Thursday, April 29, 2010

New England Hardcore and Metal Festival Day 2

If you thought day 1 of the New England Hardcore and Metal Festival sounded fun, then you're in for quite the ride on day 2. That Guy and I hit up the Palladium at 12:00 PM after eating a very awesome breakfast. When we got there, we met up with some of the industry people to talk about last night, and met a few cool people who actually came from Jersey (and even recognized our voices!!!). After getting all settled, we headed upstairs to the second stage to see SWASHBUCKLE absolutely tear it up. Kids were going nuts even at 12 in the afternoon, it was awesome to watch them. Swashbuckle in case most of you aren't familiar with, is a very heavy thrashy pirate band based out of NJ with some of the funniest songs you will ever hear. After that, we ventured downstairs to the main stage to get a glimpse of some new prospective bands that you may hear on our station. First was Lecherous Nocturne, a very heavy blackened death metal band that paved the way for the rest of the heavy bands to follow. After them, a band from Britain, which ironically it was their first tour in America, named MALEFICE, came on. Malefice in my opinion, was one of the best sounding bands of the day, and yes I know, how can I say that over such bands as cannibal corpse and amon amarth, but they were very tight in their sound, and the pits they had going for them were HUGE!!! Definitely a great set they put on with their Unearth style breakdowns.

After them, a band named PERIPHERY performed. Now PERIPHERY is a new and upcoming band off of Sumerian Records who has one of the most unique styles I have ever heard. They jsut released their very highly anticipated self titled debut this past week, so I was very excited to see them. You could have blasted their CD over the speakers and I never would have known the difference because that's how crisp they sounded. Vocalist Spencr Sotelo, who has an amazing voice, hit those high notes just like he did on the record. They were another one of my favorites for the day.
When that set was over, we headed outside of the venue to start interviewing all the bands we had set up for the day. That guy interviewed SWASHBUCKLE at 3PM while I sat down and talked with Alex Wade of WHITECHAPEL, who actually played as a special guest on the small second stage at the Thursday night pre party. Alex was a pleasure to interview, we spoke about the new tour, how excited they are to put out their new album A NEW ERA OF CORRUPTION, and plans they have for the future. When that was all said and done, it was time to head back to the parking lot where all the other bands were hanging out and doing interviews. We hung out with some industry people as well to kill time before I got the opportunity to hang out with MUNICIPAL WASTE before interviewing Dave Witte. Prior to NEHMF, my cousin Stan (the guy who got me into metal when i was a little kid) and I were talking about the show, and i mentioned MUNICIPAL WASTE to him and how i would be interviewing Dave. He then told me that him and Dave were really good friend from back in the day when they used to play in bands together and hang out at shows. Normally my cousin likes to blow smoke at me, so i didn't believe him. But low and behold, when i met Dave all we did was talk about my cousin and the crazy stories from their past before we actually did our interview. He even gave me a tittie twister, a message my cousin Stan told him to relay to me!!! While we were talking, Gun face from THE RED CHORD was walking by and he came Ive to talk to Dave, so we all just sat there and talked for a while before we all parted ways. I even got a chance to meet up with Guy and Greg of THE RED CHORD and hung out. We talked about our interview back in march and there stay in Jersey when we last saw each other.

At this point, I was starving, so we headed down an UNO's near the venue, which apparently was the hot spot hangout for all the bands. While That Guy and I were eating, We saw Ryan Waste come in and sit down to eat, then AMON AMARTH came in and sat down to eat, then finally CANNIBAL CORPSE came in to sit down and eat. This was pretty much any metal fans dream to be surrounded by these bands while they were out of their element just being normal chill guys eating and drinking before they went on to perform. It was getting closer to another interview, so we headed back to the parking lot where we met up with the guys from SWASHBUCKLE by their car to hang out and kill some time. Now picture a bunch of metal dudes at a show blasting Eminem and Rick Astley from their car. Not a scene you could fathom right? Well lets jsut say that party cleared out the parking lot because us boys from Jersey had to represent, and do some thin different. We even attempted to get Doc and Dallas Coyle of GOD FORBID to join the party, but apparently they were too cool for us.
After all those shenanigans, I went to go meet up with Johnny from JOB FOR A COWBOY to do another interview, while That Guy met up with the dudes from CATTLE DECAPITATION. The JOB FOR A COWBOY interview went fairly well, they had just come from playing a show the night before at the school of rock in south hackensack, NJ. When that was over, I got a chance to meet up the Jake Bowden of PERIPHERY for an interview. Now one of the best feelings in the world has got to be when a band member tells you how excited they are that they are being interviewed by WSOU because they grew up listening to this station and it is such an honor to them that they have to share it with their family. Jake was such a cool guy, we talked about the path PERIPHERY has made and the future for them and how excited they are to just keep moving forward.

Finally, it was time to stop doing "work" and interviewing bands, and finally have some fun and start moshing it up. I ran inside, dropped off all my audio recording stuff, and just jumped right into MUNICIPAL WASTE. Seeing them perform on the very small second stage was the best, because I just stage dived and moshed all that my heart desired. They opened up with wolves of cherynobly, off their new album Massive Aggressive, and played a few cuts off that, and as well as from Born to Party and Hazardous Mutation. Tony has so much energy on stage, as well as the rest of the guys. At one point when i was jumping on and off stage, I gave Dave a high five and jumped right back in. The crowd was going absolutely insane, and I can safely say after going crazy to them, no matter how many times I see them, MUNICIPAL WASTE will always indeed "Fuck you up..." The only disappointment about this set was that THE RED CHORD was added on that thursday as a special addition, and they were on at the same time as MUNICIPAL WASTE.

Now it was time for the rest of the Main stage acts to go on. That Guy and I did not stick around to listen to ELUVITIE, a folk metal band that really did not catch our attention at all. After them was WHITECHAPEL. Now, I think I profess my disdain for most deathcore all the time being that I am a huge old school death metal and thrash fan. I will admit, I have seen WHITECHAPEL before, but their performance on saturday topped their last one, and it was one of the most brutalest performances of the weekend. Kids were going absolutely insane for these guys. The ninjas were definitely in full force in the pit, which erupted throughout the whole floor. Essentially it was a 35 minute breakdown, but I cannot take away from these guys how much effort they put into commanding the crowd and just destroying it. Props to WHITECHAPEL.

Following them was JOB FOR A COWBOY. I am a fan of JOB FOR A COWBOY, more so their newer release Ruination vs. their older releases. I was excited to see them perform for a third time. But they did not satisfy me. Johnny was even sluggin on a bottle of whiskey in between songs. I started moshing during their set like normal until they started throwing in their older songs, and the ninjas came back out of the woodwork and I took a foot to the back of the head.

When that was finally over, AMON AMARTH came out to take of the open seas of people and claim their holy grail. The guys of AMON AMARTH are very intimidating pepole to begin with, and it showed through their music. Their set and music had been stuck in our head the rest of the night because of their catchy songs that are a mix of beauty and heavy. Most of their set consisted of songs from Twilight of the Thunder Gods, but the song that stuck out to me the most was The Cry of the Black Birds, because of the sheer epicness of it. They came out to an encore after disappearing into a blue cloud of smoke, and epicly returning to keep slashing.

And finally, at 12AM, it was time for the legends known as CANNIBAL CORPSE. Now, before I talk about them, I want to bring up a point. Almost every person at the show was seen wearing a CANNIBAL CORPSE t shirt, so you knew it was going to be packed for them, but when it was time for them to go on, the place was pretty much empty! I was shocked and disappointed, but it still wasnt going to stop me from throwing down in the pit. They opened up with Scalding Hail off their new album evisceration plague. And after that, they just tore right through their older catalog of songs ( even playing sentenced to burn, one of my favorites!!!) I have seen CANNIBAL CORPSE numerous times, but it seemed that George Fischer was not as into it as he normally was. Between the sound problems that halted them in between songs, the lack of crowd support, and the lateness of their set it definitely had an affect on his performance. But he still gave it his all and CANNIBAL CORPSE reminded me yet again why no matter how old they get, they still are one of the best.
All in all, New England hardcore and Metal Festival was one of the best experiences I have ever had. I recommend anyone try and go at least once in your life.





BAND MISSED WE WISH WE SAW: Through the Eyes Of The Dead

New England Hardcore and Metal Festival Day 1

New England Hardcore and Metal Fest might be the most diverse metal music festival in the area. Sure there are death fests, Bamboozles, Warped Tours and Mayhem festivals, but this two day monster has everything from death metal, grindcore, hardcore, punk, thrash and everything in between. Held at the Palladium in Worcester Massachusetts the 3 day event (April 22nd-25th) was one of the largest most epic of its kind.

The first day, which we unfortunately missed featured two soon to be power houses, Thy Will Be Done of Providence Rhode Island and surprise guest White Chapel. I did not arrive until the beginning of the Doomriders set early into the second day. The band, featuring Nate Newton of Converge on guitar/vocals, set a really strong tone with a combination of doom and hardcore/punk influence. I then switched the indoor side stage, reminiscent of Dingbatz/CBGB’s combination for the hardcore legends Earth Crisis and Cro-Mags. They did not disappoint with a tight sound, stage dives, gang vocals and a pit only a New York hardcore family could love.

Once we were done with the legends I immediately sprinted to see, essentially a tour that just passed through the area, (as I call it, suddenly the music industry has a huge wood for us so only listen to us and buy our CDs tour) Baroness, BTBAM and Mastodon. However many people forgot one of the funniest acts in metal today, Valient Thorr. With a punky thrash vibe similar to that of Municipal Waste, the shirtless Valient thrashed like a dying seal on stage to the delight and disgust of everyone at the venue. Most of the songs are not airable, so WSOU sticks to Red Flag off their latest album Immortalizer.

Next up was Baroness. I must say I did not understand the fuss surrounding this band until I saw them. Combining powerful vocal stylings with pure energy, heart and a genuine love of music, Baroness really stole the show from the headliners. The sound was the most clear and crisp of any bands that had performed that day, playing many tracks off their highly critically acclaimed release Blue Record, most prominently songs like Jake Leg and The Sweetest Curse. After the set, lead singer John Baizley proclaimed his love for the fans, imploring people to talk to them because they are normal people and would rather watch music then be on stage… something that stuck with me for the remainder of the weekend.

Finally was the combination of Between the Buried and Me and Mastodon. Both put forth underwhelming performances with lackluster crowd participation at best. BTB&M had the crowd going but extended their drawn out instrumental and spoken vocal parts, sapping energy from the crown. They also played only one song off Alaska and one song off Colors in over an hour set. The mix was way too loud and there did not seem to be the same effort from bands that I had seen all day. To make matters worse, Mastodon sound was terrible. played the entire Crack The Skye album, which started off so poorly with Oblivion, but improved for the rest of the album. Lead singer Troy Sanders almost refused to sing into the microphone, destroying what are normally beautiful harmonies. Mastodon did eventually start to sound better vocally, instrumentally they were completely on point saving what could have been considered a waste of two and a half hours. However the band disappeared from the stage after the completion of Crack the Skye only to come out and play a one song encore only to disappear again. The show ended half an hour earlier than expected and needless to say many fans went home disappointed.

These exploits are only day one of the adventure that was New England Hardcore and Metal Fest. Steve Straq will talk about day two with some of the most brutal bands of the past and present, as well as the SEVEN band interviews we conducted. For now I leave you with the breakdown of the Friday that was metal fest.


WORST PERFORMANCE: Between the Buried and Me



BAND MISSED WE WISH WE SAW: Death Before Dishonor