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Date: 6/9/06
Venue: Fireside in Denville/ Dingbats in Clifton
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

You have to admit Metal Mike really lives to up his name. He's Rob Halford and Sebastian Bach's guitarist, does part time work in Testament, and has his own band PainmuseuM . Of course he plays lead guitar in PainmuseuM joined by Bobby Jarzombek on drums (Iced Earth/Demons and Wizards), Tim Clayborne screaming out the ferocious vocals, and for these east coast dates south Jersey boy Clint Arent on bass. Metal Mike recorded the Painmuseum debut “Metal for Life” and recently release E.P. “You Have the Right to Remain Violent” with his touring lineup, minus Clint, with Steve DiGiorgio (Testament, Sadus , Death) on bass and mixed by well known studio talent Roy Z and mastered by James Murphy (one time guitarist for Testament and Death).

With members strapped in leather pants and spiked wrist bands PainmuseuM are clearly forging and preserving the spirit of true Heavy Metal. The setlist comprised of mostly tracks from “Metal for Life” including “Speak the Name”, “Words Kill Everything”, “American Metalhead ” and “Dogs in a Cage”, along with new track off the latest PainmuseuM E.P. “Scars in Black”. Also played were two Halford songs “ Cyberworld ” and “Locked and Loaded” which the crowd were more than happy to hear and knew well singing the words back to frontman Tim. With his blond and black streaked hair, Tim fits well into this outfit as this pleasant offstage man shape shifts for his onstage aggressive alter ego. Now that I think about it the same thing goes for Metal Mike and Bobby as their calm approachable demeanor is completely erased once its time to go on stage into museum mode.

Closing out the Dingbats night was a local band named Annunaki which features ex Blood Feast drummer Kevin Kuzma . They call themselves blackened Death Metal as musically the guitar riffs are influenced by bands like Bathory and Marduk but the vocals are delivered in a barking fashion. I thought these guys were rather good, the arrangements were tight and reminded me of old school Black Metal. Some corrective criticism as I think a more evil, demonic voice with some clarity would suit the music better with even more variety and dynamics in the arrangements because I can hear more Dimmu Borgir in this band than a Cannibal Corpse.

Check 'em out here at their MySpace page http://www.myspace.com/annunakiband


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