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Old 06-07-2006, 10:50 AM
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DethMaiden DethMaiden is offline
We're dying on the inside
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NYC
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The Metal Crusaders Tour -- Cincinnati, OH -- June 6th, 2006

6/6/06. Could I have possibly asked for a cooler day to go see a metal show? The Metal Crusaders Tour is the underground answer to big name bills like Unholy Alliance, Ozzfest, Gigantour, and Sounds of the (not so) Underground. Featuring Vader (Poland), Kataklysm (Canada), Destruction (Germany), Speed\Kill/Hate (USA), Graveworm (Italy), and The Absence (USA), this tour brought to the table an incredibly diverse lineup of new, tr00 metal. The day overall was pretty special, I woke up and put on some Slayer, then ChildrenofSodom came over and we watched some metal videos, then at 4:00 we left for Cincinnati. Doors were at 6:00, and we got there at 6:05. First stop was the merch table. I bought a Destruction- Infernal Overkill shirt with the Metal Crusaders tour dates on the back. COS bought himself a Kataklysm- In the Arms of Devastation shirt with dates on the back. At 6:10 (!), the first band hit the stage. I raced up to the rail in front of the stage and grabbed a spot. It took me a few songs to realize it, but the first band on was actually Graveworm. I assumed that they had a rotating spot with the Absence and expected them to go on next. When the next band was Speed\Kill/Hate, I decided that the Absence lived up to their moniker and didn't show up. Perhaps that was a running joke and they weren't actually touring with them. Either way, Graveworm played a half hour set of blastbeat-free black metal. The female keyboardist was beautiful and created great symphonic chords to lay over the brutality of the rest of the band. I haven't got a setlist for them, and even the songs he introduced I couldn't get because he introduced them in his growl. Speed\Kill/Hate weren't half bad. They were heavily Overkill-influence---Dave Linsk is their guitarist---and they have vocals that I can describe roughly as metalcore. Lamb of God came to mind. They didn't have enough material to fill their half-hour so Linsk did solos for five minutes. Now that was fucking metal. Up to that point, it was the highlight of the night. They didn't do any Overkill covers, unfortunately, and I don't have their setlist. They closed with "Walls of Hate" though. After Speed\Kill/Hate came the trilogy of bands most people were there to see. Destruction, Kataklysm, and Vader.

Destruction got a forty-five minute set and played it to its fullest. Aside from Rush, I've never seen a mere three guys play with such an incredible and deep sound. The bass played the role of second guitar and actually dueled it in solos, harmonized with it, and played its riffs while the true guitarist soloed. Shmier is up there with Steve Harris as far as playing a truly important metal bass. Everything was tight as a drum, and Destruction were the best band of the night. Their set was unfortunately short, but Shmier promised a full U.S. headlining tour next year. Breaking news! Before me is the actual paper setlist handed to me by a roadie, so this set is 100% accurate.

Soul Collector
Nailed to the Cross
Mad Butcher
Thrash Till Death
The Antichrist
Release from Agony
Unconscious Ruins
Metal Discharge
Curse the Gods
Total Disaster
Bestial Invasion
The Butcher Strikes Back

After Destruction came half and hour of Pantera over the speakers and roadies switching backdrops and gear. Kataklysm easily had the highest budget of the five bands there. They had an enormous backdrop of their new album cover that covered the length of the stage. They didn't use paper setlists, they had the technology to have their songs and lyrics put on teleprompters. These Canadians play what can be described as Gothenthrash. Enemy of God=Kataklysm, basically. The big fat singer sang just like Angela Gossow. That's a little weird. Did I enjoy them? Well enough, they certainly got the blood flowing and the head banging, but they aren't anything special, and I'm not in a hurry to buy their stuff. They did a fairly good job of introducing tracks but I gathered enough from the lyrics on my pad that I feel comfortable saying this is 100% right.

In Shadows and Dust
Like Angels Weeping (The Dark)
The Resurrected
Let Them Burn
As I Slither
Caged In
Manipulator of Souls
Crippled and Broken
The Ambassador of Pain
Face the Face of War

There was a half hour wait between Kataklysm and the headliners, Vader. Moshing had been considerably light all night long, and during Vader was no exception. The few moshers (not including myself, who would give up a fucking rail spot?) looked like they just got bored with it after awhile and would mosh for fifteen seconds each song then just headbang and watch. Vader were musically the most talented guys out there, I think. Destruction remained my favorites for the raw energy that surged through the place when they were on, but Vader...goddamn. They can really play their instruments. My only preparation for their set was owning The Art of War, and they did four songs from it, so I did get some sing along time. I was face to face with the bassist the whole time and headbanged and threw him the horns the entire hour they were on stage. He was really just as good as Shmier, on reflection, and certainly faster. He had one of those banjo-type picks so he just had to move his open palm up and down to strike the strings. He kicked major ass and banged his chest frequently. He didn't speak a word of English, though. The setlist is 100% accurate, and has an interesting surprise at the end.

Para Bellum
This Is the War
Lead Us!!!
Silent Empire
Blood of Kingu
Black to the Blind
Banners on the Wind
The Crucified Ones
Out of the Deep
Dark Transmission
Dark Age
Raining Blood (SLAYER cover)

That's right, National Day of Slayer was closed with the most brilliant cover song I've ever heard live. Vader made it their own and got the very tired crowd to mosh harder than they had all night. RAINING BLOOOOOOOOD!!!! Goddamn, that was so fucking awesome, it's hard to put in words. They left the stage, got chanted back on, and went into that famous intro.

10 Eddies and easily the most metal show I've ever seen. Highlights of the night were Destruction doing "Mad Butcher" and of course the Raining Blood cover.
Mortals are mortar and life is the fuse.
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