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Slayer's Unholy Alliance



Featuring:Lamb of God, Mastodon, Children of Bodom & Thine Eyes Bleed

Date: 6/16/06
Venue: Meadowlands Arena Secaucus , New Jersey
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

 

Setlist :
South of Heaven
Silent Scream
War Ensemble
Blood Red
Cult
Disciple
Mandatory Suicide
Seasons in the Abyss
Chemical Warfare
Dead Skin Mask
Hell Awaits
Raining Blood
Anti christ
Angel of Death

Lamb of God Listening session/ Thine Eyes Bleed

The start of my night began with a listening session for the new Lamb of God album which was held backstage during Thine Eyes Bleed set at 5:40ish. From what I heard of Thine Eyes backstage it didn't sound like I missed much as it was your standard aggressive modern metal with harsh vocals similar to Chimera, As I Lay Dying. The band features the brother of Slayer frontman Tom Araya so their music does have a hint of Slayer to it.

We were only previewed three tunes from Lamb of God's newest material which is more of the same of what they do. Since the formula hasn't changed I do hear more attention to melody in the guitars while the heavy raging riffs remain the focus and driving force to their modern equipped thrash. I have never really found anything special from this band that is on disc, but after seeing them live I can see and hear why they stir the audience into such a frenzy, but more of that when I get to their review.

Children of Bodom

Having seeing these Fins all 5 times I think it is they have made runs in the States I was happy to see them on a big arena stage with a massive sound system. Bodom was on second toni ght as they are in a rotating slot for 3 rd band on with Mastodon. The venue, cut in half called the “theater” was about a quarter full around 6:15 when they hit the stage with their fans ready to greet them. The sound for Bodom was good but the lighting sucked and half the time while trying to photograph the band they were in the dark and only lit by a color or two. I barely ever saw decent lighting for the keyboards and drums and those guys spent most the time in the dark. Don't know what happened there? The bands performance on the other hand went off without a hitch and the lack of lighting did not affect them a bit complete with the crowd chanting “ Bodom ”. Their setlist included “Angels Don't Kill”, “Hate Me”, “In Your Face”, “Living Dead Beat”, and “Needled 24/7”.

Personally I wanted to see them in Lamb of God's slot but that's my own taste.

Mastodon

Mastodon are similar to others on the bill in the sense that the music is heavy and aggressive with little to no melody. Mastodon's music does not have the energy of speed metal titans Slayer, nor Bodom Neoclassical charm, or the modern day thrash compositions like Lamb of God. Mastodon's name is appropriate as the music moves along at a slower pace and riffing does have a slight psychedelic feel to it which is what gives them an older feel. Mastodon are not that interesting and I found them boring honestly. Don't know why they were at a higher slot than Bodom ? I mean the repetition of the riffs doesn't get boring for people?

Lamb of God

Like I have said I never really got into Lamb of God just from listening to their cds . Live on the other hand the music appeals to me much more and it comes across so effectively I thought they were great. Just from the delivery of the riffs alone I felt like I was watching old school Exodus or Testament. The riff and tempo changes meld together very well and each song delivers like a battering ram. I was very impressed and never found myself wanting an arrangement to end. I really thought as a live band they kicked major ass and the reaction they received from the crowd was all the proof one needs to how well their music comes across live.

Slayer

With 2006 being the anniversary of “Reign in Blood”, Tom Araya, Jeff Hanneman , Kerry King, and Dave Lombardo, the classic lineup continues to perform and record pure Speed Metal. .

With two racks of amps hanging from the ceiling in the shape of inverted crosses and a scrim lining the drums riser with artwork of the severed head from their forth coming cd “Christ Illusion”, Slayer came armed ready to give a multi sensory experience. To go with these stage props a video screen hung a top the drum kit that throughout the show projected various images depending on the song playing. For example during “Dead Skin Mask” images of Ed Gein's finger print chart and corpses bombarded the audience and for “Raining Blood” the video footage featured the artwork to the classic “Reign in Blood” LP and many little inverted crosses raining through the screen complete with blood red stage lighting.

The band looked and sounded like Slayer, nothing has changed really in the 20 plus years of making music. A new track “Cult” fit well in the set and was classic Slayer, a much welcomed return I felt as singer Tom Araya is not trying so hard with his vocals and his level of yelling reduced. The new song's arrangement has more in common with “South of Heaven” and is a departure from the more modern sounding “ Diabolus in Musica ”. It appears “Christ Illusion”, which also sees the first recording return of original drummer Dave Lombardo, will have more variety and less repetition like more recent albums.

Aside from the usual crowd favorites like “Angel of Death” and “War Ensemble” it was great to hear the rarely played “Silent Scream” and the return of “Anti chris t”. Next I want “Ghosts of War”, “At Dawn they Sleep”, and “Evil Has No Boundaries”.

 





 
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