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  #1  
Old 08-02-2008, 09:47 PM
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Maiden33 Maiden33 is offline
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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
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.
Set list:
1.Point Black
2.Awakening Day
3.Final Encounter
4.The Curse
5.Black Rain

Odin's Court
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".
Set list:
1.Terracide
2.Volatilestial
3.Oceanica Toxica
4.His Dark Materials
5.Love You to Death
6.Animaulic
7.Mammonific
8.Manifest Destiny
9.Hello (Lionel Richie cover)

Dark Empire
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.
Set list:
1.Eyes of Defiance
2.No Sign of Life
3.Salvation Denied
4.The Forgotten Sin
5.Prelude
6.Haunted
7.Possessed
8.Humanity Dethroned

Suspyre
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.
Set list:
1.Distant Skies
2.Crimson Shade
3.Last of the Survivors
4.April in the Fall
5.Apex
6.Serpent I Am
7.Blood and Passion
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  #2  
Old 08-03-2008, 12:12 PM
OdinsCourt OdinsCourt is offline
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I don't normally comment on reviews and people's opinions about performances; however, I feel this reviewerís point of view has to be put in context, as there were very difficult circumstances surrounding the show for the performers.

There were NO stage monitors. Musicians who perform can understand how this can make things near impossible to deal with, and those who don't will often think "so what" because they typically have no idea of what this means. Why do I say this? Well, the reviewer commented how all of the singers of the bands essentially sucked, sounded dry, didn't fit, weren't great, etc., as well as sloppy performances by bands. Well, they couldn't hear themselves AT ALL. Again, if you aren't a musician and especially a singer, you probably don't understand how stressful this is, and how it makes it nearly impossible to give a solid performance. If you can't hear your pitch or the pitch of the instruments relative to the voice, there is greater room for problems.

The other part about the sound is that the system was messed up, and there were only 3 "working" channels. This meant the keys were miced, and there were 2 vocal mics leftover. Everything else was from cabinets or natural sound. Aside from that, the EQ was obviously screwed up, and made the vocals sound very much like they were filtered through a megaphone. The sound guy did a great job to achieve even this limitations, even though it still yielded a sub par night of sound.

The bands dealt with a lot of stress last night. The situation made it extremely difficult to perform, and unfortunately resulted in a so-so show, when it could of been amazing. The bands all felt bad for the fans most of all, as it is very disappointing to see a show with bad sound, and one where the performers are limited in their ability to deliver. For those who came out, we're all sorry that your expectations may not have been met, and we did all give it our all, and hopefully you can appreciate that.

At any rate, glad there were still some redeeming qualities in the show.
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  #3  
Old 08-04-2008, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OdinsCourt View Post

There were NO stage monitors. Musicians who perform can understand how this can make things near impossible to deal with, and those who don't will often think "so what" because they typically have no idea of what this means. Why do I say this? Well, the reviewer commented how all of the singers of the bands essentially sucked, sounded dry, didn't fit, weren't great, etc., as well as sloppy performances by bands. Well, they couldn't hear themselves AT ALL. Again, if you aren't a musician and especially a singer, you probably don't understand how stressful this is, and how it makes it nearly impossible to give a solid performance. If you can't hear your pitch or the pitch of the instruments relative to the voice, there is greater room for problems.

The other part about the sound is that the system was messed up, and there were only 3 "working" channels. This meant the keys were miced, and there were 2 vocal mics leftover. Everything else was from cabinets or natural sound. Aside from that, the EQ was obviously screwed up, and made the vocals sound very much like they were filtered through a megaphone. The sound guy did a great job to achieve even this limitations, even though it still yielded a sub par night of sound.

The bands dealt with a lot of stress last night. The situation made it extremely difficult to perform, and unfortunately resulted in a so-so show, when it could of been amazing. The bands all felt bad for the fans most of all, as it is very disappointing to see a show with bad sound, and one where the performers are limited in their ability to deliver. For those who came out, we're all sorry that your expectations may not have been met, and we did all give it our all, and hopefully you can appreciate that.

At any rate, glad there were still some redeeming qualities in the show.
FYI:
I'm in a band myself who have played a large number of shows in varying sized and quality venues over the last 3-4 years. I know what it's like to play on stages with no monitors or with horrible sound, where you can't hear anything that's going on, I definitely can relate. I also easily relate to the tiny tiny stage problem. My band has played at Croc Rock several times in the past, I relate to every aspect of this story.
And I definitely picked up on the shitty quality of the vocal microphone. However it didn't have a monumental affect on the vocals overall as far as I could tell. I've heard the Odin's Court Deathanity CD and wasn't all that impressed with the vocals on that to begin with.
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Old 08-05-2008, 11:21 AM
OdinsCourt OdinsCourt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maiden33 View Post
FYI:
I'm in a band myself who have played a large number of shows in varying sized and quality venues over the last 3-4 years. I know what it's like to play on stages with no monitors or with horrible sound, where you can't hear anything that's going on, I definitely can relate. I also easily relate to the tiny tiny stage problem. My band has played at Croc Rock several times in the past, I relate to every aspect of this story.
And I definitely picked up on the shitty quality of the vocal microphone. However it didn't have a monumental affect on the vocals overall as far as I could tell. I've heard the Odin's Court Deathanity CD and wasn't all that impressed with the vocals on that to begin with.
I'm used to comments about Odin's Court vocals, as they are very different than the traditional technical metal vocals most people are used to. I didn't write to dispute your opinion on them. However, you wrote negative comments about ALL 4 vocalists, and I know that the other 3 vocalists are more of the "traditional" sound and all very talented technically. So I didn't find your criticism fair in the context.

So you've played in bands and can understand; that's great! However, are you a vocalist? Have you ever sung in public with reinforced sound where you cannot hear your voice AT ALL? While it is overly challenging to perform on any medium in all cases when you canít hear, vocals are even more challenging. When you hit a snare it makes the sound it is intended to make. When you fret a G chord on a guitar, it sounds the notes for a G chord. When you hit a C key on a keyboard, it plays a C. And so on. All without any further manipulation. However, when you lengthen and shorten your vocal chords, the pitch changes. Your instrument is susceptible to temperature, sickness, strain, etc. And one of the worst factors is not being able to hear, because it makes it much more difficult to maintain pitch, attack, timbre, etc.

Again, I'm not trying to discredit your opinion in regards to Odinís Court and their vocals; Iím merely putting the show and all 4 vocal performances in context to be fair to the performers, as I think it is unfair to judge the other 3 so harshly given the conditions.

Rock on!
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  #5  
Old 08-05-2008, 06:44 PM
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Maiden33 Maiden33 is offline
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Well, first off I want to say I made a post on the Suspyre forum that puts it into a little bit more of perspective, and I do believe I owe you an apology to some extent, so am somewhat sorry.
I am not a lead vocalist myself, but I do sing a lot of backing vocals and occasionally lead as well. I can understand the massive pain in the ass it would be to do it full-time, especially when playing guitar.
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