30-year thrash vets Overkill are obviously the draw on this Monday night Metal bill at Screamin’ Willies on the east side of Columbus but the bill is stacked with up-and-comers opening the show.
Diamond Plate can no longer be considered “kids” on the thrash metal scene, having formed in Chicago in 2004, but they are among the newer bands that pay homage to ’80s/’90s metal by assaulting listeners with furious guitar playing, machine-gun drumming and vocals that sound like the devil himself screaming in a lake of fire.
Diamond Plate’s 2011 full-length debut, Generation Why?, finds the band taking the Megadeth/Slayer/Anthrax sound found on their 2009 EP, Relativity, and moving into a metalcore direction, as evidenced primarily in the vocals. There’s still some melody found in Diamond Plate’s music which might piss off thrash purists, but these guys rank up among Warbringer and Havok as some of the better new “old school” thrash bands out there today.
Screamin’ Willies is located at 1921 Channingway Center Drive in the Reynoldsburg area. Tickets are $17 at the doors which open at 6pm. The full bill is: Overkill, Godforbid, Suidakra, Diamond Plate, Sourblood, Beneath the Sea.
In late 2010, 3 of the “Big 4″ (Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax) performed outdoors at the LC. Last night, Anthrax returned with two more of thrash metals biggest bands – Testament and Death Angel for an indoor triple thrash threat.
Death Angel started earlier than expected though metalheads had been lined up in front of the LC hours in advance so most didn’t miss much of the band’s abbreviated 6-song (I think) set. While Testament and Anthrax have continued to release material that sounds as if it was recorded in the late ’80s, Death Angel has gotten heavier, faster and louder over the years and their blistering set was the surprise of the night.
The biggest struggle when putting together this list is how to rank the albums. What exactly is the difference between a #1 and a #2 album? Without doubt, Viva Brother’s “Darling Buds of May” was the song I listened to the most in 2011 and the album it comes from is pretty damn good. But is it my favorite album as a whole? The Damnwells have consistently put out great material and I’m sure I listened to No One Listens to the Band Anymore more, front to back, than any album on the list but did I do that because it’s the best album of the year or because I know the guys personally and listening to them makes me happy?
So, I decided the best way to do it is to list the albums alphabetically, showing no favoritism and not being forced to rank anything. A few comebacks, a few previous favorites, a couple of new UK bands, some metal, some country, some hair metal. Pretty typical for me.
AA Bondy – Believers (Fat Possum)
Not as barebones as early solo material, not as scuzzy as his ‘90s alt-rock band Verbena, AA Bondy split the difference on this moody, late night listen. Listen: “The Heart is Willing”
Anthrax – Worship Music (Megaforce)
The legendary NYC thrashers pick up where they left off the last time Joey Belladonna sang lead vocals (1990’s Persistence of Time) on 2011’s best (and most surprising considering some internal issues Anthrax had with short-timer vocalist Dan Nelson) metal album. Listen: “In the End”
AWOLNATION – Megalithic Symphony (Red Bull Records)
I would never have checked out this band had my old friend Christopher Thorn (Blind Melon) not been playing guitar. A complete 180 from Blind Melon’s sound, AWOLNATION’s slickly-produced techno-soul-pop shows a wide range of diversity from one track to the next. Listen: “Soul Wars” Continue reading →
When Anthrax, Testament and Death Angel fall tour dates were announced a few months ago, there appeared to be a hole in the schedule on November 16. This left metalheads in central Ohio with a little bit of hope that PromoWest would deliver a killer bill at one of their venues. But within hours of the initial tour announcement, the Alrosa Villa posted info about a one-off Death Angel show thus eliminating any chance of the full bill hitting Columbus.
Back in my formative years (late ’80s/early ’90s) I knew of Death Angel as the thrash metal Filipino-American kids. I don’t think that really helped them get airplay on Headbanger’s Ball, but “Bored” was a staple and the band member’s ages (all in their late teens) was usually mentioned. After going on hiatus for 10 years, a few of the original members (singer Mark Osegueda and guitarist Rob Cavestany) got back together with a revolving door of new members. The current lineup, touring behind 2010’s Relentless Retribution, has been together since 2009.
(Old school Death Angel vs New school Death Angel)
A full night of metal takes place Wednesday at the Alrosa with a lineup of Death Angel, Dismemberment, Skullbomb, Fade to Oblivion, A.O.D., and Strikken. Doors open at 6 with music to start shortly thereafter. Tickets are $14.
Anthrax and Testament have just announced a co-headlining tour with Death Angel serving as the opening act. Anthrax is touring to support Worship Music which will come out later this month and may very well be the best metal album of 2011 (review forthcoming) while Testament has a new album coming out in 2012.
Tours sponsored by corporations aren’t bad when a) the corporation is Jagermeister and b) they feature 3 bands from 1991’s Clash of the Titans tour. There were Jager banners hanging all over the LC at the venue’s last outdoor show of the season and both the bands (Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax) and the MC (comedian Jim Florentine) made sure to get in Jager plugs whenever they could. Still, it was all good – a beautiful summer-like fall night with heavy, heavy music filling the night air.
Scott Ian of Anthrax is one of metal’s most recognizable characters. In addition to his 25 year career in the band, Ian’s also a regular fixture on VH1 and MTV when they run shows like “100 Greatest Metal Songs of All Time”.
I remember the first time I heard Anthrax, Z-Rock had “Indians”, from the 1987 release Among the Living, in rotation and played it alongside other metal bands of that time period though most were of the lipstick-and-leather variety. From that point on, I was hooked on the NYC-style thrash metal. Inadvertently, Scott turned me onto a slew of other bands simply by wearing those bands t-shirts in photo shoots for magazines like RIP, Circus and Hit Parader. It was because of one of these photos that I became a huge Fishbone fan (something you’ll hear briefly mentioned in my interview).
When Scott Ian called me a few weeks ago to talk about the Jagermeister Tour (stopping in Columbus this Sunday) featuring Anthrax, Megadeth, and Slayer, the 18-year-old in me was in awe.