Suspyre -- Allentown, PA -- August 2nd, 2008
So, tonight was a buffet of generally progressive metal acts playing about 10 minutes from my house. I'll hit each band individually.
Overall: Sound was crap, as I'd expect from the venue (Crocodile Rock), there were technical difficulties which led to a late start and the cutting of sets, turnout was pretty dismal as I expected, but overall I had a great time and all the people I met were very cool.
Cypher Seer a Traditional/Power Metal band based out of New Jersey, and normally have former Onward vocalist Michael Grant as their lead singer, but for some reason tonight they had a random fill-in that couldn't have fit the band less. He wasn't a horrible singer, just had a very unfitting voice and dry delivery for their sound. The songs were still pretty good though, even though the band played sloppily.
These guys are a Prog Rock/Metal outfit out of the Maryland/Virginia area and frequent the Jaxx venue a lot. There's no question about the playing talent of these guys, but at many times their music got a bit too "Prog for the sake of Prog" for my tastes, the band almost seemingly having an allergic reaction to 4/4. Also, this band desperately needs a new, real singer. Overall they played very well though, in terms of performance easily the second best of the night. They closed with a very interesting and surprisingly metal cover of Lionel Richie's "Hello".
4.His Dark Materials
5.Love You to Death
9.Hello (Lionel Richie cover)
Dark Empire are based out of New York and generally a Progressive/Thrash hybrid, almost like Blind Guardian with some harsher and more prog elements going on. Normally their singer is Jens Carlsson of the bands Savage Circus and Persuader, but unfortunately he couldn't make it over for this small group of shows, so the group had a temp replacement vocalist which kind of sucked. Musically their set was pretty damn sloppy, and vocally it was a trainwreck but there was nothing that could've been done under these circumstances.
1.Eyes of Defiance
2.No Sign of Life
4.The Forgotten Sin
This band is a Prog/Power group based out of New Jersey, and easily stole the show tonight in terms of technical abilities and tightness of performance. I really dig the sound of these guys. The singer wasn't great but still easily the best to be found between the 4 bands. Nothing but postive thoughts about these guys really. Their set list was a lot longer than it looks, a couple of these songs were 7-10 minutes long.
3.Last of the Survivors
4.April in the Fall
6.Serpent I Am
7.Blood and Passion