ATREYU w/ Malaki, Wovenwar, and Unearth at The Baltimore Soundstage 10-11-15

Contributing Writer: T. M. Iman

Another perfect Sunday wasted on watching a horrible Ravens game loss. I could have gone to the festival. I could have gone fishing. I could have had a day trip to Pennsylvania. I could have slow smoked a puppy. I could have went to the park. Instead, I went to the bar & wasted it on another humiliating Baltimore Ravens loss! To the goddam Cleveland Browns! At a home game!! Can anything save this day? Well, I do have all this housework to do. Maybe later. Besides, I’m still buzzing.

Phone rings. It’s my brother. “Hey dummy.”

“Hey ugly, what’s with you?”

“Ravens suck this year.”

“Yeah, I know. Whatchoo doing tonight?”

“Nothing.”

“Good, come down & meet me at Soundstage about 7, 7:30. We’re covering Atreyu tonight.”

“Atreyu, huh? Heavy!”

What better way to let of some steam than to listen to some angry metalcore!

So I went to my room, took off my purple and gold, put on my black and chrome, summoned an Uber and went to Mobtown’s biggest reason for tinnitus, Baltimore Soundstage, just in time for the melodic notes of the Devil’s favorite music to begin eating my soul away. Continue reading

Butcher Babies and GWAR 9/16/2015 Reverb Reading Pennsylvania

Pulling into the parking lot of Reverb, my first reaction was “Geez, this is the shit hole of rock ‘n’ roll!” It is plain on the outside, bordering a residential area and commercial zone, and if I wasn’t paying attention I would have missed it. Although the building is a decent size it only has one sign on a pole saying it’s there. Parking is easy due to the large parking lots on either side of the building and even better, it is FREE. Not to worry, there is also plenty of on street parking.

Upon entering the venue I quickly found out that looks may not be important when it comes to REVERB but the sound is perfect. A giant PA system flanks the stage on both sides, putting out a blast of music that could rival most stadiums. Stacks of speakers as tall as shipping containers run the length of the wall with about 20 foot of stage in between them. The lighting, however, leaves a lot to be desired. Unfortunately for photographers, this is an ongoing issue for most small venues. As I entered, Metalblade recording artist Battlecross had the crowd energized. A cross between classic rock and thrash metal, it was clear as to why they will be continuing on for the second leg of the GWAR 30 Tour. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see much of their set due to traffic.

During the set changes for the bands I had the time to talk with other concert goers to see who they were most excited to see. I was surprised to find it was split between Butcher Babies and GWAR. Fronted by two of the strongest female vocalist in metal, Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey are gaining the respect of a male dominated genre. Backed by the talented guitarist Henry Flury, bassist Jason Klein and drummer Chris Warner, Butcher Babies are well on their way to securing their place in modern music. Tonight it is all about carving up the crowd at Reverb and proving to the world why their latest release ‘Take It Like a Man’ deserves its spot in the billboard two hundred.

The opening song ‘Monsters Ball’, the first single from ‘Take It Like A Man’, set the tone for the rest of Butcher Babies nine song set. From the moment they stepped on stage the energy level was off the charts. Heidi and Carla never stopped moving, each of them working the crowd into a frenzy by begging for the mosh pit to get energized. Security was caught off guard by the crowd reaction as fan after fan was flipped, pitched and passed, at times head over heels towards the stage. By the halfway point the ladies had the crowd eating out of the palm of their hands and started in on a ZZ Top classic Beer Drinkers and Hellraisers. The crowd cheered and chanted in time while Carla and Heidi bounced around and hyped them up even more. They even took a moment to jump into the media pit to hug a few fans and give them a chance to sing into the mic. From that point forward it was a controlled chaos of mosh pits, crowd surfing and good ‘ole rock ‘n roll. Butcher Babies closed out their set with Magnolia Blvd before encouraging the crowd to stop by the merchandise booth to say Hello. This evening’s set proves without a doubt that no matter whether they are at a festival, a small venue or an arena, Butcher Babies will give one hundred and ten percent every time and they will leave the audience wanting more.

Straight from the pits Antarctica, GWAR took the stage just before 9:30pm, ready to overtake Reading, Pennsylvania in their desire for global dominance. After last year’s search for missing leader ODERUS URUNGUS, GWAR has taken on a new mission for their 30th anniversary. Manager Sleazy P pointed out while he stormed on stage to berate the remaining members that if they continue to sound like shit they will lose their fans. No fans=no money= no more crack and no more whores and they will have the internet to blame. At times it was a little difficult to follow the story line between songs. The crowd checked on what they could find on their tablet, searching parody sites like Fistbook, Shitter, Grype, Kinder, and SpewTube in order to decide where in the cyber world they would find the source of the internet in order to kill it. Judging by fan reaction throughout the room everyone was enjoying the mess of spew and blood being sprayed all over them. Several surprise guests decided to take the stage including reporter Brian Wilson, Hillary Clinton, and Kanye, each of them meeting with untimely ends in very creative ways. Beheadings, face removals, and unwanted mastectomies added to the mayhem that is a GWAR show. At some point during the set, every member of GWAR had an opportunity to take the lead on vocals, blazing through a mix of classics like Saddam A Go-Go, Babyraper, and Captain Crunch, while blending some newer songs to the delight of the younger humanoids in the crowd. Towards the end of the night the crowd paid respects to Oderus by chanting his name in hopes that he could hear them in whatever time vortex he was sucked into. To end the show, a rare appearance was made by an internet troll, only to be ripped apart by Blothar, Beefcake The Mighty, BALSAC THE JAWS OF DEATH, and PUSTULUS MAXIMUS.

The smiles on the faces of everyone making their way to the doors summed up the night perfectly. “Insane, but it was worth every minute.” From the first note to the last there was something for everyone to enjoy. At times GWAR ‘s set felt a little choppy but it is a new era for GWAR. Given time, I believe the remaining members will work out the flow and continue destroying the human race one song at a time. If you just want to see a bunch of dudes stand in one place and play a few chords, Battlecross, Butcher Babies, and GWAR are not for you. If you want to move, mosh, and get a great show, you’re in the right place.


GWAR Set list:

Crush, Kill, Destroy

Madness at the Core of Time

 Black and Huge

Saddam a Go-Go

Vlad the Impaler

Jack The World

I’m in Love (With a Dead Dog)

I Bonesnapper

                              B.     Babyraper

Meat Sandwich

Let Us Slay

You Can’t Kill Terror

A Gathering of Ghouls/Storm is Coming/ Hail, Genocide!

Bloodbath

A Short History of the End of the World

Metal Metal Land

The Salaminizer

Sick of You

For more info about Butcher Babies follow them on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ButcherBabiesMusic

And be sure to check out http://www.gwar.net for info on where GWAR will be taking over the human race next!

Drowning Pool announce new album to be released in January.

DROWNING POOL ANNOUNCE NEW LP DETAILS

HELLELUJAH DUE OUT JANUARY 22, 2016

NEW YORK -Platinum selling metal act DROWNING POOL have announced their plans to release an all new LP titled “Hellelujah” on January 22, 2016 via eOne Music. The latest LP will be the first since signing with the label earlier this summer. “We’re excited as hell to announce the release of our new record titled HELLELUJAH” says the band. “This is the most metal record from Drowning Pool to date. Be on the lookout for the new single. Can we get a Hellelujah!? Amen!” 
Hellelujah will be the follow up to Resilience, released in 2013. This time the band tapped renowned producer Jason Suecof (AUGUST BURNS RED, DEICIDE, DEATH ANGEL). 
Drowning Pool have beaten the darkness and now they celebrate life on life’s terms. The core trio of C.J. Pierce (guitar), Stevie Benton (bass) and Mike Luce (drums) mine hardship, struggle and disappointment to emerge victorious each time, crafting empowering hard rock anthems. Drowning Pool songs conjure emotions that deeply connect with those who persevere against the odds and sacrifice to survive, and their music transcends boundaries of race, class and lifestyle as well, resonating with people from all walks of life who look to music to get them through life’s challenges.
Jason Moreno’s powerful vocals enabled him to quickly master Drowning Pool’s dense catalog when he became the band’s frontman in 2012. From his reverent delivery of the late Dave Williams mosh-pit ready lyrics in the ubiquitous signature hit “Bodies” to his powerful take on Top 5 Active Rock hits like “Step Up” from Desensitized (2004), “37 Stitches” from Full Circle (2007), and “Feel Like I Do” (Drowning Pool, 2010).
Moreno injects fresh life into the songs with his unique stamp. As Revolver Magazine noted in their review of Resilience: “Drowning Pool continue to produce consistently killer albums with an unmistakable sound.” 

Drowning Pool is: C.J. Pierce – Stevie Benton – Mike Luce – Jasen Moreno 

(Press release courtesy of Bill Meis | Senior Publicity Manager:

Rock & Metal | eOne Music )

KoRn 20Th Anniversary Show at The Fillmore Silver Spring 10-9-15

korn-fav

It is hard to believe that KoRn’s self-titled LP was released twenty years ago. This is an album driven by angst, anger, moments of weakness, and a desire to be heard and understood. KoRn catapulted music to the next level by pioneering the “nu-metal” sound with a combination of heavily dropped tunings, solid power chords, thundering drum beats, and rock/rap vocals that set them apart from the rest of the metal genre. Since their inception in the early 90s KoRn has been nominated for several music achievement awards, winning two Grammys, several Mtv VMA’s, and Revolver Magazines Golden Gods Award for best album in 2012, to name a few. In 2013 we saw the return of one of the founding members Brian “Head” Welch to round out the current line-up of Jonathan Davis, Bassist Fieldy, guitarist James “Munkey” Schaffer, and drummer Ray Luzier.DSCN4653

The show tonight at The Fillmore took fans back to where it all started. The hanging backdrop was of original artwork from the self-titled album. A few high powered strobes, and simple yellow hanging fluorescents, and plain white moving lights and faux candles were used to keep the stage lit during their set. Very nondescript mic stands are being used, and even Ray’s drum kit was scaled back to one kick drum, his snare, a few toms and his cymbals. There was definitely no loss in quality coming from the stage as KoRn dove right in to performing the eponymous album in its entirety.

Murmured conversation, when added together in the venue, became a roar while the fans in attendance anxiously waited for Jonathan Davis to growl the first line “ARE YOU READY?” from the first single ‘Blind’ before starting the frantic concert dance consisting of pushing and shoving. There was no doubt this tour is emotional for the band. Writing lyrics, from personal experiences that touch on some of the most difficult topics in society, KoRn found their outlet. Between sexual abuse, rape, harassment, drug addiction, and violence, overcoming obstacles has been a big part of their lives. There was very little banter with the crowd between songs. The band seemed to want to give everyone an opportunity to savor the moment. The bagpipe intro to ‘Shoots and Ladders’ marked the half way point to what was already an epic set.DSCN4695 The band showed no signs of slowing down. ‘Daddy’ the final track on the album, was also the last song of the set. One of the most difficult songs for Jonathan Davis to perform has become the bands least performed live song. “When I was a kid, I was being abused by somebody else and I went to my parents and told them about it, and they thought I was lying and joking around. They never did shit about it. They didn’t believe it was happening to their son…. I don’t really like to talk about that song. This is as much as I’ve ever talked about it….” (according to Wikipedia 2015) Although Jonathan seems to be more comfortable with it now, he didn’t make eye contact with the crowd and before the final note escaped his lips, Davis practically threw the mic down and walked off stage.DSCN4688

To transition out of such an emotional roller coaster the road crew swapped out the microphone stand commissioned by artist H.R. Giger. Symbolic of taking your pain and making it work for you, the mix of erotic and biomechanical art is a staple of KoRn’s stage design since the early 2,000s. Instantly a change had come over the band when they launched into their five song encore. ‘Falling Away’, ‘Here To Stay’, ‘Coming Undone’, ‘Did My Time’ and ‘Freak on a Leash’ were the final songs of the evening leaving everyone in the venue wanting more.

KoRn may have changed sounds but they have shown they are not afraid to take leaps in faith in where they want to take their music. Judging by fan reaction throughout the night, I believe they are ready for what the next 20 years has in store.

ARE YOU READY?

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Cage The Elephant to start taking pre-orders for their upcoming album ‘Tell Me I’m Pretty’ with Pledgemusic

http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/cagetheelephant

Taking back to their roots, Cage The Elephant have recorded their fourth studio album “Tell Me I’m Pretty’ with a release date of December 18,2015.  Currently you can pre-order the album with some fantastic perks to go with it, for example autographed items, exclusive t-shirts, posters and even Skype sessions with band members. The most interesting to me is a disposable camera that the band will take on the road so you can get a behind the scenes look at what goes on within The Cage The Elephant camp. Click the link above and find out how you can participate and support their campaign.