Sunday, April 17, 2011

Concert Review: New England Metal and Hardcore Festival Day 3, Worcester, MA, April 16th, 2011

I am going to attempt to put into words how amazing this show was. It was the best concert I have ever been to. The bands were amazing, I met a lot of band members, a lot of funny shit happened, and I had an unfathomable amount of fun.

My friends and I arrived at The Palladium about an hour before the doors opened. Upon arrival we find out that there is a cheerleading competiton happening down the street at the DCU Center. It seems like every year I go to Metalfest a hillarious event is occuring in Worcester. Two years ago The Grateful Dead were playing down the street and last year Kenny G was in town. I think this might take the cake for funniest thing happening in Worcester during Metalfest. The cheerleaders and their parents looked pretty fucking scared about what was occuring at the same time. It was an onslaught of dirty looks and confusion. Absolutley fucking hysterical.

Doors opened at 12, but as usual the line was insanely long. We didn't end up getting in untill about 12:10. We were able to make in time to see the first band on the main stage, Structures. I had heard a little bit of Structures before the show and what I heard was pretty decent. I would say the same thing about their live show. Structures is about the same age as me and they aren't even signed yet, so it was pretty impressive how well they were put together considering the circumstances. Their sound isn't anything super original, but they had good energy and they were pretty solid at what they do. Not a bad start to the day.

Volumes was up next. Let's just say they weren't as good as Structures. They had two vocalists, but they both sounded the same and neither were particularally good. They did have some decent progessive sections in a couple of their songs, but for the most part it was just weak breakdowns. The highlight of their set was one of their vocalists eating shit during the first song, that was really the only joy their set brought me. Not completely terrible, but pretty forgetable overall.

I was able to catch the first three songs of The Contortionist. This was the first band of the day I was excited to see and they delievered. They caught my attention with their last record Exoplanet and they are a super talented progessive deathcore act. Their live show was damn good. They were spot-on instrumentally and they sounded pretty much exactly the same as on album. I would have liked to catch their whole set, but the main stage's sets all got pushed back due to Darkest Hour dropping off and I really wanted to catch Son Of Aurelius on the second stage.

Son Of Aurelius was fucking awesome. Their setlist was fantastic and I was so happy they played Facing The Gorgon live. That is my absolute favorite song by them and I didn't know if they ever played it live. Their vocalist has one of the craziest high pitched screams I have ever heard. I am surprised he hasn't blown out his voice due to how hard he goes live. His energy was nuts as well , he jumped into the crowd during their set closer "Slaughter The Immortals". Awesome set from one of the most criminally underrated bands in metal and I would love to see them again soon.

Last Chance To Reason was up next. I just checked these guys out for the first time last week and I was really impressed  (my review for their new album Level 2 actually got posted on their Facebook page! I would like to thank Last Chance To Reason for posting that. It's a big honor and it means the world to me.) Live they were spot-on. At times they really do remind me of Between The Buried and Me. Their vocalist, Mike Lassard, is fantastic. His range is one of the best in metal and his clean vocals especially sounded spectacular. Great new band and I highly suggest checking out their stuff if you are a fan of bands like Between The Buried and Me and The Human Abstract.

Lazarus A.D was the next band on the second stage. I was extremely dissapointed by their new record Black Rivers Flow so I was a bit less excited to see them live then I would have been earlier this year. Bottom line: Lazarus A.D kills live. They put on one of the most fun sets of the day. I honestly forgot how much fun thrash bands are live. Thankfully they mostly played songs off their first record The Onslaught, which is far,far better than Black Rivers Flow.

After Lazarus A.D, my friends and I went to the car. Some guy ended up coming up to us and it turned out it was Garin Rosen, the drummer for Arsonists Get All The Girls. We talked for a bit and he said that he wished they could have played at the Saturday date. He said the Thursday date was terrible and couldn't stand most of the bands and they got a terrible crowd response. He also asked us for beer and when we told him we were underaged and we didn't have any he was pretty bummed. I told him I was stoked for the new material and I was the digging the two new songs they have posted online and he was really apprecitative. He actually gave me a hug because I knew when their new album was coming out. Really chill and funny dude.

I was able to catch the tail end of Cephalic Carnage. They are always a good time live and their singer is hillarious.

Revocation was probably the number one band I was excited to see on the day that I hadn't seen before. They were incredible. David Davidson is an absolute madman. He is one of the best guitar players in metal right now. Every solo sounded perfect live. The setlist was perfect for the short time they had, they played everything I wanted to hear. I hope they get the opening slot on Summer Slaughter, they deserve it.

After Revocation wrapped up, I went back to the downstairs stage to catch the end of The Ocean's set. I hate to say this, they were the biggest dissapointment of the day. I have recently gotten really into their stuff and I was pretty stoked to see them live. The screaming sounded fine and the band sounded fine, it was just the clean vocals were pretty subpar live. Pretty big letdown.

While Dying Fetus was setting up, I met the singer from Son Of Aurelius. He was so excited that I recgonized him. He said they are going on another tour in July and they should be coming back to the New England area. Onto Dying Fetus, they were fantastic. Anyone that knows me knows that I don't throw the word brutal around too often when it comes to bands, Dying Fetus was brutal as hell. Their stuff sounds so good in a live environment it's scary. It's pretty much brutal death metal bliss. I am really stoked to see them again on Summer Slaughter.

I left Dying Fetus a little bit early to catch 3 Inches of Blood on the upstairs stage. Third time seeing them and as usual, they were awesome. The new songs they played sounded awesome and I can't wait to hear their new record. Only downside was they had their set cut way short. They seemed pretty dissapointed that this happened, I know I was. Still they kicked ass even with a 10 minute shorter set then they were supossed to play.

Skeletonwitch headlined the second stage. I saw them last year at NEMHF and they were sick, but this time out they were even better. They were feeding off the crowd so well and they seemed even more into it. The energy was completely batshit. Guy and Gunface from The Red Chord were there and Gunface stagedived multiple times. It was really cool seeing those guys in the crowd going nuts. Their vocalist, Chance Garnette, was joking around with the crowd and drinking beer the entire time. The setlist was awesome and the new song is badass. Such a crazy performance from Skeletonwitch and one of the highlights in a day full of highlights.

Since Skeletonwitch closed out the second stage, it means I was forced to watch Carnifex. I was so pissed they were playing after Job For A Cowboy(who I missed due to Skeletonwitch. I like Job a lot, but Skeletonwitch doesn't play MA as much as Job.)  I haven't seen Carnifex in three years and I wish I never had to see them again. They were so fucking awful. I gave them a chance, but I honestly can't find anything redeeming about their music. It's so generic and boring, every song sounded the same. They are so repetitive it's mind-boggling. Sure they have solid energy, but it doesn't save their performance. I will say it did give me a good amount of time to clear my text message inbox on my phone. I appreciate the break in the action Carnifex.

Times Of Grace was up next. Holy shit were they good. Jesse Leach sound exactly the same as on record, his voice is astonishingly good. I am curious to see how Killswitch Engage would have been if he stayed in the band. Adam D was his always entertaining and hillarious self. He is also such a great guitar player. During "Live In Love", he was playing with one hand. Amazing set and I hope they play another show in Mass before Adam D rejoins Killswitch for the recording of their album.

I have been waiting a long fucking time to see Born Of Osiris. I was supposed to see them opening for Hatebreed two years ago, but they were banned from The Palladium for a little while so they didn't appear. Anyways, I was glad I was finally able to see them live. They were spectacular and worth the wait. Jason Richardson is honestly one of the best guitar players I've heard live. He nailed every solo and then some. He even added some crazy parts to the older material that weren't their originally. I do wish they played a little bit longer and threw another one in from The Discovery. Nevertheless, Born Of Osiris put on a damn fine show.

Between The Buried and Me is my second favorite band of all time. Last night was the fifth time I saw them and I can honestly say it was the best performance I have ever seen from them and possibly the best performance I have ever seen in my entire life. The setlist was perfect and it was the best setlist I have ever seen from them. I finally got to hear Fossil Genera live and they played Selkies. Selkies is the best live song of all time, it's so fucking perfect and beautiful. There was seriously someone standing next to one of my friends crying tears of joy during the solo. I don't blame him, the ending solo is so gorgeous that I think it could bring world peace. Between The Buried and Me is perfect live and I can't wait to see them yet again.

Hatebreed closed out the show and as usual, they were great. Jamey Jasta is a ball of energy on stage and he is such a great frontman. The setlist was awesome and spanned their entire discography. Jasta was beyond thankful that people stuck around for their set after such a long day. He said they hope to have a new record out by the end of the year and go on a headlining tour early next year.

This was the best show i've ever been to and I can't wait for Metal Fest next year. It's such a great and affordable fest that always delivers a ton of fun. I would also like to thank my friends Steve, Arthur, and Dave for going to this show with me and anyone that read this entire review due to how unholy long it is.

Structures 7/10
Volumes 4/10
The Contoritionist 8/10
Son Of Aurelius 8.5/10
Last Chance To Reason 8.5/10
Lazarus A.D 9/10
Cephalic Carnage 8/10
Revocation 9/10
The Ocean 7.5/10
Dying Fetus 9/10
3 Inches Of Blood 9/10
Skeletonwitch 9.5/10
Carnifex 2/10
Times Of Grace 9.5/10
Born Of Osiris 9/10
Between The Buried and Me 10/10
Hatebreed 9.5/10

The Contortionist(partial, first three songs)
Primal Directive
Exoplanet I: Void

Son Of Aurelius(might be missing a song. came in at the end of The Farthest Reaches)
The Farthest Reaches
Mercy For Today
Facing The Gorgon
Slaughter The Immortals

Last Chance To Reason
Upload Complete
Coded To Fail

Lazarus A.D
The Ultimate Sacrifice
Thou Shall Not Fear
Absolute Power

Cephalic Carnage(partial, last two songs)
Abraxis Of Filth
Lucid Interval

Pestilence Reigns
Distmantle The Dictator
Exhumed Identity

The Ocean(partial, last two songs)
The Origin Of Species

Dying Fetus(partial, first five songs)
Praise The Lord (Opium Of The Masses)
Your Treachery Will Die With You
One Shot, One Kill
Shepherd's Commandment
Homicidal Retribution

3 Inches Of Blood
The Goatrider's Horde
Destroy The Orcs
Lords Of Change
New Song
Deadly Sinners

Blinding Black Rage
Submit To The Suffering
No Rest For The Dead
The Skullsplitter
Crushed Beyond Dust
Infernal Rescurrection(new song)
Sacrifice For The Slaughtergod
Upon Wings Of Black
Beyond The Permafrost
Within My Blood

Times Of Grace
Strength In Numbers
Hope Remains
Live In Love
Worlds Apart
Fight For Life
In The Arms Of Mercy
The End Of Eternity
Hymn Of A Broken Man
Where The Spirit Leads Me

Born Of Osiris
Open Arms To Damnation
Empires Erased
Abstract Art
Now Arise
Follow The Signs
Bow Down

Between The Buried and Me
Specular Reflection
Sun Of Nothing
Selkies: The Endless Obsession
Fossil Genera: A Feed From Cloud Mountain
White Walls

Everyone Bleeds Now
In Ashes They Shall Reap
To The Threshold
Smash Your Enemies
Under The Knife
Empty Promises
Beholder Of Justice
Tear It Down
Destroy Everything
This Is Now
Betrayed By Life
As Diehard As They Come
Last Breath(dedicated to Peter Steele)
Before Dishonor
A Call For Blood
Live For This
I Will Be Heard

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