Tag Archives: Worcester

Trivium Release Their Sixth Album, ‘Vengeance Falls’

Trivium released their sixth album last week, and let me tell you it is a great piece of work from top to bottom. It’s no secret I’m a huge Trivium fan, as I’ve seen them live multiple times and met them on many occasions too. So obviously I wanted to take some time with this record before I reviewed it that way I could form an opinion that was unbiased. That being said I will say that this is one of Trivium’s best records and stands next to  2011’s In Waves, 2008’s Shogun, and 2005’s Ascendancy nicely. The album was produced by David Draiman from Disturbed and Device, and let me tell you he did an excellent job on the production.

The record starts off with the track, “Brave This Storm” which starts with a heavy riff that leads into a more groove oriented riff. This leads nicely into the verse which is sung in a very rhythmic way by Matt Heafy which is definitely a different approach. The chorus then comes in, and this is done in a much more typical way than Heafy’s verse which was rhythmic opposed to flowing. The title track “Vengance Falls” is up next and this track is interesting as you can see the band is further experimenting with layered vocal harmonies, and the guitar playing displayed by Heafy and Corey Beaulieu is excellent. As always Nick Augusto and Paolo Gregoletto are locked on and go beyond the call of duty.

The album’s first video single was up next and this song is entitled “Strife,” and is one of my favorite tracks on the album. The song starts with this riff that is not the most technical, but gets the job done, and sets the ground for the epic riff that ensues. This leads into the verse section which is another interesting vocal performance not typical to Trivium’s music, but it works nicely with the lyrical subject. The verse also features some nice bass playing by none other than Mister Paolo Gregoletto. The chorus comes in next and vocally and instrumentally I love the chorus. Next up is “No Way To Heal” which is another spectacular track that is typical of Trivium, and is one of the best one the album. Again the chorus on this track is excellent.

One of my favorite tracks on the album is the sixth track, “At the End of This War” which starts of with a nice acoustic intro which then blasts off into a full-bore metal track. Heafy’s vocals on this track are also different from what I’ve heard from him.  “Through Blood and Dirt and Bone” is another track where I think the band realized that they love writing music with interesting rhythms.

The ninth track on the album, “Incineration: The Broken World” is one of my favorite tracks on the record, as the band shows their amazing musical skills, especially Gregoletto who put down an awesome bass solo. The Album concludes with the great track “Wake (The End Is Nigh)” which is my favorite on the album as I think it is a great showcase to the bands versatility both musically, and it shows throughout the track, as Augusto, Beaulieu, Heafy, and Gregeletto put down great performances.

Vengeance Falls is a great record that I believe shows the bands great capabilities as musicians, and I can honestly say that I enjoyed this next evolution of the band.

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Lamb of God Tear Up The Palladium 6/18/13

Lamb of God made a triumphant return to one of the first places the band played on their first tour last night, The Worcester Palladium. It was a special night and you could tell that everyone was excited to see Lamb of God throw down their signature brand of pure American heavy metal. The bill last night was also spectacular featuring The Acacia Strain and the Polish metal band, Decapitation.

Lamb of God started their set with the song, “Desolation” and this got the ball rolling in a big way. The crowd of the palladium erupted, and the band continued with their set playing “Ghost Walking” and one of their best songs, “Walk With Me in Hell.” The band then launched into “Set To Fail” which is one of my favorite songs and the band played it expertly.

The band then played a couple of their older songs. One of these was “Ruin” which went over incredibly well with the crowd, as did “Now You’ve Got Something to Die For” which was dedicated to The United States Military. During this song the bands two projection screens featured pictures of military men and women who were also Lamb of God fans, which was awesome. They finished this part of the set with the great “11th Hour”

The band then played “The Undertow” this song was an odd choice in my mind, but the crowd still raged on. Then Randy Blythe said the opening words to “Omerta” and that’s when the palladium went absolutely insane, and it would remain that way for the rest of the, as the band weaved their riffs. The band finished the main part of their set with the brutally fast, “Contractor.”

The stage went dark and the Palladium started booming with chants of ‘Lamb of God,’ and then we heard the acoustic intro “The Passing” which lead into the bands terrific encore which included “In Your Words,” “Laid to Rest,” “Redneck,” and the always classic “Black Label.”

-B. Harlow
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Anthrax, Hatebreed, and others Bring The Noise on Night One of New England Metal and Hardcore Festival XV

On Friday I made my way to the Palladium in Worcester, MA expecting an amazing show put on by Scott Lee. Lee and his crew have been putting on New England Metal and Hardcore Festival for 15 years and this year they had one of their best line-ups. On Friday alone they had Great bands like Anthrax, Hatebreed, Every Time I Die, Exodus, Shadows Fall, and many more.

Brian I entered the palladium around five o’clock for Shadow Fall’s set. The band started off with their song “The Light that Blinds” which is one of my favorite songs from the band. It definitely shows off the excellent musicianship of the band. The band then played “Idiot Box,” and that pleased the crowd even more. When the band finished the song lead vocalist Brian Fair addressed their hometown crowd and proceeded to talk about the events of the week in Boston and Watertown. He then dedicated the next song, “Weight of the World” to Boston which was an awesome gesture. The band then launched into another one of their best songs, “King of Nothing” off of their album Retribution, this was another great crowd pleaser. The band continued playing the rest of their set which was topped off by their song, “War” a song whose lyrics were penned by Bob Marley and adapted for a more metal sounding song, but the message remains the same.

I then walked around the venue to check out all the vendors that were at the palladium, but returned to watch thrash metal legends Exodus’ set. When the lights dimmed and the intro to “The Ballad of Leonard and Charles” you knew the Palladium was about to become a thrash paradise. In front of me appeared Gary Holt who was ready to thrash.  The band was tight and played some of their best and classic material including “Piranha,” “Bonded By Blood,” and “The Toxic Waltz.” It was my first time seeing Exodus, and I have to say I was blown away by the thrash metal masters.

Next up was Every Time I Die who came on right at about 8:00. They also played a killer set and gave the Palladium a healthy dose of hardcore. They even through in some metal too by playing a Pantera medley. The band played some of their best songs including some of personal favorites, the band seemed in tip-top shape including Singer Keith Buckley who puts on a great performance.

Hatebreed was up next, and what more can we say about Jamey Jasta and crew, but that they deliver a great show every time you see them. The band started off with one of their best songs, “To The Threshold,” and from then on they never let go of the solid grasp they had on the Palladium playing some of their best material including “  In Ashes They Shall Reap,” “Puritan,” and “Destroy Everything”

IMG_1021Headlining the festival night one was Anthrax who played, an amazing set that consisted of them playing the entirety of the thrash metal classic, Among The Living. The band started off with the great title track off of the album, “Among The Living.” It brought the  Palladium’s energy up another notch. This lead perfectly into the album’s second track “Caught In a Mosh,” which is a staple of the bands regular show. The band then played another classic from the album, “I Am the Law” which went over great with the crowd especially when Joey Belladonna dedicated it to the Boston Police Department. They then played  “Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)” and “A Skeleton in the Closet” which rapped up part one of Among The Living. They launched Into a killer cover of “March of The S.O.D.”

The stage went black until the stage was lit up again when the intro music to “In The End” came on along with two large banners of Dimebag Darrel and Ronnie James Dio two fallen metal heroes who the song is dedicated to. The band sounded tight on this song and pulled off a great tribute to the two fallen musicians. The band then played a cover of AC/DC’s “T.N.T.” which went over great with the audience who were chanting along to the signature riff. The band then played “Madhouse” off of their record Spreading The Disease.

The band then continued into the second half of the album Among the Living by playing another  classic “Indians” which included the infamous call for a Wardance! by Scott Ian which is a call for a giant Circle pit. The band then played their cover of Joe Jackson’s “Got The Time.”

The band then came out for their encore which included the song “Imitation of Life” which was followed by the band’s rap flavored song “I’m the Man” and the band concluded their set with “Anti-Social” which was an awesome way to end the set.

-B. Harlow

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A Day to Remember’s crazy show at the Palladium, Worcester MA 3.24.13

Let me begin by saying that this was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to, and I’ve been to a lot of them. The show contained the bands Chunk, No Captain Chunk!, Of Mice and Men, and of course, A Day to Remember. The tickets for this show sold out less than two days after they went on sale. I got there 3 hours early and it paid off. I was right up front .
Chunk, No Captain Chunk! was decent. I am not really a fan of them to begin with, but they’re a good opener. They played 6 songs, the highlight being their cover of Ke$ha’s “We R Who We R.” “We R Who We R” appears on the compilation album Punk Goes Pop 4.
Of Mice and Men came on next. I have never really listened to them, but after the show they put on, I’m going to start. Their lead singer, Austin Carlile put on a great show performance wise, and is a great front-man. They played eight songs without skipping a beat. I particularly liked their song “The Depths.” It’s just my kind of heavy and I have a new-found respect for them as a band.
Then A Day to Remember came on. They started the show with 3 of their heaviest songs. They opened with their newest single “Violence.” It was awesome, the breakdown was absolutely crazy and even though it’s only been out a few months, people were singing every word. Next came the VERY heavy “2nd Sucks” where the music stops and the whole Palladium screams “get the f**k over it!” It was insane to say the least. “2nd Sucks” lead right into “A Shot in the Dark-” one of their older songs but still a heavy hit. They brought out the hit “I’m Made of Wax Larry, What are You Made of?” next and once again, Jeremy letting the crowd take over on parts, especially the lone “Ahem.” during the breakdown. Next came the popular “My Life For Hire,” not my favorite song, but a good one. Following this was two of my favorites back to back. “All Signs Point to Lauderdale” led into “Mr. Highway’s Thinking About the End.” Once again, the Palladium was left to do the singing during the breakdown with “DISRESPECT YOUR SURROUNDINGS.” It’s one of the best breakdowns that ADTR has.
Jeremy took a different light for this next part of the show. He said that a lot of people have mixed feelings about “Better Off This Way” so he’d make it better by “giving out free sh*t during the song.” He followed it up with another favorite of mine “Have Faith in Me” where Jeremy had the ladies sing the opening verse. Next came “Another Song About the Weekend,” another one of my favorites. Jeremy explained “we’re gonna play fast and loud for these next few songs.” They began with the short “You Already Know What You Are,” followed by “Fast Forward to 2012” (a crazy hit) with “Why Walk on Water When We’ve Got Boats.” All three of those tracks are less than 2 minutes long so it was a great succession of quick songs. Next came a song never played outside the studio before. “Right Back at it Again” was an awesome track and it makes me even more excited for their upcoming album release. They turned back the clock a bit and played “You Should’ve Killed Me When You Had the Chance” which lead right into “The Plot to Bomb the Panhandle” with middle fingers in the air, a favorite by both the band and the fans.
The band stepped offstage for a moment and came back on. Jeremy asked “why do we do that? Like, why do we have to go offstage if you know we’re just gonna come back again? This is the part where we play “If It Means a Lot to You” but we’re not gonna do that.” They played an acoustic version of “It’s Complicated” which was awesome to say the least, followed by their hit “If It Means a Lot to You.” They picked it back up with “All I Want,” during which Jeremy gave me a thumbs up on my new ADTR-inspired tattoo “I will never falter”. He saw it on my arm and pointed then gave me a thumbs up. After that they went into the usual opener “Downfall of us All” and the whole Palladium was going crazy.
Needless to say, ADTR put on one of the best shows I’ve ever seen and their set list was stellar except the notably absent “Homesick.” After the show my ears were ringing, my voice was gone, and my neck was hurting, but it was all worth it. If you haven’t seen them or heard of them, I highly recommend you pick up an album or try to get to a show, A Day to Remember is a force to be reckoned with on the punk stage, bested by very few. Their sound, guitar work, drumline, breakdowns, Jeremy’s voice, and their stage antics all combine to make them one hell of a group putting on one hell of a concert.

-Z.G.

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Killswitch Engage Re-unite with Jesse Leach and put out Fantastic New Album, ‘Disarm The Descent’

One of the biggest surprises in the music world was when former Killswitch Engage singer, Jesse Leach re-united with his former band after vocalist Howard Jones stepped down. To many in the music world it was a shock, and also a surprise as Leach and Killswitch guitarist Adam D. had a very successful side project called Times of Grace. Many also wondered what this new/old lineup of Killswitch would sound like. Well now we have our answer, and let me say, I approve. Disarm The Descent is heavy, melodic, and most importantly well thought out.  I also have to point out Adam D.’s awesome production job.

Disarm The Descent start off with a very heavy song called “ The Hell in Me.” At first I was hesitant in liking this track, but then the clean vocals came in, and that’s when the song really started to come together for me.  I would say the track is a strong opener, but very unexpected. The second track on the record is called “Beyond The Flames,” which is a track that I really enjoyed, not only is the accompaniment great, but Leach’s vocals and Adam D.’s vocals sound great. This track is followed by the very heavy, “New Awakening” which is a straight up shred fest, Adam D. and Joel Stroetzel showed their technical prowess throughout the track which was quite enjoyable.

One of the album’s stand out tracks is the fourth track, “In Due Time” which is also the album’s single. The track hooks you in with a very hooky riff,  and then Leach’s vocals come in and draw the listener in more. The chorus comes in next and this features both Leach and Adam D. on clean vocals, and they sound excellent. The track goes on, and again we see how awesome Leach’s very traditional screams mix with Adam D.’s more cookie monster sounding growls. When I was listening to “In Due Time” I  definitely thought to myself at multiple points that this song sounds like something off of Leach and Adam D’s side projects self-titled album, Times of Grace.

Next up is the truly thrash sounding track, “A Tribute To The Fallen” straight from the intro you can tell this is going to be a thrash influenced track, and it is, but it also has a very melodic chorus that loved. The song also featured a part that I thought sounded like Kirk Windstein from Crowbar singing/screaming. “Turning Point” is the next track on the album, and let me just say it was not my favorite track on the album, and felt a lot like filler, and almost like it was a recycled track.

The next track I took note of was the tenth track, “No End in Sight,” which starts off (like many of the tracks on Times of Grace’s Hymn of A Broken Man) with a spoken intro with a riff played under it. The riffing continues into a verse in Leach’s typical sing/scream voice. This is then followed by a very melodic chorus featuring Leach and Adam D. on harmonies. This leads into a more dissonant verse which adds a great deal to the musical structure, as it builds significant tension. The chorus comes in again, and this leads into the typical breakdown, but instead of just palm muted guitars, this is more of a catchier riff that I enjoyed a  lot. This is probably the second best track on the record.

Next up is the track “Always” which is a quite enjoyable song, it features a great bass intro played by Mike D’Antonio. Then the verse comes in, and this song almost is ballad like, but still remains heavy with palm muted guitars. Leach’s vocals are great on this track, and one would find this track to be a very enjoyable listening experience. This leads into the album’s closing track entitled “Time Will Not Remain which is another solid track that is very heavy.

When former Killswitch Engage singer, Jesse Leach returned to the fold, I was a little hesitant to what would come, but with the release of Disarm The Descent I can see that I had nothing to be hesitant about. Killswitch Engage is back!

-B. Harlow

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Vanna, Deliver With New Album, ‘The Few and the Far Between’

Vanna has been prepping for the release of their new album, The Few and the Far Between, which was released today. The album which was produced by Jay Maas, is the fourth studio album from the Boston-based band. It is also the first album featuring Vanna’s new line-up after the departure of Evan Pharmakis and Chris Campbell. The new line-up sounds great and it is apparent that they are on top of their game.

The album starts off with the title track, “The Few and The Far Between” which is a great intro track that starts out with a pounding drum beat and guitars that are very ambient,  with Davey Muise’s voice above the track. This leads perfectly into the next track, “The Lost Art of Staying Alive.” This song has a killer riff, and when Muise says ‘And it Begins,’ the whole band comes in and delivers a bruising to the listeners ear drums. This track is followed by the song, “Year of The Rat.” “Year of The Rat“ is a great track that starts out with a drone intro, but then the band kicks in, and you can tell the band is in full gear. The chorus comes in next, and this is the only notable difference between the new material and old material as it features the clean vocals of Joel Pastuszak.  Pastuszak’s voice meshes perfectly with the band’s sound, and left me thinking that he was the perfect replacement for Pharmakis.

The fourth track on the record is entitled “I Told You I’m Fine.” This track definitely one of my favorite tracks on the album especially the very ambient sounding chorus. Next up on the record is  a song called “Casket Rhythm” I particularly like this song especially the riffs which to me sounded more metal than hardcore, they almost reminded me of Pantera the way they were so tight and punchy. The next song, “The Weekly Slap In The Face” was a reminder that this is a Vanna record.

“Please Stay” is the seventh track on the record, and is one of the best songs on the record. It has a unique feel, as it is very ethereal. The Lyrics on the song are very compelling and worth a closer look. This song is followed by another bruiser entitled “A Thin Place.” This is followed by the song “The Dreamer/ The Thief/ The Relic” which is a song that starts off with a very loose feel, but tightens up eventually. I particularly liked this song due to the fact that it showcased  Shawn Marquis’ tight bass playing . The album finishes up with the track “His Heels” which is a great track to end the album with, as it sounds like the Vanna we all know and love.

-B. Harlow

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Vanna Deliver on New Tracks, “The Few And The Far Between/ The Lost Art of Staying Alive”

Vanna has been prepping for the release of their new album, The Few and the Far Between, which will be relesead on March 19th. The album which was produced by Jay Maas, will be the fourth studio album from the Boston-based band. It will also be the first album featuring Vanna’s new line-up after the departure of Evan Pharmakis and Chris Campbell. The new line-up sounds great and it is apparent that they are on top of their game, first with the release of the track “The Year of The Rat” and now with the release of “The Few And The Far Between/ The Lost Art of Staying Alive.”

“The Few and The Far Between” is a great intro track that starts out with a pounding drum beat and guitars that are very ambient with Davey Muise’s voice above the track. This continues until about the 1:30 mark when we start to hear the beginning of “The Lost Art of Staying Alive.” This song has a killer riff, and then Muise says ‘And it Begins,’ at this point the whole band comes in and delivers a bruising to the listeners ear drums. But this is why we love the MA based hardcore act because they always deliver a great product, and “The Lost Art of Staying Alive” is a great product.

-B. Harlow

Check out the Stream of the song HERE

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Quick Artist Profile: Nemes

One of the most unusual bands to come out in the last few years is  Nemes a 5 piece rock/folk band from Worcester, Massachusetts. The band which is led by duel frontmen Dave Anthony (Guitar/Vocals) and Josh Knowles (Violin/Vocals) mixes folk sounds with a more modern rock influence to create a sound is uniquely their own.

I first heard Nemes when they played live in a mall in central mass about three years ago. I bought their EP 865 that day and was blown away especially by the standout track, “Pipe Song.” Since then Nemes have been busy releasing two new recordings the first being 2010’s EP Third Time’s A Charm! And more recently the band released their first full length, Don’t Flush Me which was released in June of 2011. The band has also been on a touring schedule that brought them through Europe and the US.

Be sure to check out Nemes, as their unique sound is something that you do not want to miss out on. The way they mix violin is just awesome, and I guarantee you will like their music!

B. Harlow

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Hatebreed’s New Album ‘The Divinity of Purpose’

Hatebreed have been spreading their instantly recognizable brand of metalcore around the world since 1994. The band has had a long career with many line-up changes, but what never changed is the brutal auditory assault lead by the hardest working man in metal, Jamey Jasta. Jasta and crew are back and have provided the listener with a new album consisting of 12 new tracks.

The Divinity of Purpose is the sixth studio album from Hatebreed, and let’s just say that its one of the best pieces of works that has been released in the metalcore genre in a longtime. The first track is called “Put it To the Torch,” and this song definitely shows the thrash influences that make this band so unique in the metalcore genre. The next track on the album is “Honor Never Dies,” and I enjoyed the lyrics on this one as I found them to be very meaningful especially when Jasta says “When your heart is questioned/When your beliefs are tested/Sometimes standing for what you believe/ Means standing alone.”

The next I took a liking to was the fourth track, “The Language” which is another song that really displays the band’s thrash influence, but when you hear Jasta’s vocal you instantly know, it’s Hatebreed. This track was followed by the fifth track on the album, “Before The Fight Ends You.” I particularly enjoyed this song especially for the syncopated Crowbar like riff.

The title track, “The Divinity of Purpose” was the next track that really got me going. I particularly like the bass solo at the front of the song and how it gradually built till the 34 second mark when the whole band launched in.

The Divinity of Purpose is a great record. The band sounds great and they’re righting songs that are 100% Hatebreed.

-B. Harlow

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Vanna, “Year Of The Rat”

On Friday I was pleasantly surprised when I woke up and heard that Vanna was streaming a new song. I immediately hopped online and listened to the song, and I was pleasantly shocked and blown away by the song, and really restored faith in me that Vanna was here to stay after the departure of Evan Pharmakis and Chris Campbell.  “Year of The Rat“ is the first to be released off of Vanna’s upcoming album, The Few And The Far Between which will be released March 19th  via Artery Recordings/Razor & Tie. The Few And The Far Between will be the follow-up to 2011’s,  And They Came Baring Bones and was recorded with producer Jay Maas in Boston last year.

“Year of The Rat“ is a great track that starts out with a drone intro, but then the band kicks in, and it sounds like the band is in full gear. The chorus comes in next, and this is the only notable difference between the new material and old material as it features the clean vocals of Joel Pastuszak.  Pastuszak’s voice meshes perfectly with the band’s sound, and left me thinking that he was the perfect replacement for Pharmakis.

“Year of The Rat“ is a great track. I will definitely be looking forward to more material from Vanna and will be a first day buyer when  The Few And The Far Between is released.

-B. Harlow

Check Out The Stream HERE

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