Knotfest Puts The Hammer Down In San Bernardino

Review by Jason Williams
[Live photos by Brad Worsham]

October 25th 2014, San Manuel Amphitheater, San Bernardino CA: As it seems to be the tradition each and every year, huge metal shows and festivals bring themselves to the San Manual Amplitheater in San Bernadino, CA. Knotfest, created and headlined by Slipknot, would be the venue’s guest this year, broken up into two days, featuring lots of mainstream metal bands including Anthrax and Hatebreed, as well as the more extreme side with Immolation, Carcass and The Faceless. Although there were only a select few bands I wanted to see, I’m open minded enough to give a chance to the bands that I may not have wanted to listen to at home. I wasn’t able to catch every band due to time constraints and several bands going on all at once, so I’ll be able to tell all of the positive and plenty of negative that I was able to witness. Continue reading

Deicide Bring The Minds Of Evil To OC Music Hall

By Jason Williams

October 24th 2014, OC Music Hall, Anaheim CA: Longstanding as one of the most popular and quality death metal acts, Deicide brought their non-Christian ways of musical tunes to the ever-growing OC Music Hall in Anaheim, CA last Friday. Having seeing the 2014 OC Death Fest and Arsis/Allegaeon show most recently here, I’m glad to see this level of a tour package at this venue, giving the name value and popularity a boost. Joining Deicide on this impeccable tour are Greece’s Septicflesh as main support, black metal standouts Inquisition, death metal warriors Abysmal Dawn, Dutch symphonic masters Carach Angren, as well as progressive death metal outfit Syrebris. I could almost imagine this lineup being at a European festival, instead it was a mere 10 miles from my home. Continue reading

Suffocation Wreak Havoc At The Whisky-A-Go-Go

By Jason Williams

October 21st 2014, The Whisky-A-Go-Go, West Hollywood CA: The word ‘legend’ can sometimes be thrown out like hotcakes on a plate. Whether it be an overhyped record, the label’s constant push, or any other factors. And only rarely does the word legend truly hold down. Brutal technical death metal pioneers and veterans Suffocation, hailing from Long Island, New York, absolutely fit the latter category, bringing to life the very first brutal death metal record, 1991′s ‘Effigy Of The Forgotten’. It continues to inspire and be recognized, as most of what was done on that album is still heavily being done by modern bands today. Returning to Southern California for the first time since spring of 2013, Suffocation headlines the Carnival of Death tour, a tour full of quality, brutality, and intensity, with Canada’s longtime hyperblast masters Kataklysm as main support. Joining along are death metal act Jungle Rot, alongside New York’s Pyrexia and Internal Bleeding. A heavy dose of extreme music would be on display at the Whisky-A-Go-Go on Sunset Blvd, and as this enthusiastic writer, whose main choice of music is the death metal genre, absolutely couldn’t wait for what would be in store. Continue reading

Mastodon Takes Music To The High Road In Pomona

By Jason Williams

October 17th 2014, Fox Theater, Pomona CA: Deja Vu: The feeling that one has seen or heard something before. Earlier this Spring, ever-rising barrier-breaking progressive metal band Mastodon came to the States, bringing along France’s best-kept war secret Gojira and Norway’s black metal/rock outfit Kvelertak. Six months later, the same lineup would come back to North America, the only difference being Mastodon having just released their astounding new album ‘Once More ‘Round the Sun’. Considering how fantastic the show I attended in Las Vegas at the House of Blues in May was, I was soundly sure tonight would be no different. Give or take a couple of hundred miles, tonight’s affair would take place at the Fox Theater in Pomona, California. With the buzz enormous for this show, as a line rounded out the venue before doors opened, metal would be heavily represented on this fine Friday evening. Continue reading

Gus G Brings The Fire To Los Angeles

By Jason Williams

October 15th 2014, The Whisky-A-Go-Go, West Hollywood CA: From fretboard shredding to being Ozzy Osbourne’s current guitarist, Gus. G has been a more surging name in the metal community. With his guitar skills, collaboration with various singers, and a new album ‘I Am the Fire’,  Gus G isn’t slowing down. Performing with his band at the Whisky with former vocalist of Yngwie Malmsteen, Jeff Scott Soto laying down the pipes, and a various group of rock bands including glam group Lynam as the support act of this short US West Coast tour, this evening brought something different for me. While I do enjoy rock extensively, I rarely get to attend a show where the only metal band is the headliner. Drifting out of your comfort zone is always a healthy thing to do, especially when musically it could open your mind to something better for yourself. The famous Whisky A Go Go on Sunset Blvd was the right setting for a rocking evening. Continue reading

Gigan Bring Sonic Landscapes To Glendale

By Jason Williams

October 3rd 2014, Complex, Glendale CA:  With every year, music continues to develop and break boundaries. Through different instruments, time signature complexities, vocal approaches and redefining melodies, the level of quality inspires. Enter Gigan, who have for the past 8 years, shared their style of experimental progressive death metal with the masses. Named after the monster that fought Godzilla in the franchise, Gigan’s music could absolutely be portrayed as gigantic and ever fierce to even the most open minded extreme music fan. They were supposed to play earlier this year in CA, but due to some vehicle and personal problems, it was postponed. Now coming back strong, with New York’s own Pyrrhon and also hailing from the same city, newly rising to the scene, Artificial Brain. This would be no ordinary death metal show, and I anticipated this promising concert with genuine excitement. Continue reading