Killswitch Engage and DragonForce in Massachusetts (With Dragonforce Photo Gallery

By Debby Rao, Boston Contributor
Thursday, March 22, 2007 @ 6:33 PM

The Palladium in Worcester

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New England has long been a staple for turning out some of the top bands in music history. Everyone knows that the bad boys of metal Aerosmith emerged out of Bean Town, but over the past couple of years that is a new breed of bands that are making the Metal scene come alive again. A lot of the musical action is coming from the Western part of the State with Shadows Fall, and most recently Killswitch Engage. The band has been garnering quite an extensive fan base over the past few years, as they combine old school metal with a touch of nu-metal.

The Fear No Music Tour featuring Killswitch Engage, DragonForce, Chimaira, and He Is Legend rolled into New England to perform to a sold out crowd at The Palladium in Worcester.

Upon arrival to the show, it was great to see music fans so excited about this particular tour. I arrived just in time for one of my favorite new bands, DragonForce. It seems like DragonForce is making Worcester their second home these days. They’ve blown through town at least two other times recently.

Opening with “Revolution Deathsquad", lead singer ZP was ready to show the Worcester audience that DragonForce is ready to make their mark in metal. One of the great things that, I love about this band is clearly their full orchestral sound. They combine their old school roots such as early Iron Maiden with Eddie Van Halen speed riffs.

Guitarist Herman Li was flawless, and riveting. He shredded the frets with an amazingly masterful skill that held the audience spellbound.

DragonForce performed three songs off of their latest album, ”Inhuman Rampage” including “Revolution Deathsquad", "Operation Ground and Pound", and very intricate guitar work by Li and Sam Totman on “Through Fire and Flames” , which was the highlight of the entire show.

The mix at times was a little rough, due to the fact of their arena sound in such a small theatre, but their talent surely made up for the soundman’s shortcomings.

The only negative aspect of the set was the length of the set, which was only 45 minutes. A band of this caliber should have been allowed more time…but then again it is Killswitch Engage’s Tour, and they are the New England boys.

DragonForce ended the show with “Valley Of The Damned". It was refreshing to see the band perform long guitar solos. That is really what metal is all about. Herman Li shredded the strings like a bolt of lightning. Guitar solos and metal really go hand in hand, and it is about time that we finally have a band not afraid to drag out the riffs to pure perfection. I highly recommend checking out this tour, even though the band only has a five song set. Hopefully, the next they time they are in town, they will be headlining. Set List:

  • Revolution Deathsquad
  • Fury Of The Storm
  • Operation Ground and Pound
  • Through Fire And Flames
  • Valley Of The Damned
Next up New England favorites, Killswitch Engage hit the stage with the ferocious growl of Howard Jones. One of the most talked about aspects of this tour was the fact that guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz would not be performing on this tour due to recent back surgery. Filling in for the colorful guitarist was Pat Lachman from Damageplan. I always enjoyed Adam's energetic stage approach, and he was clearly missed during the set. Pat did a great job of filling Adam’s shoes, and it can only get better as the tour goes on.

Killswitch Engage have such a powerful sound that only can be compared to a freight train hitting you at full speed. It was clear to see, you were there either to see DragonForce or Killswitch Engage. The bands have different musical styles, but at the same time are at the top of their league. I opted for the more guitars shredding of DragonForce than the gritty, heavier sound of Killswitch Engage.

I did enjoy new material off of “As Daylight Dies", which included a version of, ”My Curse", and the title track of off their new album. Killswitch Engage, also have a killer light show.

It was a great night of music, and really inspiring to see how far the band has evolved over the years. The Fear No Music tour has a good mixture of both old school and nu-metal to satisfy your musical taste in metal.

Killswitch Engage have been playing around the Boston circuit for a while now. I really enjoyed the bands new material, in which they really seemed to focus on tonight. I have heard their new single,”My Curse” a lot on the radio recently, and in concert the song really goes over well. It even has more of a heavier tone, and a crowd favorite.

The uptempo songs,”Unbroken”, and “Breathe Life” really got the crowd going with the sledge- hammer guitar work of Pat. These songs had that Damage Plan appeal, and he really did well on the heavier tunes. One of my favorite Killswitch Engage songs played was “Rose of Sharyn.”

There is no doubt about it, Howard Jones really gave a powerful vocal performance, in which the crowd really enjoyed. He never let go of the momentum, and it was interesting to see Pat playing guitar in a whole new environment. It was also good seeing the band in a smaller venue, such as The Palladium to appreciate the intensity of the set.

The only complaint of the Killswitch Engage set was their version of Dio’s ”Holy Diver”. No one should ever play that song live but Ronnie James Dio himself, especially with the completely different vocal styles of Dio and Jones. Other than that, it was a great night of music, and really inspiring to see how far the band has evolved over the years. The No Fear Music Tour has a good mixture of both old school and nu-metal to satisfy your musical taste in metal. If you are a fan of Iron Maiden, and early Black Sabbath, you will enjoy how Dragonforce is unleashing guitar shredding solos back in metal, infused with a Maiden vocal appeal. Killswitch Engage is picking up where that heavy, grunge guitar and vocal sound left off, packing a powerful punch with their new album ,”As Daylight Dies”.

Killswitch Engage Set list

(in no particular order)

  • A Bid Farewell
  • Fixation On The Darkness
  • Daylight Dies
  • Breathe Life
  • Life To Lifeless
  • My Curse
  • When Darkness Falls
  • This Is Absolution
  • Rose Of Sharyn
  • Unbroken
  • My Last Serenade
  • The End Of Heartache
  • Holy Diver
Dragonforce Gallery!
Click on the thumbnail shots for larger pictures.

Photos by Debbie Rao

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