Some days I think about how much of my life has come to revolve around death metal and I start to feel a little sad - but oh well days like yesterday more than make up for it. With a couple great (and a few not so great) locals on a bill featuring two of my favorite acts - Cavalera Conspiracy and Lody Kong last night was one to be reckoned with, showcasing talented musicians and a surprisingly intimate set from Max and Iggor Cavalera. (Max also gave me a GREAT interview before the show too!) Standing in line as a heavily tattooed dude casually mentioned how he was on parole I had to smile - this sort of thing could only happen at a metal show.
The first band who I really got into was We Our War. From what I see these boys don't gig too much, but they were wonderfully tight delivering hard hitting death metal that captured the imagination from the first. The fact that they used two vocalists really caught my attention and gave a lot of flavor to the music. It allowed for We Our War to make use of a tasty little duality and create harmonic interest. The guitar harmonies provided a refreshing dose of intricacy after the absurd performances from some of the opening acts. Suffice to say - these guys get it and they are way too much fun to see tear up the stage live.
March to Victory were the only other local I really dug enough to watch the whole way through. They actually stunned me with flashy guitar lines and all sorts of high speed riffs that overwhelmed the listener. Their frontman, a impressive vocalist was able to catapult the band to the next level, taking the pumelling grooves and accenting them with a refreshing mix of vocal styles. The bands cover of Death's The Philosopher was a highlight of that evening -as some of you may remember I wrote an entire essay on that song when I was 17, so this was kind of a big deal. What I'm trying to say is that these local death dealers deserve their proud spot in the PA death metal scene.
I was really stoked to see my friend Igor Cavalera (Max's son) play with Lody Kong for the first time. I'd heard the new record and knew his vocals were sick, but I was curious what the live experience would hold. I was shocked at the bands ability to blast audiences away. Their stage presence is phenomenal - the product of years of touring. I felt that Igor and his brother, Zyon had been able to put together something special. The band has a lot of potential and I'm very excited to see how it evolves over the next few years. Remember - these guys are super young and very hungry to match their fathers success. With just a little tweaking these guys could grow into a veritable heavy metal force.
Suddenly it was the moment we had all been waiting for - the hour and a half of sonic destruction brought straight to our eardrums from the gods in Cavalera Conspiracy. Max and Iggor came onto the stage to a roar of applause - the sense of brotherly love was palatable - Max's enormous dreadlock flopped maniacally on his back while Iggor simply decimated the drums. Aided along by stellar performances from Mark Rizzo and Nate Newton these guys simply crushed my skull with their ungodly dedication to metal madness.
Though the band stormed through Cavalera Conspiracy classics and even a few Sepultura songs the highlight of the night came in the encore. Max and his brother got together to rip out the first few bars of Iron Man before playing a high energy rendition of Motorheads Orgasmatron. You got the sense that these men were somehow taken back to their roots (bloody roots mayhap?) playing in some shitty basement in Brazil. When the time came for them to tear the crowd apart with a final song, Roots Bloody Roots of course the crowd raged harder than ever proving the Cavalera family will always triumph.
At the end of the day this was a truly special show. I've never seen Max play to such a small crowd and the intimate nature of the show only made it more fun. Jail dude from earlier danced around taking cell phone video, young kids just getting into metal experienced their first mosh pit, and the older - more tattooed crowd stood back and smiled at the carnage. As I drove home with my friend Michael of Bandit (Who just so happens to be good friends with Full of Hell) I couldn't help but smile at the greatness of what had just happened and the magic that was to come.
Find the bands on Facebook!
March to Victory: https://m.facebook.com/MarchToVictoryPA
Lody Kong: https://www.facebook.com/lodykong7?fref=ts
Cavalera Conspiracy: https://www.facebook.com/cavaleraconspiracy?fref=ts