Archive for September, 2010

This years Best In Show award goes to….

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I call this rambunctious bunch the “Winter Storm Gods”. The shirtless guy holding the sword calls the shots around these frost bitten parts.

 

Uproar Festival…..

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This past Sunday afternoon in Vancouver involved yours truly to haul his ass out to the PNE Coliseum to enjoy the sights and sounds of the new crop of radio friendly metal. Since Pantera hold a close place in my heart, I had to get to the venue early to check out Hell Yeah (my buddy Geoff’s favorite band). All I can say is that Vinnie Paul still has the feet for the double kick attack, and that was the saving grace for this band. The songs plodded along one after another, each more forgettable then the next.

I decided to walk around the venue until Avenged Sevenfold came on, and man did I feel old. Most of the crowd was between sixteen to nineteen years old. Halestorm and Stone Sour were putting out the radio friendly tunes, and the fans ate em up. As soon as Avenged Sevenfold came on, you could feel the energy go up ten notches. These California boys know how to work up a crowd. I cant really describe Sevenfolds sound, as it’s all over the place, but it totally works. Cant say much about the headliners Disturbed as I left after Avenged Sevenfold got off the stage, but I’m sure they were better than the one time I saw them in 1999 opening up for Kitty, so there.

 

Madball live…

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Just saw Madball this past Friday opening up for Comeback Kid. Truly an amazing set they punched in. The last time these New York hoodlums came to Vancouver was back around 2005 on the Sounds Of The Underground tour. They must have toured a lot since then, cause five year later, they sound better than ever. I actually used to hate Madball in the past, and thought they were boring live and on wax, but after seeing them a few times throughout the years, they have won me over as a fan. This was their first date on this three week Canadian run, and Madball were exited to be performing in Vancouver again. Their loyal fanbase were totally representing in the audience which was nice to see.

Madball has aged well in terms of putting out quality records, and intense live sets. When it comes to their albums, I prefer  the excellent 2007 released Infiltrate The System over their earlier sub-par and mediocre mid 90′s albums. Infiltrate completely destroys the first two Madball records.

Freddy Cricien is also by far one of the best charismatic front men not only in hardcore, but in heavy music period. The man was one intense spectacle to see live at the Rickshaw. Not taking away from the whole band of course, as Hoya, Mitts, and Jay were a complete unit that together created a wall of thick, meaty, heavy, and tight as f**k, locked-in groove on stage. So all in all a good show and if Madball come through your town, get off your ass and go check them out. Or prepare to have Freddy hand you a beatdown.

 

End of a Dream Theater era…

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Just heard Mike Portnoy is leaving his drum spot in the almighty prog metal institution that is Dream Theater. I’ve never been a huge Dream Theater fan, but Mike Portnoy always seemed like one cool metal head to the bone dude in every interview I have seen him in. My introduction to Mr. Portnoy began upon first listening to Images & Words back in 1992.  The record still holds it together pretty well even after 18 years. Gotta also tip my hat to 2005′s Octavarium opus. That album also kicked some major prog metal ass.

Dream Theater had their amount of harmonic cheese factor, as do most prog metal bands (Symphony X = grade A cheese), but you cant deny the awesomeness of Mike Portnoy. The man keeps the flame of Neil Peart burning on. It’s gonna be pretty interesting to see where Dream Theater head with this transition. Will they continue, or will they disband? That is the question that has the minds of the metal fans of the world ignited this week. As for Mike, it will be exiting to see what will be next on his prog rock plate.