Jun 6 2014, 3h05
Mai 14 2014, 23h46Tue 13 May – Slayer, Exodus, Suicidal Tendencies
What can be said about Slayer that hasn’t already been beaten to death by millions of fans over three decades? They’re possibly the most universally loved (and loathed after a certain point) metal band all the world over, and it’s not such a far stretch to argue that Slayer is the most important and influential heavy metal band of all time. Last night, the loudest and fastest of the Big Four of Thrash Metal made their way to the Uptown Theater in Kansas City for a night of evil speed supported by crossover legends Suicidal Tendencies and one of the few bands to predate Slayer, the inimitable Exodus.
Opening the show to an already large and loud crowd was Exodus, the Bay Area band that, while coming to prominence at the same time as Metallica and Slayer, never quite reached the same level of popularity as their contemporaries. Perhaps that has put a chip on their shoulder, because Exodus comes out fast and doesn’t let up. Frontman Rob Dukes is a far cry from classic Exodus vocalist Paul Baloff, choosing to have a more harsh style of singing than Paul’s melodic style, but it works well – especially when performing later-era Exodus songs, such as the mid-paced thrasher “War Is My Shepherd.” Of course, Exodus’ most popular album is their first, “Bonded By Blood” and the majority of their 30-minute set was dedicated to that album. The crowd responded with lots of headbanging and huge circle pits. Exodus’ ode to the circle pit, “The Toxic Waltz” incited one of the biggest of the night. Their set was full of energy and was perfect to get the crowd ready for the upcoming bands.
After a surprisingly short changeover of only about 15 minutes, Venice Beach crossover lord’s Suicidal Tendencies took the stage. With vocalist asking, “Kansas City, what the fuck is going on around here?!” they launched into “You Can’t Bring Me Down” and spent their hour-or-so set providing the most melodic and fun music of the night. Suicidal Tendencies came from the California hardcore punk scene, so their music has a bit more in common with bands like The Dead Kennedys than Slayer, but their later-album songs introduced a great deal of thrash metal to their sound and caused a ruckus in the underground scene back in the 80s. Suicidal focused mainly on their second album “Join the Army” (Possessed to Skate, War Inside My Head) and their third album “How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can’t Even Smile Today” (Trip At The Brain, Pledge Your Allegiance). Suicidal Tendencies has slowly been climbing back into the public eye with a lot of touring and licensing of their songs out to various forms of media. They still bring an amazing skate punk/thrash show despite being around for over 30 years, and that alone is cause for moshing celebrations.
It seems like headliners Slayer never stay away from the Kansas City area for too long. Their last legitimate headlining US tour in 2007 was at Memorial Hall and their appearances on the Mayhem Festival in 2009 and 201 along with their co-headlining tour with Megadeth in 2012 all hit Sandstone (or Capitol Federal, Or Cricket Wireless, or whatever it is now) Amphitheater. Thankfully, it seems the Kansas City crowd hasn’t grown weary of Slayer just yet. On this particular tour, Gary Holt of Exodus was replacing the late, great Jeff Hanneman on guitars and Paul Bostaph, their drummer from 1992 to 2001, replaced Dave Lombardo behind the kit. Both performed their duties quite admirably and no one could really tell the difference. A huge difference, though, came in the choice of songs to perform. Slayer played 19 songs last night, but not a single song was released past 1991. The first five Slayer albums are almost universally proclaimed as some of the best heavy metal albums ever made, and to get 19 cuts off those is almost unheard of for Slayer in this day and age. Some highlights were undoubtedly “Chemical Warfare” and “Captor of Sin” off the 1984 “Haunting the Chapel” EP and “The Antichrist” and “Black Magic,” two rare cuts off their 1983 debut album “Show No Mercy.” It was a classic night for a classic band with a classic crowd in attendance.
1. Hell Awaits
2. The Antichrist
4. Mandatory Suicide
5. Captor of Sin
6. War Ensemble
8. Altar of Sacrifice
9. Jesus Saves
10. At Dawn They Sleep
11. Die By The Sword
12. Hallowed Point
13. Seasons In The Abyss
14. Chemical Warfare
15. Dead Skin Mask
16. Raining Blood
17. Black Magic
18. South of Heaven
19. Angel of Death
1. You Can't Bring Me Down
2. Trip At The Brain
3. War Inside My Head
5. Possessed To Skate
6. I Saw Your Mommy
7. Cyco Vision
8. Pledge Your Allegiance
1. Bonded By Blood
4. War Is My Shepherd
5. The Toxic Waltz
6. Strike Of The Beast
Suicidal Tendencies: 8.5/10
Abr 25 2014, 18h05Thu 24 Apr – Iron Reagan, Occultist
"We're going to play 37 songs, so we'll be done in about 15 minutes."
Iron Reagan may not have hit the 37-song mark Thursday night at the Replay Lounge in Lawrence, but they came close and had a rambunctious time doing it.
Iron Reagan is a four-piece crossover hardcore/thrash band from Richmond, VA featuring members of Municipal Waste and Darkest Hour. Their music is the aggressiveness of old-school hardcore bands like Spazz and Black Flag, but with the riffing and fun demeanor of current thrash bands, like the aforementioned Municipal Waste. The band was in good (and drunken) spirits for the whole show - only the drums were set up on the stage, everyone else was out on the floor of the Replay Lounge, sometimes even venturing into the mosh pit to perform. The band ripped through at least twenty songs in half an hour - maybe more - which included songs like "Eat Shit And Live," "Snake Chopper," and the 7-second opus "Your Kid's An Asshole," which the band performed twice in a row. In fact, Iron Reagan performed the first five songs from their recent 4 1/2 minute EP "Spoiled Identity." Vocalist Tony Forresta exclaimed heavy metal magazine commissioned them for something 5-minutes long to include with an issue of the magazine. "Most band's give them one song, we gave them 13." Near the end of the set, Iron Reagan performed a cover of "Don't Tread On Me" by Cro-Mags, and from the first note of that song, the Replay was a battleground for 90 seconds. Personally, I've never seen a venue go from mild enjoyment to complete and utter chaos in such a short time before. The band ended their set with Tony Forresta chucking his mic at the speaker, pulling down part of the Replay's ceiling and dismantling the drummer's kit in a true punk rock fashion. Certainly one of the most memorable shows the Replay has had in quite some time.
Touring with Iron Reagan is their fellow Richmond friends in Occultist. Occultist, with their two guitars and one extremely thick bass, had a much heavier sound that Iron Reagan - they play a very crusty style of death/thrash metal, almost like Amebix or even Extreme Noise Terror. Again, most of the band was set up on the floor and vocalist K.Z. was out in the crowd, pushing the punk's in attendance to start some moshing. Occultist had very heavy riffs and even some pretty impressive guitar solos - a great contrast to the simple (yet infectious) bands they were sandwiched between.
Opening the show was Vomit Assault, the crust warriors from Lawrence. Vomit Assault looks like they should play solely Discharge covers, but their sound was very unique - there were definitely its crust punk moments, but most of the songs (mostly 7 - 9 minutes in length!) had elements of progressive, sludge and heavy metal in them, including some pretty original melodies coming from the bassist and guitar player. They play both styles, metal and punk, pretty nicely, and not a whole lot of bands can do that. Interesting stuff from a great local band!
Iron Reagan: 9/10
Vomit Assault: 7.5/10
Iron Reagan included (some songs missing):
Drop The Gun
The Living Skull
One Shovel Short Of A Funeral
Cycle Of Violence
I Ripped That Testament A New Asshole
Your Kid's An Asshole (x2)
Don't Tread On Me (Cro-Mags cover)
Eat Shit And Live
Abr 2 2014, 18h08Tue 1 Apr – Earth, Expo '70
To the uninitiated, Earth would look like just any other band. A three-piece with a modest set-up, some members with a few tattoos, and introducing themselves to the crowd and politely asking people to not use flash, but encouraging them to record the show. However, Dylan Carlson and company make up one of the most influential underground bands of the 90s heavy rock/metal scene. On a chilly Tuesday night at the recordBar in Westport, the band trudged through seven songs in 80 minutes to a crowd that was receptive to the music when they weren't zoned out in the droning riffs.
Earth is, has been, and always will be firmly rooted in drone metal. But within that planting, they dabble around in riffing and beats that are more Boris than Sunn O))). Speaking of Boris, opening song "Old Black" from the 2011 album "Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I" is proof that Carlson's guitar playing and song structures have directly influenced the Japanese band, namely the album "Flood." The band switched back and forth between old and new songs, performing three tracks off their upcoming album to be released in July. They seem a bit more darn and ambitious than their past few albums, especially on the new track "There Is A Serpent Coming." The rest of the set featured "Coda Mestoso In F (Flat) Minor" from 1996's "Pentastar: In The Style Of Demons," albeit with a reworked intro. Carlson joked that it was the last album of theirs before this upcoming album to feature vocals. The trio also performed "The Bees Made Honey In The Lion's Skull" from the same-titled 2008 release, and ended with "Ouroboros Is Broken," which was far and away the heaviest song of the night, which is saying something when it comes to Earth.
Earth seemed to have reworked all of their songs into a live setting. Take "Ouroboros Is Broken" for example. Originally a 20-minute drone piece on a 1991 EP, it was later re-worked into an 8-minute track in 2007, however it was much softer there. Live, the band seemed to straddle the line between the two song lengths, but performed the song heavier than it has ever been recorded. The same can be said for "Coda Mestoso," a groovy, drone-y piece on album but absolutely crushing live. It's the sign of a great band - rework the songs for a live setting that can make fans appreciate both the recorded and the live versions. Not every band can pull this off, but Earth do it easily.
Opening the show was local band Expo '70. They were a perfect blend of Kyuss and Earthless - at times being very catchy heavy stoner rock before melting into a huge, long, psychedelic metal jam session. I'd heard of the band before but never got around to checking them out, but I might just have a new favorite local opening band. I haven't been this impressed with a first listen to a local band in a very, very long time.
1. Old Black
2. There Is A Serpent Coming (new song)
3. The Bees Made Honey In The Lion's Skull
4. Rooks Across The Gate (new song)
5. Coda Maestoso In F (Flat) Minor (with re-worked intro)
6. Badger (new song)
7. Ouroboros Is Broken
Expo '70: 8.5/10
Mar 27 2014, 18h53
Mar 8 2014, 21h36Fri 7 Mar – Between the Buried and Me, Deafheaven, Intronaut, The Kindred
This isn't your grandpa's progressive music.
Between The Buried And Me headlined a progressive music package at the Granada Friday night that included three other bands that are continually pushing the package for conventional music, and ever pushing the "progressive" moniker to places it hasn't been before. A very full Granada Theater was extremely receptive of all four bands, filled with lots of singing, lots of moshing and lots of smiling faces.
The first band of the night was Canada's The Kindred. The Kindred is normally a progressive metal band in the vein of Last Chance to Reason and maybe even Protest The Hero. However, they were performing without their vocalist, so everything was instrumental. Their performance without vocals didn't take anything away from them at all, and actually might've even benefited them in some places. Definitely a modern take on progressive music, they combined the breakdowns and palm-muted riffing of djent with the technicality of guitar solos and keyboards to great effect. However, it seemed like without their vocalist, the music was catchy enough to stand on its own for a bit, but it was obvious the songs were written to have a singer carry it along. They didn't have the outrageous riffing or heaviness that Animals As Leaders has, but they could get there if they wanted to. A respectable first band of the night.
California's Intronaut was up next, and personally it was my first time seeing them since 2008 with High on Fire at the Bottleneck. They've changed since then, mellowing out a bit and really embracing the stoner and progressive sides of their music. Their half-hour set included mostly cuts from their latest album "Habitual Levitations." The song "Milk Leg" showcased their incredible bassist - he even had a couple of solo's during their performance. Definitely one of the highlights of the set. Overall, Intronaut was a different kind of heavy from the rest of the night, but their sound was very welcome.
There isn't a more polarizing metal band today than Deafheaven, but you wouldn't have noticed it at this concert. As soon as the band started their opening song "Dream House," the crowd barely let up with moshing and headbanging. At one point during the song, vocalist George Clarke hopped down into the crowd and everyone screamed along with him. Deafheaven's set comprised of material solely from their latest album "Sunbather," which took the metal music world by storm last year. Deafheaven is obviously influenced by shoegaze and post-rock bands such as Explosions in the Sky and My Bloody Valentine, but the majority of their sound is extreme, blast-beat laden and shrieked-vocals black metal that they do just as good as the Norwegian masters of the genre. George Clarke is one of the most impressive frontmen I've ever seen, not only from his impeccable black metal vocal abilities, but he was constantly bounding around the stage, acting like a man possessed. An explosive performance and the best of the night.
Between The Buried And Me are at the center of this new-school progressive metal movement, and they proved it Friday night by performing all of their new album, The Parallax II: Future Sequence, which has enough twists and turns to make even the staunchest of Dream Theater supporters' heads spin. However, for the uninitiated, playing through all of their latest album might be too much. "Parallax II" might be the band's most ambitious release yet, with interludes and movements-within-movements everywhere and music genres going from metalcore to death metal to pop music to everything in between in the span of one song. Luckily for BTBAM, they have some of the most talented musicians around today to keep things interesting for those not vested heavily in their music. Guitarist Paul Waggoner and bassist Dan Briggs provide enough jaw-dropping moments per song that is worth the price of admission alone. There were several moments during BTBAM's set that stood out from the rest, particularly the songs "Telos," "Lay Your Ghosts To Rest," and "Silent Flight Parliament." However, the encore performance of the brilliant "Sun of Nothing" from the equally brilliant "Colors" album further cemented it as maybe the best progressive metal song of the 2000's.
All in all, the lineup of this tour is proof that progressive metal is no longer just confined to Rush and Dream Theater and is quickly moving to the heavier side of things. Based on the performances from all four bands, that's undoubtedly a good thing.
1. Goodbye To Everything
2. Astral Body
3. Lay Your Ghosts To Rest
5. Extremophile Elite
7. The Black Box
10. Melting City
11. Silent Flight Parliament
12. Goodbye To Everything Reprise
13. Sun of Nothing
1. Dream House
2. Irresistible (over PA)
4. The Pecan Tree
1. The Literal Black Cloud
4. Milk Leg
5. The Welding
Between the Buried and Me: 7.5/10
The Kindred: 7.5/10
Mar 7 2014, 0h34
Jan 21 2014, 19h01Thu 16 Jan – Origin, Species, Troglodyte, Confined In Flesh, A Plague in Faith
It was very comforting to see a good-sized crowd filling out the Granada in Lawrence on a freezing Thursday night for what was to be a raucous homecoming for one of Kansas' most prized possessions in music, rounded out with some of the best of the local metal scene.
Kansas' own Origin might just be the biggest musical export from the state in decades. The band has a storied history that includes tours with extreme metal bands such as Immolation, Nile, Vader, Arch Enemy and Necrophagist, just to name a few. The band has toured all over North America, Europe and Asia and is on the cusp of releasing their sixth album on Nuclear Blast records - quite a feat for what started as just some guys from Topeka in 1997. Despite all that worldwide recognition, there might not be a crazier crowd for Origin than with a hometown show. Jason Keyser, the recent addition on vocals, is a master of showmanship, constantly interacting with the crowd, helping crowdsurfers onto the stage, only to push them off into the waiting sea of madness, all the while delivering an extremely impressive vocal performance. Backed with some of the most on-point, technically proficient metal music from Paul Ryan on guitar, Mike Flores on bass and John Longstreth on drums, it's easy to get lost in bewilderment at just the music being played, but you've got to be on the lookout for the rogue stagediver landing on you.
Origin touched on each of their releases, including a hilariously too brief snippet from their upcoming album, "Omnipresent," but it seemed like the crowd was most receptive to their last two albums, "Antithesis" and "Entity". The torrent of moshing and crowdsurfing kicked into overdrive with crowd favorites "The Aftermath" and "Wrath of Vishnu", where newer cuts like "Saligia" and "Evolution of Extinction" showed more of the progressive side to Origin's madness. In the end, each song was met with an explosion of passionate crowd movement to match the explosion of ferocity on stage. Most of the attendees down near the stage probably left that night bruised and covered in sweat, blood and beer, but that's just normal for a hometown Origin show.
Providing direct support was the infamous Troglodyte. The band needs no introduction to those paying attention to any part of the local heavy metal scene, but the masked quintet plays one of the best deathgrind sounds not just in the Midwest, but in the country. Using up just as much energy for the headliners, the crowd exploded in movement and screaming along for Bigfoot-themed anthems like "Murderous Bi-Pedal Hominid Rampage (Where are My Legs?)" and a particularly vicious performance of set closer "Caught (On Super 8)". The band knows how to marry brutal riffing with infectious grooves and brings the best of both worlds to the stage to make for an unforgettable performance every time they perform.
The show was opened by three more local acts. The first band to take the stage was A Plague In Faith. This young band combined elements from several modern death metal bands and puts on a very entertaining show. Their vocalist has some serious pipes, and the performance went very old-school when the bassist hung up his guitar for a second mic, putting on a guitar-only death/grind performance for one song. Just like the old gods would have it!
The second band to take the stage was Species. The band injected the most groove into their sound of the night, fitting right in with bands such as After the Burial or The Faceless. Very energetic and very tight sounding.
Third up was Confined In Flesh. These guys take old-school death metal and inject it with new-school life and the output is very catchy, yet brutal at times, metal that's easy to mosh to. The crowd gave a huge response to it, and hopefully the band plays many more shows very soon.
Origin (maybe incomplete/definitely out of order):
Wrath of Vishnu
Echoes of Decimation
Staring From The Abyss
Expulsion of Fury
Evolution of Extinction
Implosion of Eternity
Confined In Flesh: 8/10
Species: n/a / 10
A Plague in Faith: 8.5/10
Jan 3 2014, 21h20Dismember - Massive Killing Capacity (vinyl)
Darkthrone - The Underground Resistance (vinyl)
Candlemass - Nightfall (vinyl)
Electric Wizard - Dopethrone (vinyl)
FULLSCRATCH - The Greatest Asshole
FULLSCRATCH - All Year Round
FULLSCRATCH - Admire
FULLSCRATCH - Marvelous
Ildjarn - Forest Poetry (vinyl)
Terror - Lowest of the Low (vinyl)
Anthrax - Among The Living
Possessed - Seven Churches
Thou - Heathens
Iron Reagan - Spoiled Identity (EP)
Benediction - The Grand Leveller (vinyl)
Dark Funeral - De Profundis Clamavi Ad Te Domine (2xPicture Disc vinyl)
Triptykon - Melana Chasmata
Obscene Extreme Sampler CD
Deepsend Records Sampler CD
Hells Headbangers Sampler CD
Gridlink - Longhena
Cianide - A Descent Into Hell
Morbus Chron - Sweven
P.L.F. - Ultimate Whirlwind of Incineration
Brutality - Screams of Anguish
Jig-Ai - Rising Sun Carnage
Jig-Ai - Jig-Ai
Dead Congregation - Promulgation of the Fall
Teitanblood - Black Putrescence of Evil (compilation)
Miasmal - Cursed Redeemer
Cultes des Ghoules - Henbane (vinyl)
Anaal Nathrakh - Vanitas (vinyl)
Boris - Noise (vinyl)
Mastodon - Once More 'Round The Sun
Young and in the Way - When Life Comes To Death
Mayhem - Esoteric Warfare
Bongripper - Miserable
Kommandant - Stormlegion (vinyl)
Judas Priest - Redeemer of Souls
Goatwhore - Constricting Rage of the Merciless
Alcest - Shelter
Indian - From All Purity
Behemoth - The Satanist
Kampfar - Djevelmakt
Hirax - Immortal Legacy
Bast - Spectres
Sloug Feg - Digital Resistance
Benighted - Carnivore Sublime
Embryonic Devourment - Reptilian Agenda
Corpsessed - Abysmal Thresholds
Bong - Stoner Rock
Comeback Kid - Die Knowing
Nocturnal Breed - Napalm Nights
Ringworm - Hammer of the Witch
Sargeist - Feeding The Crawling Shadows
Nux Vomica - Nux Vomica
Gravehill - Death Curse
Autopsy - Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves
Mekong Delta - In A Mirror Darkly
Coffinworm - IV.I.VIII
Floor - Oblation
Vader - Tibi Et Igni
Teitanblood - Death
Cynic - Knee Kindly Bent to Free Us
Masked Intruder - M.I.
Nov 9 2013, 3h57Thu 7 Nov – Overkill, Kreator, Warbringer, Hossferatu
The aptly named Legends Of Thrash tour made a stop at the Granada in Lawrence on a chilly Thursday night and performed to an unexpectedly enthusiastic turnout of metal heads, young and old alike. The night was full of riffing, guitar solos, blastbeats and lots of smiling, moshing maniacs.
The show wasted no time in getting things going, with California thrash maniacs Warbringer. Coming off the release of their fourth album "IV: Empires Collapse," the band showcased a side of their musicality not seen before. The album, which comprised the majority of their set, has a very strong heavy metal influence, although it still has some breakneck thrash moments - the kind of which Warbringer does better than most of their recent contemporaries. Their performance was spot-on and the mixing was great, very easy to hear vocalist John Kevill and and the guitar solos came through great. Warbringer's drummer Carlos Cruz (ex-Hexen, ex-Mantic Ritual) was one of the most impressive drummers I've ever seen in a band. "That dude has serious chops" is the understatement of the year. Warbringer can still blast off at lightspeed, but now they've shown they can take a page from Slayer's "South of Heaven" and slow it down but keep it heavy. The future for this band looks exciting.
The most impressive part of Overkill is that they're one of the first thrash metal bands in America, but they're faster and heavier now than they've ever been. Opening with 1987's "Deny The Cross" sent the crowd into a frenzy of moshing and singing along that didn't let up for a second. Overkill has one of the most impressive discographies in all of thrash metal, and this co-headlining set touched on the classics, the contemporary greats and even a couple of left-field surprises. One surprise in the set came from their performance of 1999's "Necroshine" - the track itself isn't necessarily a rarity or anything, and it comes from an era that Overkill was experimenting more towards groove metal, but it just came across as insanely heavy - maybe another nod to the stellar sound mixing from the Granada that night? As Bobby Blitz and crew ripped through their standard set-closer for almost 30 years of a cover of Subhumans' "Fuck You," it's apparent that Overkill is quite possibly the best American thrash band that is still active from the 80s.
When Kreator played the Beaumont Club last year, the only fault I could find was they came across muffled because of the sound system. Not only did the band sound clear and vicious, they outdid themselves and put on a devastating performance. Whether it "Endless Pain" from their debut album, or "Phantom Antichrist" from their fantastic album last year, each Kreator song was performed with just as much ferocity and technical brilliance as the last. Frontman Mille Petrozza is legendary for his unique vocals and his stage presence - he was constantly playing to the crowd and getting people to circle pit all night long. There was actually a part during "United In Hate" that had the crowd vocalizing along with the guitar melody - I don't think I've seen it done with that much vigor in the crowd outside of an Iron Maiden show. Mille raised the Kreator flag, as he always does, before launching into "Flag of Hate" and "Tormentor," the last two songs of the night, and the weary but appreciative crowd gave their all one last time. The crowd left everything they had on the floor for these three bands, and it made for one of the best all-around heavy metal shows that this area has seen in quite some time.
1. Phantom Antichrist
2. From Flood To Fire
4. Coma of Souls (intro only) > Endless Pain
5. Pleasure To Kill
6. Hordes Of Chaos (A Necrologue For The Elite)
7. Riot of Violence
8. Enemy of God
10. Violent Revolution
11. Acoustic guitar solo > United In Hate
12. Civilization Collapse
13. Flag of Hate/Tormentor
1. Deny the Cross
2. Bring Me The Night
3. Electric Rattlesnake
5. Rotten To The Core
6. Hello From The Gutter
9. Thanx For Nothin'
13. Fuck You (Subhumans cover)
1. Living Weapon
2. Severed Reality
3. The Turning Of The Gears
5. Living In A Whirlwind
6. Scars Remain
7. Towers of the Serpent