New England Metalfest - 2003 Day One
Metal Festival
Live Concert
Reviewed by Jay

To describe the festival, one must understand the venue. The festival is held at the Palladium in Worcester, MA. There is a small stage in front of you once you walk in the door. Near this stage is a staircase that takes you to the vendors. Interestingly enough, I met the Prosthetic Records A&R man who signed Trivium here. Going down a set of stairs from the entrance leads you to the main stage. This is where I spent most of my day. I got in just as November’s Doom was playing. A drab combination of Opeth style death metal and doom metal, they didn’t hold my interest for very long. They were followed by Noctuary, a California death metal band. Noctuary was interesting and if they honed their skills more, they might be a force to be respected.

Since my recorder was discovered at the door, I had to run to the car to put it back so I would be admitted to the show. While this sucked since I couldn’t get any interviews, I also had to miss Cannae, a hardcore band. I got back in time for Most Precious Blood. Now, I don’t particularly like hardcore but I work with Rachel who plays guitar for Most Precious Blood. They are about as metal as hardcore comes. They put 110% into their show and they are just pure energy on stage. If you like hardcore, they represent the future. In sharp contrast to Most Precious Blood, Nora was up next. Nora is god-awful by any standard. The lead “singer” barks. That’s all I’ll say since this is METAL reviews.

Diecast took the stage next. Diecast has one of the best drummers I have heard in a while. He was totally on time and sharp in his fills and patterns. I guess it’s not his fault that the rest of his band is terrible. The set was pretty non-descript metalcore except at the end when they covered “Raining Blood.” Apparently this will be their last show for a while as the singer is leaving. Finally, the gods of metal smiled upon us and gave us Lacuna Coil. They opened up with “Swamped” and their set kicked ass from there. Sticking mainly to the new album, Lacuna Coil did not disappoint. They were appreciative of the warm reception given by the concertgoers. “Tight Rope” was a crowd favorite. Sadly, I ventured into the pit for this set and the sound wasn’t nearly as good as from where I had been standing earlier.

On the heels of that great performance, the hall was crapified again when Killswitch Engage came on. I am not a fan of their music and I think their stage antics are a little much. Maybe they are just trying to impress their home crowd? Who knows? During this set, I got to say hi to Marco Coti Zelati from Lacuna Coil and share with him an interesting ink design. The gods answered our prayers again after that. This time our prayers would be answered for the rest of the night. Shadows Fall came on next. From the opening chords of “Idle Hands,” we knew we were saved. The so-called Shads ripped, shredded, grinded and pounded through 40 minutes of pure thrash. Jason Bittner is a killer drummer and he adds his own unique variations to the older songs. “Crushing Belial” was especially crushing tonight. The live rarity “A Fire Burns in Babylon” was even played in its entirety. Overall, we called and Shadows Fall delivered.

After that, Nevermore graced us with their presence. Nevermore smoked. They kicked ass. In addition to old crowd favorites, they played two tracks from their upcoming album. If these tracks are representative of the new album, this album will be killer. All through their set fans kept being pulled on stage from the pit. Often they’d sing a lyric or just hug the band members before jumping back into the chaos. By the end of the last song, the stage was awash in manic Nevermore fans. A fitting end to a blazing set. This would have been enough, but the gods were kind and benevolent when they gave us Mikael Akerfeldt and Opeth. Playing the same set as when I saw them in January, Opeth blew away all who came before them. Once “Leper Affinity” began it was all chaos. The hardcore fans had left and it was only the Metal crew that remained. We tore it up. At one point, Mikael dropped hints that he was going to play “Serenity Painted Death” to quiet a rather vocal member of the crowd. Closing with “Demon of the Fall,” we all parted ways and went home to recover from the great shows. It’s 3:26 AM. Day 2 starts in 8.5 hours. I need sleep.

Killing Songs :
Jay quoted
Other albums by New England Metalfest that we have reviewed:
New England Metalfest - Day Three - April 30, 2006, The Worcester Palladium, Worcester, MA reviewed by Kayla and quoted
New England Metalfest - Day Two - April 29th, 2006, The Worcester Palladium, Worcester, MA reviewed by Kayla and quoted
New England Metalfest - Day One - April 28th, 2006, The Worcester Palladium, Worcester, MA reviewed by Kayla and quoted
New England Metalfest - 2005 Day Two reviewed by Jay and quoted
New England Metalfest - 2003 Day Two reviewed by Jay and quoted
0 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are no replies yet to this review
Be the first one to post a reply!