Archive for Exodus

Conjuring Evil: Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies and Exodus at the LA Forum November 2014

Posted in Metal Music Interviews and News with tags , , , , , , , on January 29, 2015 by coletteclaire

Helicopters were circling overhead, police lights flashed, the red and blue beams bouncing back and forth, people shouted obscenities, a beer bottle flew past crashing to the ground. No this is not a description of the L.A. Riots, it is the description of the parking lot of the Los Angeles Forum in Inglewood on November 14th 2014 as people pulled into to park for the , and  show. This was ’s first performance at the famous venue that used to be home to the Los Angeles Lakers, surprising considering they consider Los Angeles their home town. It may seem a little strange to be attending a show so soon after founding member Jeff Hanneman’s death in May 2013. However, the band has actually been playing with guitarist Gary Holt taking Hanneman’s place since early 2011 when Hanneman contracted a rare infection after being bit by a spider.

Doors opened at what some would consider to be the ridiculously early hour of 6:30pm as many concerts are doing these days, at least in Los Angeles, presumably so the venue can get the fans in and out as fast as possible. went on promptly at 7:30pm as scheduled and played a short 30 minute set. The set was probably so short because Guitarist Gary Holy would be pulling double duty that night also playing with Slayer. recently reunited with vocalist Steve “Zetro” Souza who was a member from 1986 to 1993, and again from 2002 to 2004. The band definitely had a palpable energy as they blasted through Black 13, Blood In Blood Out, Blacklist, Bonded by Blood, and The Toxic Waltz. Then Strike of the Beast for the encore.

Suicidal Tendencies

went on a little after 8:00pm with an energetic version of You Can’t Bring Me Down. The band is now essentially Mike Muir and a group of newbies who joined the band in the past two years. Bassist Michael Morgan has only been in the band a few months as he is the replacement for bassist Tim Williams who passed away last August. It is actually really amazing the band is back out playing so quickly after such a big loss.  Morgan did a very solid job, however, adding a level of funk to the mix reminiscent of Infectious Grooves. Mike Muir did not look old among his younger counterparts, keeping up a comparable level of energy as he ran around in front of the giant backdrop featuring the cover of the bands latest album 13. Other songs in the set included mainly old favorites such as Freedumb, War Inside My Head and I Saw Your Mommy. They also did an extended and especially excellent version of Subliminal with the audience chanting many times in unison “Fucking with me subliminally!” The rest of the set included Possessed to Skate, Cyco Vision, How Will I Laugh Tomorrow, and Pledge Your Allegiance.

Exodus

After a brief pause for all the metalheads to pee, smoke and buy beer, the lights dimmed and AC/DC’s Thunderstruck began to play, but was interrupted about half way through by Slayer launching into a fast paced version of World Painted Blood, the title track from their most recent album released in 2009. They followed that up with most of the song Postmortem, a rather odd choice because they cut off the ending that usually transitions into Raining Bloodingand instead played Hate Worldwide another track from World Painted Blood. Slayer seemed to not be too concerned about the continuity of the set list as Altar of Sacrifice and Jesus Saves were the only two songs they played that also followed each other in sequence on the studio album. Overall, they play an assortment of songs that eventually please even the angriest fans. Purists enjoyed a particularly heavy version of Chemical Warfare off of the three song EP Haunting the Chapel, one of Slayers first releases back in 1984. They did also eventually play Raining Blood. Paul Bostaph brought the heaviness with his thundering drums, as he has done for many years now with Slayer. With his presence in the band, Dave Lombardo and his contract issues are a distant memory.

Slayer

Holt taking Hanneman’s place is another story however. He is a great guitarist and he is always on-point playing the songs, but he also has his own style and his own sound that just isn’t entirely the same. It makes Slayer a slightly different animal in both good and bad ways. It was particularly obvious in the song Dead Skin Mask. Holt has a more clean, crunchy sound akin to Kerry King’s sound, so the contrast with the more dirty sound of Hanneman was missing from the mix. The band didn’t deny the lack of Hanneman’s presence and did a tribute to him during Seasons in the Abyss by displaying his signature logo that reads “Hanneman” instead of Heineken on a Heineken beer label. Disciple was one song that really meshed with Holt’s sound and got heads banging and the mosh pit going with the crowd chanting “God hates us all!” The band played a particularly long set of over 20 song ending with an encore of the staples South of Heaven and Angel of Death.

The future of Slayer with Gary Holt is uncertain at the moment. They are slated to release an album in 2015 on Nuclear Blast records and the band has stated that Holt will be playing on the album, but not involved in the writing. Some songs were already written before Hanneman’s passing and Kerry King will be in charge of the rest. With all of the controversy surrounding the band and its lineup, that album could very well be their last release. Though it remains to be seen what the future holds, there is no denying the epicenes of seeing the legends that are Slayer, and to headbang in Hanneman’s memory.

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Ozzfest: Back with a Vengeance

Posted in Metal Music Interviews and News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2010 by coletteclaire

August 14, 2010: The first date of this year’s Ozzfest tour kicked off in San Bernardino, California, on a hot and dusty day in this small town located just outside of Los Angeles. Kicking off the day was Immune, an unsigned pop-punk band local to L.A. who, along with California Wildebeast, were totally out of place with the rest of the lineup. (Luckily for Ozzfest, those two bands aren’t traveling with them.) Immune started on the second stage promptly at 12:15 P.M., which might as well be 6:00 A.M. in heavy metal time. However, by 12:45 the crowd was already starting to get packed, taking in a typically solid show by Midwestern black metal gods Skeletonwitch.

All photos by Gary Moratz

Sharon Osbourne appeared on the second stage to introduce little-known California Wildebeast, a band that was actually formed by Mike Fleiss, creator of the reality television show The Bachelor. Despite being an alternative rock outfit, they’re on the day’s bill because Fleiss is also working on a Black Sabbath horror movie to be scored by Tony Iommi. It was still awesome though to see the queen mother of metal herself taking the time to address the crowd. Say what you will about Sharon but she is a savvy, intelligent woman and truly an inspiration to many.

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After California Wildebeat, the pace and the mosh pit picked back up with thrash/death metal band Goatwhore making their second Ozzfest appearance and performing a truly punishing set. Then Saviours, a stoner metal band from Oakland who have been generating quite a buzz lately, kept the frantic metal madness going. It’s tough for a band to give a fair representation of their material in a 25-minute set at a festival like this, but Goatwhore and The Saviours both managed to pull it off.

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Thrash metal legends Exodus were up next and they never fail to give it their all. The fact that these guys have persevered over almost 30 years and the death of their lead singer is amazing—Kirk Hammett was in this band before Metallica, for God’s sake! The band opened with “The Ballad of Leonard and Charles” and “Beyond the Pale,” two songs from their new album Exhibit B: The Human Condition. The new songs stood up quite well next to old favorites like “A Lesson in Violence” from the band’s first album and “Toxic Waltz” from 1989’s Fabulous Disaster. Rob Dukes, the band’s current singer, got the crowd to separate then attack each other for one of the craziest mosh pits of the day.

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Drowning Pool then took the stage and shifted the mood from pure metal to a little blues rock; it actually translated well alongside the other acts despite not being quite as heavy. The band played a mix of songs from all of their albums including “Feel Like I Do,” the first single from the band’s recently released self-titled album. They also played “Step Up” from the album Desensitized, and of course their hits “Sinner” and “Bodies” from their debut album.

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Black Label Society followed Drowning Pool, a perfect musical transition, but before they could perform Jody Barnes and Jennifer Knorr had to get married. That’s right, married. Apparently Ozzfest emcee Big Dave was ordained as a minister for his brother’s wedding, giving Sharon Osbourne the idea to make a wedding package available along with the typical VIP packages for sale. One couple took them up on the offer and were married before thousands of screaming metal fans. Apparently they also got to eat wedding cake back stage with Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne afterward—not a bad deal for heavy metal fans in love.

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It was then time for Black Label Society to play, wrapping up the second stage for the day. Nonpoint started on the main stage 5 minuets later which probably wasn’t the best scheduling for them since pretty much everyone was watching BLS. Especially since this was everyone’s only opportunity to see Zakk Wylde given the fact that Ozzy now has a new guitar player. The majority of BLS’s set was new material from ‘Order of The Black’ released just 4 days before the show including “Godspeed Hellbound” and “Overlord.”  The band sounded great and even did an encore playing their hit “Stillborn” from ‘The Blessed Hellride’ album. People finally began trickling over to the main stage after BLS wrapped up stopping for a beer and bathroom break along the way. This forced DevilDriver to play to a somewhat sparse crowd but a good amount of dedicated fans were standing on seats screaming the lyrics and showing love to the band that played a great set including “I Could Care Less” and “Fate Stepped In.”

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It was then time to break out the big guns, starting with one of Judas Priest front man Rob Halford’s solo bands, the appropriately named Halford. Rob took the stage decked out in aviator sun glasses and a floor length leather studded biker jacket complete with floor length arm fringe. He played a decent set of about ten songs mainly from Halford’s catalog. Many people shouted things like “Painkiller” hoping for a Priest cover and technically they got one but it was “Heart of a Lion” which was featured in Priests’ 2004 box set Metalology as a previously unreleased track. Some highlights from the Halford catalog were “Resurrection” and “Savior” off the band’s first album. The band itself sounded very tight and there weren’t a lot of effects on the instruments or in the mix so you could really hear what they were playing. Rob can still belt out every extremely high note perfectly and he still remains one of the most talented singers in heavy metal.

IMG_2382JPGHalford

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Motely Crue then proceeded to come out on stage and basically steal the show for the evening, nothing against Ozzy he was great too, but Motely Crue put on one hell of a performance. It didn’t hurt that it finally got dark giving everything a much more “metal” atmosphere. Starting off with “Kick Start my Heart” Motley came out in a foray of fireworks and explosions with red lighting shinning behind them on a giant banner with the bands logo. They then tore through many more of their hits for over an hour including  “Live Wire” “Shout at the Devil” “Dr. Feelgood” “Primal Scream” and of course “Girls, Girls, Girls” complete with the Harley motorcycle noises piped in. Vince Neil’s voice has gotten better since Crue Fest last year; he hit more of the higher notes than before. Although he didn’t feel it necessary to sing every line of the song since the audience was singing it for him, but no one seemed to notice. An especially epic highlight was when they brought out a grand piano for “Home Sweet Home” and Tommy Lee played the entire piano intro. Lighters and cell phones were quickly brought out by the crowd and held into the air as everyone got misty eyed while singing along. This was Los Angeles after all, so the song was most appropriate.

As if you weren’t already reeling from all you’d already seen and experienced it was then time for the man himself, the “Prince of Darkness” Ozzy Osbourne. The giant screen above the stage, which usually just shows you what’s happening on stage, began playing clips of popular TV shows and movies but with Ozzy superimposed into them. In one of the clips Ozzy was playing Beyonce’s part from the “Telephone” music video by Lady Gaga. Ozzy had on make up and a wig to look like Beyonce and then turned to Lady Gaga and proclaimed “you dress really weird are you sure you’re not a man?” In another Ozzy was Robert Pattinson’s “Edaward” character in the Twilight movie complete with a wig of puffy hair. When Kristen Stewart calls him a vampire Ozzy replies “Vampires are pussies I’m the prince of fucking darkness!” The final clip featured Ozzy in the Iron Man suit from the movie where he of course proclaimed “I Am Iron Man!” Seeing the clips was a little strange at first but ultimately very funny.

Then the band finally came out playing “Bark at the Moon.” Ozzy having just as much energy as always, even at 61 years old, hopping around and clapping his hands in his wild man way. The set list consisted of mostly 1980’s era Ozzy including “Mr.Crowley” “Shot in the Dark” and “Suicide Soultion” among others. This may have been an homage to his previous tour with Motley Crue over twenty years before which went down in history as one of Ozzy’s most notorious antics wise, including the infamous ant snorting incident. Missing from the set was any 1990’s era Ozzy like “No More Tears” or “Perry Mason” and in its place were 3 Black Sabbath songs which were “Paranoid” “Fairies wear Boots” and of course, “Iron Man.” Zakk Wylde’s replacement on lead is 29 year old Greek guitarist “Gus G” (which is somehow a nickname for Kostas Karamitroudis), who played with several bands including Arch Enemy and his own band Firewind before joining up with Ozzy. He has some pretty big shoes to fill including Toni Iommi and Randy Rhoads but he did it with no problem pulling off every solo and not missing a note. An added highlight was the appearance of Guinness Book of Worlds Records youngest professional guitarist 10 year old Yuto Miyazawa. He came out during the encore and played “Crazy Train” along with the rest of the band on his Randy Rhoads style flying V.  Yuto is an internet sensation who appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres show in 2009 where he was introduced to Ozzy. Ozzy’s set was a bit more effects laden than some of the others but the band ultimately sounded fantastic and Ozzy’s voice is as strong as ever.

Ozzfest seemed like it was dying out in recent years with the “free” ticket disaster in 2007,  the only one date played in Texas in 2008 and no tour what so ever in 2009. This year proved however that Ozzfest is back with a vengeance. Many people agree this was the best line up in years. Let’s hope the legacy continues for many more years to come.

By: Colette Claire

As reported on mxdwn.com 8/23/10