March Metal Meltdown in Irvington, NJ

By Tokemaster General, Contributor
Monday, April 5, 2004 @ 12:04 AM

March Metal Meltdown, 2nd Nigh

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The second day of the 2-day NJ March Metal Meltdown 6 brought a slew of metal bands of all shapes and sizes. I obviously couldn’t see every one of the bands as there were 2 stages of action but here’s a few highlights of the day. Some were good, some were bad and some were downright ugly (literally and sound-wise) But I’ll keep it to what I thought was good.

The days headliners included Obituary, Testament, Vital Remains and M.O.D. I had to split before Obituary but here’s what I did see:

Billy Milano and M.O.D. made sure to let everyone know why Billy is “the rebel you love to hate” complete with a speech on why they can’t tour Europe due to Billy’s very vocal pro-America viewpoints. Of course this led to what everyone really wanted to hear, some classic S.O.D. and they got it in the form of “F%#k the Middle East” and “United Forces” among others.

Vital Remains and vocalist Glenn Benton (Deicide) hit the stage next with Glenn in full leather garb looking a lot like the head of the bad guys in Road Warrior. They delivered with a full out sonic assault that any fan of death metal could appreciate. I hung with Glenn out back and he was a very cool dude, even with the 666 tattoo on his scalp and an upside-down cross literally burned into his forehead (yes, its healed but the scar is plain to see!) Its interesting to talk to a guy like that and hear him talk about things like raising his 12 year old son. ;)

Testament was the highlight of the night as the stage diving was in full force (it was nice to see it actually allowed and encouraged by the band for a change!) Mixing the old with the new seemed to work well as the crowd ate it all up. The addition of Paul Bostaph (SLAYER, Forbidden) on drums was a definite plus as he delivered with a fire and seemed right at home with his old friends. I didn’t write them all down but some great classics were played like “Into the Pit,” “Eerie Inhabitants,” “Practice What You Preach” and the show closer demanded by the crowd, “Disciples of the Watch.” And a bit of comedy at the end as a stage diver was trying to jump into the crowd and was denied almost 10 times in a row! This guy who looks like he could be Chuck Billy’s younger brother kept rejecting him like a blocked shot in Bball. Chuck just stood back and laughed as it went on for almost 2 minutes straight and told the guy, “Hey, you gotta get back in there!” LOL

And as a segue to some of the local acts, that guy who looked like Chuck Billy was the frontman of his own band, “The Hixon,” from NJ. They played on the second (i.e.: hardcore) stage and absolutely tore the place up during their set. After hearing 10 or so bands on that stage they were the ones that finally turned it up a notch and didn’t sound like everything else. The crowd responded in a big way as the gates in front of the stage were getting torn down and the pit was in full effect. I got a free demo from them and its good, but their live show was even better, they put 110% into it and that’s what metal is all about, right?

Another interesting band from the second stage was a band called Anal Blast from Michigan. Not the greatest musicians per say, but they were pretty funny in their between song rants, each one ruder than the next. It seems every song is about crapping, dirty tampons, vaginal scabs and other nastiness, but they did it in a way that was funny and entertaining in a tongue in cheek kind of way.

The venue left a lot to be desired as it was in bad shape and in a bad neighborhood to boot. At least the parking was secure and the venue easy to get to. Overall I would say I got my $35 worth although I was disappointed that Prong played on Friday and I missed them.

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