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Overkill/Symphony X/ Sanctuary

Date: 10/17/15
Venue: Terminal 5, Manhattan, NYC
Report By: Rich Catino


Still on the road in support of their 2014 comeback album, “The Year The Sun Died”, the reformed Sanctuary includes original members Warrel Dane (vocals, also from Nevermore), Lenny Rutledge (guitars), Jim Sheppard (bass, also Nevermore) was not performing tonight, and Dave Budbill (drums), joined by Nick Cordle on second guitar from Arch Enemy and Arsis. After twenty five years since their second album “Into The Mirror Black”, ‘Arise and Purify’ and ‘Frozen’, off “Year The Sun Died”, don’t miss a step and fit in well with classics from Sanctuary’s only two albums in the late 80s. Sanctuary’s music is a mix of speed/thrash/traditional (see “Refuge Denied”),… and where was the classic ‘Battle Angels’ tonight?, with moments of prog on “Mirror Black”. Now older, post-Nevermore, Warrel sounds more comfortable in his mid range and it really shows as he tries to hit those highs on songs ‘Die For My Sins’ and ‘Taste Revenge’. Would like to see them come back with more time to do a longer proper set.

Symphony X have been on a role in recent years, with latest album “Underworld” completing a trilogy (“Paradise Lost”, “Iconoclast”) of heavy aggressive prog metal. With six songs from “Underworld” in the set, even that is a bit much for a strong album given the bands twenty year history, as a result skipping five albums in favor of new material???? With that, four of the six, from first single the charging ‘Nevermore’, to the melodic rock song oriented ‘Without You’, and dramatic keyboard accents to ‘Kiss of Fire’ gave the crowd a three song smattering of the boys abilities. With a stable lineup since 2000’s “V: The New Mythology Suite”, the Symphony are a well-oiled machine live. Guitar wizard/songwriter Michael Romeo, Michael Pinnella on keyboard, drummer Jason Rullo, Michael Lepond on bass, with singer Russell Allen at his most theatrical walking around with cane in one hand, wearing two different customized comedy/tragedy masks for ‘To Hell and Back’ and ‘World On Fire’. Romeo and Lepond regularly play the same runs during each song, showing off setting a high bench mark for the intro to ‘Iconoclast’. Given their recent output of new music, Symphony X were both a great choice for complimenting and adding dynamics to sharing a co-headlining bill with thrashers Overkill.

Overkill…representing New Jersey on the heavy metal global map, and one of the names part of The Other Big 4 of Thrash Metal, are now 30 years, seventeen albums into their careers. Original members singer Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth and DD Verni (bass) are still joined by guitarists Dave Linsk and Derek Tailer (since 2000), with drummer Ron Lipnicki making the last three albums the bands most aggressive since “Horrorscope”. Unlike many hard rock and heavy metal bands from the 70s and 80s, Overkill’s last three albums: “Ironbound”, “The Electric Age”, and “White Devil Armory”, are as good as their classics. This allows the boys to balance out their set with new and old material equally, and get the same mosh pit/stage diving reaction from the crowd. ‘Armorist’, ‘Electric Rattlesnake’, ‘Bring Me The Night’, and the title track to “Ironbound” validate the Kill’s ability to know who they are, where they came from, yet be creative and inventive, fresh sounding, within their own wheelhouse of thrash riffs and rhythms. Blitz has lost nothing from his unique psychotic voice, sense of humor for in between song banter, presence, or energy… to which the rest of the boys take up space on the stage like soldiers on the front line, with a tank (the drummer) behind them. When it came to the classics, I don’t think ‘Rotten’ or ‘Elimination’ ever leave the set, and was good to hear the return of ‘Powersurge’ and ‘Overkill’. They dusted off ‘End Of The Line’ which was cool for a change, yet, still…I am waiting for ‘Electro-Violence”!!!!! LOL. No, seriously!


Arise and Purify
Die for My Sins
Future Tense
Taste Revenge

Symphony X:
Nevermorev Underworld
Without You
Kiss of Fire
To Hell and Back
Of Sins and Shadows
Serpent's Kiss
Eve of Seduction
Set the World on Fire

Electric Rattlesnake
Rotten to the Core
Bring Me The Night
End of the Line
Hello From the Gutter
Bitter Pill
Playing With Spiders/Skullkrusher
Fuck You


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