Monday, June 27, 2016

Feign "Atlas"

    After releasing an impressive demo last year which I happened to review, the one-man black metal project known as, Feign, is back with a full-length release full of atmospheric black metal wonder. “Atlas,” is a debut full-length release that truly ascends into the cosmic extreme musical world with endless amounts of creativity. 

    Feign’s demo, “Into the Void,” really caught my attention last year and I am quite pleased to see the one-man black metal act back again with a full-length album. I felt that the demo had the potential to develop into a full-length release which was mainly due to how the songs seemed to intertwine and the music flowed in one harmonious direction. In the review for the demo I remember expressing how I wanted Feign to continue pushing the boundaries of creativity and focus on coming up with more dynamic and massive sounding atmospheric pieces. Sure enough, I feel like the band answered my expectations and each song on this new album is masterfully crafted. Also, we are talking about a well organized and thoughtfully composed release that pulls the listener into a powerful sounding atmospheric black metal world that is twisted into a variety of progressive forms at times to never sound dull or constantly repetitive. 

    The album begins with the pleasant sounding piano piece, “Starstrum.” As the piano fades and next song, “Into the Celestial Nothingness,” begins, the music takes a more aggressive turn and explodes into a fiery world of distorted guitars and rapid drum beats along with vicious black metal style vocals. Each sound seems to compliment the other and I like how the melodic moments are strategically incorporated into the music to not sound out of place. The balance between the harsh sounding black metal sounds and soothing atmospheric touches is brilliantly accomplished. Track three, “...A Visitor,” features a solid begin riff that maintains a solemn tone. The tempo eventually changes and the black metal vocals growl over the vivid sounding guitar notes that come screaming out of the speakers. 

    Switching over to a cinematic sounding instrumental piece called, “Haven in the Sky,” Feign offers listeners more musical diversity, but still follows this perfectly connected atmospheric theme. The following song, “Lunarity,” once again demonstrates that amazing balance of melodic and extreme sounding moments. The tempo is very relaxing even with the black metal vocals singing over the interstellar trance like guitar riffs. Taking a more traditional black metal approach the song, “Deathwisher,” slowly builds up into an explosive drum assault with catchy trem picking guitar parts. Still, Feign does not settle for repetitive simplicity and pushes the music in a variety of directions. There is even a moment of clean vocals, which I was a bit caught off guard by since the black metal style was used mainly for the previous tracks. 

    The final song I want to mention is the title track, “Atlas.” Without question my favorite song on the album, this long piece of atmospheric black metal is exciting and engaging from the very beginning. The recording of the instruments is top notch and the overall composition is always evolving. Take for example the transition to an acoustic guitar riff that eventually returns with great triumph to the extreme black metal sounds. 

    I know the production of Feign’s, “Atlas,” is not raw and kvlt like as if the music was recorded in the forbidden woods off of a crappy tape recorder, however, Feign goes above and beyond to show how the world of atmospheric black metal is open to endless amounts of creative and clever interpretation. For a first full-length album, I think the guy who wrote all this music deserves major respect. My only recommendation would be to keep the pedal down by finding ways to push the musical boundaries. Also,  take some of the more simple and slightly repetitive moments and see what else he can come up with. Overall though, the album is a planetary crushing release and worth listening to if you enjoy atmospheric black metal that contains a variety of other elements as well. 

Feign "Lunarity" :

Feign Facebook Page: 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Track Review: Jeff Beck “Live in the Dark”

    Well, it looks like Jeff Beck is not slowing down anytime soon. The veteran rock guitar player just released a new single and will be putting out a new album in July. Titled, “Live in the Dark,” the song will appear on Beck’s new album, Loud Hailer. Now, I am a fan of Jeff Beck and own a few of his albums with two of those being, “Truth” and “Blow by Blow,” both of which I own on vinyl. He is definitely one of my favorite guitar players and sometimes I feel he is not given enough recognition for his innovative playing. His work with Rod Stewart on those first two Jeff Beck Group releases is simply brilliant. Unfortunately, his new material is far from those classic and iconic recordings. 

    When someone told me Jeff Beck had a new single out, I was very eager to hear it. I guess Jeff is teaming up with singer Rosie Bones and guitarist Carmen Vandenberg on this album, and this would be my first time hearing these ladies as I was not familiar with their backgrounds. Also, after reading some more information about the album, the lyrics deal with modern day issues that Jeff wants to express and that can definitely be hear on this single. However, I honestly believe Jeff’s new work is a drastic departure from the musical style that I personally enjoy. Although this new song features some clever blues licks with Jeff’s unique distorted flair, I felt like the lyrics were very simplistic and dual. Also, the singer failed to inject any emotion into the song and I personally felt like the recording of her vocals could have been a reason as to why the song sounded so lack luster. The verse sections were definitely the low points of the song, while the guitar breaks at least delivered some solid guitar riffs and fills. 

    Jeff has every right to write to work with different people and write new music that deals with more world related issues. In my opinion though, I think he should stick to what he does best which is offering up amazing instrumental guitar pieces that sound exciting, or at least engaging. Maybe he should focus more on instrumental songs. This monotonous indie blues rock inspired material is not something I would expect from such an iconic player. Then again, Jeff has always evolved over the years and take for example some of his eighties albums with all the keyboards and synths that are very different from the early Jeff Beck Group releases. I just find the new direction to not fit my musical taste, so I will just stick to playing my copy of, “Truth,” and most likely pass on the new album. 

Link to "Live in the Dark":

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Concert Review: Amnesia, Heap of Stone, R4ID and others at the Phoenix Theater (June 11, 2016)


    After seeing a black metal show last weekend at the Phoenix Theater, I found myself returning to the historical Petaluma concert venue for a seven band metal and punk show. The night’s lineup was quite diverse compared to the show from last week and the bands who played all had their own unique sound. 

    When I arrived at the Phoenix Theater, I was glad to see a decent amount of people already inside waiting for the first band to set-up. Getting people out to these local metal shows can be a challenge like getting my nephew to eat his dinner. I think the people who put this show together came up with a unique lineup that at first seemed questionable in my opinion, but ended up working out. Most of the acts on this bill happened to be young groups who are just starting out. Actually, the opener Stained Humanity would be playing their first live show. Again, I think the talent that these young musicians had to offer simply took me by surprise and there are a few who have the potential to really make an impact not only in the local scene but on a larger scale with their music. 

    Starting the show off, Stained Humanity looked confident as they cranked on their amps and unleashed some brutality onto the crowd. For their first show I liked how the band sounded by mixing different elements of thrash and death metal. You could tell they have been practicing to where they did not look overwhelmingly confused on stage. There were moments where I could tell they are still working on getting the timing of certain songs down, however, that comes with playing practice and playing more. The band’s bass player and vocalist did a solid job handling the frontman position, which with time and more gigs will become stronger. Also, they had a good two guitar attack that could really lay down some wicked guitar riffs and the leads sounded not too shabby. Stained Humanity, welcome to the Sonoma County Metal community and keep it up, we need more bands like you on this planet.

Stained Humanity 
    Taking the second slot and always entertaining me with their onstage comments and cheerful metal personalities, Gangrene from Petaluma began their set on the Phoenix’s side stage. Last time I saw the band they were a five piece and this time they were acting as a four piece with their guitarist Bailey Quecke handling bass duties. I always have felt like Gangrene improved each time I saw them before, and tonight they built upon that by coming up with a skull crushing solid set. The vocals are sounding even more down right brutal, while the skillful drumming adds extra emphasis to the group’s vicious sludgy hardcore style that throws in a splash of gory death. They played a new song which I think they are still working on getting the flow and timing down, but overall their set was enjoyable and I do like how they interact with the audience. 

    Third up and on the main stage was the band Alien Riot, a three piece from Santa Rosa. I can say I had not heard any music from them before the show, but after seeing them I can honestly say that I can’t wait to see where they take their music in the future. I would describe their sound as a return to the early 90’s when a group called Nirvana decided to take a baseball bat to Hair Metal by coming up with a simple mix of punk and rock and roll. Alien Riot’s first song just struck a chord in my brain that reminded me of how a simple song with raw emotion can be the greatest form of musical expression. Forget fancy solos and playing technical compositions, Alien Riot demonstrated how catchy song structures and straight forward chord punching riffs can make for an awesome sounding live experience. The guitarist and singer to my surprise not only sounded a bit like Kurt Cobain, but even had a similar stage presence. A few of the songs I felt could have used a little more variation, however, Alien Riot for a young band sounded very impressive. To finish the set the guitarist/singer broke his guitar and handed a piece to the crowd. Now that is what rock and roll is all about! 

Alien Riot
    Next up was the extreme sludge, doom hardcore and unforgiving sounding trio know as Amnesia. I liked how Amnesia was playing the side stage, because I felt like their style of music needed to be closer to the crowd for that in your face up close and personal experience. I remember when I saw them play their very first show back in March, and sure enough in a short amount of time they found ways to improve and offer up an even better sounding live performance. Singer Alex Hernandez started the set off by sitting down on the stage as guitarist Luis Olguin hammered away on his guitar to a malevolent sounding doom riff while drummer Chris Olney Burnett pounding away on the kit. Then Alex stood up and became a wild man up on stage by feverishly yelling into the microphone. The band had great energy during their set and the crowd was digging the vicious sounding tunes. I felt like the vocals at times were not loud enough, which was due to whoever was mixing. One moment that stood out was when Chris’ cymbal fell and he was still able to play on without stopping the song. Alex seemed extremely comfortable on stage and even decided to jump off stage and run around the pit for a bit. In the end, Amnesia was getting a loud and positive response from the crowd. I think the hard work and dedication is paying off for these dudes.   

    Taking a moment to catch my breath from Amnesia’s exciting and intense set, I watched as the fifth band called The Leaders set-up on the main stage. This three piece group had an odd stage set-up with manikins on the stage as props. Also, as the guitarist and drummer started their set off by doing a very basic sounding instrumental jam, the bass player came out of a moveable closet with his sun glasses on. Well, the epic intro was soon cut short, because the closet started falling apart. I definitely would call that I Spinal Tap moment. To be honest The Leaders seemed to play the same song for their entire set. The group has this funky sounding metal style that could use some more dynamics. Also, I do believe the guitar soloing seemed to be very out of place and did not compliment the rhythms very well. I respect them for getting up on stage and putting on an interesting performance, but I believe there are some areas that need some fine tuning. 

    Once The Leaders finished and the band and manikins made their way off stage, everyone returned attention to the side stage for the young punk trio, R4ID. Coming from Ukiah, these dudes brought great hardcore punk energy to the Phoenix. The entire band played with such enthusiasm and always looked like they were having an enjoyable time. I mean, their entire vibe carried into the crowd and the pit was moving and the people in front of the stage were banging their heads. I think as R4ID gets older and works more on coming up with solid catchy and aggressive sounding punk songs, they will definitely be a top act Northern California act. Right now I think they are still working on crafting that distinct sounding identity, but the energy they bring and hard work on stage is unbelievably impressive for such a young act. 

    Ending the show was yet another trio, Heap of Stone, a local act who I would be seeing for my second time. Their style of doom rock is quite enjoyable and they incorporate some other elements at times. I would say that the riffs are nothing that has not been messed around with before, however, I like how they take their compositions in a variety of unique directions. One of my favorite songs of theirs is this instrumental piece, which they played towards the end of their set. Each member seemed to be on the top of their game as they ripped through each song and crushed the minds of the audience with megalithic sounding riffs. Also, for their last song they played a cover of Diamond Head’s, “Am I Evil?”. The crowd definitely reacted well to the song and even though the guitarist was a bit late on the solo, the cover still happened to be the best way to close out the show. 

    After watching seven bands I was dog tired, yet still I was impressed by what these young local acts had to offer musically. As I said before, there is potential and all they need to do is focus on working hard and bringing that relentless energy each time when on stage. The Phoenix Theater is a great venue for these bands to work on their performance skills and hopefully we can get more shows with some of these groups. However, I am going say that any band who wants to come out of a closet while up on stage be careful...closets can attack without warning. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Cauldron "In Ruin"

    2016 really started off with a bang for the metal community and there were many strong releases that came out. Cauldron released, “In Ruin,” on January 8th, but I did not buy the album until about a month ago. Better late than never though, because this album is really impressive and I am already considering it one of the best metal albums of the year. 

    For their fourth full-length studio album, the traditional metal trio from Canada really hit a home run. I honestly felt after their debut full-length album, “Chained to the Nite,” the other previous albums were just continuing what the band had done on that album. “Chained to the Night,” is an epic release that pays homage to eighties metal bands. However, “In Ruin” demonstrates Cauldron’s ability to write catchy songs that captures the spirit of the eighties metal, but also take listeners into this well produced world that is Cauldron’s own sounding creation. From the lyrics, to how the album was recorded and to the guitar riffs, everything is just raised to a higher level of metal music quality. 

    To start, I cannot begin to stress how important songwriting is and the instrumental presentation needs to fit the songs. Cauldron shows a solid mastery of their instruments and they apply that to their songwriting by coming up with really good tracks on this release. The opening song, “No Return/ In Ruin,” starts out with a very old school thrash sounding guitar riff that develops into a chord punching verse part. Cauldron is able to transition from verse to chorus with great synergy. Ian Chains plays a fierce solo that gets the job done and does not contain unnecessary notes. Also, drummer Myles Deck and bassist/singer Jason Decay provide a strong rhythmic backbone throughout the song. 

    Track number two, “Empress,” is an enjoyable piece and begins with an acoustic guitar riff. The phrasing of the guitar riff helps amplify Jason’s lyrical presentation during the song. Following it up, “Burning at Both Ends,” hammers out a fast paced tempo that appropriately matches the song’s lyrical theme. “Hold Your Fire,” the fourth track on the album happens to be my favorite song. The main riff can stuck in your head for hours. It is not an extremely technical riff, but the simplistic hard rock chord progression is the perfect match for this song. Also, Jason’s vocals sound amazing to where I can hear how he has progressed as a vocalist. Overall, “Hold Your Fire,” is just a great simple classic metal style sounding song. 

    Even after a great song like, “Hold Your Fire,” Cauldron is not finished offering more killer tracks. “Come Not Hear,” begins with an isolated riff from Mr. Chains and then kicks off with a thunderous drum and bass build up. There is a very melodic chorus, which is interesting given the song’s dark subject matter. The next song, “Santa Mira,” has a more thrash bite to it and the guitar playing at times conveys such raw attitude. “Corridors of Dust,” reminded me of the Cauldron sound from the early albums, which I think is not bad at all. 

    For track number eight, “Delusive Serenade,” the band comes up with a very creative instrumental piece. They use acoustic guitars and cleverly construct diverse sounding sections. Ian sort of steals the show with his lead guitar playing and acoustic fills, but the band sounds super tight on this instrumental. Finishing up the album, “Outrance,” rips into a heavy jam of old school metal worship, yet contains that distinct Cauldron sound. For nine songs I swear you can’t find one out of place tune or filler track. 

    Yeah, the review for this album is a little bit late, but I really want more people to check out this album. Cauldron’s “In Ruin” took me by complete surprise, especially since the band has played it very safe and sort of released the same album in my opinion since “Chained to the Nite.” Honestly, talk about a band stepping up their game and putting together a phenomenal album. If you are a fan of traditional classic eighties metal and good melodic hard rock/metal music, you need to check this out. 

Cauldron Facebook:

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Concert Review: A Burning in the Darkness 2

    Although we are getting close to summer, the cold and grim music that was played at the Phoenix Theater in downtown Petaluma on Saturday night made it feel as if we were in the heart of winter. Appropriately named, “A Burning in the Darkness 2,” this small festival offered up five brutal black metal acts. The night’s lineup consisted of Modraniht, Ehecatl, Xenotaph, Nan Elmoth and Gloriam Draconis. From what I heard about the festival last year, I was really eager to hear some solid extreme black metal music.  

    Sure enough when arriving to the Phoenix Theater, I saw some underground band wearing black metal dudes outside the venue, who were probably arguing over which of their band shirts was more obscure. After reviewing black metal bands from all across the world for about four years now, I was really looking forward to hearing the extreme and unholy talent that my state had to offer. I think what needs to be brought up right away is that whoever put this show together, really wanted to get all the black metal fans from the Northern California region to come together and enjoy a night of sinister music. The turnout was decent, especially for a show of this style of metal music, and I think those who did not show up missed an opportunity to hear a consistent black metal lineup. 

    Taking the stage first was the two piece black metal band, Gloriam Draconis. Hailing from the Sacramento area, these guys opened up the show with a very traditional sounding black metal song with plenty of minor chords, constant tremolo picking and blast beats. Both members of the band had hoods over their heads to hide their identities, because for all we know they are members of an underground cult... or their parents told them to do that so the neighbors would not find out (Attention: this is not a diss to the band, but a satirical comment on how mainstream society views black metal fans). Anyway, I felt like the two guys had a decent sound and the minor chord progressions were definitely something to bang the head to. However, I felt that the absence of a bass player might have prevented them from having a louder and more impactful sound. Still, for a two piece they did a solid job opening this night of bone chilling musical terror. 

Gloriam Draconis
    Next up on the stage was Nan Elmoth, a band taking their name from the world of Tolkien. This trio of black metal dudes unleashed a vicious sound once they began and I liked the very basic harsh instrumental jams they could conjure up. Their sound definitely reminded me of early European black metal in the way that they were not trying to create technical sounding compositions, but it was more about coming up with a dark and unforgiving overall sound. They put on a wicked sounding set and I think if they find ways to deviate from your usual black metal worship bands, there is the possibility of coming up with some really strong material. 

    Third up on the bill was the Bay Area group, Xenotaph. As they walked on stage their faces were covered with corpse paint and they brought an upside down cross with them. Before they started the first song, all the members of the band drank from a goblet as if they were getting ready to perform a satanic ritual. Xenotaph really captured the sound and spirit of Norwegian black metal in their music. At times though I felt like the songs were recycled black metal riffs that could have used some more variation. The drummer was truly amazing when it came to creating those blast beat rhythms which laid down the foundation for the tremolo picked minor chord riffs. Also, I felt like they could have turned the smoke machine down a bit, since eventually I could barely see the band on stage and the Phoenix was just as smoky as a Cheech and Chong movie. Xenotaph did fit the image and sound of black metal fairly well, so I will give them that without question.

    After all the blast beats, tremolo picking and harsh growl vocals from the previous, I was looking for something to go against the grain a bit. The fourth band, Ehecatl happened to be the act who offered a not so straight forward black metal sound. This group created more ambience in their music and the compositions were very haunting in their presentation. There was also good use of dynamics in their tempos and I really liked the slower and very ritualistic rhythms. I think the band’s drummer and bass player made a tight rhythm section and the singer had a unforgiving vocal presentation. Also, their keyboard player helped add to that overall ambient and dark atmosphere that the band seemed to be going for. The crowd was hooked the entire time during Ehecatl’s set. They are definitely a band with great potential that will hopefully continue to explore their creativity. 

    The last band on the bill was the black metal trio from Sacramento known as, Modraniht. The band began their set by standing together on stage and performing this ancient pagan chanting that paid homage to the Hag of Winter. It had a very calming spiritual effect which grabbed by attention along with the other concert attendees. Then once they were finished, each them went to their instruments and tore into a crushing piece of black metal music. I also detected elements of doom in their sound, which at times amplified their music’s bold emotional tone. The band sounded very tight as if they were all connected by some unforeseen guiding force. Throughout their set I could tell that each member played a vital role in creating Modraniht’s extreme and powerful sound. I think they were a perfect choice to end the show and I would really like to see them back at the Phoenix Theater. 

    At the end of the night, I do believe the black metal fans who attended were given their extreme sounding fix at this year’s, “A Burning in the Darkness 2.” Putting on a black metal show is not easy and there are very few venues that can support a show of this type, so major thanks to Tom and the Phoenix along with the people who worked to put this show together. I am looking forward to, “A Burning in the Darkness 3,” and hope to see more bands and people come out for the unholy celebration of a style of music that has been known to inspire some of the internet's best memes. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Concert Review: Anvil, Night Demon, Unleash the Archers, Graveshadow

    A Tuesday night in San Francisco may seem like a tough night for people to get out and attend a concert, however, when you have Anvil playing along with Night Demon, Unleash the Archers and Graveshadow, it does not matter what day of the week it is. Last night’s concert at the DNA Lounge proved that heavy metal fans have passion and will show up ready to bang their heads and drink some beer. 

    After waging a great battle through the streets of San Francisco just to find parking, I made my way to the DNA Lounge. It would be my first time attending a show at the venue, and I must say I liked how the place was set up. The stage is raised a bit higher than most venues, but no matter where you go in the venue, I feel like you get a decent view of the stage. I was surprised to see a fair amount of metal fans already inside, which means there was a solid crowd for the first opener. Besides Night Demon who I have seen three times before, this would be my first time seeing the other three bands. Also, Anvil being such an iconic group that influenced bands like Metallica, I knew there would be those die hard metal heads who have the jackets with endless patches and remember when Lars still had hair. Actually, you had a mix of old school metal heads and the younger metal fans which was due in part to the DNA Lounge’s awesome all ages policy. 

    Starting off the night of epic fist raising metal was the symphonic metal band, Graveshadow. I became quite interested in how they would sound once I saw that they had a keyboard player. Most of your symphonic metal bands come from Europe, but Graveshadow was from Sacramento, CA. It sounded like they had a decent following come out to support them since Sacramento is not far from SF. Right away the band hammered out a bombastic sounding riff followed up by some cinematic keyboard arrangements. Graveshadow’s singer was able to switch from clean vocals to growl vocals, while matching the instrumental tones. She seemed very comfortable on stage along with the other band members. However, I found their set to be filled with repetitive song structures and the lead guitar playing needed a boost. Again, they seemed to be having a great time on stage and their keyboard player was really banging her head while she played the keys. Not my cup of tea musically, but I respect the passion and their onstage presence. 

    Taking the stage next was Vancouver’s Unleash the Archers. This band of epic metal musicians from the North has been on my radar for some time now, and I have always wanted to hear how they sound live. Their recordings and music videos are rather impressive, especially the Mad Max themed one. When they firs took the stage I was slightly confused as to why they only had two guitar players and no bass player. Even without a bass player, Unleash the Archers found ways to put on an enjoyable set. Singer Brittney Slayes has a phenomenal voice and her vocal range is amazing. She can really hit those high notes like on the band’s albums which is not easy to do live. The twin guitar attack of Grant Truesdell and Andrew Kingsley was working overtime by trading off leads and ripping through epic melodic riffs. Drummer Scott Buchanan held down the rhythm section and contributed to the group’s tight sound. Finishing with the song, “General of the Dark Army,” the band kept the energy flowing until the very last note. The crowd was really engaged during their entire set and I was not surprised when the fans chanted for them to play one more song. 

Unleash the Archers
   Well, Unleash the Archers did not play another song, probably due to the fact that the openers needed to adhere to a strict time limit. Getting ready to go on next was Ventura, CA’s Night Demon. Waving the flag for traditional style heavy metal and relentlessly touring since they released their debut album, Night Demon once again delivered a smashing set. Opening with the song “Ritual” from their first EP, Night Demon destroyed in top notch heavy metal form. Bassist and singer Jarvis Leatherby rocked the mic and feverishly struck the strings on his flying v bass. Guitarist Armand John Anthony who joined the band in late March has solidified his role as the band’s guitarist. Watching him play the riffs in, “Mastermind” and “The Chalice,” was simply amazing. Drummer Dusty Squires of course did a solid job behind the kit by pounding out thunderous rhythms with precision. The band played three covers with my favorite being their version of Golden Earning’s, “Radar Love.” I felt like I would have preferred more songs from their debut album, “Curse of the Damned,” but I understand that the band might have wanted to change up the set list. Still, their entire performance was on another level and I feel each time I see them they find ways to get more metal fans rocking out to their crushing style of classic metal. 

Night Demon
    After Night Demon ended their set with their always enjoyable self-titled song, Anvil was getting ready to begin their highly anticipated set. This band has really been touring the United States more since that documentary came out and I was looking forward to finally being able to see them. When the band came out it was just drummer Robb Reiner and their new bassist Chris Robertson. I was looking around thinking, where is guitarist Steven "Lips" Kudlow?! Then I looked in the middle of the crowd and saw a crazy brown haired dude holding a red flying v guitar, and realized he was in the crowd! Talk about being up close to personal with the audience. You don’t see Axl Rose and Gene "Money Bag" Simmons doing that. 

    The guys in Anvil may look old, but when on stage they reminded me of young hyper kids having great fun playing their instruments. Some songs that I thought sounded good were, “Badass Rock 'n' Roll” and “Die For a Lie.” Also, the classic song, “Mothra,” gave each member a chance to show off their talents. Honestly, Rob Reiner’s drummer solo kind of took all the spot light and was the high moment of Anvil’s set. He is a master behind that kit and I respect the traditional grip he uses. Lips of course made me laugh a lot by having great stage comments along with using a dildo during his guitar solo. Towards the end of their set the band played the one song that most fans were waiting for which was, “Metal on Metal.” Then for their encore they played a cover of, “Born to Be Wild.” The cover was okay and I think they should have just ended with, “Metal on Metal.” Compared to what I thought going in, Anvil still knows how to rock and roll. 

    After all that metal music from each of the four bands, my ears are still ringing and I am still laughing about the dildo guitar solo. I think the all ages venue definitely allowed for a diverse and passionate audience. Even though I thought Night Demon should have been able to play a couple more songs (I’m biased), it was an enjoyable concert all around and I am glad I went. Whether it be old heavy metal music or new heavy metal music, the fans and bands keep the spirit alive by showing up and banging their heads.