Written By Braddon S. Williams aka “The Concert Critic”

On this date in history, 3/5/22, The Industrial Strength Tour utterly destroyed the Madison Theater in Covington, KY. Ministry, Melvins, and Corrosion Of Conformity were the featured bands on this monumentally entertaining showcase of musical muscle.

Of course the Madison wasn’t literally destroyed, which is good, because it is a fine venue for displays of vulgar power. Not to mention the fact that we (the wife and I) are going back in May to witness The Bay Strikes Back tour (but that’s another story for another time). I wanted to say a few words about the Madison Theater, because it has a different physical layout than most rock palaces. This one is set up in tiers, with three separate sections on ground level, complemented by a nice balcony set back and above, providing for a pretty wide array of viewing options. We chose to be down in front, which proved to be a wise choice (it generally works out that way!) when Ministry hit the stage. More about that in a minute… I want to start at the beginning for this show.

It had been 27 years since I last saw Corrosion Of Conformity, and I was pleasantly surprised that they were equal to, if not better, than they were back in the middle of the grunge era. Original drummer Reed Mullin passed away in early 2020, but John Green (a former roadie for the band) proved to be an able replacement. The front line of Pepper Keenan (lead vocals, guitar), Woody Weatherman (guitar), and Mike Dean (bass, vocals) were a force of down-tuned ferocity, creating a swampy groove that was like a tidal wave moving in menacing slow motion. I love the way they started their set. Dean appeared from behind his amplifier, seemingly to check his bass tone, but quickly set up a repeating pattern that mutated into a serious chromosome rearranging wall of low frequency feedback. Green walked casually to his drum kit and set up a beat as Dean resumed the pattern, and then the guitarists arrived and added their sonic fury to the proceedings. Once established, COC were an unstoppable juggernaut of crushing force. Although their set only contained seven songs, the Southern sludge lords set the stage for all that followed. Paranoid Opioid, Vote With A Bullet, Albatross, and Clean My Wounds were my personal favorites, but trust me when I say there wasn’t a moment of weakness in this entire concert.

Up next were (the) Melvins, who I had last seen in 2009. At that show they had two drummers, but on this most incredible night they performed as a trio (a POWER) trio, comprised of Buzz “King Buzzo” Osborne (lead vocals/guitar), Steven Shane McDonald (bass/vocals), and Dale Crover (drums/vocals). Something I always remembered about Melvins was the way their entire set was uninterrupted by any breaks the first time I saw them. Admittedly, I don’t know their material all that well, but it seemed to me that they played one incredibly enjoyable song that went through a myriad of changes and lasted an entire hour. However, this time it was easier to tell what was going on. King Buzzo and McDonald would finish a song and turn around to tune their instruments, but Crover never stopped playing. Instead, the apparently indefatigable drummer would play a mini-drum solo or simply set up a new rhythm bed for the next song. As a drum fanatic, I was fascinated with the man’s stamina (and chops…a literal boatload of chops) as this fantastic live band blasted through an immensely impressive set that included Anaconda, Queen, Charlie (Red Kross cover), Billy Fish, Evil New War God, Hooch, and Honey Bucket.

In addition to their prodigious musical skills, Melvins are a lot of fun visually. King Buzzo has this amazing mop of white hair (which was made for head-banging, which he did…a lot), and was dressed in something that was sort of like a modern wizard robe. McDonald’s clothes were similarly flamboyant and his tall stature and amusing facial expressions made for some interesting viewing. Crover was marvelous simply by his combustible energy. Speaking of energy, the buildup of anticipatory adrenaline began as soon as roadies brought out the infamous chain link fence that was set up in front of Ministry’s impressive stage set up. This was, to my knowledge, the first time that “the fence” had been utilized since the early ’90’s. Al Jourgenson’s band of industrial metal titans have had an ever-changing lineup since their formation in 1981. The 2022 lineup includes former Tool bassist Paul D’Amour, drummer Roy Mayorga, keyboardist John Bechdel, guitarists Monty Pittman and Cesar Soto, and Uncle Al on lead vocals, occasional guitar, and orchestrator of chaos.

I don’t think I can adequately describe how important Ministry is to me, but I shall try. I originally saw them at the top of their success during the second year of the now iconic Lollapalooza tour. On that date in 1992 Ministry appeared in the middle of the afternoon with no light show and still managed to be the most powerful, scary, and dangerous band I had seen up to that time. Fast forward to 2019 and an opening slot on Slayer’s farewell run of shows where I was delighted to finally see Uncle Al’s creation with a properly blinding light show. Trouble was, we were so far back that lights were all we were able to see. No complaints, because the sound and those crazy strobing patterns were incredible. All that aside, on this magical night, my lovely wife and I were poised to see Ministry at the height of their glorious power. Ground zero at a proper Ministry performance is not for the weak. It is a demonstation of sensory overload at its absolute zenith. The light show is potent enough to cause seizures in a very literal sense…the music in all its industrial metal glory is crushingly loud; battalions of martial drums, sublimely lethal bass tones, anarchic stabs of keyboards filling any sonic space that isn’t otherwise occupied, and thick waves of pulverizing guitars, all topped by Al Jourgensen’s unmistakable raging voice.

Uncle Al has perfected a production style that uses massive delay on his vocals, so that when he holds out a note or a scream, that sound is bionically enhanced and sometimes warped into unearthly noises not possible to produce by human beings. Additionally, Al Jourgensen is possessed of an extraordinary stage presence. He doesn’t move fast and he doesn’t necessarily do anything overly theatrical, but he is a magnetic presence, and it is nearly impossible to take one’s eyes off him for long. His mannerisms and subtle facial expressions ultimately enhanced this performance for me, being the first time I could properly see him up close.

Ministry hit the stage with a handful of classics (the concert was advertised as a celebration of their 1989 release “The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste” and their current album “Moral Hygiene”). Opening with Breathe, then directly into The Missing, Deity, and Stigmata, Ministry had established dominance from the beginning. They went on to drop a trio of covers (Supernaut by Black Sabbath) and a pair of songs by Pailhead (one of Jourgensen’s myriad side projects), Don’t Stand In Line and Man Should Surrender. These covers were perfectly placed, and added a blast of excitement to an already superb set list. Next up were some of the “Best Of” Ministry fan favorites; Burning Inside, N.W.O., Just One Fix, Thieves, and final song So What. Following a short break in the action, Ministry returned with three songs from Moral Hygiene (a most excellent album). First up was Alert Level, followed by Good Trouble, and finally ending this ultimately satisfying show with Search And Destroy (by the infamous Iggy & The Stooges).

In true Ministry fashion, they did an incredible job of remolding all the covers into their own utterly unique style. I have seen far too many concerts in my lifetime to legitimately rate them, but when a show is this good it tends to stand out. The Industrial Strength Tour was first class in every sense of the word. I jokingly said that Ministry, Melvins, and Corrosion Of Conformity should just exclusively tour together from now on. Come to think about it, maybe I wasn’t really joking!

Corrosion of Conformity
Melvins
Ministry

On This Day in History

I can’t remember precisely the first song I ever heard by Primus, but I do recall being aware that I had never heard anything quite like it before (or since). I have chosen their major label debut, Sailing The Seas Of Cheese, from 1991, because it contains Tommy The Cat and Jerry Was a Race Car Driver, 2 prime examples of the twisted genius of Les Claypool. Primus isn’t for everyone, one big reason why I like them so much. As musicians, these guys are off the charts, but they have Mr. Claypool’s odd vocals and even stranger lyrics, and that creates a line that many just aren’t interested in crossing. For those of us who appreciate the eccentric nature of this phenomenal band, this album contains Here Come The Bastards, Sgt. Baker, Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweakers, and Fish On, all rich tales of weirdness and whimsy. If you don’t care for the vocals, try focusing on the insanely talented Claypool, playing some of the best bass guitar work in the music business, or the quirky guitar wizardry of Larry “Ler” Lalonde, or the octopus armed drum attack of Tim “Herb” Alexander. One more thing before I sign off, Tommy The Cat features Tom Waits as the voice of the cat, just one more thing I love about this album. Primus Sucks!

Written By Braddon S. Williams

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

November 16, 1999. Korn released the timeless classic “Issues.” It instantly became my favorite Korn album. This was first album that I owned that I could listen to from start to finish. It’s ironic it falls on the same day as my mother’s birthday. Or as ironic as “Life Is Peachy” falls on my grandmother’s birthday October 15th. Without them, I wouldn’t exist. Almost as if I was destined to be into Korn. As far as Metal goes, they are my gateway band after all. Haha.

-Bryson-

Korn’s Issues Turns 18

On this date in history, 8/13/2002, Ozzfest made the annual tour stop at Deer Creek. This time around the metal smorgasbord featured Ozzy Osbourne, System Of A Down, Rob Zombie, P.O.D., Drowning Pool, Adema, Black Label Society, Ill Nino, Down, Hatebreed, Meshuggah, Lost Prophets, Chevelle, The Apex Theory, Neurotica, The Used, Mushroomhead, Seether, Glassjaw, Switched, Otep, and Pulse Ultra.

This show ended up being sort of bizarre for me. First of all, I went alone, because my son went with a bunch of his friends, so I was on my own. No problem there.

A few days prior to the show I had accidentally washed one of my contact lenses down the sink, so I wore my glasses. Again, no problem. I just determined to stay out of the mosh pits and everything would be just fine!

I enjoyed some killer sets by Otep, Meshuggah (unbelievably brutal and fantastic!) and Hatebreed, along with okay sets by Neurotica (who did a pretty cool cover of “I Am The Walrus” by The Beatles, The Apex Theory (who actually benefited from a brief rain storm that united the crowd in an act of drenched solidarity) and Mushroomhead (who suffered from technical issues that were probably out of their control).

Phil Anselmo and the mighty Down were the headliners of the second stage and I had managed to maneuver my way to the very front of the stage. The first two songs were crazy good, and then the unthinkable happened!  A crowd surfer’s foot made contact with my head, and my glasses fell to the ground, instantly trampled and destroyed! I blindly pushed back through the crowd and found a payphone and called my roommate who was coming to the show later to see Ozzy and System Of A Down.

I luckily got her to bring my one remaining contact to me. While I waited, blind as a bat, I at least got to listen to Black Label Society and Drowning Pool (coincidentally, their lead singer’s last performance before he was found dead on his tour bus the next day) and finally my contact was delivered just in time for me to see Rob Zombie’s final song!

System and Ozzy finished in stellar form and that is my report for Ozzfest 2002. Moral of the story…be careful when rinsing contact lenses!

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic

 

On This Day in History

On this date in history, 8/10/2000, I saw my third consecutive Ozzfest at the familiar confines of Deer Creek. The lineup that year included Ozzy Osbourne, Pantera, Godsmack, Static-X, Incubus, Methods Of Mayhem, P.O.D., Queens Of The Stone Age, Taproot, Apartment 26, Soulfly, Kittie, Disturbed, Reveille, Slaves On Dope, Pitchshifter, The Deadlights, Primer 55, and Shuvel.

Out of all those bands, there were only a handful that stood out for me on that day. Soulfly headlined the second stage and rendered all the other bands on that stage null and void with their thunderous tribal warfare.

Max Cavalera stood on the stage like a metal Bob Marley, bringing his people to the promised land of the almighty riff. Queens Of The Stone Age were out of place on this tour, but Josh Homme and company executed their set like ninja assassins, playing with deadly controlled ferocity and elegance.

Incubus were reliably excellent as well. Brandon Boyd sang at a level most metal singers can’t attain, which is to say that Incubus never claimed to be a metal band in the first place. This departure from the norm always suited them and let them separate from the pack in the best way.

Static-X, led by the always unique Wayne Static (R.I.P. Wayne), played their brand of ‘evil disco’ and got the crowd moshing and bouncing throughout their frantic set. Godsmack were the band onstage when the inevitable sod war began. Front man Sully Erna managed to put a quick end to it when he announced that if it didn’t stop, neither Pantera or Ozzy would perform.

Needless to say, the lawn raping came to an abrupt finale then and there. Godsmack played a killer set, but the best was still to come.

PanterA took the stage and top honors for the day. Phil Anselmo’s commanding presence, fearsome vocal power, and drill sergeant crowd control whipped the masses into a crazed volcanic moshing cauldron of humanity.  Dimebag’s guitar cut through our souls and melted all in its sonic path, while Rex Brown’s bass rearranged our chromosomes to Vinnie Paul’s crushing beats.

Ozzy capped it all with a set full of the Ozzman’s finest tunes. Only the Prince Of Darkness himself could follow the Pantera attack and still bring more out of us, but that is precisely what he did. Even on a day where there were quite a few sub par bands, Ozzfest still managed to be the show of the summer.

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic

On This Day in History

On this date in history, 8/6/2004, Linkin Park, Korn, Snoop Dogg, The Used, and Less Than Jake joined forces for the Projekt Revolution Tour at Deer Creek in Noblesville, IN. I arrived in time to see Snoop Dogg play an entertaining and enjoyable set of his instantly identifiable rap. Snoop’s pimp hand was strong and his flow was as smooth as it gets. I’m not a rap fan, but I recognize quality, and Snoop is the epitome of cool in his delivery and his persona. Korn delivered a thunderous performance as they always have in all the times I have seen them. I was fully expecting them to blow Linkin Park off the stage, but that most definitely did not happen. Instead, Linkin Park delivered a superb closing set filled with exceptional sound and light, high energy playing from a really tight band, and Chester Bennington’s amazing vocals, clearly the best element of that band for my taste. I had previously seen them at one of the Ozzfest shows and had been unimpressed, to say the least. On this night in 2004 they showed their growth and their depth, and I had to give them the respect they so obviously earned. For their encore, they played a spot on rendition of “Wish” by Nine Inch Nails that was truly inspired. Writing this so soon after Chester Bennington’s tragic death brings back just how much talent the man had and it makes me glad that I got to see such a progression in their career.

Written By Braddon S Williams aka The Concert Critic

On This Day in History

On this date in history, 8/6/2016, The Return Of The Dreads Tour invaded Deer Creek with a blast of high energy rock. Rob Zombie, Korn, and In This Moment were the bands, all bringing their own distinctive flavor to a concert full of great lights, stage sets, and wild theatrics. In This Moment began the proceedings with a well crafted performance that showcased Maria Brink’s powerful voice and penchant for dramatic showmanship. I hadn’t seen them since earlier in their career and was pretty surprised at how different their whole presentation had become. I prefer their older songs, but recognize that the crowd was totally on board with what they were doing, so I’m glad it is working for them. Korn followed, and took to the stage with a vengeance, fully energized with the original guitar tag team of Munky and Head locked into their monstrous groove behind the frenetic performance of Jonathan Davis, vocals dripping with emotion from the depths of his tortured soul. Rob Zombie headlined with the best performance I have seen him deliver to date. This is saying a lot, as I have seen him play crushing sets with White Zombie and many stellar shows with his always impeccable solo band. John 5 in particular, just gets better and better, probably one of the best lead guitarists in rock. Ginger Fish on drums and formally of Marilyn Manson’s band (like John 5, another Manson refugee) had fully transitioned to Zombie’s style of shock rock dynamics, and the result was apparent as the band just decimated the capacity crowd. As if the music wasn’t enough, the lights and over the top theatrics and props just made this show a sensory overload of the best kind. May Rob Zombie continue to tour for decades to come!

Written By Braddon S Williams aka The Concert Critic

On This Day in History

On this date in history, 7/19/2014, the yearly mecca to metal known as the Mayhem Festival arrived for its annual stop at Deer Creek. This time around, the fest featured Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, Asking Alexandria, Trivium, Cannibal Corpse, Suicide Silence, Miss May I, Mushroomhead, Texas Hippie Coalition, King 810, Bodycount Featuring Ice T, Veil Of Maya, Upon A Burning Body, Darkest Hour, Emmure, Ill Nino, Wretched, Islander, and Erimha. Looking at this list of bands, I realize that although I was present for the entire day, I only truly paid attention to a handful of these acts. Part of this is due to the physical layout of adjacent stages and trying to secure the best vantage point to witness the bands I knew would be superior. Another fact (not to be overlooked) is that this was probably the weakest lineup of any of the Mayhem shows. What this breaks down to is that I only paid close attention to a bare handful of these performances. Some of the others, such as Ill Nino, King 810, and Upon A Burning Body, I remember being distracted by either looking for people I knew were supposed to be there, or just people watching in general. My big discovery on this day was Texas Hippie Coalition (or THC…see what they did there? Pretty clever, eh?) who somehow managed the neat trick of simultaneously channeling the spirit of Pantera, mixed it with a healthy dose of Lynyrd Skynyrd, and still made it sound like something all their own. The singer, Big Dad Ritch, and the lead guitarist, Cord Pool, were both fantastic. I had previously seen Mushroomhead once before, but this time they were free of technical difficulties and played a tight, energetic set. Much improved over my first Mushroom experience. Miss May I delivered a high powered set as well, with excellent vocals and great pit activity from the crowd. Suicide Silence returned for the first time since the tragic death of original singer Mitch Lucker, now fronted by ex-All Shall Perish singer, Hernan "Eddie" Hermida. Hermida did a great job of pumping up an audience that was already prepared to go crazy at a moment's notice. It was great to see this band back in front of a live crowd where they belong. I found myself a prime spot of real estate in the front row of the stage where Cannibal Corpse was due up next while Ice T led his metal/rap hybrid, Bodycount, on the other second stage. I had a pretty good view of them and they sounded decent and appeared to have their crowd involved, but I wasn't moving away because I knew what I was getting ready to see. Cannibal Corpse were far and away my highlight of the entire day. George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher was the living embodiment of what a death metal vocalist should be, roaring his vocals and headbanging with a ferocity that none of the even most rabid audience members could compete with, spinning his long black hair until his head must surely fly of his body. Luckily for us, it remained attached. I had been told once that I "look just like Alex Webster", the band's founding member and bass player extraordinaire. I happened to be standing directly in front of him throughout their set, and it was a pretty good resemblance, although I was bearded by then, and he was not! Once the show shifted to the main stage, there wasn't much left for me to be too excited about. Trivium started the festivities in good form. This was my 4th time seeing them, and they always rock, but unfortunately for them, there is always a let down following the frenzy of the second stage bands, mostly due to the distance between the band and the audience at the main stage area. Asking Alexandria followed, and despite not being a fan of their music, I have to give credit to Danny Worsnop, who sang his ass off. Credit where credit is due. Korn were up next, and reinvigorated by the return of Brian "Head" Welch to the band, reuniting the twin guitar attack that had been diluted by his absence. This was my 7th time seeing them, and it was definitely noticeable having them back to full strength. Avenged Sevenfold closed the show, and try as I may, I just can't enjoy this band. I can be objective about it. They are exceptional musicians and they put on a stellar visual and audio performance. In particular, their stage set with the castle walls and the enormous skeleton king was one of the coolest stage sets I have ever seen. However, there is the problem of their vocalist, M. Shadows…I just don't like his voice, and after about 2 or 3 songs, I just want to be anywhere else. Other than that, he does his job with great energy, and engages the crowd between songs, seems like a genuinely likeable guy, but he can't help it that I just don't want to hear him sing. I don't think they are going to fall from grace without my approval. By the response I saw and heard, Avenged Sevenfold appears to be here for the duration and I'm sure I'll end up at more of their appearances down the road. See, I give credit where credit is due. Until next time, rock on, everyone. There is something out there for all of us, and I eagerly await my next chance to be at an all day show.

Written By Braddon S Williams aka The Concert Critic

On This Day in History

On this date in history, 7/16/1998, I began my 18 year streak of all day metal festivals with my very first Ozzfest, at the fun and fabulous Deer Creek. I would be at every Ozzfest for the next 10 years until that festival stopped traveling, followed by all 8 of the Mayhem tours.

Ozzfest ’98 featured Ozzy Osbourne, Tool, Megadeth, Limp Bizkit, Soulfly, Sevendust, Coal Chamber, Incubus, Motörhead, Snot, Melvins, Monster Voodoo Machine, Life Of Agony, Ultraspank, Kilgore, and System Of A Down.

I was a rookie and I made a huge rookie mistake. I neglected to watch any of the second stage bands on this day, foolishly squandering my first shot at System Of A Down, Melvins, and the legendary Motörhead! I did, however, witness all the bands on the main stage and most of those performances ranged from pretty good to absolutely earth shaking (during Tool’s set, quite literally!).

Incubus started the festivities with a solid set. Brandon Boyd’s vocals were quite excellent and I enjoyed their time on stage.

Coal Chamber were next, kind of Marilyn Manson-light, but Dez Fafara hadn’t gained the power he would later weild so effectively with DevilDriver. Still, a formidable performance by an underrated band.

Sevendust were next, and I thought they were fantastic. Lajon Witherspoon’s vocals were particularly amazing and the band’s sound and energy stood out in a lineup of very solid bands.

Soulfly, the band that Max Cavalera put together following his departure from Sepultura, were probably the heaviest band of the day, and also brought their distinctive blend of Brazilian percussion to mix with their brutal grooves.

Limp Bizkit began their show by emerging from an enormous toilet bowl. Considering that their career eventually was flushed down that proverbial toilet, this was quite poetic and prophetic. The haters can say what they want to say, but back then Fred Durst and Wes Borland had concocted a sound and a stage show that got the crowds bouncing and producing an insane amount of energy. Megadeth brought their meticulous, surgically deadly riffing and Dave Mustaine’s patented sneering vocals along with about an hour of classic Mega-Dave songs in a fierce set that brought the crowd to the brink of the sonic devastation that awaited us.

I had heard the stories about how the crowd had started a “sod war” during Pantera’s headlining set the year before, and had witnessed a similar act of lawn massacre during a Ministry performance in 1992, but nothing prepared me for what was about to happen during Tool’s show stealing set.

As soon as Maynard James Keenan took the stage clad in an evangelist’s suit, accompanied by the hypnotic maelstrom of Tool’s sound, the carnage was instantaneous.

The lawn never had a chance, and the air was literally thick with flying chunks of earth, sod, grass, drink cups and various other items of debris. It was glorious, terrifying, hilarious, and unstoppable. Tool was so intense, it was as if they were so in the zone that they were oblivious to the World War III scenario unfolding up on the lawn.

As all good things must eventually end, Tool finally concluded their portion of the show and the spell was broken.

Ozzy proceeded with a killer set played by a stellar band (Ozzy always has the cream of the crop in his band, though) featuring Joe Holmes on lead guitar. Ozzy’s set was preceded by a wickedly funny filmed segment that put the exhausted crowd in a jolly mood (by metal crowd standards) and the Prince Of Darkness delivered a powerful concert closer that guaranteed I would continue this activity for 18 years running. Still ready to begin a new streak. The time is right for a brand new accomplishment!

Written By Braddon S. Williams AKA The Concert Critic

On This Day in History

On this date in history, 7/15/2012, the 5th installment of the Mayhem Festival made its annual visit to Deer Creek, and my friends and I were part of the metal masses in attendance.

This show featured Slipknot, Slayer, Motörhead, As I Lay Dying, Anthrax, The Devil Wears Prada, Asking Alexandria, Whitechapel, Upon A Burning Body, I The Breather, Dirtfedd, Betraying The Martyrs, Hemlock, and our hometown heroes, the mighty Threat Level.

I am unable to comment on each band, but will do my best to spotlight the bands I enjoyed the most and welcome comments from anyone in attendance who may wish to fill in the blanks and give a review on any of their favorites.

The first band to attract my interest was Upon A Burning Body, but as good as they were, they were absolutely obliterated by Whitechapel, who played a singularly vicious set, raising the brutality bar to the highest echelons of intensity.

Anthrax have long been a favorite of mine, and they appeared to be in fine form on this day, but I was only able to catch 2 or 3 songs before I had to make my way to the stage where my friends in Threat Level were set to detonate the crowd gathered for their crushing performance. The band; comprised of Frank Rapacki on vocals, Troy Welch on guitar, Jason Weaver on bass, and Chad Smith (not THAT Chad Smith) on drums, had won a regional battle of the bands to secure their spot on this show and they made the most of it, impressing the large and boisterous assembly awaiting the band’s powerful blend of groove and thrash metal, topped by Rapacki’s roaring voice. Some fierce pit action accompanied favorites from their Leading The Vicious and A World Beyond Devastation albums.

After a much needed break following Threat Level’s set, I was ready for the trinity of terror comprised of Motörhead, Slayer, and Slipknot. Lemmy and company were a band on my bucket list and they were every bit as wonderful as I expected them to be. Mickey Dee drummed like a man possessed, Phil Campbell provided the guitar carnage, and the immortal Lemmy played the superhuman, jet propulsion bass and rasped out his one of a kind and singularly irreplaceable vocals on a set full of thunderous Motörhead majesty, including  “Ace Of Spades”, and “Overkill”, with its 2 false endings and the furious finale with nothing but truth.

Slayer followed with their diabolical majesty, continuing the onslaught that wouldn’t abate until the concert ended. Dave Lombardo was still in the drum throne at this time, and for my money he is the undisputed king of metal drumming. Jeff Hanneman was absent by this time and Gary Holt from the band Exodus did an admirable job of filling some nearly impossible shoes to fill. Kerry King and Tom Araya did what they have always done, with King hammering the riffs with beastly intent and causing sonic disturbances and eardrum lacerations with his punishing leads, and Araya summoning up that VOICE, the mouthpiece for the Slaytanic war ensemble.

A crushing performance it was…and this left the 9, the masked minions of Mayhem, the circus of the damned known as Slipknot to take us to the finish line as only they can. Joey Jordison was the 3rd and final superpowered drummer I had the joy to witness back to back to back in this amazing display of ferocious multi limb dexterity. Corey Taylor added his voice to the hall of fame duo of Lemmy and Araya, and the rest of the Iowa based madmen did what they do, delivering visual thrills and chills and a whole lot of metallic bombast.

This one may not have been the strongest lineup overall, but it definitely was the one with the strongest 1-2-3 punch to end the show of any of the Mayhem Festivals.

Written By Braddon S. Williams AKA The Concert Critic

On This Day in History