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Throwdown with Soilw

By CrpnDeth, Staff Photographer/Writer
Saturday, March 8, 2008 @ 10:02 AM


Marquee Theater in Tempe, AZ

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Gotta admit, I was completely shocked to walk in to the Marquee in Tempe for the Throwdown show, only to find the place barely half filled. Seemed like everyone that walked in after me had the same surprised look on their face.

By the time I got there, Through the Eyes of the Dead were just getting on stage. I was actually hoping I had missed them, as their entire set seemed to be one long song. Nothing stood out, it just blended. After the first song or two, people began to walk out in to the merch area, the bar and the smoker’s lounge so I wasn’t the only one not getting in to the performance. Frankly, they were just too bland and suffered from “sounding like everyone else”.

Things changed when Sweden’s Soilwork hit the stage. The band launched in to Sworn to a Great Divide and quickly followed up with As We Speak from their Natural Born Chaos release. By the end of the tune, technical problems reared its ugly head with some sort of a bass issue. Bassist Ola Flink stopped playing altogether halfway through, and the band continued with One With the Flies before stopping to see what was going on. After several minutes, the band apologized and continued on with Bastard Chain before being joined again by Flink.

Aside from Flink’s slight departure, the band was flawless in delivering slab after slab of crushing metal that hasn’t fallen in to the abyss of sounding tired. Bjorn Strid’s vocals were precise, clear and raspy – providing a range to flow in between the guitar riffs of Daniel Antonsson and David Andersson. Drummer Dirk Verbeuren kept a steady pace throughout the entire set. So called “metalcore” bands can take a few lessons from what is coming from overseas lately.

While the pit swarmed at various times, the band delivered a hard driving 11 song set that spanned through the band’s last five releases. Soilwork easily made up for the lackluster performance of the opening bands and played as if they were in an arena.

Setlist:
Sworn to a Great Divide, As We Speak, One With the Flies, Bastard Chain, Exile, Rejection Role, As the Sleeper Awakes, Stabbing the Drama, Follow the Hollow, The Pittsburgh Syndrome, Nerve

After a short interlude, Throwdown hit the stage with a vengeance. Vocalist Dave Peters commanded your attention the entire time, and after blasting through set opener Holy Roller, led the charge with the audience sing-a-long chorus of “Fuck No!” during Day of the Dog. The familiar pit was back in action, swirling and growing. The band played on with We Will Rise, Discipline and N.B.D.. The ferociousness of the band easily pays homage to Pantera in their heyday, and Peters’ vocals can stand next to Anselmo’s any day. Drummer Ben Dussault and guitarist Mark Choiniere kept a solid flow the entire night.

The solid thing about Throwdown is that they may not be hugely original, but the new trend they seem to be following is making music they believe in, and more importantly, what people want. The crowd roared in appreciation at every opportunity.

If only the scream-o bands could learn that.

Setlist:
Holy Roller, Day of the Dog, We Will Rise, Discipline, N.B.D., S.C.U.M., Speak the Truth, Slip, Cancer (shortened), Unite, Weight of the World, Vendetta, Forever, Americana

(c) 2008 by David Svendsen (c) 2008 by David Svendsen

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