Sep 042013

(Andy Synn delivers this review of the second day at the recently completed Summer Breeze festival in Germany, and again provides video of the performances. To see his review of the festival’s first day, go here. We’ll have Part 3 of his review tomorrow.)

Day 2 of the festival kicked off (for me at least) with some pure blackened misanthropy courtesy of France’s Merrimack who proceeded to shake the cobwebs out of everyone’s brains with an esoteric take on panzerfaust black metal blasting that recalls Deathspell Omega in places (though considerably more focussed and violent).

The band’s frontman Vestal was a particularly difficult figure to look away from, screeching his savage hymns of depravity whilst physically flagellating himself with both his mic and his bare fists. Combine this with the band’s relentless delivery – all jagged edges and harsh, ecliptic angles, and you get one singularly uncomfortable, yet incredibly compelling, live experience. Continue reading »

Sep 182012

(In this post DGR reviews the Sept. 14, 2012, performance in Sacramento, CA, by Death Angel, Testament, and Anthrax.)

This is probably one of the easiest show reviews I’ll ever have to write because the three bands you see on the tour flyer are literally it. No local opener, no smaller band, just three standard-bearers of the thrash scene putting together one of the better tours that have hit recently. I always joke that if you really want to find me at a show then you need to look for the guy with the long hair and the goatee.  This time, however, I probably was easy as hell to find based on that description, and I should’ve told everyone to look out for the balding guy.

I was really excited for this show for a couple of reasons. I’d get to see Testament again for the second time this year. I feel they’re one of the best ‘legacy’ bands out there right now, and the quality of their recent discs is just as good as the older stuff that they’re known for. Another reason was that this would be the first show I’ve attended at Ace Of Spades that was sold out. I’ve been to some pretty big shows there and seen the room filled with people, but never packed to the gills as it was that Friday.

Finally, I knew the place was going to lose its collective mind for these three bands. When Testament rolled through here previously, the venue went completely nuts. If there’s one thing I could rely on, it was that Sacramento’s fans were going to go nuts and I would be there to bear witness to it.

I was lucky enough to find a really great view in the upper bar about fifteen feet from the stage, but perfectly level with the performers on stage, so I grabbed that spot as quickly as I could and just rested on that railing. If you’re not one of those people who is obsessed with being up front on the floor or in the pit, my location was seriously one of the best spots in that whole venue. Not long after I got inside, Death Angel took the stage and the night began. Continue reading »

Aug 162011

(In light of the positive response to TheMadIsraeli’s “Revisiting the Classics” post about At the Gates, we’ve decided to make this a continuing feature, and all of us here at NCS will be contributing over time. But for the second installment, TheMadIsraeli is back again, and he’s looking back at Anthrax.)

Since you guys liked my “Revisiting The Classics” column, I thought I’d do another until I can pump out the next round of current stuff. Have some good stuff coming down the pipe, including another discography download. But now, we’re talking about Persistence of Time (1990).

This is Anthrax’s best album. NOT Among The Living. Get that notion out of your head. It’s amateur tripe compared to the maturity found on Persistence of Time.

Come on, YOU KNOW YOU LOVE IT. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Jul 052010

Against my better judgment and most of my principles, two days ago I watched the video of the “Big Four” performing on stage together in Sofia, Bulgaria on June 22. In fairness to me, it’s not like I searched for it. I was just scrolling through the latest drivel on Blabbermouth, looking for the occasional item of interest that does occasionally lurk within the drivel, and there it was. All I had to do was click the “play” button.

Still, I paused.   A long time.   For one thing, although I still like Slayer (and “like” is about all the enthusiasm I can muster), Metallica, Megadeth, and Anthrax have no current relevance to me. The fact that they broke major ground once upon a time doesn’t mean it makes sense for me to listen to their music today, when there are so many other bands I’d rather hear. For another thing, I wasn’t a slobbering fan of most of those bands even when they were current.

And for a final thing, I’ve just grown sick to death of reading about this whole “Big Four” tour. For purposes of this NCS blog, I feel compelled to keep up with current events in metaldom, but to hunt for things that really do interest me, I’ve had to pass through a fecal waterfall of interviews, press releases, and blogger babble about this fucking tour. Enough already!

And for a final, final thing, I knew if I watched the damn video I’d have to see Dave Mustaine.

But I watched it anyway. And as jaded as I am about these bands and this tour, I did get a mild thrill out of seeing all four of them on stage playing together. Certainly not because of the music, because “Am I Evil?” is a forgettable song, and no one in this performance went out of their way to turn it into something better.

That was two days ago. And then yesterday came, and I saw a transcription of an interview Dave Mustaine gave on July 1 in Vienna, and I was vividly reminded all over again why that guy makes me wanna projectile vomit and why I should have passed right over that video without pressing play.    (unfortunately, there’s more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »