2019 in Review, Final Gallery, Days 26-31

Marilyn Manson at Aftershock
Marilyn Manson and Brandon Pertzborn at Aftershock
Marilyn Manson at Aftershock
Paul Wiley and Marilyn Manson at Aftershock
Juan Alderete and Marilyn Manson at Aftershock
Health at Aftershock
Adam Jones and Tool at Aftershock
Maynard Jones Keenan and Tool at Aftershock
Danny Carey and Tool at Aftershock
Randy Blythe and Lamb of God at Aftershock
Willie Adler and Lamb of God at Aftershock
Mark Morton and Lamb of God at Aftershock
John Campbell and Lamb of God at Aftershock
Art Cruz, Randy Blythe, and Lamb of God at Aftershock
Amythyst Kiah at Bourbon and Beyond
Beast In Black at Heavy Montreal
Brkn Love at Aftershock
Cannibal Corpse at Higher Ground (Burlington, VT)
Ho99o9 at Aftershock
Pussy Riot at Sonic Temple
Geezer Butler and Deadland Ritual at Aftershock

All photos by Wayne Edwards.

2019 in Review, Final Gallery, Days 26-31

2019 In Review Gallery, Days 21-25

Day 25 — Rob Zombie at Aftershock
Day 25 — Rob Zombie at Aftershock
Day 25 — Rob Zombie at Aftershock
Day 25 — Chad Taylor and Live at Bourbon & Beyond
Day 24 — Gojira at Aftershock
Day 24 — Gojira at Aftershock
Day 24 — Evan Konrad
Day 23 — The Hu at Aftershock
Day 23 — The Hu at Aftershock
Day 23 — Flux Capacitor at Nectar’s in Burlington, Vermont
Day 22 — Knocked Loose at Aftershock
Day 21 — Harm’s Way at Heavy Montreal

All Photos by Wayne Edwards.

2019 In Review Gallery, Days 21-25

2019 In Review, Gallery Days 16-20

Day 20 — Staind at Aftershock
Day 19 — ZZ Top at Bourbon & Beyond
Day 18 — Dead Posey at Aftershock
Day 17 (matinee) — Skalmold at Heavy Montreal
Day 17 — Corrosion of Conformity at Heavy Montreal
Day 16 — Highly Suspect at Aftershock

All photos by Wayne Edwards.

2019 In Review, Gallery Days 16-20

Morbid Angel, Watain, and Incantation on Friday the 13th at the Webster Theater in Hartford, CT

The Webster Theater is on the corner of Crown and Webster Streets in Hartford, Connecticut. It is a long-standing home of heavy music, and on December 13, 2019 – Friday the 13th – there was a perfect storm when Incantation, Watain, and Morbid Angel gathered for a night of Death and Black Metal.

Incantation

Incantation opened, leading the crowd through warm-up exercises and showing that the band is here to stay. One of the things they are known for is speed and precision, and original band member John McEntree was flawless on guitar and microphone. Long-time drummer Kyle Severn and bassist Chuck Sherwood hit the grooves with John, and lead guitarist Sonny Lombardozzi played like he has been with the band forever. The technical difficulty of the music was matched by the obvious enthusiasm of the band and Incantation turned out to be the perfect veteran group to break the ice during this tour of iconic bands.

Incantation

The first thing you notice about Watain, long before the band takes the stage, if the creeping stench. You can see the crowd reacting in a slow rolling wave as the odor flows toward the back of the room. It is the smell of rotting fish, and seems to be coming from the skinned heads set on spiked tridents along the front of the stage. They appear to be heads of sheep and perhaps other animals, and they are real, not plastic or props. I was standing in the pit and I can attest – they are real. The stage is dressed with bones and metal, crowded from left to right, front to back. From the audience you could hear intermittent cries of “Hail Satan!” Droning intro music began playing and the atmosphere started to crackle. Something really different was about to happen, and no mistake.

Watain

Many of the people in the crowd were clearly huge Watain fans, but this tour almost didn’t happen for the band. Guitarist Pelle Forsberg was detained at the border when he tried to the return to the US from Mexico. Border agents apparently did not like the look of him, and after searching his phone and social media (apparently they can just do that without reason or warrant to non-US citizens at the border), Forsberg was denied entry, his valid working visas was revoked, and he was deported, despite the fact that he had been in the US many times on tours. The remaining members – vocalist Erik Danielsson, bassist Alvaro Lillo, guitarist Hampus Eriksson, and drummer Emil Svensson – eventually were able to enter the US and they embarked on the current tour as a four-piece.

Watain

The presence of Pelle Forsberg was, of course, missed on stage but the band gave an exceptional performance. The crowd got the hear the songs they wanted to hear, see the powerful presence of the band, and experience the mystical aura of their one-of-a-kind sound. Watain is as strong as ever, and this tour is seeing peak performances from them, even with Forsberg sidelined.

Watain

The stage was cleared once Watain finished and then set up for Morbid Angel. The headliner’s show had a stripped-down look compared to the middle act, and they channeled the extra space into their thundering sound. Morbid Angel is one of the most important and influential thrash bands of all time, and they have evolved over the years into death metal mainstays. I still listen to their classic 1989 album Altars of Madness every couple of months. Founding member Trey Azagthoth continues to play guitar with the sharpest enthusiasm, and long-time front-man and bassists Steve Tucker is truly a force to be reckoned with. For the last couple of years drums have been handled by Scott Fuller and the guitar sound is rounded out by Dan Vadim Von. Together they are a unified vanguard of heavy music.

Morbid Angel

The band stands mostly in place and roars one monstrous song after another. They opened with a few new songs off the latest release, then thumbed through their extensive catalogue and performed many of their classics. They played thirteen songs (if I counted right) on Friday the Thirteenth. How’s that for on brand? I have seen Morbid Angel before, and they are always great. This Hartford show stands for me, nevertheless, and it is the one I will think about every time I listen to band from now on.

Morbid Angel

The Webster Theater is a place where metalheads can gather and bands, new and old, can play to appreciative fans. The show last Friday night with Morbid Angel, Watain, and Incantation was a fantastic experience, one for the ages. There are just a few dates remaining on the current tour, and if you can get out to see these three bands perform together, definitely do it. You don’t want to be sitting around moping in the new year sorry you missed out. Highly recommended.

Morbid Angel

All photos by Wayne Edwards.

Morbid Angel, Watain, and Incantation on Friday the 13th at the Webster Theater in Hartford, CT

2019 In Review, Gallery Days 8-15

Day 15 — Perdition Temple at Higher Ground Ballroom
Day 14 — Bring Me The Horizon at Aftershock
Day 13 — Korn at Aftershock
Day 12 — Halestorm at Aftershock
Day 11 (matinee) — Cancer Bats at Heavy Montreal
Day 11 — Municipal Waste at Heavy Montreal
Day 10 — Cleopatrick at Sonic Temple
Day 9 — Chevelle at Aftershock
Day 8 — Spirit Adrift at Aftershock

All photos by Wayne Edwards.

2019 In Review, Gallery Days 8-15

2019 in Review, Gallery of Days 1-7

Day 7 — In This Moment at Heavy Montreal
Day 6 — I Prevail at Aftershock
Day 5 — Blackberry Smoke at Bourbon and Beyond
Day 4 — Clutch at Aftershock
Day 3 — Thy Art Is Murder at Higher Ground Ballroom
Day 2 — Grace Potter at Bourbon and Beyond
Day 1 — Dopethrone at Heavy Montreal

All photos by Wayne Edwards.

2019 in Review, Gallery of Days 1-7

New Release Review: Oni, Alone (Metal Blade).

Oni is a progressive metal band that has been around for a lustrum or so. Their first album, Ironshore, came out in 2016 receiving good notices and much deserved attention. Making tour appearances with Gojira and Children of Bodom, Oni started to gain a following by more and more by fans. The EP Alone is out from Metal Blade on December 13, 2019 and sees a welcome return of the heavy prog sensibilities of Ironshore in a more compact package.

The new one is consistent with the debut, if a little more polished and absent the epic 11-minute song like “The Science” from Ironshore. One-at-a-timing it, “Alone” begins with a melodic trance and goes sharp fast, with popping percussion and piercing staccato guitars. Mournful lyrics get set aside by the band’s signature xylosynth breaks only to return before an abrupt ending that leaves you a little dizzy. This opener sets the tone for the the rest of the music, but does not give away all the surprises. Vocalist Jake Oni starts gruff with “Rift” before mixing in softer tones about being confused and lost. The music has a frantic wandering not seen since Saga’s World’s Apart album, touched quietly by the rare Jake E. Lee warble moment. “Dead Inside” is a hard-driving corruption, a pulsing expedition forcing its way through a thick jungle. It is rough and relentless with only the smallest pauses for rest in the middle. I expected a bit of a wind-down on “Breathe Again” just because of the rampant pace of the first four songs, but that does not happen – howls this time from the synth and swirling tension from the guitars, raw emotion in the vocals. The EP closes with a dissonant clap on the ears, “Faceless Portrait.” Showing the coarsest vocals of the set, and the tallest musical construction, Oni brings the hammer down on the final song with authority and crushing power.

No other band straddles the metal/prog in quite the same way was a Oni. But it is not just that the band has a different sound compared to other metal acts – what sets them apart is a vision and a message that is loud and clear in their live performances, and is conjured and solidified in Alone. The songs “Alone” and “Breathe Again” are the singles but you are going to want to listen to all five of them, preferably together. They really do hold up as a set, and there is a clear musical and narrative arc from the first to the last. Recommended.

Links.

https://www.facebook.com/TheOniBand

https://www.instagram.com/theONIband

New Release Review: Oni, Alone (Metal Blade).