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Friday, August 27, 2010

Sludge invades Lawrence

If you want to bang your head as hard as you can, Lawrence is the place to be. Black Tusk will be coming back to the area after a pretty impressive performance with Weedeater earlier this year. They'll be at the Jackpot with stoner rock legends Fu Manchu on September 13th. Get heavy.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Looking to get your face ripped for cheap? Troglodyte will be headlining at the Riot Room on September 6th along with Serated, Marasmus and Chaos Interval for only TWO DOLLARS. That's right, some of KC's best death metal bands for only TWO DOLLARS! You have no reason not to come.

Enthroned -- Kansas City, MO -- August 24th, 2010

I can cross another band off my "To See Before I Die" list. Destroyer 666 was absolutely mind-blowing, and every band tonight brought their A-game. Truly a satanic spectacle.

The sole opening band was Witchreign, which is made up of 4/5 members of one of my favorite KC-area bands, Vanlade. But instead of epic speed/power metal, Witchreign is dirty blackened thrash. They seemed a bit sloppy, but they still threw in some pretty good solo's that went over well. At the end, they brought up one of the guitarists from Enthroned and did a killer cover of Venom's "In League With Satan." Remember, if there is a black metal show, a Venom cover is mandatory. 8/10

I am a huge sucker for brutal/slam death metal, but when I first checked out Pathology when I heard they'd be on this show as a replacement for Shining, I was less than impressed. But it turns out that they are actually pretty good at what they do. It's too bad that the first video on YouTube that comes up for the band is one of their worst, because the rest of their set was fantastic. The singer looked insane while the band was going, and I was impressed with every one of their members. Great stuff if you're into the genre. Don't let the Victory Records label be off-putting. 8.5/10

Finally. I can't believe I finally got to see Destroyer 666. One of the first metal bands I'd ever heard, and I finally got to hear all these songs I've been listening to for years. Although they didn't play one of my favorite songs (Satanic Speed Metal), the entire set was chock full of memorable songs that I had to scream along with and bang my head. "Sons of Perdition", "Raped", and "Black City - Black Fire" were some of the best times I've had at a concert, but the greatest moment had to be screaming along with KK during "The Eternal Glory Of War." They came a long way to KC, and we made sure they knew we appreciated it. During "Australian and Antichrist", some guy who I've never seen at shows before was filming D666 using a flip-phone (amazing quality, am I right?) right up front and center. KK slapped the phone out of his hand and pushed the guy back. After the song, he said something like, "Metal is about here and now. I'm playing for all you dedicated people who came out to this show tonight, not for the fifty million on YouTube in the future!" It was pretty metal. I really hope I get to see them headline in the future. 10/10

After heading back to the bar and talking to Jeff from Troglodyte for a good while, I caught most of Enthroned's set. They made a mistake picking Destroyer 666 as an opening band, because after that spectacle, it's an achievement just to take the stage with any sort of gusto. They played their brand of punishing black metal and had a few great songs with some awesome solo's, but ultimately were just pretty good. They eventually won the crowd over and their almost 20 years of experience really showed; they sounded great. The vocalist was also really animated and fun to watch. They capped a brilliant night of (almost all) black metal. 8/10

Destroyer 666 set:

Rise of the Predator
A Breed Apart
The Last Revelation
Sons of Perdition
I Am Not Deceived
Blood for Blood
Genesis to Genocide
Satan's Hammer
Black City - Black Fire
Australian and Antichrist
I Am The War God
Eternal Glory of War

Enthroned set included:


Pathology set included:

Age Of Onset
Among Giants
Legacy Of The Ancients

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

American Carnage -- Bonner Springs, KS -- August 23rd, 2010

Every band on the bill last night had played Kansas City within the last year, but by the bands performances and the crowd reaction, you'd think it was the first time in twenty years.

Testament opened the show while it was still light out, but they whipped the crowd into a frenzy. Chuck Billy is the only guy, metal or otherwise, that can get away with looking so cool playing a mic stand like a guitar. Alex Skolnick also played for the crowd and showed off just what an incredible guitar player he is. I wasn't sure he was playing with Testament on this tour, but I was so glad to see him up there on that stage shredding. It was great to hear songs like "Dog Faced Gods" and "Practice What You Preach", but "D.N.R. (Do Not Resuscitate)" still reigns as one of the best Testament songs ever recorded! They need to come back and headline very soon. 9/10


For The Glory Of...
More Than Meets The Eye
Dog Faced Gods
The New Order
Trial By Fire
Practice What You Preach
D.N.R (Do Not Resuscitate)
3 Days In Darkness
The Formation of Damnation

After a near-perfect concert at the Beaumont club last December, everyone was salivating for more Megadeth. The only let-down of the show were Dave Mustaine's vocals on some of the songs. Don't be afraid to let the beast out, Dave! Other than that, the music was spot-on and it was so much fun singing along with all of Rust In Peace. Chris Broderick was probably the most talented guitar player on that stage last night, and it showed during one of my favorite guitar solo's of all time for the song "Tornado Of Souls." He hit each note perfectly. Highlight of the set was Five Magics. It sounds fantastic live. They also brought out Vic Rattlehead to rouse the crowd during Dawn Patrol. Best Halloween costume ever! 9.5/10


Holy Wars... The Punishment Due
Hangar 18
Take No Prisoners
Five Magics
Poison Was The Cure
Tornado of Souls
Dawn Patrol
Rust In Peace...Polaris
Head Crusher
A Tout Le Monde
Symphony of Destruction
Peace Sells
Holy Wars (reprise)

During Slayer's set at Mayhem Fest last year, the soundboard got fried which resulted in horrendous sound for the band and ultimately gave us a ruined set. Karma was in full swing tonight, because Slayer sounded spot-on through their whole performance. I was on the left side of the stage, but I could still hear all of Kerry's guitars, as well as Jeff's. Tom came over and played to our side as well, a few times. The pits were huge and vicious the entire time Slayer was on stage. Every song, even the World Painted Blood openers, sounded loud and clear on stage. The best songs were the cuts off of Seasons In The Abyss that I thought I'd never hear live, such as "Hallowed Point", "Skeletons Of Society" and even "Temptation." Throwing in "Aggressive Perfector" at the end of "Raining Blood" was the best surprise I've ever gotten. My neck was sore, blood was on the ground, people are still screaming as they walk to their cars. Yep, Slayer played. 10/10

World Painted Blood
Hate Worldwide
War Ensemble
Blood Red
Spirit In Black
Expendable Youth
Dead Skin Mask
Hallowed Point
Skeletons of Society
Born of Fire
Seasons In The Abyss
South of Heaven
Raining Blood
Aggressive Perfector
Angel of Death

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hammerlord -- Lawrence, KS -- August 20th, 2010

...after what seemed like an entertaining eternity, a surprisingly large crowd was still intact for my two favorite KC-area local bands: Hammerlord and Troglodyte. You wouldn't think a speed/thrash metal band would go good with a deathgrind band, but you can't help but bang your head with a smile to each band.

Trog took the stage first. The sound at the Jackpot sounded great, even better than the Bane show before it. Although some of the mic cables were sketchy, it hardly mattered. It felt good to finally hear some death grunt vocals, and Trog are some of the best at it. Opening with "Beaten and Eaten", Trog ripped through a ton of their songs (although ignoring my two favorites: "They Walk Among Us" and "Don't Go In The Woods...") including fan favorites "Ric Flair's Hair" and "The Only Good Hippie Is A Dead Hippie." They played a couple I haven't heard before which sounded great as well. They got a fantastic response and it showed on their performance. Great stuff overall. 9/10

Setlist included:

Skunk Ape Rape
Ric Flair's Hair
The Only Good Hippie Is A Dead Hippie
Die When You Die (GG Allin cover)

The last time I tried to catch a headlining Hammerlord show, it got cut short because of time. Fortunately, we didn't have that problem tonight, and it was literally probably the best performance I've seen at the Jackpot and one of the most fun I've seen from any band, local or national. I've said it time and time again, but to say the members of Hammerlord are talented at what they do would be the understatement of the year. The guitarists, Ty and JP, traded solo's a la Slayer, except I don't think Slayer could handle the insane amount of tapping and intricate guitar solo's. Absolutely jaw-dropping. I also finally got to hear "Metalization" for so long and I screamed along with Stevie and we headbanged together. Coolest dude ever! If there's one thing you should take away from this review, it should be that Hammerlord are one of the best metal bands in the country today. Period. They are professionals at what they do, they have mind-boggling talent, and in a live setting, they are nigh-unmatched. Bang the head that doesn't bang! 10/10


Creating Destruction
Dead City Radio
Storm The Castle
Tombstone Piledriver
Anomaly Rue
Demon Fever
Wolves At War's End

Bane -- Lawrence, KS -- August 20th, 2010

I got to the Jackpot just at 6:30 and this weekend was the first weekend after school started, so it took me a while to find a parking space. I lucked out and got one right in front of the venue. The line-up for this show was Bane/Trapped Under Ice/Cruel Hand/Alpha & Omega. It was also all ages. The place was definitely the most packed I've ever seen the Jackpot. Also - undoubtedly the most violent crowd I've ever seen.

Alpha & Omega was the first band of the day and they played metalcore/hardcore (the good kind) but were kind of slow which made for plenty of hardcore dancing. Now, these hardcore dancers weren't the scene kids who pick up change for three seconds then fix their hair, these guys were out to injure whoever. And they did. A girl got knocked out from something and had to be carried out of the venue. But enough about that, let's talk about the music. Alpha & Omega did a good job as a warmup band. When they had faster "hardcore"-sounding songs, they were great. Other than that, nothing special. 7.5/10

First band of the night I was excited to see was Cruel Hand, and the crowd must've felt the same way. For the rest of this show, the pit, the stage diving, the crowd surfing, the singing along was all at a fever pitch. Cruel Hand played a more hardcore punk style and was even better than Alpha & Omega, but were still warming the crowd up. 8/10

The band I was most psyched to see was Trapped Under Ice, and it looked like the majority of the crowd came for them as well. The crowd sang just as much as the vocalist, with some kids even coming on stage to sing for most of a song. I can tell Trapped Under Ice embraces the hip-hop ethos that most east coast hardcore bands seem to have, but it actually made them more interesting to watch. They certainly had the most "groove" of all the bands and even had some solo's! (At a hardcore show? Blasphemy!) Great stuff. 8.5/10

Bane are legends in the hardcore scene, and they play the part well. At times they were definitely the most melodic band of the night, especially when they played some new songs. But I got chills more than once when they started playing a song and the crowd exploded, singing the verse into the mic. Great hardcore that I'd love to see again. They've got the formula down, and it shows. 8.5/10

Set included:

Ante Up
Count Me Out
Can We Start Again

During all this, there were severe thunderstorms in Lawrence that made it humid outside and unbearably hot inside. After the crowd cleared out, there was so much sweat on the floor it looked like someone had spilled water everywhere. But that was cleaned up, and then came part 2 of the night...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Boris -- Lawrence, KS -- August 15th, 2010

1. Farewell
2. Rainbow
3. 8
4. Luna
5. Statement
6. Floorshaker
7. a bao a qu
8. 16:47:52
9. Akirame Flower
10. Pink
11. Korosu
12. 1970
13. Untitled (last track of Smile)

I can't really think of a witty/smart way to do this review because I'm still recovering from the mindshattering awesomeness that is Boris.

I'm so glad they still have Michio Kurihara with them, the dude is a genius. Better Boris collaborator than Merzbow, if I do say so myself. As it was the last time I saw them, his earth-shattering solo on Rainbow was a highlight. It just comes out of nowhere during one of the most relaxing songs of all time and just smacks you in the crotch with a frozen sledgehammer over and over again.

The sound wasn't as loud as I remember, but still one of the loudest shows I've ever seen. Also, after Akirame Flower, the band had to pause and just do reverb for about 10 minutes because something was messed up with Wata's peddles. But it just made what came after it that much sweeter. So happy they threw in Korosu and 1970 which are even better live than on tape. And Floorshaker > A Bao A Qu was probably the best part of the show. I still get chills thinking about it. Concert of the year.

Russian Circles was pretty good as well; really surprising. For an instrumental progressive/post-rock band, they had some awesome heavy parts. Even when the guitarist's pedal's messed up, they used that time to joke around with the crowd. I did recognize "Death Rides A Horse" as the second-to-last song they played.

Opening the show was KC's "Life And Times". They are a standard shoegaze/post-whatever band that fit in with Russian Circles perfectly. Heavy in spots and their bass player was awesome.

Boris: 10/10
Russian Circles: 8/10
Life And Times: 7.5/10

Friday, August 13, 2010

A triple shot of Lawrence metal shows!

Coliseum will be returning to Lawrence at the Jackpot on September 1st. Mansions will be opening for them.


One of the craziest shows of the year will undoubtedly be Japan's own Envy at the Jackpot on October 10th. Along with them is Trash Talk, Touche Amore and And So I Watch You From Afar. Go. To. This. Show.


And last but not least...THEY'RE BACK! Sad about Behemoth cancelling? Well, one day before at the Granada...get ready for GWAR.

The Casualties
Mobile Deathcamp

Be sure to wear white.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

CANCELED: Behemoth

Behemoth's frontman Nergal was diagnosed with something serious, so Behemoth has canceled all future dates, including the date at The Granada on November 9th, so he can get better. Hope he recovers soon!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Gruesome Twosome: Coming For Real This Time

Instead of just Alice Cooper or Rob Zombie, but shock rock giants will be at the Independence Events Center on October 6th. Murderdolls are opening.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Between The Buried And Me -- Lawrence, KS -- August 5th, 2010

Frontman Tommy Rogers of Between The Buried And Me (BTBAM) announced to the crowd that the show tonight in Kansas will be their last for the year. Although they didn't pull out anything special, they played spot on their entire set for another jaw-dropping performance.

Sandwiched in between Underoath and Blessthefall, this might have just been one of the oddest lineup's I've come across in recent memory. BTBAM does not incessantly tell the crowd to mosh, tell them to sing along, chide them to crowd surf, like blessthefall did so much. BTBAM's music speaks for itself and it incited just as much moshing and surfing as the other bands. The guitar solo during "White Walls" and the bass solo during "Disease, Injury, Madness" were nothing short of awe-inspiring, as they should be, Tommy's vocals were a welcome respite from the clean singing, emo-type vocals used by every band other than BTBAM.

Although it was clear most of the kids in the crowd were young and there for other bands, BTBAM made a huge mark on them.


(B) The Decade Of Statues
Disease, Injury, Madness
White Walls

Underoath - n/a
Between The Buried And Me - 9/10
blessthefall - 4/10
To Speak Of Wolves - 5/10

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sonic Kansas City Beatdown

Thrash legends DEATH ANGEL will be making an appearance in Kansas City in the beginning of 2011! February 11th at the Riot Room. Support comes from Lazarus AD, Early Man, Bonded By Blood and Hexen! Thrash!

Twice in 2 weeks!

Fresh off the Warped Tour, Every Time I Die will be returning to the Kansas City area...again! They will be at the Bottleneck in Lawrence on August 18th. Support will come from Season To Risk, Mansion and The Cast Pattern.