre are well worth checking out. More...

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Decibel Magazine Metal and Beer Fest is Brewsome!

Decibel Magazine's Metal and Beer Fest is just fucking genius. Whomever came up with this brilliant idea should receive a huge bonus and/or promotion every year that it continues to happen. I attended last December’s edition in Los Angeles and I lost my Metal and Beer virginity there…and to liken the feeling to Nikki Sixx and his penchant for chasing the dragon…I needed more.

I recently returned from Philadelphia’s version and really had a chance to drink it all in this time. In addition to combining two things that are a match made in hell for each other (Heavy Metal and craft beer), the festival organizers have the marquee bands play exclusive setlists for this festival. For example, in Los Angeles, Testament played their incredible sophomore release, “The New Order” and Triptykon played an all Celtic Frost set. During the recent Philadelphia edition, Enslaved played their Viking Metal masterpiece, “Frost” and Obituary played their magnum opus, “Cause of Death.” These exclusive setlists are what really make this festival stand out among most current metal fests.

Another great attribute about this festival is the sheer amount, and affordability of merchandise available. I don’t remember seeing any T-shirts costing over $20. In addition, not only can you stuff your record bags with merch from the bands, the breweries in attendance slinging suds had plenty schwag on hand too. They also had tons of free stuff they were giving away such as coasters, koozies, stickers, pens, etc.… And if you weren’t sick of reading about all the merch you missed out on yet, Author/Bazillion Points owner and Heavy Metal Disk Jockey, Ian Christie, was commanding a table with a large collection of his books for sale.


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Godsmack Makes Legends And London Rise

For over twenty years, Massachusetts rockers Godsmack has been putting out acclaimed and relatable music, appealing to fans of rock, metal and even mainstream listeners. Last year, the band celebrated the twentieth anniversary of their eponymous debut album, by releasing a new studio album, "When Legends Rise." The record has seen a slight shift in sound but has done well commercially. But how do the new songs sound live? Let's find out!

Supporting Godsmack on this European trek was New Zealand rock/metal band Like A Storm. Having seen them twice before at Graspop, I know that these boys can throw down as hard as anyone. Their selling point that separates them from other young bands is their use of the didgeridoo (an instrument native to New Zealand and Australia.) The unique take on hard rock makes them the perfect choice to support Godsmack, as they're not too far from the headlining bands sound but far enough to offer the crowd something different. A storming performance from the Kiwis surely made them more than a few new fans tonight and hopefully it won't be too long until they return to Britain. More...

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70.000 Tons of Metal: Day 4

Hailing from Pereira, Colombia death metal band Internal Suffering (who have since relocated to madrid, Spain) open the last day of metal mayhem for me on the last day of the cruise. The group deliver a solid live performance on the Studio B - Ice Rink stage. See for some pics below:

After lunch I had the pleasure to witness six-piece progressive melodic death dealers from Melbourne, Australia Ne Obliviscaris (also Studio B - Ice Rink) convince the crowd. The unconventional metal band had their fans soon spell-bound by the flawless live-performance of their two charismatic frontmen vocalist Xenoyr, violinist / clean vocalist Tim Charles and all other band members: More...

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70.000 Tons of Metal: Day 3

Alright after 2 days of metal madness on board of the 70.000 Tons Of Metal cruise ship I guess everyone needed this: A relaxing day out on the beach. Early birds like me could even witness our arrival at Labadee, Haiti from the Windjammers buffet windows' awesome view, while having another delicious breakfast.

Labadee itself offered almost everything you would need for a fun-day out on the beach: Snorkelling tours, the Dragon’s Breath Flight Line (the world’s longest zip line over water), the 300 foot long Dragon’s Splash Waterslide, a kayaking tour, and many things more. Also a highlight - at least for most male metalheads: The 70K Tons Of Metal pool girls calendar photoshoot.

Refreshed and sun-burnt everyone slowly comes back to life back on board again and prepares for the night ahead:

Paradise Lost's second set on the boat, relied more on Draconian Times/Icon era material, opening with “Embers Fire”. Belting out “Hallowed Land”, “One Second”, “Faith Divides Us”, “Shadowkings”, ”Gothic”, “Pity The Sadness” the band really took no prisoners. Ultimately ending their set with “The Last Time” and leaving a more than happy fan-crowd.

Next up for me were teutonic thrash metal veterans Sodom, who reunited with guitarist Frank Blackfire fired off an almost entirely old school set: More...

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70.000 Tons of Metal: Day 2

While most of the fans were sleeping – well let's say some of them - the "The Independence Of The Seas" metal-battleship ship had to make a 90 degrees course change, an evasive maneuver to calmer seas, in order to avoid sailing into a storm. The 37 knot (42 mph) wind also prevented the organization from erecting the decorative side-fills, left and right of the stage. Also the lighting rig was put at half mast, so that the stiff winds won't tear it down. At least the Pool stage was ready on time for Raven and all the other bands that would hit the Pool-Deck-Stage on Day 2.

To catch my favourite American thrash metal band from Newbury Park, CA Warbringer I had to get up somewhat early in the morning - meaning before 9 a.m. - to have enough time for a tasty breakfast at the Windjammers buffet. The buffet offered everything you could think of from hash-browns, scrambled/fried eggs, ham, cheese, cereals of all kinds, toast, vegetables, fruits, juice, regular coffee, decaffeinated coffee, tea etc. etc. Even soy-milk could be served for my vegan significant other.

Warbringer kick-started the day at the Royal Theater at 10:45 am:


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