Category Archives: Concert Reviews
This is where we review shows we attend.
A couple of months ago, I caught wind of a cool show…co-headlined by The Sword and Clutch. If you are into that particular style of music I think you would find it to be a worthy show to attend. They happened to be passing though Denver; my (only) choice of cities for concerts and I planned on attending. However, when I was at Death Angel on 7 Nov, I heard that The Sword was performing in Fort Collins instead of Denver. I thought maybe this was a one-off show to occupy a day off, but when I did the research, I realized that Clutch and The Sword split the Denver date in two…The Sword in Fort Collins while Clutch still played as scheduled. Needless to say, based on the title of this article, I chose to see The Sword in Fort Collins which just happened to be an hour closer to home. Also performing were Fort Collins natives Bronze and Boulder, CO natives Black Acid Devil.
It’s been a very long time since I had the opportunity to catch Death Angel in the splendor of a live setting. If my memory serves me, it was August 19, 1990. Seven of us piled into some type of small white hatchback never meant for seven people and made our way an hour down the road to Boston, MA to this little dive called The Channel. I am not sure if this place it still exists and there was nothing particularly exciting about the joint other than Death Angel was playing there. They were in support of their Act III album and in tow were Forbidden along with two local bands called Cardinal Sin and Candy Striper Death Orgy…the latter was as entertaining as their name, I promise you that. I believe this may have been the place where I got my first taste of the pit…because, well there wasn’t anywhere else to go; the entire place was a pit. I also bought my favorite concert tee from that show and had that thing until it fell apart 10 years later. The only things that remain from that evening are fond memories and a ticket stub which was hand-written from a local music store called Strawberries Records and Tapes. Yeah, they are out of business now. All in all, it was highly memorable for many reasons. So, to see them again after more than two decades was highly anticipated to say the least. To make the evening even better were some quality opening acts; 3 Inches of Blood, Battlecross, Revocation, Diamond Plate, and local band Artemesis. Here is my story.
Posted by Irmelinis
For a general review of the festival and the bands from the first and second day, check out part 1 and part 2. I didn’t include all the bands playing, not even all of the ones I ended up watching; I’ve only chosen the ones I liked the best.
(THE PHOTOS ARE USED WITH PERMISSION FROM AND ARE COPYRIGHTED TO METALWASP.COM)
For being the first band to play on a Sunday morning, Mask Of Judas drew a very big crowd. Since they played in the same tent where breakfast was served, I couldn’t avoid hearing what was going on on stage and it didn’t take long before I realized it was something good. Their groovy, technical music had a nice rhythm with interesting, powerful riffs and the singer could perform vicious Angela Gossow-growls as well as really good clean vocals reminding me of Christina Scabbia from Lacuna Coil. I was impressed and decided to stay to experience more of this catchy but complex music. Mask of Judas’ music sounds like a mix between energetic mathcore and chugging djent, with melodic choruses and lots of aggressive growling. It’s creative and a bit different; the edgy, rhythmic guitars and bass complement the blasting drums and emotional vocals very well. This was a really nice start of the last day at Tech Fest.
Their EP ‘Axis’, released in April this year, can be downloaded for free on Bandcamp. Check it out!
Concert Review: UK Tech Metal Fest 2013 part 2 – Shattered Skies, Drewsif Stalin, Uneven Structure, Skyharbor
Posted by Irmelinis
Bands playing: Colors To Shame, Above The Earth, Immerse, Kartikeya, Shattered Skies, Red Seas Fire, Aeolist, Drewsif Stalin, Destiny Potato, Disperse, Xerath, Uneven Structure, Skyharbor, Veil of Maya
Afterparty: Bilo Super Jam – members from different bands.
This was the day when three of my absolute favourite bands were going to play. And I mean hugely favourite bands. So be warned, I might enter fanboy(girl)-mode. For a general review of the festival and the bands from the first day, check out part 1. I will cover the lineup of Sunday in part 3. These three parts won’t include all the bands playing, not even all of the ones I did end up watching; I’ve only chosen the ones I liked the best.
(THE PHOTOS ARE USED WITH PERMISSION FROM AND ARE COPYRIGHTED TO METALWASP.COM)
Shattered Skies are a really charming and talented bunch of guys from Ireland. They released an EP called ‘Reanimation’ in 2011 and it contains some of the best melodic, uplifting progressive metal I’ve heard in the past few years. Even though their bassist couldn’t make it, they happily went on with their show. Seeing them live put a big smile on my face and even though they only played new songs from their upcoming album, that I don’t know well, it was incredibly easy to like their catchy, rhythmic and fresh-sounding melodies. Ian Rockett gave us some impressive guitar-work and the vocalist Sean Murphy’s voice was powerful and warm, which suits the atmosphere in their music. In the middle of the set they kicked up the speed a good bit by playing a fantastic, and unexpected, cover of Pendulum’s ‘Propane Nightmares’; who would have thought that song would sound so cool when performed by a prog band? This show made me forget how hot it was in the tent; the positive energy from the music and the crowd was so strong. Shattered Skies were amazing live and I can’t wait to hear their new album!
Shattered Skies – “Saviours” and “As the Sea Divides”
I had been looking through Drewsif Stalin‘s videos on YouTube (he’s a so called YouTube-celebrity) before the festival, to see what kind of an artist he was. Turns out he’s been making metal covers of pop songs, is a good guitar player as well as the bearer of an impressive singing voice. He seemed to be quite entertaining and fun, so I decided to check out his live show. He played some extremely heavy, riff-filled songs and one very long track where he took over the mic as well (what a cool voice, I would have liked to hear more of that!). He was joined by the vocalist from Red Seas Fire on a couple of songs. Overall, it was fun to watch, the songs were a nice listen and I hope Mr. Stalin will continue to write music, and more importantly, use his singing voice to a greater extent. Well done!
Drewsif complete show:
Now it was time for a band whose debut album ‘Februus’ has impressed me greatly over and over again. They have also recently re-recorded and released their first EP ‘8’, to include a new mix and the vocalist from their debut. I could never have imagined how powerful their music would sound live. It was a sound so crushingly dark and heavy it went through flesh and bones and completely smashed everything. I don’t mean fast-as-hell kind of heavy, it’s more like aggressive-low-end percussive-riffing-kind of heavy. In particular when they played the first half of their set, which was the whole EP ‘8’ from start to finish. You could tell people enjoyed it but as soon as the first song from ‘Februus’ started playing the crowd really woke up and started moving; this were the songs we all know and love. They played the first six songs in the order they appear on the album. With no less than three chugging guitarists, one skilled bass player, a drummer that is working hard and a vocalist that hits every note perfectly, this was a very tight and flawless performance. The ambient melodies in the backing soundtrack we know from their albums added a beautiful, electric flow to the music and is a part of the band’s perfect use of dynamics. These soft passages make you relax and breath a bit, just enough so the contrast of the explosive, thundering parts will hit you even harder.
This was the most intense live show I’ve ever experienced and in such an intimate live setting it was just… wow. I was speechless for a good while when the show was over, I couldn’t even collect my thoughts and comprehend what I had just experienced. Now I know what ‘having your mind blown’ really means…
Uneven Structure complete show:
It’s impressive when a band travels all the way from India, only to play a 45 minute live set in front of an audience on a tiny festival. For many visitors, including myself, this was one of the most anticipated shows this weekend.
Skyharbor was started in guitarist/composer Keshav Dhar’s bedroom and quickly became a well known name in modern progressive metal. He started out with instrumental songs, but soon Daniel Tompkins (ex-TesseracT) joined the band and provided vocals on their debut album ‘Blinding White Noise: Illusion and Chaos’, which turned out to be the perfect fit. For this show, Skyharbor’s drummer Anup Sastry wasn’t available as he’s on tour with his other band Intervals, but they borrowed Mike Maylan (who also played a set with his band Monuments as well as being the drummer for The Algorithm this weekend) and he managed to learn the whole set of Skyharbor’s complex songs in only 4 days! That’s one hell of a drummer…
Due to most of the band living on the other side of the world, and their singer being British; they haven’t had more than a couple of chances to actually play together as a whole band before. This didn’t hinder them in the slightest and it did not affect the quality of their live performance. Which was, of course (did anyone ever doubt this?), absolutely breathtaking.
There were many happy faces in the crowd during this set, and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one with serious goosebumps and tears in my eyes after getting over the initial chock of hearing Daniel Tompkins’ sincere and powerful voice in the opening track ‘Dots’. He’s a very charismatic front man and always leaves a humble, kind and genuine impression. Vocal-wise, there are some extremely demanding screams, high notes as well as low ones throughout the songs and Daniel managed to deeply impress with his range and versatility, doing everything from long, dreamy notes to sharp, edgy and harsh vocals.
The whole band seemed happy to be playing together and they all did such a great job performing both the bass-driven, groovy melodies and the heavy riffing parts, while the stand-in drummer was pounding away like he’s been a member of Skyharbor his whole life. They played all the tracks from ‘Illusion’ in album order and it was truly beautiful. The third song ‘Catharsis’ has nice, driving drums and fantastic rhythm guitars; it really builds up tension through the song and when Daniel released a cascade of high screams at the end… I was standing there with chills all over and my jaw on the floor… During ‘Night’ and my favourite song ‘Celestial’ I could hear many fans loudly singing along, and so was I; completely drawn in by the intense and emotional atmosphere of Skyharbor’s music. They certainly delivered in every way, and left us with many unforgettable moments from their first UK show.
Skyharbor – Intro and “Dots”
Concert Review: Sonisphere Milan (Rho Fiera) June 8th, 2013 (Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Mastodon, Ghost)
Posted by atleastimhousebroken
Between countless bits of memorabilia, various t-shirts, an extensive Iron Maiden discography, and a tattoo of Eddie the Head taking up half of my back it’s quite obvious that I am quite the die-hard Iron Maiden fan. So the second I heard that Bruce, Steve, Adrian, Nicko, Dave, Janick, and Eddie were going to be making a stop in Milan to headline the Sonisphere festival it was an immediate ticket purchase, especially after a 6 year dry spell where I haven’t seen my all time favorite band live. At first the only band that was announced was Iron Maiden, and even if Justin Beeber and The Spice Girls were also playing I would have dropped the €60 regardless, I was still curious to which other bands would be on the bill. Lucky for me the ridiculously Satanic doomsters Ghost were announced as well as a band that truly lives up to their name, Mastodon. Also on the bill was Megadeth and a couple of other bands whose names escape me and were on the stage too early for me to see. With such a damn fine line-up and my expectation blasting through the roof did the show live up? Long story short, Hell Fuck Yeah!!!
It was another affair with Opeth, my second, this time at the Fox Theater in Boulder, Colorado 20 May 2013. It was not surprising that Katatonia were on board to open the show seeing how both bands are very good friends and tour together often. This was also my second time seeing Katatonia, but this evening was provided more Katatonia than I have ever seen, since the first time was at a festival…and a 25 minute set doesn’t do much justice for most bands. And before you read on, no there was no special set of Bloodbath afterward…though that would have been very cool. Read the rest of this entry →
A secular haze descended over Denver on the 18th of April. Ghost B.C. headlined their North American tour with Ides of Gemini and local Denver boys Speedwolf opening the set. This was a much-anticipated tour stop for me as I have come to greatly appreciate the groovy styles and satanic bliss known as Ghost B.C. After having seen them at Download 2012, I vowed to catch their shows any chance I can. This was definitely an opportunity I was not going to miss for two reasons; 1 – they were supporting their new album Infestissumam; 2 – they were headlining and I wanted to experience all of Ghost B.C.’s grandeur. From here on out, I will refer to them as (just) Ghost.
Fans were out in full-force Tuesday night (Apr 2) in Denver, CO for the sold-out Metal Alliance Tour featuring Anthrax with special guests Exodus, High on Fire, Municipal Waste, and Holy Grail. If my memory serves me, this was my ninth appearance in the crowd at an Anthrax set. Under normal circumstances, I would have thought a bit more about traveling 102 miles on a weekday to see a band I have seen so many times, but once I learned Anthrax’s Among The Living would be played in its entirety, I just had to be there. Also, I never saw any other of the other bands live before, so there was also that. One other reason fueling my interest with this show was…of all the times I saw Anthrax this was only the third as a headliner. I longed for the full-set experience and I got it!
I find it interesting that the days before and immediately after this Testament show was/is snowy and miserable. A cancellation would not have surprised me, but on Monday the 25th, the sun was shining and the Interstate highway nice and clean…as if a gift from the Metal Gods telling me I must attend the show. So, after a full day of work and a 103 mile drive to Denver with my GPS voiced by America’s best Dad Homer Simpson, I made my way to the Summit Music Hall in downtown Denver, CO. My goal was to get there before Flotsam and Jetsam, but as luck would have it I arrived in time to see all the bands…which was a super bonus.