By Larry Daglieri and Joe Kruger
"Here are my rebuttals to
Joe's great review of the show. I didn't have notes, just a memory,
and I wasn't as sober as he was, but I remember ........
Joe I hope
you don't mind me stealing your post and adding to it, I thought
it would make some fine counterpoints, if any.
Zandelle (~6:00 PM)
guys sounded musically like QR during The Warning era. The vocals were
slighter higher and screechier than tate - with some very high-pitched
screams. The screams were mostly in control as was much of his vocals.
They had great chugging rhythm guitar work. It was good fast-tempo POWER
progressive metal. The overall tone struck me as "evil" sounding. They
played fairly loosely. The band featured pointed head-stocks and a pointy
guitar body! They had decent hair aerobics focusing mostly on spin moves.
Overall - decent and entertaining enough, but I probably wouldn't buy it.
I thought for
the opening act of Powermad, this band did a great job overall. I
agree with your assessment of the sound, and I thought that the singer
/ bass player did a wonderful job of keeping it together. I figured
that even though the band was a derivative of early Queensryche, they didn't
try to be anything else and have honed their craft well.
What a disadvantage of being
THE first band to open Powermad, and they handled it well.
Twisted Tower Dire (~7:00
seemed unusually loud. They started out sounding kinda Sabbathy/doomy then
switched to mostly pounding aggressive NWOBHM styled metal sounding like
older Maiden. They just screamed Testosterone. Musically they were very
good individually. The bassist was a crazy slapping fucking madman. The
compositions were somewhat chaotic - shifting between straight ahead galloping
metal and mildly progressive metal. Their playing was very loose, so I'm
not sure the progressiveness of the times was really intended or not. There
was really too much unstructured movement in the music to grab my interest.
The singer had a cool shaved head and sang seriously high. He had a very
cool Halford like vocal banter going on between songs. They did a They
were seriously concentrating on their instruments so did no real hair aerobics.
Overall - their style isn't my favorite, and the song-writing was lacking.
They had great chops but little else to compel me to purchase their stuff.
This band didn't
grab me much either. I thought that the playing was a bit sloppy
and loose, and trying to cover a Mercyful Fate song is just not for any
old band to try to pull off.
Talamasca (8:00 PM)
The guys played
an early Fates type of music complete with a shrieky John Arch style singer.
The song-writing was pretty decent with good time changes. The single guitarist
was a real fretburner and had a pointy headstock. He had great control
and fairly decent solos. He is a serious concentrator on the stage. Another
Powerful band. Their playing was fairly loose. A side highlight was watching
Mike C. trying to peel the agenda sticker off the tablecloth. All that
weightlifting didn't do him any good. Other than some mild head bobs by
the guitarist, the band did no hair aerobics. Overall - the musical style
was good, but the singing was a little high for my liking. I briefly considered
buying the disc anyway just to check it out but was give the "real poor
production" warning by two different people.
As on the disc,
the singer was just too much over the top and abuses his high pitched voice
too much. When the voice is that high, it doesn't make sense to waver
the pitch because it starts to sound liked a warped LP after awhile.
I found the music to be very cold and empty. I used to liken this
band to a more technical Queensryche influenced band, but after seeing
them live I'll go with the FW comparison to move on.
Division (8:45 PM)
guys are extremely entertaining. They really know how to bring in the crowd.
They were the fourth straight POWER band with some serious chugga chugga
and their amps were cranked to 11. They had great dual guitar work - both
with pointy headstocks! The drummer did as well as possible with the little
bit of practice that he had with the material. He is very capable, but
missed quite a few times. The normal full-time core of the band was reasonably
tight. The band got a very loud and positive crowd reaction - they had
a VERY big crowd on the floor. They have a big local and internet draw.
They had great metal attire - Mike Blevins was wearing a cool t-shirt that
read "All I ever needed to know I learned from porno" or something amusing
like that. They had a very big sound with a cool Savatage - Power of the
Night cover. They had some excellent hair gymnastics - swinging, flailing,
tossing, and bobbing. Even Dan was doing it. Overall - an excellent live
band - very entertaining. Crushes the powermad audience for the third straight
year. More of a straight-ahead power metal style which isn't really my
thing, so although I completely enjoyed their live energy, wouldn't be
likely to buy their disc.
This band always
brings the crowd to their feet - I believe it's their energy and enthusiasm
toward their craft, but I have to admit ( and always have ) that they have
one of the finest singers in metal with Scott Stewart, and there is no
mistaking his unique voice. The twin guitar approach between Matt
Crooks and Mike Blevins is among the tightest I've seen, and Mike Blevins
just slips into his alter ego and abuses himself while playing so hard.
I had no problems with the drummer, although as some of us heard, he missed
cued a bit ( I'm sure the band noticed too ) but his style is a death /
thrash style I'm told. Their cover of Savatage's "Power of the Night"
was mind boggling to these ears, and every show I've seen this band
just gets better and tighter.
Antithesis (9:50 PM)
A fifth consecutive
POWER metal band, baby. Power fatigue beginning to set in for this listener.
These guys were bonecrushingly heavy with a very 80's styled sound with
some mild thrash elements thrown in at times. They had the first singer
of the night who sang in the mid-range - he occasionally did some growly
stuff and some high stuff. They had two guitarists who were both very good
- they traded leads. Both did some major shredding. I didn't notice the
shape of their headstocks. The bass guitarist was also quite good. Their
playing was also pretty loose. The writing tends to favor aggression over
melody, so the band struck me as heavy, but little else. The bass guitarist
had some major hair gymnastics as did one of the guitarists - but he needs
to let it grow a little longer. Dweeb was in major fan boy mode thru their
set. Overall - as heavy as it gets and very good instrumentalists, but
the writing just didn't grab me. I'm not likely to purchase.
poor production on the disc that people are hearing, the band assured me
that their performance would be worlds apart from that sound, and they
were RIGHT. Armed with a new guitarist that smokes, and a singer
who can go from a high pitch to a growl, which he mostly used, the
band could do some damage if they stay on track. The disc is being
re-mixed with the new guitarist and this should produce some quality metal
if it pans out.
Nightmare's End (11:00 PM)
I saw these
guys last year and wasn't really too keen on them. When some of the crowd
suggested a fast food run, I offered to drive. Although I missed a lot
of their set, when I returned I found myself liking them. They were mostly
doomy & Sabbathy with a strong NWOBHM sound in the bridges. I had kicked
myself for not giving them another chance. They were the least dressed
band of the night. Two of the members were wearing leather shorts - one
of which had some kind of a fringe on it. Didn't see a lot of hair gymnastics.
Overall - far better than I had remembered from last year and adequately
entertaining. I'll have to check them out further.
No offense to
the band - I had seen them 3 times before, and they are not my thing
so I headed out for some barbecued pork sandwiches.
Ion Vein (12:00 AM)
vein is what I wrote as the first line of my notes. This was the first
band to keep me up on the floor for the whole show. They were fantastic
with a great style of melodic power metal. The new songs seem to show good
growth. They were the first band of the night that I would describe as
tight. Russ's vocals live are much more powerful and in control than they
were on the disc? The band had a cool black jean only except for the drummer
dress code and definitely the best hair gymnastics of the evening. An interesting
side note is that they had a spotlight on the various band members, but
couldn't quite figure out who to put into the spotlight at any given time.
Overall - these guys put on a great set and were the highlight of the evening.
I already have and enjoy their disc, but it does the band no justice compared
to their live show.
Let me first
say that I totally agree with everything you said here. Most of all
about the translation from live show to disc which just loses some in the
transfer. However, like Joe, I ( and everyone else in the place )
headed up to the stage for what an expected great show. The band
delivered even moreso than last year, and I love the guitar interplay between
the two players. Agreed, the singer seems to have more leverage with
his voice on stage than he does in a studio and I'd like to see this captured
someday on an upcoming disc by the band. Maybe it's a comfort thing
for him ? He seems VERY comfortable on stage and really lets loose
- and that Midnight / Tate cross in his voice is astounding.
The drummer stands out here - outstanding - and I have to be a bit biased
here and admit that Chris Lotesto's guitar playing is as classy as his
personality. This guys brings a certain flair to the guitar that
I can't describe, but class just seems to fly from this guy no matter what
he does. The band is destined for great things.
Tiles (1:00 AM)
I suppose every
time I think of these guys I have to think of Ken's description of them
in his last catalog: "bad rush clone. free sticker" These guys play a very
Rush sounding like style of progressive hard and heavy rock with Geddy
like vocals and Lifeson like guitar work. In short... I love it. The band
lacked the metal band stage antic mentality so they pretty much just stood
up there and did their thing. I think everybody was too tired at this point
and their rock sound was too different from what had been a POWER evening.
I actually thought it was a nice break and would have liked to see them
play a little earlier in the evening to kinda break up the power monotony.
These guys were incredibly tight. Glenn said that even dweeb could kick
the singer's ass. I had planned on purchasing this disc first thing the
next day, but they apparently packed up and took all their CDs before I
remembered. Overall - the best band of the night for me and a certain purchase.
A big step up from their previously recorded works that I own.
I thought that the first Rush-like disc they produced would turn me off,
I found the change in musical direction of the show quite refreshing, and
Tiles had one of the better sounds of the night. Agreed on the stage
persona, but these guys can play their instruments and the singer had a
great voice. I found myself enthralled from start to finish and enjoyed
every moment of the show. The guitarist is certainly right out of
the Alex Lifeson school of playing, but he was great. I looked for
their disc briefly, but by the time I decided to spring for it, they had
left with the discs. I will purchase their latest disc, "Presence
of Time" I believe, as lots of the songs came from that disc. Great
show !! Class act !!!!
Hand Farm (1:00 PM!!!!!)
Ken said that I had to see
this show. I wasn't sure. It didn't sound like my bag, but the last time
he said that - about Wyzards - I didn't and I'm still kicking myself to
this day. Well, Ken was right. This was fantastic. He has a style that
I can only describe as heavy jazz instrumental progressive fusion with
incredible, no INCREDIBLE, groove. All three guys are fantastic musicians
- probably the best of the weekend. The bassist does some serious soloing
and heavy jamming. Stu Hamm would not be a fair comparison - this guy is
tons more versatile, way more expressive, and loads more interesting. The
drummer plays in a very traditional jazz style. His cymbal work was absolutely
the best of the weekend. More interested in putting down a tight groove
than wanking. Scott is amazing. His high slung playing style, extreme tone
consciousness, and amazing left hand bring about inevitable comparisons
to Eric Johnson. The blazing speed, fluid fretwork, and tuneful writing
bring to mind the smoothness of Alan Holdsworth. He had a sweet, sweet,
sweet tone. Overall - tight, shred-styled playing of fusion type music
filled with heart and soul. As much as I've generally leaned away from
instrumental discs lately - this one will be added to my to-get list.
I had seen Scott play
several months earlier at a college radio station, and I couldn't believe
my eyes. I had never seen playing like this before in my lifetime.
It would be difficult for me to listen to this type of music day in and
day out, but if this guy is around, I'm watching. I've said it before,
there are musicians, there's ridiculously great musicians, and then there's
Scott McGill. Budding guitarists do not watch this guy or risk giving
up the career.
Midevil (2:10 PM)
Wimps and posers
leave the hall. These guys play TRUE METAL! - very traditional 80's styled
US power metal. They were pounding, they were loud, they were heavy. CHUGGA
CHUGGA CHUGGA. They mixed up the tempos just enough to keep it interesting.
The drummer had a serious Lars-like pounding style but tossed in quite
a bit of rhythms that are atypical for metal. They all did some very serious
hair gymnastics. Overall - entertaining and interesting enough, but not
really my style. I probably wouldn't buy their stuff.
I have no idea
how or why I didn't catch this set. I certainly was in the building
Forte (3:30 PM)
play balls to the wall grinding thrash with a whole pump your fist into
the air kinda vibe. They were pretty tight and had a very unusually clean
sound for this style of music - I had thought that they might have their
own sound guy - I don't know. The singer basically just screamed at a very
high pitch and did the "let's hear it for metal" banter. Pointy headstocks
are mandatory for this type of music. The band was full of energy and probably
every bit as entertaining and enthusiastic as Division. The hair gymnastics
were the most impressive of the weekend - I'm talking about major neck
injuries - spinning, twirling, tossing, pumping, bobbing, shaking - these
guys never kept their heads still. Overall - I already own one of their
CDs and that's enough. This is so much not my style of music that I left
about five songs into their set for a food break. This band would have
caused a Ralf Walter jean change.
Agreed - the
thrashy, brutal approach caused me to block out the set; or was that the
Cage (~4:45 PM)
I think I entered
about one song into their set. These guys play TRUE METAL! - very traditional
80's styled US power metal based on classic metal. They did it right. These
guys would have been kings back in the day - even Misfit would probably
like them. They sounded quite a bit like older Priest. They did a cover
of Savatage's - Dungeons Are Calling that was excellent. The band actually
reminded me of Priest in the sense that the players seemed to have all
their roles down. Although they were a little loose, they were as melodic
as hell. The singer seems like a bit of an odd character - apparently he's
gotten some notoriety for being on TV about some football team's draft
pick - but he has a great voice and great control. The guitarists do the
Tipton/Downing lead trades superbly. Great crowd banter - "we're not fucking
around" and "we follow the blueprint that our heavy metal forefathers laid
down for us". Very little hair gymnastics. Overall - my favorite straight
POWER band of the weekend, but I wouldn't buy their stuff. I've already
got all the old priest stuff.
Now, I've owned
the disc for quite some time and I was impressed by their ability to re-create
the Priest / Savatage thing quite well. I was even more impressed
by their live show, and I guess when you admit that you're following in
someone else's footsteps, and just go for the throat, which these guys
did, then the band can get on with doing the best at what they do best
and it seems more enjoyable from that standpoint. This is solid,
80's style power metal done well.
Soundscape (~7:30 PM)
The gap in
times is a result of the Ice Age vehicle breaking down. Soundscape had
earlier plans for the day, so was just arriving when they were needed on
stage. These guys are gonna become known for their incredibly looooooooonnnnnnnnnggggggg
sound checks at Powermad. I think that even some of the fans were getting
annoyed. Despite the long wait, these guys were the best band up to that
point. Thorne is a total poser, but he's such a great frontman that it
doesn't bother me. His vocals and keywork are fantastic. Todd Rose was
definitely the best metal guitarist present. I'd probably even consider
him one of the top 5 guitarists in progressive metal right now. He is incredibly
versatile - he's fantastic at shred, fantastic at rhythm, and always play
the appropriate solos without wanking out. The new material contains a
lot of stuff that is wah-ed stuff done right (to my liking). It sounds
more like progressive metal than rock, but doesn't rely on excess dt-clonage.
They have their own unique sound. Overall - great musicians & vocalists,
fantastic stage show, and superb writing. I already have all their stuff,
except for the new stuff that hasn't arrived in the mail yet (hint hint).
I believe it
was Alzn who came up with one of the best descriptions of this band I've
ever read. He said something to the effect of "sounds like a hybrid
of techno prog rock mixed in with glam rock with a Vince Neil style singer."
Strange and it works. On stage, I have to admit that there is more
energy at a Soundscape show than most other bands can emit in a career.
Say what you want about the 2-hr soundcheck, I know it's not fair, but
when you put on a show like these guys do, at least the wait is worth
it. These are serious musicians, and when you have a Todd Rose
in the band, it's hard not to be recognized. Todd is absolutely
one of the best guitarists I've ever seen, period. The guy plays
a style different from most in which he uses his leads as rhythm.
His humble personality and friendly approach to fans make him one of the
best examples of a musician ever. Thorne can be dramatic, as
showcased at this show, but the guy can work a crowd and play like
no other front man can. Hey, about the hat, I called
him and asked him to bring it to the show and he said "absolutely" .......
There is no mistaking his unique vocal approach either. With
a massive bottom end behind them, the band just smokes the stage
from top to bottom, and let me just say for the record, that Soundscape
has played all 3 Powermad shows, and have the distinct honor of having
the crowd yell "MORE" at all 3 shows, even bringing them back for an encore
last year. When they are able to transfer this massive, thunderous
energy to a disc in the future, the band will make a serious dent in the
Evergrey (8:30 PM)
I admit to
not being much of a power metal fan, especially the newer German power
metal kind of stuff. Unfortunately when people talk about new power metal
nowadays it Helloween and their derivatives that they are talking about
for the most part. Evergrey is GOOD power metal, the old fashioned original
kind. They are blistering, dark, heavy, exciting, incredible. Tom's vocals
are amazing. Someone needs to teach him how keep his guitar in front of
his hands so that whole world doesn't see him fixing his zipper :-) I was
temporarily worried that the guy fixing his wire tangle mess was gonna
knock him over. As Glenn mentioned - he did a great job covering his mistake.
Overall - my reaction was holy shit - they pulled it off live despite being
totally annoyed with the poor monitor settings. Buy and die. Here's the
set list - from the copy I snatched off the stage:
: 1. Blackened Dawn
: 2. Solitude Within
: 3. Nosferatu
: 4. Dark Discovery
: 5. She Speaks...
: 6. Shadowed
: 7. Damnation
: 8. When The River Calls
: 9. The Corey Curse
biased when it comes to this band - I'll say right off the bat that
this band has taken Powermad to new heights for me, and I can't remember
the last time I got so high from a show as I did when this band hit the
From the opening
notes of Blackened Dawn to the closing notes of The Corey Curse, these
guys did not let up for one minute. The band wreaks of sheer power,
darkness, atmosphere and incredible melodies - this is the main ingredient
that makes this band what it is - the dark power mixed in with the
right amount of melodies make this band totally indestructible at the moment.
The songs are laced with dark emotion, sadness, haunting samples and stories
and yet - there is some warmth to the music. It could be Tom's super
raspy yet passionate voice, or it could be the eery keywork that accompanies
the music. The band had the keyboards, backing vocals and samples
"flown in" and they were triggered exactly on cue without missing a beat.
The band also pulled in what I believe was the loudest response from the
crowd - being down in front just below Tom Englund's feet, I was
caught between the loud, bombastic music and the roar of the crowd behind
me. Tom Englund, the towering singer who plays guitar, probably stood
at least 15 feet over me counting the stage - and he looked down at me
and dedicated "Nosferatu" to me which for me was the highlight of the entire
3 days. The guy sang and played his ass off despite getting tangled
up in some wire and had to have it removed by a stage hand. Dan Bronell,
the other guitarist, stayed quiet over in his corner but put out some serious
guitar sounds the whole time. He was the most quiet guy in the band,
and it's hard to imagine that this guy plays some of the meanest, darkest
power metal around. Daniel Nojd, the scariest dude in the band (aka
"fruitboy") managed to maintain a steady bass beat despite numerous
wiring problems and monitor problems - a true professional. Before
the show, I went up Patrick Carlsson the drummer and teased him about not
looking like a drummer seeing how all the other members were so much larger
than he was - but when the time came to pound away, the guy blew
my mind. Like Teddy Moller, size had no meaning when it came to being
able to literally destroy a drum kit the way these guys did. I was
never be the same - Evergrey flew into the United States, stopped
off at Powermad and literally laid waste to the hall. If Evergrey
and Mayadome were the only bands to have played this show, the trip alone
would have been worth it for me. My personal thanks go out to the
band for allowing me to be part of the Swedish invasion, and for not listening
to me when I tried to talk them out of coming here. This band had
to overcome tons of obstacles to get here, financially and physically,
and when Tom said that he wanted to come to the show to meet all of the
PM people, that showed his dedication to his fans. Thanks again
Evergrey for making this the best Powermad ever, and for allowing me to
be part of the Evergrey journey.........
Mayadome (10:00 PM)
Bassel rules. Mayadome rules. I had not yet listened to the new disc when
these guys played, but the first disc is one of my favorites. They do a
heavy DT-styled progressive metal with the aggression turned up a notch
from most of the stuff in the genre. They are all great musicians- very
tight, and it was fantastic to hear heavy powerful music with keyboards
also. Teddy did some amazing background vocals. Everybody in the place
was just glued to the band - they went over very well. A major coup for
Keith Menser - to get these guys on his label, at the Mars store, and at
Powermad. Well done, Keith. The only complaint about these guys is that
the dry ice was simply blasting non-stop throughout their set. It was almost
impossible to even see Teddy's drum work. A band heavily influenced by
DT, but with their own super aggressive twist. The female vox were great
also. Overall - the fourth straight extremely excellent band. Buy their
on stage might be somewhat intimidating for any band - especially after
the awesome show that they put on. I would not want to be in the
position of having to try to work up the crowd again when just about everyone
in the place was void and drained of energy that Evegrey sucked dry.
To show what class Mayadome has, Teddy was up on stage helping to
put together the drums for Patrick Carlsson ( Evergrey drummer ) before
their set. Teddy told me that he had been looking forward to seeing
Evergrey for quite some time and that he was very excited about sharing
the stage with them. After Evergrey was finished, Mayadome hit the
stage with such ferocity that the crowd came alive suddenly as if renewed
with some hidden strength and the Maydome show was underway. The
power that this band displays is phenominal. Teddy is a complete
madman behind the drum kit and his stature belies the ability he has to
play as well as he does. I had trouble following his motions,
it was like he had arms and hands everywhere, and just never stopped for
a moment. In addition, Teddy is an awesome singer, all
the while playing with such conviction without missing a note; he
is an amazing musician. Bassel suddenly starts to sing and you'd
never guess that a voice that powerful came from a guy almost as small
as I am. Minus the vocal processings on the disc, and with backing
help from Teddy, Bassel took control of the stage immediately and
worked the crowd into a frenzy. Fredrik was amazing on guitar, certainly
outshining the already brilliant performance he laid down on the disc and
carrying the driving, crunching sound throughout the show. The bass
and keyboards put the melodies and bottom end to this tour de force and
Mayadome proved that they are not just another bunch of pretty faces.
They played songs from "Paranormal Activity", "Near Life Experience" and
some newer material - and also they were recording the show for a live
disc in the future. The Swedish dynamic duo of Evergrey and Mayadome
simply arrived in America and laid total waste to the Tall Cedars Lodge
in Towson, MD. I don't believe that Powermad will ever be the same
after this show, and I wish Mayadome and Evergrey all the success in the
world - they certainly proved that they are among the best in their respective
genres and there is no doubt in my mind that people will be talking about
this Powermad combination for many years to come. Both bands paid
enormous amounts of money to get here, and it was a pleasure to have been
part of the nuclear blast known as the Evergrey / Mayadome explosion that
Holy Mother (11:40 PM)
guys win the DWHITT Fuck Award. Mike Tirelli is a great singer, comparable
to Dio and Jon Oliva, but is a little too strong on the "fuck" everything
banter. They play straight ahead power metal. They did a fairly poor cover
of Priest's You've Got Another Thing Coming. They had a song introduced
as coming from a 97 release that had a total Painkiller vibe to it. A newer
song called Armageddon contained a bit snipped directly from Heaven &
Hell. Actually, Mike Hall and I thought they were switching to a cover,
but it wasn't. I don't know if it was intentionally written into the song
or tossed in live as a semi-tribute type of deal or just a plain ripoff.
Randy Coven played bass - I loved his work on the disc with Al Pitrelli.
Tirelli used to be in a rough bar band called Dirty Looks that I think
played the Alrosa Villa here in Columbus like every other weekend back
in my younger days. I didn't like him then a whole lot either. Overall
- fairly uninteresting stuff to me. Admittedly I was completely POWERed
out by this time.
You hate to
see things like this happen. From what appeared to be a very good
melodic power metal band with a good, strong singer, all of a sudden
turned into lots of the crowd suddenly leaving or turning their backs on
the band. Having to follow Evergrey and Mayadome certainly would
leave me scared and anxious as well, but to lash out a drained, amazed
crowd didn't help Holy Mother's cause very well. I can't say that
I saw anything after about 2 songs and tons of "fuck you's", so I shot
the shit with the great bartenders who handed more than one free one to
me during the night ( you two rule ).
Lethal (1:00 AM)
I own the Programmed
disc from this band. I had annoyingly referred to it half jesting/half
serious as a second rate clone of a second rate band. Actually, I do like
the disc, but wouldn't be likely to put it into my top 100. Their set contained
two songs from that disc, two songs from Poison Seed, and the rest was
new stuff. I think the band was actually happier playing the new stuff,
despite the crowd's demand for stuff from Programmed. Mallicoat has lost
absolutely nothing over the years. They play a fairly melodic and mildly
progressive style of progressive metal with a singer who sounds quite a
bit like Tate. If that's your bag, this would have been THE band of the
weekend for you. The playing was very tight, very competent despite being
non-flashy. The band had a great stage presence and played with quite a
bit of energy. They actually inspired one bold fellow to stage dive into
the crowd. They had plenty of pointy headstocks and flying V guitars and
were pretty decent in the bobbing category of the hair gymnastics. Overall
- they were pretty durned good. I did feel sorry for their obvious desire
to progress because of the fans obvious desire for them to regress. It
was a shame that they had to take the stage so late and leave while they
were still willing to play some more. It was amusing to see Glenn, Larry,
and Mike Campbell turn into total fan boys after the show. I thought Mallicoat
was a janitor prior to the show, he is probably the humblest, shyest, and
most down to earth guy in progressive metal. He was really taken aback
by the crowd worship.
right. I've been a fan of Tom Malicoat's for about 12 years,
and getting to meet him and hear Lethal play finally was one of the greatest
moments ever for me. I thought Mike Campbell was playing a nasty
joke on me and told me that the short, skinny guy with the baseball cap
on was Tom Malicoat. I proceeded with caution over to this guy and
mumbled "Tom" to make sure he turned around. He did and I promptly
gushed all over the poor dude and said my piece of worship to him.
Later after the show, my dear Keri was nice enough to snap a pic of me,
Tom, Glenn and Mike and then Tom was besieged by the adoring crowd and
disappeared among people. The band went on late, and it was clear
that Malicoat was pissed - which may have been why he sang with so much
conviction - the man is awesome. Certainly the "Programmed" material
went over much better than the newer material, and I wonder if this irks
a musician or not to have this happen in a crowd. In the meantime,
the band was incredibly tight and nuclear, as if they had always been together.
I'll bet that I never see Lethal play live again - but 12 years was
worth the wait for this godly singer and band.
Monument (1:20 PM)
were just basic mildly progressive thrash - totally not my stuff. Ralf
would have creamed for these guys. They had a pounding groove, ear-piercing
guitar tones, and standard rough thrash vocals. They were pure PAIN to
me. They had a decent booth set up all weekend and did a good job of self-promotion.
Their vocalist pointed it our during his banter - "our CD is over there.
Hell, by the end of the night we might even negotiate." They were serious
hair farmers with some nice bob-fling styled hair gymnastics. Overall -
thrash isn't my stuff so it isn't fair for me to offer any kind of opinion,
but I can't help but think that the singer doesn't say Fuck nearly enough
for them to hit it big.
I believe that I looked
over at Joe's scribbling and he was writing the word PAIN before he showed
me that he was. I believe I headed for the bar next door to the place
while this set continued on as thrash is not my thing.
Andeavor (2:45 PM)
A prog metal
four piece in the standard clonage vein. The lead guitarist had a very
Lifeson like tone and style. The music itself was your basic DT/FW combination
with some cool guitar synth/MIDI stuff going on. Clean vocals, genre prototypical
prog-metal earning a big thumbs up from the Harvester. An obvious (to me)
Xian band (not cheesy obvious like stryper or Narnia though) with a spiritual
message and some joyful noise if that is your bag. Very competent musically,
but fairly loose live. I think it may have been one of their first live
performances. No hair gymnastics at all. Overall - not the most original
of bands, but still interesting to me. I bought the CD immediately. The
keyboard player is also in Leger De Main, the prog rock band.
I'm a chump for the lighter side of prog metal as I am for the heavier
side and Andeavor is just that band that I had heard over and over again
through the PA system wondering who the hell this band was just as I did
2 years ago with Ice Age at the first Powermad show. The combination
of almost "poppy" melodies mixed in with that guitar synth sound, outstanding
melodic singer, and great guitarist left me wanting to hear more about
these guys. Jeroen and Claus prepared me that this band was coming,
and sent some MP3's to whet my whistle, but it didn't do this band justice
as they caught my attention immediately. I procrastinated and
lost out on the chance to grab their disc ( why do bands leave with these
things ? ) and sent me on a bit of a hunt to find one which turned
out to be a lost cause. I'll be tracking this band down in
the future - and their cut on the Powermad sampler is simply riveting
to these ears. This band could catch on to the Ice Age / Aztec Jade
crowd very easily.
October Thorns (4:00 PM)
of the Big O Award For Originality. They play extremely PROGRESSIVE metal
with only the slightest hint of DT influence. The music is very aggressive
with quite a bit of jazz tendencies - especially in the rhythm section.
All very young and very talented. The singer is extremely diverse and even
brought his own effects. His style is wildy varied - mostly high-pitched
clean vocals with a lot of death growls, grunts, and other lower-pitched
aggressive vocals. These guys were the great find of the year. Overall
- very cool, very original. Looking forward to their disc.
there is a band that just stands out and becomes "the unanimous discovery"
for everyone. When I saw this very unknown band open the Big Bang
show last month in CT, I predicted that this would be the surprise
band of the show, not including Evergrey and Mayadome. On Sunday,
when the band started playing, the look on many faces proved my theory
correct and the band proceeded to win over the crowd. Try to describe
this band in a word or two - not happening. With twin guitarists,
one of whom is only 16 I believe, the other a Mike Wilton style (
and look-alike )player, and one amazing singer, the band plays some
sort of a cross between melodic power metal that twinges with some death
metal structures and vocal grunts amidst some interesting progressive twists
and turns. One moment the singer is playing a portable keyboard,
singing in a Midnight type tone and the next he is down on his knees growling
like the great goat slinger down below, but not in an irritating or lengthy
way that death bands do it. This is strictly for atmosphere within
the song - it's not written as the song. The music is amazingly
diverse and fresh, and the band certainly has a future here in the metal
world. My small complaint with this band ( and it's preference )
is that I'd like to see them incorporate their styles into one rather than
take us back and forth with levels of song style changes - like from melodic
to brutal. I believe people would rather have it all mixed
into one style than have 2 different, distinct styles if that makes sense.
At least Matt Johnsen and Ken Golden stated the same. The other
cool thing that this band did was that the singer greeted the Perpetual
Motion Board in between the set, and showed how down to earth he is.
Great act - much success to this band - looking forward to
their disc when it gets released.
Cipher (5:20 PM)
I had plans
to bug out about this time in order to hook up with my mom for dinner.
I grew up in the Baltimore area - I come from the sludge along Bear Creek
in Dundalk. These guys were difficult to categorize. They played power
metal, but slowed down at times to a doom-like pace, and sped up to a thrash-like
pace. The singer varied from a clean mid-ranged vocals to extremely high-pitched
screams and shrieks. The guitarist added some death growled vocals as well.
The band was angry and aggressive and seemed to have some modern influences
as well. I think Ralf would have digged these dudes. The guitarist had
a great sense of melody, but chose not to use it very often. They did a
decent enough cover of Spreading the Disease. I read their bio in the book
and they were supposed to have another guitarist. I also noticed that they
were from Hatboro, PA a suburb of Philly. I went to high school in PA and
was in the marching band. I remember that the high school in Hatboro/Horsham
always had one of the best bands there every year. Very precise - almost
like a drum corps. The guitarist did some good hair gymnastics. Overall
- really not my style - so its difficult for me to judge. I didn't leave
during their set though, so that has to say something.
It was here that the
Dweeb and I made our traiditional journey to a fantastic Chinese restaurant
around the corner with Chris and Joel from Reading Zero. Missed this
The End at last.
Not quite -
New Eden -
I believe this
is one of Dennis Gulby's traditional power metal bands - except that this
band was not traditional. First off, this was one of the tightest
power metal bands of the event - with their twin white Strats? I believe,
the two guitarists were absolutely brilliant and reminded me of the tightness
of the Mercury Rising duos of yesteryear. Second, the singer, who
had a GREAT voice, needs to lose the black leather outfit, and tails
off the microphone and get into t-shirts and jeans like the others in the
band. The black gloves need to be stored as well. This is speedy,
tight, explosive, power metal played in the traditional sense, but this
twin guitar attack is quite amazing. Somehow his band manages to
sneak in speed without sounding like they are speed metal. The drums
are beating to a certain time, while the guitars chug away in a different
time zone - the result is honestly something of brilliance. The mighty
warriors, metal kings, and whatever else a band of this style sings meant
nothing - it was the sheer brilliance of the guitar players that made this
enjoyable for me. The singer had a VERY melodic voice, until I believe
he blew it out midway - but to his credit, continued on in that high
range while obviously suffering some pain and instead of creeping down
an octave, let it rip the rest of the way. I doubt the guy could
talk after the show. I do recommend this band to serious power metal
lovers, and I do not know how the disc sounds, but I'll bet those twin
guitars will blow some minds regardless...... great job.
Cyrcle IX -
Are we done yet ?
Well, not exactly, as Cyrcle IX, a band that Michael Romeo turned
Ken and I onto awhile back took the stage. They opened with the intro
to Dream Theater's "A Change of Season", and then, as many bands should
not, or will not do, launched into the greatest cover of Queensryche's
"Queen of the Reich" I've ever heard. What I thought would
amount to maybe a medley of cover songs, thinking that this band cannot
pull this off, ended up being the entire song sung NOTE FOR NOTE
by the singer. They were a younger bunch - and this singer
had HUGE nads for getting out in front of this crowd and making them think
he would last the entire song, and he pulled it off brilliantly.
They now had my attention for the rest of the show. In the midst
of their show, they played a cover of Rush's "YYZ" and again, pulled it
off brilliantly. For the rest of the show, they played a very
melodic set of unoriginal but well done power metal that showed these guys
listen to Queensryche on a regular basis. The songs were well thought
out, and the singer's idol Geoff Tate became his alter ego and the
guy never let up for a moment. The shining part of the band was easily
the guitarist, a short haired, good looking kid that KNOWS his Alex Lifeson
inside and out. Lots of people ( I counted all 48 of them including
staff ) bought their 4-song EP as a tribute to these kids getting out there
and playing their ass off for virtually no one. Look for more
from this band if they keep at it.
I did not catch
October 31 show - I believe that I was still munching out on Peking Duck
at the Chinese restaurant with the Reading Zero guys"