Metal Alliance Tour 2014 - Multiple Locations - April 2014
|Event:||Metal Alliance North American Tour 2014|
|Written by:||D.T. Metal|
Metal Alliance North American Tour 2014 - San Francisco, CA - 6th April 2014 by 8bitglitch (80)
Over the last couple of years the Metal Alliance Tour brought us a variety of different genres to get stoked about. It all started in 2011 (still under the name Metalliance) with an assortment of doom/stoner bands such as Crowbar and Saint Vitus before going much heavier in 2012 with headliner DevilDriver who had The Faceless and Job For A Cowboy in tow. Last year they put together a nice little thrash package before going rather dark with this year's edition.
The organizers took the old saying "Black Is Beautiful" to the next level and put together an awesome tour package for their 2014 run. This year's event brought us headliner Behemoth, rotating direct support acts 1349 and Goatwhore, one of the most dynamic duo's in the scene, Inquisition, and newcomer Black Crown Initiate out of Pennsylvania, USA.
Yap, my black soul was smiling when this tour was first announced since I haven't seen some of the bands in a while and I was really eager to check out Behemoth's new material live. Luckily the opportunity presented itself for not working at the gig in Denver, well other than writing about it, and all the pretty pictures you see here are from San Francisco, CA, courtesy of Justin over at 8bitglitch who does some of our freelance photo shootings.
The tour was on its 4th day, and while all the prior ones were SOLD OUT, the Colorado gig was not. Maybe it had something to do with that the Rocky Mountain Region had been blessed with awesome shows over the last couple of weeks, Carcass being one of them, and people just have to pick and choose on what they spend their hard earned cash on, who knows. Behemoth's front man made a post on Facebook that the attendance at the Gothic Theatre was 667, so at least the Colorado gig was … evil plus one.
Unfortunately the opener Black Crown Initiate had a vehicle break down somewhere along the way from California to Colorado and didn't play that night, but feast your eyes on the pictures from their San Francisco gig at the Regency Ballroom below.
Inquisition started the show in Colorado and by the time they went on stage, the room was filled pretty good. The last time I saw the duo was early 2013 on the 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise and just like there, they didn't disappoint. Opening with "Force Of The Floating Tomb", off last year's album Obscure Verses For The Multiverse, guitarist/vocalist Dagon and drummer Incubus started their set with such high energy that by the time they played "Command Of The Dark Crown" the audience didn't know what just hit them. Superb performance! Seriously, if you want black metal at its rawest form, it doesn't get any better than those two and I honestly believe if there would be a bassist on stage, it would take away from the impact of a live Inquisition performance.
Next up was one of NOLA's finest, Goatwhore. Hell to the yes, since Ben & Co NEVER disappoint. Starting strong with "The All-Destroying", off their 2009 release Carving Out The Eyes Of God, the hardest touring band in the biz made sure that the mosh-pits were wild and never-ending; people went nuts to say the least. Goatwhore's set consisted of mostly songs from their 2012 album Blood For The Master but since they are on the verge of releasing their newest offering, they also gave the audience a glimpse of what's to come. "Baring Teeth For Revolt" went down like butter and if the rest of the songs on the new piece are like this one, I expect Constricting Rage Of The Merciless to be one of their best yet.
Frontman Ben was all over the place and dominated the stage with his sheer presence alone. His vocal parts came over loud and strong (kudos to the sound guy) and not enough can be said about Sammy Duet's shredding neither. If you are the only guitarist in the band, you have to bring the goods, and Sammy did just that. They deserved the respect they got that night, be it with the constant moshing or relentless shouting and throwing the horns by the audience. Goatwhore ripped through over 40 minutes of awesomeness and were done playing way too soon. Seriously, check your local listings if they play somewhere close to you and go see them.
Funny story; so they had a T-Shirt for sale at their merch booth with "Less White Chapel, More Haunting The Chapel" on the back. When I asked Ben about the meaning, he replied it actually happened in the studio. They were throwing around riffs and since it didn't sound like good 'ol Goatwhore one of the guys said it. Apparently everyone liked this analogy and it made its way onto the shirt - brilliant.
1349, wow it had been years since I saw them live, as a matter of fact, it was in 2010 when they supported Triptykon on their first ever US Tour. The mighty Frost was actually granted a performance visa back then; sadly not for the Metal Alliance Tour, or the Satyricon gig on the 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise for that matter. I kind of knew who would be drumming since I just saw the kid on the cruise playing with Keep Of Kalessin and the guys told me that there is a strong possibility he would be filling in for Frost. Dude's name is Sondre Drangsland and mark my words, you will be hearing much more from him over the next couple of years; phenomenal drummer. Unfortunately by the time you read this he won't be behind the drums anymore, there was a family situation at home and he had to leave, but I believe 1349 enlisted Jon Rice (ex-Job For A Cowboy) once again to finish the tour.
1349's set started a little late since, get this, their guitar tech quit right before they were about to hit the stage. Dick move dude, but then again, there is probably more to the story than I know; moving on. So, 1349 - you either love them or are impartial to their music, you really can't hate them. Through a wall of noise, I finally recognized "Sculptor Of Flesh". Hmm, maybe it was me and my ears were shot from the Goatwhore set, but somehow the sound was not as crisp as hoped for. Regardless, they powered through and even managed to play a song from the new album, with an anticipated fall release. Actually, the reaction from the audience to "Slaves" was pretty good; I guess a lot of fans are really looking forward to new material after an almost 4 year drought.
Yes I would have loved to see Frost behind the kit, but Sondre did an outstanding job. Bassist Seidemann wore his signature hooded cloak the entire set, Archaon's hair got stuck in his guitar neck more than once and Ravn - well, he was singing. Yap, I am one of those folks who are impartial to 1349 but they did play a good show.
Then it was time for the mighty Behemoth to take the stage. Starting with "Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel" off their newest album The Satanist, Nergal and Co put on a great show and the audience really got into their set. Fan favorites such as "Conquer All", "Slaves Shall Serve" and "Chant For Ezkaton 2000" were rewarded with constant moshing. At times it was hard for any moshing to happen since the front was so packed it was unreal. Their set-list was somewhat predictable and other than the opening song they played 4 other new songs including the title track and the encore "O Father O Satan O Sun!"
Their stage show was nothing but fabulous and almost every step and movement somehow appeared choreographed to perfection. The band always had some theatrical parts in their shows but this one seemed over the top for sure. Not complaining, just stating the facts.
The crowd chanted and cheered when Nergal screamed: "It is incredible to be alive", as a reference to his fight and win over Leukemia. Inferno was definitely on fire that night and gave all he could give while pounding those drums. Nergal, Orion and Seth were spot on and tight in their delivery as well, sometimes standing on elevated podiums while other times engaging with the fans up front. Visually the entire show was the best I have seen from Behemoth here in North America but the show was over way too soon in my opinion.
Musically, well it's Behemoth, nothing more to add.
Posted on 23.04.2014 by
Professional concertgoer ... dangerously armed with a camera!
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