Chuck Schuldiner Project

Friday, September 11, 2015

Metalfier, Exmortus, and Marty Friedman

Another night another show in the perpetual hustle and bustle that is Manhattan, a world of struggle, a world of triumph and a world of tribulation... damn I'm feeling poetic on this particularly sleepy Friday afternoon. The point is I saw three bands last night, all of whom unleashed guitar heroics and made a silly old punter like me feel free at last despite the daily toil that might bring us down. What I'm saying is that nights of shred are part of what makes heavy metal so much fun and so darn worthwhile.

First up was Metalfier, who, despite sounding exactly like you'd expect a band call Metalfier to sound where quite a bit of fun. Fronted by a possibly insane Polish dude these guys are propelled by the high octane guitar heroics of Jeff Monge. Toss in some fun thrash metal songwriting and suddenly you have yourself a tasty opener for a metal legend. The point being, these guys are still refining their sound, but that's part of what makes them fun. Thrash metal is here for us to have a good time and get drunk with our buddies - so really, you have to ask, what more could you ask for from a rapidly rising local act?

Up next were my most hotly anticipated band of the soiree, legends-in-the-making Exmortus. These shred happy death masters have a great time unleashing the live rituals of their high powered sound. Over the top and proud of it Exmortus are the kind of band who really allow you to get your rocks off in a live setting. The fact of the matter is that these dudes are among the best up and coming bands in the country. Hell - forget that, with their upcoming record it seems to me at least that Exmortus are thrash warriors for a new generation who will keep pushing their music over the top and driving it beyond all expectations - this is what heavy metal is supposed to be about, and Exmortus fucking get it.

Finally it was time for Marty Friedman to unleash his shreddy goodness upon the crowd. With an incredibly talented backing band partially from Japan and partially from the States the man played work from across his entire solo catalog. With a nice mix of ballads and more straightforward thrashers it was stunning to see him unleash his mastery live. The thing is, while Friedman is the focal point, the dudes and dudette he plays with are insanely talented. It's incredible to witness the stage presence and raw energy he has been able to cultivate - making him perhaps the most potent and inspiring live instrumental act in the twenty first century.

At the end of the night I went off to an all night diner with an old friend and couldn't help but be charmed at the eternal power of what we had just witnessed. Marty Friedman is a living god, a man who truly understands what it means to play heavy metal and carry it forth for a new geenration. This is the kind of bleak salvation that we need if we want to have the strength to carry on for another day. And so we let our hair fly and the horns soar and go out and enjoy the darkness, because high speed guitar antics are what give us strength.

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