Fallujah – “Undying Light” (Nuclear Blast)

Tech Elements Simmer Down But Fallujah’s Signature Sound Remains Continue reading “Fallujah – “Undying Light” (Nuclear Blast)”

Equipoise – “Demiurgus” (The Artisan Era)

Equipoise’s LP Debut is a Blistering Fury of Virtuosity and Complexity

Following up to their 2016 EP Birthing Homunculi, Equipoise’s first full-length “Demiurgus” sets the bar even higher with relentless talent and in-depth compositions. An album cover that depicts a possessed, space-traveling leviathan is fitting to the intense soundscapes. The flawless musicianship on this body of work can leave even non-metal listeners speechless and humbly perplexed. Continue reading “Equipoise – “Demiurgus” (The Artisan Era)”

Failure by Proxy Thrills a Packed Ace of Spades

Vet-Traxx artist Failure by Proxy was selected as main support for the mainstream rock band Puddle of Mudd at Ace of Spades on January 26, 2019.  Failure by Proxy was recently nominated for a 2019 Sacramento Area Music Award (Hard Rock Category), and was a natural choice for the show.  When the big day arrived, the venue was packed from wall to wall with fans staking claim to their spots for the sold-out show.  Continue reading “Failure by Proxy Thrills a Packed Ace of Spades”

Concert Photo Review: Devildriver at Holy Diver – November 17th, 2018

Devildriver recently performed at Holy Diver on their “Outlaws ‘Til The End” U.S. Headline Tour. Nikon shooter Jennifer Black was there to capture the excitement.

At the start of the tour, vocalist Dez Fafara had this to say, “Today, Devildriver hits the road in support of Outlaws ‘Til The End: Vol. 1 in the USA! We’ve got some special songs in store for you all on this run and we can’t wait to share the stage with Jinjer in support of their new EP. Along with us will be Raven Black as well! Tickets are going really fast and many venues are very close to selling out on these fall shows so fair warning! October/November is my favorite time to tour, so come join the madness and get the f-ck in the pit with Devildriver!”

 

Outlaws ‘Til The End: Vol. 1 reached #1 on the Loud Rock radio charts, in addition to charting in the U.S. at #2 on the Top Hard Music Albums charts, #6 on the Top Current Rock Albums chart, and within the Top 20 on the Top Internet, Overall Digital, and Top Current Albums charts. Outlaws ‘Til The End: Vol. 1 charted at #8 on the Canadian Top Current Albums charts, as well as in the UK at #9 on the Rock & Metal Chart and #18 on the Independent Chart. The band also reached additional charting positions on the U.S. Billboard Top 200, and in Canada, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.

 

 

 

An Evening With Behemoth In San Francisco, California – November 23rd, 2018

Almighty black and death metal legends Behemoth tore up the stage at The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco Friday night, November 23. This was my first time seeing the Polish Satanic-lyrical themed powerhouse. I knew after all of these years listening to them as my main gym playlist that their shows would be like no other.

Wolves In The Throne Room who brought amazing atmospheric black metal to the table were the show openers. Swedish melodic death metal pioneers At The Gates played after incorporating more movement from the crowd when playing classics like “Blinded By Fear”.

When the stage banner was being put up for Behemoth along with their iconic mic stands, I noticed the audience space getting more should-to-shoulder. Stage lights were not even cut yet at this point and the haunting kids choir from “Solve” from their new album came on the PA. The repeating chants “Living God! I shall not the forgive! Jesus Christ! I forgive thee not!” got the crowd ready and reciting back.

The suspense was lingering as the same lines repeated over and over not knowing when the members would come out and start the song. 5 minutes later each member comes out one by one in their dark aura costumes along with black skull masks and hoodies. The audience reacted intensely to the huge chords and relentless blasting.

Next they played “Wolves ov Siberia” and the circle pit was persistent from the sold-out show audience. Another track they played off “I Loved You At Your Darkest” was “Bartzabel” and the frontman Nergal came out to it wearing a huge dark bishop headpiece.

I was blown away how sick it was seeing their stage lights synched up with the heavy chugging of the guitars on the track “Ov Fire and The Void”. But the craziest response from the fans all night was when they played the barbaric “Demigod” classics “Conquer All” and “Slaves Shall Serve”.

On “Conquer All” the audience was roaring along to the lyrics and headbanging the whole time. When I heard the demonic vocal intro to “Slaves Shall Serve” I lost my mind and with adrenaline, forced myself into the mosh pit battle field. I went in the circle a few times sprinting as fast as I could. I was so in the zone that I forgot to breathe at one point. I came out of it about a minute later with a minor scar on my forearm that I didn’t notice until the next day.

Another notable part of the show was when they played the evil dragged-out track “Lucifer”. Nergal came out over the crowd railing and into the audience half way through with blood dripping from his corpse-paint face as he enthusiastically high fived and screamed for fans. He then stepped back on stage just in time to climb up the stairs to the next level to join side-by-side with drummer Inferno and guitarist Seth to finish off the eerie outro.

The last song they played was “Coagvla” and all four members marched towards the edge of the stage in military formation playing tenor drums in unison. When it ended, the lights cut out and the audience shouted throughout the large venue.

The theatrics, stage presence, energy, choreographed parts, and crowd response was the most unique thing I have witnessed at a concert to date. Throughout the show their heaviness and intensity was cathartic and inspiring in a way I’ve never felt before. It was a show I will take with me to my day to day life and remind myself to always strive and conquer all.

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Author: Tom Sundgren

Philip H Anselmo and the Illegals pack Holy Diver

Philip H. Anselmo & the Illegals packed Holy Diver in Sacramento Sunday night, November 11. I’ve seen Pantera at least four times in New York and California, I’ve seen Down a few times, I’ve seen the Illegals twice before Sunday night, and I’ve seen Superjoint a.k.a. Superjoint Ritual at least three times in New York and California, in addition to meeting my favorite vocalist a couple times, and what I can say for sure is that he is still a force. Continue reading “Philip H Anselmo and the Illegals pack Holy Diver”

Alchemy Chamber – Opus I: Subtle Movements From Within (self release)

Released October 6th 2018, Canadian Neo-Classical instrumental band Alchemy Chamber’s debut self-released album Opus I- Subtle Movements from Within features a lineup of instruments one could find from a lot of bands (drums, bass, guitar) with the added enhancement of a saxophone and cello. The group has a sound that is a great balance of classical elements found on the cello and saxophone which are rooted in metal with the other instruments. With all of the compositions on this album written by Anna Kuchkova (cello) it is interesting to hear how the metal elements (heavy guitar, double kick drums, electric bass) blend with the classical style melody lines and harmonies played between sax and cello. It’s also great to hear the two stylistic elements work together to form a cohesive sound that when listened to on a closer level do not sound far removed from either a small classical ensemble or an instrumental number from heavier sounding bands.

Without vocals at the forefront drawing most of the attention in these songs I find it more accessible to appreciate the skills each musician is showing on their respective instruments. I love the sound of the group and feel that the unusual instrumentation for this neo-classical band gives this group an overall unique vibe that sometimes feels left out in many bands the modern era. Overall Alchemy Chamber will deliver a refreshing twist to the standard heavy band delivery and has the possibility to open the doors to enjoying a wider range of music.

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Author: Derek Bean