|This was one of
the most highly anticipated underground shows of the year, and live up to
all expectations. Hand it to Nuclear Blast America, the label for both bands,
to pair up these diverse acts in the name of true heavy metal. Hammerfall,
who have surprisingly become one of the hottest bands around, got things
going after a short opening set by Shadow's Fall.
Hammerfall may not be the most original, but they were certainly thrilled by the response of this sold out crowd. This young Swedish quintet cranked out "Steel Meets Steel", "Let the Hammer Fall", "The Dragon Lies Bleeding" with plenty of energy. "Legacy of Kings" the title track from their latest album, and "Hammerfall" closed the set (how many songs entitled Hammerfall do these guys have, anyway?). Vocalist Joacim Cans sounded great, as did the entire band. Add to this a superb sound system, and an encore of Judas Priest's "Breaking the Law", and it's certain that Hammerfall ended their set with a lot more fans than when they started.
Death took the stage like conquering heroes. It's amazing what a little time off and a fantastic new album can do to revive what seemed to be a lagging career. By the crowd's reaction, Chuck Schuldiner has been elevated to the metal elite. He and the band responded in kind, and gave one intense performance. Schuldiner's voice may be a bit higher pitched than in the past, but it's also more powerful, and a chill went down the crowd's collective spine when he screamed the word 'crusher' from "Spirit Crusher".
|His new band played like veterans, and the tandem guitar leads of Schuldiner and Shannon Hamm rivaled those of Megadeth's Dave Mustaine and Marty Friedman. The set featured "Scavenger of Human Sorrow", "Story to Tell", and "Flesh and the Power it Holds" from their latest album The Sound of Perseverance, but it was the songs from their last few albums that drove the crowd nuts. This was one of the most violent mosh pits ever, and Schuldiner even asked the crowd, on behalf of his teeth, to stop hitting into the back end of his mic stand. The band skimmed over the older stuff, only hitting the title track from Scream Bloody Gore.They didn't hit upon anything from Leprosy until the encore. "Pull the Plug" saw the tired but enthusiastic crowd come back to life for the end of a great show, and the rejuvenation of a great career. ~Steve Gottlieb~
EmptyWords-Published on February 5 2000 / June 24 2001