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Lamb of God, Anthrax, Deafheaven & Power Trip Concert Review, Austin, TX, February 8, 2016

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I went to last night’s show solely to see Anthrax and Power Trip.  I think Deafheaven and Lamb of God are awful.  Boring, really.

Originally I wasn’t going to go then I saw that Anthrax was doing a relatively inexpensive meet and greet and I’ve wanted to meet them and to get them in The Book so I got my ticket and ordered the meet and greet.  Shortly after the M&G was announced, a local record store posted that they would be doing an in-store as well and to get anything signed, you had to buy a deck of their playing cards and no photos.  Oh well.

Doors were at 4:30PM (wow) and we were told to be there at 3:15PM.  Ultimately there were only 4 of us and we got taken to the backstage area where the band came out to say hello, sign stuff and do a few pictures and talk for a few minutes.  It was pretty obvious that Scott Ian didn’t want to be there, so I just shook his hand, had him sign The Book, a photo and my Spreading the Disease CD cover.  Charlie was checking out The Book, looked up and saw my Loudness patch and said, “I bet Loudness isn’t in here.”  I let him know that they were and that I had sigs from 3/4 of the original band.  Then he started rambling off other bands, some of them nu-metal shit, and I said that there were no bands after 1991 in here.  “Oh, cool.  Where do I get one of these?”  So I directed him to Amazon blah blah blah.  Joey and Frank were extremely nice and super chatty as was their new guitarist, Jon Donais of Shadows Fall.  I wish I had recognized him at the moment because I love Of One Blood by Shadows Fall.  I mentioned to Joey and Frank that I had first seen them on the Among tour at The Boathouse.  Scott heard me and said, “Geez, I remember that dump.  We played there a few times.”  Three to be exact, but whatever.  It was good to meet them and we were all given a deck of the Anthrax cards, a record mat, a band photo to get signed and the M&G laminate.  We were also given the opportunity to buy merch on the way out so I got a tour shirt.

Since Power Trip wasn’t going on until 6PM, I went over to Lambert’s for some awesome food and a beer as it was only 430PM when we were led back out of the venue.  I’m back at the venue are 530PM and see a bunch of friends and hang out a bit before Power Trip’s set.

I head up to the mezzanine area and sit for a few minutes.  I’ve had some back issues lately and I was seated on the back corner of the back row (only four rows in this section) and could get up as needed.  I ended up standing for most of the show as it was more comfortable.  Power Trip started promptly at 6PM and the crowd was trickling in.  I’ve seen them several times and I really enjoy them in a live setting.  I think they gained some new fans by then end of their 30 minute set.  They were solid as usual.

Deafheaven was up next and I just went back out to the lobby area to hang out with some friends.  They bore me to tears.

Anthrax came on right at 745PM opening with Fight ’em Till You Can’t from their Worship Music album, which I really liked.  Having Belladonna back in the band has been great, for me at least.  They rolled effortlessly through an 8 song set that had 2 songs from their forthcoming album, For All Kings.  I liked the 2 new tracks a lot.  They played In the End, Caught In a Mosh and Indians as well…and two covers.  FUUUUUCK.  I mean, I know they’ve always played covers live, but throw us a bone every now and then.  On some of the shows where they’ve had a longer set, they’ve included as many as 3 songs from Spreading the Disease.  HOLY FUCK I’d lose my mind if I saw Lone Justice live.  *sigh*  Oh well.  Charlie Benante is still ungodly on drums and Frank Bello is basically the Angus Young of the bass.  I’ve always loved his playing and his backing vocals are superb.  Joey sounded great, too.  Jon is a killer guitarist and played Spitz’ parts perfectly as well as his own.

After a short break, Lamb of God comes on.  I stayed for the first song and that was enough for me.  Never liked their stuff.  Bro-metal.

 

Ignitor Mix Tape ’85 Review

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Mixtape_85_BS_cover-300My history with Ignitor isn’t that deep as I only picked up on them when Jason McMaster joined the band in 2009ish.  That doesn’t detract from the Erika Tandy era at all, I just went backwards with their discography.  Ignitor is quality metal, no matter which era you’re listening to.

Ignitor’s latest offering is a download only album of classic covers.  It’s a great mix of classic metal covering some of my favorites bands.

McMaster was made to cover all of these bands giving them his unique vocal flair and Ignitor in general stayed pretty true to these songs without taking any real liberties in the music.  The Stuart “Batlord” solos are all pretty incredible and the opening solo to Into the Coven gave me chills when I first heard it.  He completely nailed the tone.  While I admit that I’m not the biggest fan of Exodus’ Bonded By Blood or Exciter’s Violence and Force, these covers are well done.  I’m especially impressed with their version of Anthrax’s Deathrider.  Fistful of Metal often gets overlooked in Anthrax conversations.  The cover of Highway Star has the proper intro like Deep Purple’s original and the heaviness of Metal Church’s version.   I’m also a huge fan of Witching Hour.  And you gotta love that album cover!

You can stream the album here and I recommend that you buy it from iTunes or Amazon ASAP!  Both are under $8!

Quality metal covers from a quality metal band.

“DEATHRIDER” – Anthrax
“FAST AS A SHARK” – Accept
“VIOLENCE AND FORCE”  – Exciter
“INTO THE COVEN” – Mercyful Fate
“WITCHING HOUR” – Venom
“HELL BENT FOR LEATHER” – Judas Priest
“A LESSON IN VIOLENCE” – Exodus
“HIGHWAY STAR” – Deep Purple

Red Lamb Concert Review, Austin TX 3/9/2013

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I’ve been an Anthrax fan ever since I found a used copy of Spreading the Disease on cassette at Unicorn Records in 1986.  That tape was in regular rotation in my old 66 Nova 4dr and subsequent Ford Ranger for many years.  I’ve worn out countless copies.  Seen them 6 times since 1987 and they always rocked it live.  The John Bush era really never did it for me but the one time I saw them live with him, they were good.

In the last year or so, Dan Spitz, former lead player of Anthrax, has been working on a new project called Red Lamb.  I’ve always like Dan’s solos and was happy for a chance to see him play live…and of course to have an opportunity to get the book signed.

I got to the show in north Austin around 10pm and pretty much just hung outside during the opening acts.  I just wasn’t interested.  I think it was sometime around midnight that Red Lamb hit the stage.  I had listened to a song or 2 online and while it’s not my kind of rock, it’s not bad.  Dan’s solos make it worth it for sure.  Patrick Johansson (Yngwie Malmsteen) had recorded the drums on the album but unfortunately didn’t tour.  The touring drummer, Kevan Roy was just fine.  His footwork was pretty impressive.  Don Chaffin handled the vocals duties and sounded good.  Bassist Alan Goldstein (Aghora) was pretty awesome to watch.  While not needing to be very busy with this type of music, you could still see moments of the dude’s talent.  C’mon, he’s in Aghora!  No slouches in that band.

And then there’s Dan.  His playing was sharp and his solos were quite awesome, as expected.  He certainly seems like a quiet guy, very reserved and I imagine that the heart attack and subsequent triple bypass probably slowed him down a bit.  He didn’t speak much and talked about this tour being done to help promote Austism awareness.  He mentioned that his twin sons, Brendan and Jaden, both have the condition and that the song Puzzle Box (co-written by Dave Mustaine) was about his family’s daily struggles.  I can’t even begin to imagine.

They cut 2 songs from the end of their set.  There was plenty of time left.  One they finished, Dan promptly got off stage and went straight to the bus.  There were only about 20-30 people there.  So no meet and greet time.  I hung out for a bit after to see if he’d come out and was talking with the bassist.  I asked is he could get Dan to sign the book.  I had some CD covers in there as well, but told him that the book was most important.  He took the stuff on the bus and came out a few minutes later with everything signed.  What a champ!  Alan was a super nice guy, too.  He said, “Dan said thanks a lot for coming and for bringing some stuff to sign.”   I’ll take that!  I went home right after that…driving through a deluge for 20 miles.

It was a good time.  Go see the tour!

My pics suck horribly.  The lighting was awful and so is my camera.

Written by The Metal Files

March 11, 2013 at 10:17 am

Anthrax, Testament & Death Angel Concert Review 092911

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It’s really amazing what music can stir up in a person. You know how it is.  You hear a song on the radio/iPod/etc that just shoots you back in time.  Last night’s show at the new Emo’s East did just that.  It was a high school flashback for sure.

I first saw Anthrax and Testament together in 1987 at the now defunct Boathouse in Norfolk, VA.  To this day that hails as one of the greatest shows I have ever seen.  Anthrax was on their Among the Living Tour and Testament was promoting their debut album, The Legacy.  Just an awesome show.

Death Angel opened the show and I’ll readily admit that I am not a fan.  Not for lack of trying, mind you.  About every 10 years I’ll listen to their first 3 albums to see if they sound any different to me and they never do.  I just couldn’t get into them minus a few songs like Mistress of Pain and Room With A View.  My friends here kept saying that I had to see them live and it would change my mind.  Well, it didn’t.  I went in open-minded (no, really, I swear I did!).  They just didn’t do it for me.  Sure, they were solid but their brand of thrash just doesn’t settle with me.  Rob Cavestany is a fine guitarist, though.  He was shredding it up last night.  I did get to meet Mark Osegueda at my favorite bar a while later after the show.  Fun guy for sure.  Super nice.  Shots!

I’ve lamented for years that Testament is the greatest live band ever.  They never disappoint and last night they surely didn’t.  They had Gene Hoglan behind the kit and as always he was perfect with ever hit, every beat.  The guy is the greatest metal drummer alive and certainly the most versatile in my opinion.  I was hoping to catch up with him and say hi but it wasn’t in the cards, unfortunately.  Testament’s set was really strong.  They played a good mix of their back catalogue.  Chuck was in fine form.  Skolnick, while playing great, seemed a light bit bored, like he was going through the motions.  I know he is really into his jazz trio these days and maybe playing the metal is taking a back seat, but again, he shredded it perfectly.  The whole band was on it, as always.

Anthrax…I’ve been a fan since I first bought a used copy of Spreading the Disease on cassette for $3.99 at Unicorn Records in 1986.  They were a band that I had read about but not heard yet and Spreading is still my favorite album of theirs to this day.  Thanks to the Internet, setlists of previous shows get posted instantly and I was able to see what they had been playing on this tour recently.  Great list!  The main part of their set had been consistent for most of their shows with the closer changing up a little.  Only and Medusa had been played recently and I was really hoping to not hear Only and hear Medusa.  You see, they didn’t play Medusa when they were in San Antonio within the last year and I was a little disappointed.  Last night, instead of Medusa, they gave us Be All, End All.  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  Seriously?  Man, I really wanted to hear that one badly.  But alas, no dice.  I will admit that I left when they started their encore.  The went into N.F.L. and I was out.  My feet were killing me. Anthrax kills me, though.  With a band whose Belladonna era has some really great material, they continue to throw in Antisocial and Got The Time in their set.  I would’ve been happy with Belly of the Beast from Persistence of Time and something else a little more obscure like Raise Hell (yeah right, I know I’m dreaming) or even A.I.R.

There were a few times during Anthrax’s set that I really felt like it was 1987 all over again.  It was a great feeling, albeit a strange one.  Stirred up all kinds of stuff.  So glad I got to see this show and so glad I got to see most of my favorite Austin folks there.  It was quite refreshing.

I need more shows like this.  NEED!

Death Angel setlist:

I Chose the Sky
Evil Priest
Claws In So Deep
Relentless Revolution
Seemingly Endless Time
The Ultra-Violence
Thrown to the Wolves

Testament Setlist:

The Preacher
The New Order
The Persecuted Won’t Forget
Envy Life
Over the Wall
Souls of Black
Into the Pit
Electric Crown
Henchmen Ride
More Than Meets the Eye
D.N.R. (Do Not Resuscitate)
3 Days in Darkness
Disciples of the Watch

Anthrax Setlist:

Earth on Hell
Fight ‘Em Till You Can’t
Caught in a Mosh
Madhouse
Antisocial
(Trust cover)
I’m Alive
The Devil You Know
Indians
In the End
Got the Time
(Joe Jackson cover)
Be All, End All
Encore:
Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)
Metal Thrashing Mad
I Am The Law

Chuck Billy...THRASH!

Gene Hoglan. (Photo by Brooks M)

Yours truly, Mark Osegueda, T.A.

Written by The Metal Files

October 30, 2011 at 9:56 am

Anthrax – Worship Music Album Review

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Anthrax has dome some shuffling over the years in the singer department, that’s for sure.  Turbin’s out, Belladonna’s in, Belladonna’s out, Bush is in, Bush is out, Nelson is in, Nelson is out, Bush is back in, Bush pulls aside (or is put aside) to allow for some shows with Belladonna, Bush ih out, Belladonna is in.  Wow.  There’s no question that Anthrax’s most popular era is with Belladonna at the helm.  When we saw them last year, they sounded great overall and Joey’s voice sounded strong.

Anthrax released Worship Music last week and I’ve got 3+ listens into it which is enough to give it a proper review.  Let’s be clear in that while I love John Bush with Armored Saint, he just didn’t cut it for me with Anthrax, although seeing them live with John in 2006 on the We’ve Come For You All Tour and they were really good.

Worship Music opens with the selt-titled intro then blasts into Earth on Hell which starts out fast with blast beats.  That’s a twist.  The next 5 songs are pretty killer with Fight ’em Til You Can’t, The Devil You Know and I’m Alive are my faves on the album.  In the End rounds the last of what I consider the best tracks on the album.  From here they really start changing things up a bit.  The riffs get a bit chunkier and it starts sounding a bit more “modern”.

The last 5 songs really put me off a bit where the previous tracks all work well together.  That being said, Joey sounds great and you don’t hear a lot of “fixes” in his stuff although there are some spots if heavy layering and “harmonizering”.  I am sick of that sound in metal these days.  It’s used as a cover up.  Just get it out there clean and in the raw and of you can’t then don’t try at all.  But this is good stuff.  The ending tracks aren’t bad by any means but they’re quite a departure from the first half of the album.

I will call them out for ripping themselves off though.  Remember Make Me Laugh from State of Euphoria?  They totally jacked some of the vocal melody in the song for Fight ’em Till You Can’t.  It’s a goofy song lyrically (zombie apocalypse) but it’s well-sung and well written.

In general, don’t expect Spreading the Disease or Among The Living, although there are a few flashes from Among on here.  You get more of a State of Euphoria/Persistence of Time vibe in the whole thing with some modern metal vibes.  Benante is a badass on some of these tracks…in general he’s a beast on the drums anyway.  There are some really good guitar melodies here and there, something that you normally don’t get out of Anthrax.

It’s a good album and worthy of any Anthrax fan’s collection.  It’ll get more listens from me fore sure.  I give it a 7.5/10.  With more listens I see that number go up a bit.

Written by The Metal Files

September 25, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Anthrax and Testament: Together Again!

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Anthrax/Testament/Death Angel coming to Emo’s East October 29, 2011

I first saw these 2 bands together in 1987 at the legendary Boathouse in Norfolk, VA.  It still hails as one of the best shows I have ever seen.  Testament opened the show and were on The Legacy Tour while Anthrax was supporting Among the Living.  I remember the crowd being so tight and jam packed that it felt like you could life your feet off of the ground and you’d be held up.  A lot of movement back and forth as well.  It was pretty crazy and both bands were pretty awesome.  Both bands were great.

I’ve seen Testament several times and not once have they ever disappointed.  I think they are the most consistent live band ever.  Let me think about it a moment…how many times I’ve seen Testament: 87, 88, 91, 2000, 2008, 2010…There has to be another in the 90s and I think one more time in the last 5 years.  Anthrax I’ve seen a few times as well:  87, 88, 91, 2005, 2010.  They were good every time I’ve seen them as well.

I’m no Death Angel fan but everyone says seeing them live is pretty sweet.  They are a band that I have tried to like over the years and have even owned their stuff multiple times in hopes of enjoying it.  Minus a couple of tracks (Mistress of Pain and Room with a View), they just don’t do it for me.

Click here to see tour dates.

See you there!

Written by The Metal Files

September 9, 2011 at 11:41 am

Classic Buttons

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I was never much of a button collector but I bought a few.  Here are 2 of the 3 I know that I had.  The other was a Stryper button from 1985 (my first metal show) that I lost a few years back.

The Yngwie one came from Triumph/Yngwie 1986.  Thomas’ dad took us to the show.  He sat in the rafters while we stayed close to the front.  Triumph was on the Sport of Kings tour and Yngwie was on the Trilogy tour.  Jeff Scott Soto had come back into the band for the tour.  Don’t really know why Boals left but we were all happy to see JSS on stage.  Both bands were great.  I couldn’t afford a shirt so a button was my souvenir.

The other is from Iron Maiden/Anthrax in 1991.  I am pretty sure that I bought a Maiden shirt that likely disintegrated shortly after the show.

Yngwie and Anthrax buttons (click to enlarge)

 

Written by The Metal Files

June 18, 2011 at 7:46 pm