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Review: Lamb of God 

click to enlarge http://moltenmagazine.com/2012/01/lamb-of-god-announce-belfast-2012-dates/
  • http://moltenmagazine.com/2012/01/lamb-of-god-announce-belfast-2012-dates/

Fog is evil. It is. It caused me to get lost and miss half of Sylosis's set. I was very disappointed that I didn't get to see more of their set because when I finally got to the Egyptian Room they only played about four more songs and then they were done. So, yes, fog is evil.

Sylosis sounded astounding for a relatively new band. Randy Blythe of Lamb of God said that this was either Sylosis's first or second US tour, and I hope they come back fairly soon. I could hear vocalist and lead guitarist Josh Middleton from upstairs and outside of the venue. He sounded phenomenal. Sylosis just needs to keep doing what they're doing because if they're a hint of what the future of metal will be then the future looks pretty damn awesome.

My mother, who hates anything harder than Avenged Sevenfold, said Hatebreed were awesome. So, obviously if they can get a mom who's against hard-core music to love them, then they were fantastic. And they were. I would like to know who labeled this band as Metal-core. Stop it. Labeling a band metal-core in 2012 is like what labeling a band emo was in 2004. It just sucks for the bands; it alienates some fans, and doesn't make sense. What is metal-core? Metal... .with hints of metal? That doesn't make sense. Death-core, electroni-core, those make sense; metal-core does not.

Hatebreed's performance was like being in a street fight. They performed with such ferocity and power it was like a sucker punch to the face and they just kept coming, they didn't need a second wind because they never lost their first one. Circle pits were abound during their set, particularly vicious ones too. There was a lot of crowd involvement, and energy was pushing through to everyone like a virus. It was just awesome to watch.

I need to take a minute here and just sketch out some basic rules for mosh and/or circle pits, because last night I saw people that just didn't know what the heck they were doing. In pits like these, people are violent, extraordinarily so. If you don't want to be hit or shoved, relocate yourself to another part of the floor. If you are a woman, you better hold your own because you will either be pushed around just as much as the guys or you just won't be let into the pit at all. Don't waltz in there, wave your arms and then walk out just so you can tell your friends the next day, "Hey guys, I moshed!" Don't give me that crap, either mosh for real, or don't waste people's time. If you take off your shirt, you better be either incredibly fit or morbidly obese. If you are obese and take off your shirt please realize that this now makes you everyone's target. You are the easiest to see and the easiest to hit. If you are wearing a Beatles shirt, or any non-metal shirt to a concert such as this one, and you don't know why you just got clocked in the face, maybe you shouldn't be moshing, or at a metal show period. Those are some basic rules; just don't be an ass-hat, okay?

In Flames is a legendary melodic death-metal band from Sweden. They've been a band for around twenty years, but they still sound fresh to the ears, and I've never gotten tired of one of their albums. I even named their last effort, 2011's Sounds of a Playground Fading my favorite album of 2011. In recent years they've made a gradual shift to more melodic vocals, but it stills sounds killer and always like In Flames. In Flames' set consisted mostly of recent songs, but they played a few songs from earlier in their career and all of it was a clinic of showmanship, musicality, charisma; just a roadmap that younger bands should watch and listen, and learn from.

My mother made the mistake of replying, "Who's Randy Blythe?" to my squeal of "I'm so excited to see Randy Blythe sing!" and seriously, 45 people turned around and looked like they were going to lynch mob her. This is how serious Lamb of God fans are about Randy. And they should be, because Randy is one of the few true metal kings that survived the 90's and 00's and is still very prominent. I've never met anyone that has said they do not like Lamb of God, and I don't understand, especially after seeing them live, why someone would. It was simply watching masters and kings of their trade at work.

The red lights onstage and white lights above were positioned so it looked like LoG were peering out of Hell at us, which looked really cool. Strobe lights were used in tandem with high-speed solos to the effect that you felt assaulted, in a good way, by them both. I was left speechless at the end of their set because it was just so amazing and jaw dropping, you couldn't process it all at once.

I only had one itsy-bitsy problem with Lamb of God's set. There were screens behind playing various explosions and demolition and lyrics during songs, and that was all fine and dandy. But during "Omerta," there were images of grisly crime scenes of murders, and while that was still fine when the cameras were a bit back, there were multiple close ups of heads that were pouring blood onto the pavement, faces with half of it ripped off, just dead bodies every-where. Also there was footage during other songs of Christians being "touched by God." The way it was sped up and/or slowed down and replayed made it incredibly disturbing and a bit sick to watch.

Don't get me wrong, I love that Lamb of God were capitalizing on their fame to talk about issues like slavery in third world countries, the soldiers in Iraq that deserve our support and love no matter what. I just don't see the reason behind showing these pictures that don't do anything except shock and disgust without a cause or anything behind them. People go to concerts to have a good time, to let off some steam and maybe pick up a date; they don't go to concerts to be reminded of horrific events that couldn't and can't be helped like the gangster wars of the twenties, or the Reverend Jim Jones massacre.

I honestly cannot find another bad thing about the night other than that tiny problem. The whole show was just amazing set after amazing set.

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