Heart of Steel: Concert Reviews

Metal Meltdown III
Asbury Park Convention Center - NJ, USA
Friday April 6th, Saturday April 7th 2001

Review By Rick

DAY 2 - SATURDAY APRIL 7, 2001

Day 2 started off with breakfast. Metal Mistress finally showed up and myself, Imaginessa, Metal Mistress and EvilG went out to have a bite to eat. Iím sure everyone knows that cheeseburgers are the best breakfast food and pepsi! Anyway, after a short meal at Fredís (or Satan's) Diner we headed back to the Convention Center. By this time it was after lunch so we just walked around taking in some of the bands from each stage. I have to say that there really wasnít nothing that appealed to me. Lots of growling generic death metal bands that, like Fridayís groups, sounded too much alike for my tastes. One band which did catch my attention was NECROCIDE. These guys played a great set of thrash despite playing to a very small but attentive audience. I had hoped to catch the set of a local New York band called EVOLUTION but walked into the room just as they were finishing. I however did get to meet the guys and they were great. Since nothing else was catching our attention, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the great lineup that was arranged for later on Saturday night.

The Snakenet Metal Radio Stage was where all the action was going to be tonight so we all headed there early to make sure that we got good seats. We did get damned good ones too, front row just to the right. Perfect spot!! The first band to play when we got in there was TEMPERED STEEL. With a name like that I was hoping for at least a good classic metal band and I was not disappointed. These guys were great. Look for more from this up and coming Utah outfit.

 

IT WONíT DIE

What can I say about the next act? If you want to see some good old fashioned blood spitting and cadaver bashing look no further than the mighty IMPALER. Not content to just come out in their jeans and t-shirts and play their tunes the band put on a great theatrical show. The set opened with two , for lack of a better term, zombie doctors carrying out a corpse in a sheet. They unroll it and try to bring the cadaver to life. After beating the pulp out of this guy he comes to life and starts belting out the tunes. I am very unfamiliar with Impaler so I am not exactly sure what songs they played. It didnít really matter though cause the music was great and the show was awesome. Towards the end of the set the singer grabs a head impaled on a long spike and proceeds to rip its throat apart and drink its blood. As you can see I got a great shot of this whole act!. To finish off the show the zombie doctors try to kill their blood soaked leader. Unfortunately for one of them he turns the tables and rips out one of their livers and proceeds to stomp all over the stage chewing off pieces and spitting them into the audience! Awesome!! The crowd loved these guys and I must say they were totally METAL!!!!

Another band with some potential in their name was GUARDIANS OF THE FLAME. Another powermetal name if there ever was one. My heart dropped when I saw the singer come out holding what appeared to be a sheet with the lyrics. Seems the real vocalist was not there and this guy was just filling in. He did an admirable job for not being familiar with the songs. At the end of the set the guitar player announced that he and the bass player had been original founding members of Virgin Steel which leads me to believe that on guitar was none other than Jack Starr. I have to admit, he did some awesome leads and did his best to keep it all together. I would really like to see them when they have their full unit together.

After GOTF was RED RIGHT HAND. These guys were kinda bland hardcorish metal with a big bald lead singer. This guy looked like he could beat the crap out of the New York Giants defensive line and still not spill his beer.


Click for full screen

 

DRAGONS OF THE NORTH

Viking Metal invaded Asbury Park next in the form of EINHERJER. As if the blood that was left over from the IMPALER set wasnít enough, EINHERJER come out covered before the show even starts. Before I journeyed to The States I checked out some EINHERJER vowing that I would catch their set at Meltdown. Lead singer Ragnar Vikse tried his best to get the crowd into the show. He didnít have much trouble as it seemed that they were more popular than I had imagined. They put on a great show and played it up to the crowd through the whole set. The highlight for me was "Dragons of the North". A song that I couldnít get out of my head for weeks before I set off for New Jersey. They were one of the highlights of the weekend.




Click for full screen

 

 

NUCLEAR FIRE

PRIMAL FEAR! One of my favourite bands at the moment and the band that I came all the way to see. In anticipation of the best performance of Metal Meltdown  I saved the bones in my neck for an all out headbanging, neck wrecking, vertebrae crushing experience. This was the first ever North American show for PRIMAL FEAR and I couldnít wait to see history in the making. The band came onto the stage and launched into "Angel in Black". Ralf stalked all over the stage like an animal and Mat was a mad man as he went from one side of the stage to the other. These guys really know how to put on a great performance. Ralf had great presence often leaning over the stage towards the crowd encouraging them to join in each song. Because they were only scheduled for 50 minutes there was very little talking in between songs as they tried to fit in as many songs as possible. Since I didnít write these down as I was too caught up in the awesome show, the ones that I remember are "Angel in Black" , "Chainbreaker" , "Silver and Gold" , "Nuclear Fire" , "Eye of an Eagle" and "Final Embrace". Before I knew it the show was over. Fortunately, PRIMAL FEAR came back for an encore. And it was the grand daddy of all encores. "Youíve Got Another Thing Coming" by Judas Priest. The crowd went absolutely wild. An awesome way to end their inaugural North American appearance. 

 

 

 
Click for full screen


Click for full screen


Click for full screen

 
Click for full screen

 

VIOLENCE AND FORCE

I pity the band that had to follow that awesome show. Well, somebody had to do it and that somebody was Canadian band Exciter. I was lucky enough to meet them earlier in the night which only fuelled my need to hear "Violence and Force". I would be happy to hear this one song. Unfortunately there was a mass exodus after the PRIMAL FEAR set. It was their loss. Exciter put on a very energetic set. Again I didnít write down what songs they played but I was happy as the played the best of all their tracks "Violence and Force". What a night so far and there was so much more to come.

 
Click for full screen

 

ON AND ON

As you can probably tell by now, The Snakenet Stage turned out to be our home for most of the show as it happened to have most of the best bands. After Exciter left the stage the crowd was treated to the high energy set from NWOBHM legends RAVEN. I am not much of a RAVEN fan so all I wanted to hear was "On and On" from the "Stay Hard" album. Of course they played it for the set closer and the place went mad. Me included. That has been one of my favourite songs for a long time and hearing it played live as The Gallagher Brothers went nuts all over the stage just blew my mind!!!

 

THE SMALL HOURS

Damn. There are still 6 bands left to play tonight and I havenít moved in hours!! HOLOCAUST comes on next and even though they are NWOBHM I am so tired from sitting/standing/headbanging in one spot that I have to take a walk. No one of any interest is playing at the center stage so I head over to the next stage. I am surprised to see the all girl band MIMIC playing. I had hoped to catch their set and they are just finishing up when I got there. Too bad!! What I did see was pretty cool and I did get to meet Tina the vocalist and Carla the guitar player. Very cool. When I did get back to HOLOCAUST they had just started "The Small Hours". Of course everyone knows this as the song that Metallica covered on their "Garage Days Re-Revisited EP". Perfect timing!! Again I got to see the only song I wanted or knew.


Click for full screen

 

 

FORGED IN FIRE

Now that the schedule has been thrown out the window and all the bands are way behind time, its ANVILís turn to please the metal masses. Lips has got to be one of the funniest guys in metal. He struts around the stage making funny faces every few minutes. What a great showman. The band was great too. I was thoroughly enjoying them until the band was informed that the set had been cut down to 25 minutes from 40. Lips just had time to squeeze in my 2 favourite songs "Forged in Fire" and "Metal on Metal". For some reason the house lights were never dimmed during Anvilís performance. I donít know if it was the bands idea or someone in the crew fucked up. Anyway, at the end Lips said something to this effect "To the people who came to see ANVIL.... Thanks!!!. To those who didnít Fuck You!! And also a big Fuck You to the monitor guy who just said Fuck You to me!" I would have to agree with him. They were awesome and to have their set cut short was a total rip off. They were easily one of the better bands of the weekend.


Click for full screen

 

 

NO PLACE FOR DISGRACE

This is turning into a really long night and there are still so many bands to see. (and this damn review is getting way too long.) Another of my must sees of the night was FLOTSAM AND JETSAM. I have to hand it to Eric AK, he still has a killer voice. The standout song was "Hammerhead". I donít know what was with the purple shorts but please get rid of them. PLEASE!!!!!!!


Click for full screen


Click for full screen

 

GRIM LUXURIA

It was at this point that I was left alone as EvilG retreated to the hotel and I was left to sit through THE UNHOLY. I can describe these guys in one word.. NEXT.... Anvil had to cut their set short for this garbage? With that out of the way up came heavy doomers WARHORSE. They put on an ok show but it was getting late and the band I really wanted to see was CATHEDRAL. After some technical glitches and a lot of screwing around CATHEDRAL hit the stage. Lee was upset from the get go because their set had to be cut short. I will say it again! Why come all the way to New Jersey to play for 20 minutes. The band made the most of it and ripped through some of their best tunes including "Ride", "Midnight Mountain" and "Hopkins Witchfinder General" at the end of which Lee hung himself symbolically with his microphone cord. This was supposed to be the last song but they were allowed to play one more which turned into "Utopian Blaster". Before the song was even over Lee slammed his mic down and stomped off the stage. Great set. I ran into him and Leo in the hotel the next day and they were real nice down to earth guys! Well that was the end of the show. ELECTRIC WIZARD didnít even get to play and we were all sent home. Two days of metal and it was hard to believe that it was over. I trudged back to the hotel and retired to my room, too tired to even seek out a party. Oh, and one more thing. To whomever pulled the fire alarm in the hotel at 6 am. Read the quote from Lips above. Metal Rules!!

 
Click for full screen

All rights reserved and contents ©2002 Metal-Rules.com
Keeping the Metal Faith Since 1995!