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Concert Review: Steven Wilson at The Palladium in Worcester, MA

May 21, 2015 by  
Filed under Concert Reviews, Daily Music News

swSteven Wilson
May 19, 2015
The Palladium – Worcester, MA

Reviewed by: B. Cross

Steven Wilson’s name has been legend among progressive rock aficionados for many years now, and his current tour in support of his latest concept work Hand. Cannot. Erase. drew quite a diverse crowd to the Palladium. Old-school proggers in Rush shirts stood side-by-side with longhairs sporting Emperor patch-laden battle vests. That’s how much Wilson’s music means to people, and when you hear it, you’ll understand. (I should also note that for once, I wasn’t the oldest guy in attendance. That’s always a nice change of pace.)

Wilson’s set was comprised of nearly all of Hand. Cannot. Erase., kicking off with an extended intro into “First Regret,” moving down the line in proper order. Highlights included the title track and “Perfect Life,” not to mention the powerful “Routine.” Of course, the show wasn’t just Hand. Cannot. Erase.; the performance was interspersed with a few older tracks from Wilson’s solo career as well as his lauded Porcupine Tree compositions. From eloquent soundscapes to hard-hitting riffs with enough crunch to rattle the floorboards, Wilson and his immensely talented backing band shone a new light on earlier works like “Harmony Korine” alongside new material such as “Ancestral.” The set list was so well crafted that even the older songs felt like they belonged with the new pieces, forging one melodic whole that was far more than the sum of its parts. Read more

Concert Review: Nightwish, Sabaton + Delain at the Palladium in Worcester, MA

April 13, 2015 by  
Filed under Concert Reviews, Daily Music News, Rock

image002Nightwish, Sabaton + Delain
April 11, 2015
The Palladium – Worcester, MA

Reviewed by: B. Cross

I knew Nightwish was a big draw, but I’d never seen a show as packed as this one. When we arrived, we were greeted with the longest waiting line I’d ever seen. It snaked around the entire block, then back into the parking lot, where it curled around itself again. I spent most of the time wondering just how in the seven hells everyone was going to fit inside the venue, let alone how long it would take to reach the door. Much to my surprise, we only waited in line for less than an hour. Kudos to the Palladium staff for getting everyone into the building quickly and safely. Read more

CD Review: Wilderun / Sleep at the Edge of the Earth

March 31, 2015 by  
Filed under CD Reviews, Daily Music News

Wilderun_Album_CoverWilderun
Sleep at the Edge of the Earth
Reviewed by: B. Cross

Northeastern symphonic folk metallers Wilderun burst onto the scene with the release of their debut Olden Tales and Deathly Trails in 2012 (review here). After plenty of touring, songwriting, and life changes, the band raised funds via Kickstarter to record their next album, Sleep at the Edge of the Earth. (Full disclosure: I was a backer.) So how did it turn out? Read more

Concert Review: Opeth and In Flames at The Palladium in Worcester, MA

December 22, 2014 by  
Filed under Concert Reviews, Daily Music News

IMG_7315Opeth, In Flames & Red Fang
December 19, 2014
The Palladium – Worcester, MA

Reviewed by: B. Cross
Photos by: Matt Lambert

The “Communion of Sirens” tour – a double bill featuring two of Sweden’s greatest heavy metal exports – makes for some strange bedfellows. Their country of origin aside, Opeth and In Flames couldn’t be more different; the former plays progressive metal, the latter a blend of alternative and metalcore. But both share some death metal roots, and they also are known for having a single record that heralded a notable shift in their sound. With In Flames, it was 2001’s Reroute to Remain that morphed their sound from melodic death metal into metalcore, while Opeth’s Heritage in 2011 brought their 1970s progressive rock influence completely to the forefront, ditching the death growls in the process. Both bands have recorded further material since then, expanding their catalog and musical horizons without ignoring their previous work. Sure, some “true” fans may have written them off, but that’s their loss, if the densely crowded venue was any indication. Thus, the two Swedish heavyweights were a surprisingly natural fit to tour together, and they descended upon the Palladium in Worcester for their last US show before heading north. Read more

Concert Review: Amon Amarth, Skeletonwitch & Sabaton at the Webster Theater in Hartford, CT

October 20, 2014 by  
Filed under Concert Reviews, Daily Music News

photo04Amon Amarth, Skeletonwitch & Sabaton
October 15, 2014

Webster Theater – Hartford, CT

Reviewed by: B. Cross

Thunderous heavy metal reigns supreme when Amon Amarth comes calling. Despite the unseasonably warm and humid weather, there was a massive turnout when the venerated band and friends hit the Webster Theater in Hartford, CT.

Wasting no time, openers Skeletonwitch unleashed the serpents with a multi-pronged extreme metal blend. With crowdpleasers like “Beyond the Permafrost” and “Stand, Fight, and Die” taking their place alongside newer material like “Burned from Bone,” the intensity didn’t let up for a second. Dual guitar assaults backed by a pummeling bassline and tight drum work, not to mention Chance Garnette’s high-energy vocals, set the tone for the entire evening. Read more

CD Review: Hour of Penance / Regicide

May 1, 2014 by  
Filed under CD Reviews, Daily Music News

 

regicideHour of Penance
Regicide
Prosthetic Records

Reviewed by: B. Cross

Italian death metal stalwarts Hour of Penance have spent their career taking no prisoners, and extremity is assured on their sixth album Regicide. Kicking things off with an intro reminiscent of a dark fantasy film, the band immediately shifts into high gear with “Reforging the Crowns.” From there to album finisher “Theogony,” Hour of Penance have created a solid slab of high-octane death metal that runs at full speed. Read more

CD Review: Exmortus / Slave to the Sword

February 18, 2014 by  
Filed under CD Reviews, Daily Music News

exmortus-sttsExmortus
Slave to the Sword

Prosthetic Records

Reviewed by: B. Cross


Want some classic shred backed by harsh vocals and some serious power-thrash melodies? Your search has ended. Marking their Prosthetic Records debut, Exmortus recently unleashed their third album Slave to the Sword.

“Rising” kicks things right into high gear with blistering dual guitars that would make Judas Priest proud. Jadran “Conan” Gonzales and David Rivera showcase extreme talent and musicianship across the entire record, and the rhythm section of Jovanni Perez (bass) and Mario Moreno (drums) are not to be denied, either. There’s enough low end and double-bass pounding to make any fan raise their horns in triumph. Read more

Concert Review: Slayer, Gojira & 4ARM at the Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford, CT

December 2, 2013 by  
Filed under Concert Reviews, Daily Music News

IMG_4685Slayer, Gojira & 4ARM
November 26, 2013
Oakdale Theatre
Wallingford, CT


Reviewed by: Brian Cross
Photos by: Diana Guay

The international brotherhood of metal was on full display once again as bands spanning three continents joined forces to bring an onslaught of extreme music to a rabid crowd. Read more

Concert Review: Toxic Holocaust + Ramming Speed at Cherry Street Station in Wallingford, CT

December 2, 2013 by  
Filed under Concert Reviews, Daily Music News, Metal

1455895_10151890131423347_1393597649_nToxic Holocaust, Ramming Speed, In Defence & Nightbitch
November 30, 2013
Cherry Street Station
Wallingford, CT

Reviewed by: Brian Cross

Metalheads and punk rockers alike united at a bar by the train tracks for a brutal night of extreme music. Four bands and a packed house? What more could you ask for?

Starting things off were local heroes Nightbitch. While the crowd immediately rolled their eyes when the band referred to traditional metal as “tradish,” they’ve got some solid musical chops nonetheless. Nightbitch deserves a lot of respect for both using a Hammond organ in their songs as well as featuring clean singing…by a vocalist who can actually sing. There’s a reason these guys have a strong following around here, and their set was most impressive. Read more

Concert Review: Legends of Thrash Featuring Kreator, Overkill, Warbringer + Rope

November 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Daily Music News, Reviews

IMG_2837

Legends of Thrash
Featuring: Kreator, Overkill, Warbringer + Rope

November 1, 2013
The Palladium
Worcester, MA
Reviewed by: Brian Cross
Photos by: Diana Guay

Naming your tour “Legends of Thrash” demands that you live up to some pretty serious expectations. With luminaries like Kreator and Overkill on the bill, such lofty aims are clearly met; and with Warbringer as an opener, you’ve certainly got your bases covered. Not only do you have thrash metal from both sides of the United States, but bringing in the Teutonic sound from across the pond only made the lineup that much stronger. Kreator and Overkill released two of 2012’s best metal records (Phantom Antichrist and The Electric Age, respectively), and their mastery of thrash was on full display. Read more

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