Lamb of God, Killswitch Engage, Testament, Huntress, The Hollywood Palladium, November 8, 2013
The Hollywood Palladium being one of the bigger venues in the famous town of Hollywood always brings some major music acts to their stage such as Slayer and Slipknot. Tonight, it was The Resolution Tour, which brings, of course, goes without saying, the Lamb of God crew. Also, co-headlining the tour is, the wildly popular Killswitch Engage, the legendary thrash metal act, Testament, and the mighty Huntress. This tour brought a variety of very well known musical acts. The walls of the Palladium were shaking as all of these bands were playing their sets. It was a night that was not soon to be forgotten and will make a lasting impression for the metal scene.
It is not often you see a woman fronting a thrash metal band or even a metal band for that matter. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it totally crashes and burns and you find yourself wondering what she’s trying to say. Huntress is an example of it working very, very well. Opening up with the face melting Senicide off of their 2012 release Spell Eater the night was already off to a fast paced exciting time. Fronted by the very aggressive Jill Janus, the lyrics were ringing through the room with a fiery passion. The intense growling and singing with lyrics such as “Look what you’ve done, Look what you’ve become, Nothing won” were instantly imbedded in the minds of everyone attending the show.
With ripping dual guitars by Blake Meahl and Anthony Crocamo the solos and brutal riffs made any guitar player want to go home and practice. The rhythm section performed by Ian Alden on bass and Carl Wierzbicky on drums, gave a backbone to all of the songs performed by the group. A brand new song was also premiered which was written by the legendary Motorhead vocalist Lemmy Kilmister. The title of the song goes by the strong name of I Want To Fuck You To Death. It was a treat to see this band for the first time. I didn’t know what to expect and I was very happy with how everything turned out for them.
Testament has been dominating that thrash scene since the early days of metal. Nobody can compare to the intensity that they bring to their live show. With wild strobe lights illuminates the stage, the band ripped through their opening track Rise Up. The very dark stage setup from the group had a two very big pillars with huge devil horns on them, placed on opposite sides of the stage, spitting fog and mist straight at the crowd. To me it looked like hell on stage, which in this scene isn’t that bad of a thing! Lead vocalist Chuck Billy belts out the lyrics like nobody I’ve ever scene. Even when he isn’t singing he’s jamming out playing guitar on his lit up mic-stand with sure signs that he feels the music he is jamming very deeply. Guitarists Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson switch off playing the lead role with solos and mighty riffs that live up to what the true meaning of thrash metal is.
My favorite song of the entire set was The Preacher. The song reminded me of classical music from the days before electric guitars and gritty vocals that everyone loves today. The very fast drumming of the bands newest member Gene Hoglan brought the term “double bass” to justice. The vast bass playing of Greg Christian brought a very deep gut wrenching feeling to the bands songs. With numerous member changes throughout the many years of this band, the group of guys they have going now is sure to bring them to even greater places than they already are. Testament is honestly one of the most powerful bands I’ve seen. With bands falling off of the radar so quick nowadays, it is a relief to see such a big band playing despite all of the problems in the past. There is no need to say go check this band out because honestly, if you’re a metal fan, you should already know this band.
Being a huge fan of all types of metal music, it is such a great feeling to hear that classic metal tone that every metal head has a soft spot for. Killswitch Engage not only delivers exactly that, they give so much more in their music that you just can’t deny you love. After releasing their newest album Disarm The Descent last April, the band has been dominating the metal scene. With their original vocalist Jesse Leach returning to the band after long time singer Howard Jones’ departure, they bring a very powerful performance, opening up with one of my personal favorites, A Bid Farewell. The crowd at the Palladium literally erupted like nothing I’ve ever seen. Every word was being screamed in its entirety. Co-Headlining with Lamb of God brings such a unique set of fans but with Killswitch, they can all unite into one entity to bring one of the greatest crowd reactions of all time.
To me, stage presence is crucial for a band, without good stage presence the show is just plain boring. Nobody needs to worry about that with these guys, especially from guitar player Adam Dutkiewicz. Known for his very unique stage attire and antics he delivers a show by himself while ripping the famous riffs of their songs. Along with Joe Stroetzel, the dual guitars deliver a sound that is unique and will literally blow your mind. Also, bass player Mike D’Antonio ignites a tone that will shake your chest to the very core along with drummer Justin Foley, these two together will shake your brain. Playing the classic Killswitch Engage songs from the years such as My Last Serenade, My Curse, and This is Absolution, the band puts out a vibe that is not to be forgotten. I know after their set was over I was looking on my phone for the next time these guys will be back just so I can see them again! To be honest, when I was in the photo pit for the first three songs, I got totally lost in the music for a good minute because I was so excited to see them, and that doesn’t usually happen. Ending with the extremely well known title track of their third studio album, The End of Heartache, Killswitch Engage left a lasting impression on me and everyone else in the room.
Lamb Of God
Let me start of by saying, I’ve been a fan of this band for years. The first time I heard Redneck I was floored. Randy Blythe’s vocals along with the tone and riffs of the dual guitars from Willie Adler and Mark Morton, I couldn’t believe my ears. They’re probably some of the reasons I wanted to start playing guitar so bad. At the Palladium, I was almost glad I didn’t shoot the first three songs because I got to see some legends and get the full experience of a true Lamb of God show. Opening up with Desolation and Ghost Walking, which are the first two tracks of their most recent release Resolution, LOG wasted zero time in getting this metal show started. I was extremely pleased when they took it back to 2004 and played my personal favorite, Walk With Me In Hell. I may or may not have taken place in some moshing and crowd surfing during that song.
The crowd erupted like a controlled riot. If you weren’t head banging you were jumping or moshing. What I loved is how everyone united. You don’t often see that nowadays in music but with this crowd, a certain feeling of unification was there. One of their most famous songs Laid To Rest was put to the test when the vocalist called for the infamous Wall of Death. It was pure mayhem. I’ve never see anything like it. Laid to Rest honestly has some of the most diverse drums and bass in it from drummer Chris Adler and bassist John Cambell. Playing songs from almost every album, the band didn’t slow down once. Ending with two of their most famous songs Redneck and Black Label, Blythe and crew delivered a performance of a lifetime. It’s amazing to see such a tightly knit band even after years and years of touring. The Resolution Tour has been going on since January of 2012 and it hasn’t lost a beat yet. I am very happy that I finally got to witness a true Lamb of God show. I cannot wait until they come back.
(Review and Photos by Edward Brandon – Lamb Of God photo by Talia Farber)