NEMHF -- Worcester, MA -- April 23rd, 2010
THICK AS BLOOD- So the show started with local bands at noon, but since I was coming in from Boston I managed to get in by 3 PM to see Thick As Blood. TAB is a pretty metal sounding hardcore band in the vein of Hatebreed. Most of their songs were kind of non-descript, average heavy songs with a lot of chugga-chugga riffs and breakdowns. If you love Hatebreed then these guys are your cup of tea.
HOWL- The first band on my mental DO NOT MISS LIST was Howl and they did not disappoint. They had a nice crowd representing being that they are somewhat local (Providence, RI). These three guys and a girl played a blistering set that was alternating groovy, sludge- heavy doom and thrashy. Collectively they showed great stage presence and character. Love the vocals of the frontman/guitarist Vincent. They have a new record coming out soon and I scoured the merch tables for any signs of their stuff to no avail. Bummer. Get it together Relapse Records! I'll be on the look out for that new record May 11th and will be watching their career with great interest.
ARCHITECT (UK)- I had read a few hype filled reviews of the guys so I thought I'd give them a chance. Just generic, plodding metalcore with no solos or melodies to speak of. The low point of the day for me.
AFTER THE BURIAL- I have seen a few times going back to Metalfest 10 a few years ago. This was their most impressive set I have caught to date from them. Combing a techie-death and metalcore aesthetic musically really works for them. They had the crowd amped up and pit the was furious and full of fake ninjas! On occasion they do have some riffs and drops that remind me of Emmure and Despised Icon, not a good thing to me. Make no mistake however, I think they have the goods to continue getting better and better. Special props to their two guitarists Justin and Trent for putting on some of the best shreddy-guitar displays of the afternoon without ruining the songs for the sake of flash. This reviewer deeply appreciates great musicianship and these dudes have it.
DOOMRIDERS- I was excited to finally catch the Doomriders as they are the side project of Nate from Converge. Sounding nothing like his home band Nate has forged a new sound with influences ranging from Motorhead, Danzig and Mastodon-y modern heaviness. I was also feeling some Down-like southernism too. The combination works in spades and is heavy as all hell. They put on a loud, spirited set full of energetic, riff heavy songs. Best song of their set was "Black Thunder" which is just a crusher. I'll definitely catch their next tour.
EARTH CRISIS- Although I have never been a huge fan of Earth Crisis or straight-edge hardcore I watched their set out of curiosity and respect. As you could image their rabid fans were all there, upfront and screaming every word. The pit was just brutal craziness throughout the set with people leaping up to the small second stage to sing along. Karl Buechner has always been a great frontman and tonight was no different. I didn't really keep track of the set list but the memorable songs that OI know were "To Ashes", "Firestorm" and the classic "All Out War".
CRO-MAGS (Jam)- I shouldn’t have to tell anybody reading this how important the Cro-mags are to punk and metal. These guys are one of the originators of punk rock and have greatly influenced all modern metal. I will point out that every time you nod your head to a half-time feel part of a breakdown- that comes from the Cro-Mags and their influence of the early hip-hop acts in the 80’s. Since their various reunions and breakups the band is often surrounded by all kinds of drama. Tonight's all-star lineup was in reality two Cro-Mags; John Joseph and Mackie with AJ from Leeway on guitar and Craig Setari from Sick of it all on bass filing out the stage. There was a funny exchange when AJ came on stage wearing his Yankees hat and fan right at the front yelled "Yankees suck!" John snapped back something to the effect of ”do not to start that sports bullshit or someone is getting knocked the fuck out!” When they started to play they lit it up immediately with the classic "We Gotta Know". The place just exploded! The pit was sick and full of old-school heads who knew all of the words which made me smile. I was glad I braved the floor to get up close. They tore through the set with abandon and dropped all kinds of nuggets like "World Peace", Show You No Mercy" "Malfunction" and my favorite "Street Justice". John also dedicated "Survival of the Streets" to recently deceased rapper Guru from Gangstarr and "Seekers of the Truth" to all the corrupt corporations that are soon to fall for slowly killing us all. The closed with the epic classic "Hard Times" and overall it was a great set. I recommend catching them on tour if you can.
1. We Gotta Know
2. My Life
3. World Peace
4. Life of My Own
5. Show You No Mercy
6. Street Justice
7. Survival of the Streets
8. Seekers of the Truth
10. Don't Tread on Me
11. Hard Times
VALIANT THOR- I managed to catch the last three songs of Valiant Thor and I felt they rated a mention. Coming on like a ZZ Top on crack they were a lot of fun to see. I have missed seeing them a few times now and I'm glad I caught at least a few tracks. Their closer "Mask of Sanity" was a face peeler and then they led the crowd in a cool chant about partying! I'm gonna pick up some of their music with a quickness.
Grade: Incomplete (A for effort, panache)
BARONESS- Since I have seen Baroness only half as many times as I have seen Mastodon I was definitely most pumped to see them of all of the bands on Friday. I am a huge fan of all of their albums, but I was prepared with the short set to get a heavy dose of cuts off of the excellent Blue Record. As I predicted they opened up with thunderous renditions of “The Sweetest Curse” and “Jake Leg” from Blue. It was great to see so many heads banging and hear people singing every word to these relatively recent additions to their catalogue. As usual John Baizley just crushed on guitar and vocals ,but really the entire band seemed to be at the height of their powers. Amazing harmonized vocals, shifting and careening guitar parts and a ridiculously good rhythm section. On older tunes like “Isak”, “Wanderlust” and the new single “A Horse Named Golgotha” drummer Allen Blickle really shined the most. Closing with a short version of “Grad” they sealed the deal on a killer set. Hopefully next time out they are afforded the headliners’ slot they so rightly deserved as the best band of the day..
1.The Sweetest Curse
2. Jake Leg
5. Ogeehee Hymnal
6. A Horse Named Golgotha
7. Steel That Sleeps the Eye
8. War,Wisdom and Rhyme
BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME: Apologies to fans of the group but I am not a fan and paid no attention to their set. Not entirely sure why they rate as great enough to play for over an hour on this tour. I’m sure others here have written good reviews of them so kudos to you guys.
MASTODON- The show had run smooth all day with no technical glitches. Mastodon was the only band that used their own entire backlines as other bands just swapped out drums and guitars. The changeover was relatively fast and the band took the stage to massive cheers. Unfortunately from the very start of the “Oblivion” the band was beset by technical problems and half way through the first song you could tell it might be a long night. Brent was in particular the victim or culprit of the troubles depending on how you choose look at it. Already struggling to hear himself singing in the monitors he spent a lot of time running back to his stacks of amps to play. He was unhappy with micas feeding back, the tuning/intonation of all of his guitars and was giving his tech an earful. Technical problems disappoint me, but not as much as Brent’s behavior in which he made it worse by being drunk, rambling nonsense into the mic and generally being badly off on his timing both singing and playing. Coming in late or off completely on parts live is pretty unforgivable at this stage of the game after being on the road for 12 of the last 13 months playing a similar set every night. Since Brent is looked at somewhat as the leader of the band I know a lot of fans will bag on him. Brann, Troy and Bill all spent a lot of time shooting bad looks over at Brent throughout the night leading me to believe some of was the gear and some of it was him. I won’t lay it all on him since Troy was also struggling vocally on the high notes of CTS although he performed admirably, kicked ass on bass and tried his best. Bill also looked especially tired, played sloppy and looked miserable. As you could expect Brann held it together with his brilliant drumming, but he seemed to be trying to Sheppard the band through a tough time with extra noticeable count ins, longer than usual drum fills and even some visual directing of the band so they came in on beat. I’ve never seen any of that in the previous four times seeing the band. Another plus for Brann is that he really sang amazing backup vocals throughout more than half of the CTS songs, not just the ones he did on the record. He is practically the star of the band now. Although I was psyched to hear all of Crack The Skye for the third time live it took the entire band until about halfway through “The Czar” to really hit their stride and synch up. Brent’s amazing solos made up for some of his other gaffs and he is truly one of the best guitar players out there, even on a bad night. After brilliant versions of “Crack the Skye” and “The Last Baron” they left the stage for a short break. When they came back out the tore through “Crusher Destroyer” which really uplifted the sagging crowd. The pit finally got going to the old material and for a few more songs Brent seemed better. Unfortunately things boiled over during Capilarian Crest when he stormed off stage halfway through and had his tech re-tune his guitar, twice. He tried to come back out to play “Ole Nessie” but after about 30 seconds he gave up and went off stage again. From where I was standing I could see Brent just chilling out and snaking brews, not a guy in a rush to come back out and play. The rest of the band finished the song as a frustrated looking three piece. They all went off stage at this point and there was just five minutes of waiting with the lights still down to see what would happen next. Brann came out and apologized for the technical issues and that they would play two more songs. Brent emerged from the side of the stage and again babbled something unintelligible into his microphone. After playing a terrific version of Blood and Thunder they were done for the night after a second apology from Brann. I don’t mean to come off overly negative because I do truly love the band. I may be a little shell shocked after the Megadeth debacle I witnessed in Baltimore last month. I played in bands for many years and had some pretty bad nights myself. Mastodon just looked like a beaten by the road bunch of guys. They need some time off, but I’m not sure their tour schedule allows for it. Perhaps the success of CTS is getting to them (especially Brent) and they are exhausted from being out on the road and trying to recreate their demanding masterpiece live every night. I am disappointed but here’s hoping they bounce back next time.
4. The Czar
5. Ghost of Karelia
6. Crack The Skye
7. The Last Baron
8. Crusher Destroyer
9. Crystal Skull
10. I am Ahab
11. Capalarian Crest
12. Ole Nessie
13. Blood and Thunder
I ended up missing Day two so if anyone has a good review please post it.
3/14 Alice In Chains
3/17 Megadeth (redo)
4/07 Opeth (NYC)
4/23 NEMHCF Day 1
6/05 Prong/Fear Factory
7/05 Faith No More (NYC)
8/14 American Carnage
dat fuckin title.
[QUOTE=mankvill;267016]dat fuckin title.[/QUOTE]
:lol: I love that there's one thing in the world that someone is more OCD than me about. ;)
[QUOTE=DethMaiden;267017]:lol: I love that there's one thing in the world that someone is more OCD than me about. ;)[/QUOTE]
I remember when I first game here, I thought, wow, these guys are totally ridiculous about the title of these thread. But now it bothers me when something is different...
Sorry guys- I'll do better next time. :rocker:
[QUOTE=mankvill;267016]dat fuckin title.[/QUOTE]
[QUOTE=Keefy;267014]He is practically the star of the band now.[/QUOTE]
I always thought he was the star of the band. :eyes:
Anyone else have a sinking feeling that Brent is on his way out?
[QUOTE=JRA;267033]Anyone else have a sinking feeling that Brent is on his way out?[/QUOTE]
[Raises hand sheepishly] :snivel:
I was at the show two nights before in Jersey, and the band was in no better shape that night. Technical difficulties are just an excuse for Brent's poor live performance and attitude. At our show, he stopped "The Last Baron" once to scream at the sound guy, and another time to scream at his guitar tech. I think Mastodon got too big too fast with the success of both Blood Mountain and Crack The Skye. They've been touring relentlessly for about 3 years now, so I can understand that they are tired. But GET IT TOGETHER! I hate saying it...but I really do think the band would be stronger if Brent left, especially live. But then it wouldn't be Mastodon anymore :( I just hope they can take a well deserved break, re-charge, and return as the mighty Mastodon we all know and love.
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