Testament / Sepultura / Prong at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia, PA

May 3rd, 2017
by Infamous Butcher

Testament / Sepultura / Prong

The Electric Factory, Philadelphia, PA

April 23, 2017

Review by InfamousButcher, Photos by SheWolf

80’s thrash is still kicking ass and the many of the inventors of the sound are still at it! 30 years since their classic debut album THE LEGACY, Testament continues to be one of the busiest thrash bands in metal. Since putting out 2008’s THE FORMATION OF DAMNATION, they have been fucking killing it, taking part in great tours with Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax, Overkill, Exodus, and Death Angel and putting out quality albums. In late 2016, Testament released THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE SNAKE and did a European tour. Now Testament must bring the new album live to the US legions! When I heard the tour lineup included thrash / groove / crossover stalwarts Prong and the legendary Sepultura, I almost shit! It’s Sunday right? How about hearing some old Testament and new Testament, thrash metal style! The NEW ORDER’S HERE! Off to the Electric Factory we go!

 

I’ve written before that I hate the dump that is the Electric Factory. The place is a shithole with douchey security, lousy parking, and so-so sound quality. It’s a fake famous venue, the real Electric Factory closed in 1973 and it was in a different part of Philadelphia. This place was built in 1994. Tonight the upstairs was closed and downstairs they brought in some bleacher seats in the back. I think there were only about 1,000 people in attendance, well below a sell out because the Decibel Metal and Beer fest over at the Fillmore definitely attracted some metalheads and it is a Sunday night. It’s a shame more people didn’t see it, because we got an excellent night of metal. Venue is mostly standing room with a large pit area, barrier, and photo pit. Stage is good sized and on the high slide. Lighting and sound were adequate. We did meet up with some friends and the vibe was cool. Merch was good, lots of shirts / hoodies / patches etc from all of the bands.

PRONG

Up first was New York’s Prong, an underrated band that’s been around for about 30 years now as well. Guitarist / vocalist Tommy Victor is the only original member of this 3 piece, but no matter, Prong is still force live and they put on a hell of a set. Tommy knows how to command a crowd and was in complete control within seconds after they opened with “Ultimate Authority” from last year’s NO ABSOLUTES. The band was tight and together. Tommy’s riffing was superb as always and his vocals were strong. To me his emotions just pour out in the music and he is able to connect with an audience because of that. Mike Longworth is back on bass, replacing Jason Christopher, and he provided good groove and backing vocals. Arturo Cruz was like a whirling dervish on his drumkit, thundering away, sweat flying everywhere. “Unconditional” was next and it gave me some goosebumps! I love the old stuff that reminds me of the ’94 Philadelphia Spectrum mosh pit! UNWOUND! Set was a mix of new and old but no slow tunes. The band was guns blazing for the last 3 songs, “Whose Fist Is This Anyway”(IF YOU LIKE TO PLAY VICTIM AND PLAY THE PART SO WELL!), “Snap Your Fingers Snap Your Neck” (YOU WANT THE GOOD LIFE!), and “Sense of Ease”. Crowd response was rabid with moshing / singing / headbanging! Set was only 40 minutes and left me wanting more! I wanna hear “Steady Decline” and “Prove You Wrong” damn it! Prong is a great live band and Tommy produces some of the best, catchiest riffs ever! They are a must see! New album is due out July 27 and we will be all over that!

  • Ultimate Authority
  • Unconditional
  • Cut-Rate
  • Turnover
  • Cut and Dry
  • Whose Fist Is This Anyway?
  • Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck
  • Sense of Ease

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEPULTURA

Sepultura is well known by all metalheads, but the band has 2 distinct eras: WC (with the Cavalera brothers) and AC (after the Cavaleras left almost 20 years ago). Andreas Kisser (guitar) and Paulo Jr (bass) are still in the band, other members include Derrick Green (vocals) and Eloy Casagrande (drums). I am only familiar with early Sepultura so I wasn’t sure what to expect when they took the stage. Sounded like a mix of groove, thrash, and hardcore. Derrick even had a drum in front of him that he occasionally used. I recognized “Desperate Cry” from ARISE and it sounded decent. “Inner Self” from BENEATH THE REMAINS was ok. I didn’t care for the rest. The singer just seemed so out of place with the rest of the band. Guess I’m just a 45 year old metal curmudgeon.

  • I Am the Enemy
  • Phantom Self
  • Choke
  • Desperate Cry
  • Sworn Oath
  • Inner Self
  • Alethea
  • Resistant Parasites
  • Refuse/Resist
  • Ratamahatta
  • Roots Bloody Roots

 

 

TESTAMENT

Testament took the stage about 9:35 and exploded into the title track of their new record, “The Brotherhood of the Snake”. GODDAMN! Chuck delivered powerful vocals, Alex and Eric shredded like men possessed, Steve laid down the low end and Gene fucking hammered us! It was brilliant, everything was clear, precise, powerful, and in synch! “Rise Up” from DARK ROOTS OF EARTH was next and the crowd response was killer! WHEN I SAY RISE UP, YOU SAY WAR!!! Two more new ones followed, “The Pale King” and “Centuries of Suffering” and both sounded better than the album! I just heard my 3 favorite songs from the new album, very cool! Testament was on fire, things were off to a great start!

Testament is arguably the most talented thrash band on the planet when you consider Alex Skolnick used to have a jazz trio, Steve DiGiorgio was in Death, Sadus, and Autopsy, and Gene Hoglan is the fucking Atomic Clock that played with Dark Angel and Death! Well, now each band member gets a solo during the set. I think this is intentional to give other band members a rest, especially Chuck who was the only member who didn’t solo. If this is part of the reason why the band was so fresh and powerful, I am ok with it, even though if you removed all the solos you’d probably be able to fit 2 more songs into the set list. Alex’s solo came first, after the first 4 songs. It was good, but even better was that after the solo we got fucking “Electric Crown”, which I haven’t gotten live in 6 years! Goosebump time again, it was outstanding and Gene’s distinct drumming accented everything! Chuck’s vocals were great, good range and emotion on this song – THAT I’LL SOON BE THERE! Crowd pleaser “Into the Pit” was next, and of course a large circle pit erupted! At this point Chuck addressed the crowd and said they had rehearsed stuff and changed the set list around because they were tired of playing the same stuff all of the time. That was music to my ears, then they played “Low” and I lost it! HOLY SHIT! I had never gotten “Low” live before and it was awesome – SHOW SOME MERCY! Everything about it, the manic riffing, the drumming, and Chuck’s death growl were great! “Throne of Thorns”, a rare cut from DARK ROOTS OF EARTH was next, followed by another new one, “Stonghold”. What else did these Bay Area thrash legends have in store for us?

After Eric’s solo we got a vicious “Eyes of Wrath” from THE GATHERING and I dug it – THE BEAST IS ON YOUR BACK! Gene’s drum solo was sick and it led into “First Strike is Deadly” which I love and have only gotten live once before! Chuck didn’t go real high on the scream at the end, but it was still great, chugging guitars, savage drums, I was salivating! Steve’s bass solo led into the instrumental “Urotsukidoji” from LOW (another blow for Chuck). The more familiar “Souls of Black” and “The New Order” with new song “Seven Seals” rounded out the set.

For the encore, Chuck told us a story about a boring video shoot in the late 80’s in Texas when they got loaded on jack and saw Pantera for the first time. They were moved, and therefore called their next album PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH! Testament delivered the title track from that album with vigor, then finished the show with “Over the Wall” to celebrate the 30th anniversary of THE LEGACY. Gene’s drumming was incredible and I love this tune – ESCAPE IS THE ONLY WAY OUT! Lots of staples were not played, but that is ok with me, I am a little tired of “DNR” and “The Formation of Damnation”. Would have liked “The Preacher” or “Disciples of the Watch”, but this is a minor complaint. We got an hour and 35 min of blistering thrash, great musicianship, and ass kicking. Crowd response was good with moshing and crowd surfing, no wall of death tonight though. Set list was great and varied and we got killer versions of 5 new songs. Testament is at their very best right now, tonight was my 13th Testament show and this one is in my top 3. Catch this tour when it comes to your town!

 

  • Brotherhood of the Snake
  • Rise Up
  • The Pale King
  • Centuries of Suffering
  • Guitar Solo (Alex Skolnick)
  • Electric Crown
  • Into the Pit
  • Low
  • Throne of Thorns
  • Stronghold
  • Guitar Solo (Eric Peterson)
  • Eyes of Wrath
  • Drum Solo (Gene Hoglan)
  • First Strike Is Deadly
  • Bass Solo (Steve DiGiorgio)
  • Urotsukidôji
  • Souls of Black
  • Seven Seals
  • The New Order

Encore:

  • Practice What You Preach
  • Over the Wall

 

 

 

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