CONCERT REVIEW: Judas Priest – Sabaton Live at MVP Arena Albany

Albany, New York may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of live music and specifically, Heavy Metal. If you take a look at the history of the MVP Arena which was opened in 1990 as the Knickerbocker Arena, you’ll find a gem of a venue in the New York capital. It opened with a concert by Frank Sinatra and has also played host to The Grateful Dead, Phish, The Rolling Stones, and even Metallica on multiple occasions.  Most recently it was visited by a Metal God in the form of Rob Halford with Judas PriestContinue reading

CONCERT REVIEW: Týr – Trollfest – Æther Realm – The Dread Crew of Oddwood Live at Sanctuary 

The illustrious Nordic act, Týr brought their Battle Ballads headlining tour to North America and Motor City was one of their stops. The band is out promoting their new full-length album bringing along Trollfest, Æther Realm, and The Dread Crew of Oddwood with them. This highly anticipated month-long run designated the Sanctuary in Hamtramck, a neighboring borough of Detroit, to share all their fabulous folk festivities with.Continue reading

CONCERT REVIEW: Hatebreed – Shadows Fall – 100 Demons – Sworn Enemy and More Live at The Oakdale Theatre

Hatebreed celebrated their 30th anniversary as a band in Wallingford, Connecticut at the Toyota Oakdale Theatre on St Patty’s Day 2024 with The March Metal Matinee. This show was extra special as it was the band’s biggest “hometown show” in the band’s amazing history and also guitarist Wayne Lozinak birthday. Continue reading

CONCERT REVIEW: Inhuman Condition – Micawber – Crusadist: Live at The Sanctuary 

It was a clear and cold night on a wintery Sunday in Detroit, Michigan when Death Metallars, Inhuman Condition brought their “Tourantula” 2022 Tour to town. They arrived at a local’s favorite live music joint, The Sanctuary, along with Midwest’s own Micawber and Crusadist. The quaint-sized venue was the perfect fit for the fans to experience an intimate and enjoyable encounter with these Death Metal experts. Cozied up in the small town of Hamtramck, The Sanctuary caters particularly well to the heavy. With concert spots like this, plus the local acts that opened the evening, Nethergate and Centenary, showed us that the metal scene in Michigan is alive and well. 

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11th Annual Rock And Shock Festival Part I: The Palladium, Worcester, MA

rock and shock poster


Rock and Shock 2014 in Worcester, Massachusetts was arguably the best yet. Previously, R&S never had a great pre-party show that ever caught my eye. This year however, they put all the previous year’s pre-parties to rest. The sold out Worcester Palladium crowd was greeted to underrated opening band, Jess and the Ancient Ones, which set the scene of an occult ritual. This was only a prelude to the pre-party as the night concluded with an amazing show from the legendary, King Diamond. Having it been almost a decade since the King’s previous show in the area, the anticipation for his set to begin was almost unbearable. Before we get to The King, I believe Jess and the Ancient Ones deserve quite a good amount of praise.

Jess and the Ancient Ones


Not ever listening to a single note that JATAO have recorded, I was very interested in what was so special about this band that King Diamond himself handpicked for his North American Tour. A fellow fan in the cramped pit filled me in that this band had a similar vibe to that of Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats as well as Ghost B.C. and other similar occult/psychedelic rock bands. His description was very accurate and only after half of the set was I finding myself in love with this band. The 70’s rock vibe mixed with Jess’s amazing vocals and her dance moves on stage really set the mood for what this night was all about. My personal favorite track was the 12-minute epic entitled ‘Sulfur Giants’ in the middle of the set. Not knocking any of the other tracks played (‘Prayer for Death and Fire’, ‘Astral Sabbat’, and ‘Casteneda’ to name a few) but this song gave me the same “Wow” factor as Blood Ceremony’s ‘Oliver Haddo’ does. Unfortunately we only got 6 tracks from Jess and The Ancient Ones, but it was a willing sacrifice for what was to come.

Jess and the Ancient Ones

As soon as the crew on stage started setting up, a giant black tarp fell down from the ceiling and blocked our view. So as if the anticipation was bad enough, it just got worse. However, the long wait finally ended, the tarp fell, and slowly but surely each member of the band made their way up the staircase behind the drum kit. Finally, King Diamond, made his way up the same staircase, holding his cross-shaped microphone, made out of human bones, in the air. Then the evil ritual began as the first note of ‘The Candle’ was struck. Upside down crosses, a giant pentagram, and a creepy iron caste fence between the band and the crowd, made the atmosphere complete as the fans attempted to hit King’s falsettos (and failed miserably mostly). Fan favorites such as ‘Sleepless Nights’, ‘Eye of the Witch’, ‘The Family Ghost’, and ‘Welcome Home’ (complete with Gramma!) got the Palladium’s volume to ear deafening levels. Of course what would a King Diamond show be without a couple of tracks from Mercyful Fate? Well we got two tracks which made me more than happy. In fact, the entire floor started moving the instant the ever familiar riff to ‘Evil’ started and did not calm down until after ‘Come to the Sabbath’ ended. One of my favorite parts of the evening was when Gramma made another appearance during ‘Tea’ with, yes you guessed it, some tea in a tea kettle for King! It is without a doubt that the downside to this evening for all was after the 14 songs had been played and the night came to an end.

King Diamond


King Diamond

Overall, this night will be one of my favorite shows this year, let alone ever. King Diamond’s vocals were beyond what I expected out of the man who has been doing this for over 30 years and is a survivor from a triple bypass surgery. As equally as astounding is how great Jess and the Ancient ones ended up being. Sure some fans wanted Ghost or 3 Inches of Blood, but JATAO certainly made a statement on this night opening up for such a legendary name. I can only hope that when this new King Diamond album comes out (whenever that is) that I get the privilege of seeing him tour once more. If you were foolish enough to not attend or simply did not live close enough to a stop on this tour, then you best hope for a second chance.

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King Diamond on Facebook

Jess and the Ancient Ones on Facebook





Meshuggah – Between The Buried and Me: Live at The House Of Blues, Boston MA


For 25 years, Meshuggah has been terrorizing the ears and cortices of the music world, and so it was only natural that they’d bring along their apprentice masters of the mindfuck in Between the Buried and Me along for the ride. And what a ride, indeed. They could open a carnival of progressive wonders, where musical rules are meticulously followed and simultaneously twisted to Eldritch proportions. But enough of this posh music academy drivel, this is metal.


I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve caught Between The Buried and Me since their tour in 2009 with In Flames, but we’ll just settle for ‘a lot’. And having seen them a lot, one gets used to the Colors closing masterpiece, ‘White Walls’ being used as a closer rather than an opening. And one also gets used to the suspense in waiting for perhaps one, maybe even two gems pre-Alaska (Victory). What with the success of Colors (Victory) and having released three space-exploration reports since, they’ve obviously got a lot of material to choose from, and their priority seems to be the latter half of their career. Essentially, we can look forward to hearing mainly post-Alaska tunes as they played this night. Though keep your fingers crossed for their upcoming 15th anniversary.


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This was one of those odd sets where BtBaM played mainly their longer songs, thus making Paul Waggoner’s statement to interviewers all-too-real. Perhaps we can stop waiting for them to bust out ‘Mordecai’ or ‘Naked By The Computer’ when they’re wrist-deep into ‘Lay Your Ghosts To Rest’, immediately followed by ‘Fossil Genera’ to cap off another amazing set. They’re changing, and we’re being taken with them as listeners and watchers. Keep writing/keep dreaming.

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Meshuggah and BtBaM contrasted in a way that honestly took me off guard even though anyone with a working ear can see it immediately in their music. I refer to the aura created not only by 7-string guitars that make the sound of super-astronauts punching asteroids into other ones, but also their stage presence and light show. BtBaM was rather conservative this time, with no fancy screens, just stage lighting that undulated chromatically with the music, and kept their beards in sight. Meshuggah on the other hand was strobe hell, with lights that must be programmed by acid wizards for all of the meticulous timing. And no, you couldn’t see any of Jens Kidman’s faces from the floor unless you wanted to risk blinding yourself. Polyrhythms and infectious grooves were the name of the game. They even used the disco ball during ‘Gods of Rapture’. I don’t even remember the last artist who I’ve seen use that, if ever. Maybe The Roots?


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This being their 25th anniversary, they played the “hits”, if you will, opening up with the caustic ‘Future Breed Machine’, an industrial hellride banger that never fails to incite mechanised violence. Plenty of material from their debut album, Contradictions Collapse (Nuclear Blast), including the robotic thrash of ‘Greed’ and the earlier mentioned ‘Gods of Rapture’. Choice tracks from Chaosphere, one being the mighty ‘New Millennium Cyanide Christ’, and quite heavy on the Koloss. ‘Straws Pulled At Random’ was my favourite of the night, though I wish they had found room for ‘Spasm’ as well, while they were doing Nothing.

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Encoring with Riddler-esque green lights and a back-to-back delivery of ‘In Death – Is Life’ and ‘In Life – Is Death’ from Catch ThirtyThree, I can say they’ve officially won me over. Nevermore will I be ambivalent about Meshuggah, as they put on a killer show, even if their crowd doesn’t know the physics of how a circle-pit should work. During the fast parts, people.


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Meshuggah Set List

Future Breed Machine


The Hurt that Finds You First

Do Not Look Down

Cadaverous Mastication


Gods of Rapture


New Millennium Cyanide Christ

Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion



Straws Pulled at Random



Mind’s Mirrors

In Death – Is Life

In Death – Is Death



Meshuggah on Facebook


Between The Buried and Me on Facebook





Ghost Cult Magazine #18 is out now!

GC 18 cover ALike a bat out of hell……Ghost Cult #18 is here! The new issue features none other than Down on our cover.We interviewed Jimmy Bower about the changes in the band and their amazing new EP, Down IV, Part II. Issue #18 also includes interviews with Lacuna Coil, Beastmilk, Sevendust, Sabbath Assembly, Kyng, Amenra, ReVamp, Lord Dying, Anciients, and Dragged In To Sunlight. We also have complete coverage of the legendary Roadburn Festival, and a recap the 16th annual New England Metal And Hardcore Festival. Plus concert reviews from the likes of The Dillinger Escape Plan, Carcass, Red Fang, Scale The Summit, The Ocean, & The Atlas Moth. We also have special feature with  the late Dave Brockie, as well our largest section of album reviews to date. Made especially for your tablet device or smartphone! Check it out and tell a friend! Twice!




Within Temptation – Delain: Live At Wembley Arena, London



Three particularly surprising things initially stood out about Within Temptation’s debut performance at the prestigious Wembley Arena. The first being the size of the venue they were playing, double the capacity of their previous tour, and while not completely sold out, closing in on 10,000 people had amassed to witness the ‘Hydra’ tour’s London stop. The second was the people themselves, or more specifically the demographic; the majority of the attendees being couples in their late 30’s and above. I’m not sure what this says about the future growth of Within Temptation, in the UK, at least, but it was interesting to see where the band falls in terms of audience.

The third was how popular the bouncy Delain are, obviously a phenomenon that has passed me by. Bounding on with a bundle of energy with ‘Go Away’ from 2009’s April Rain it seemed half the gathered had their hands in the air, clapping along. Followed up with ‘Get The Devil Out Of Me’, the Dutch quintet had the audience in the palm of their hand early, their mix of rock, lush pop and symphonic metal an ideal partner for the headliners. The main focus is on Charlotte Wessels and her candy-pop voice, and her excellent range allows her to nail darker more Gothic passages of ‘Army Of Dolls’ through to the sugar-sweet-summery tones of ‘Stardust’ from the much vaunted new album The Human Contradiction, though it was the folkier ‘The Gathering’ that was the standout track of a set that delivered in terms of songs, if not of variety. Delain will be back as headliners, maybe not at the Arena, but I wouldn’t rule it out as the UK seems to have taken them to their heart.

Pulling back, the curtain revealed a multi-level semi-sci fi themed stage set, centering on a huge video screen set between two of the hydra’s heads. As on the album, ‘Let Us Burn’ isn’t the strongest opener, but it is warmly met, but the set (and the video screen) spurt into life with the energetic ‘Paradise (What About Us)’ served up second, Tarja Turunen delivering her parts via the video screen, in the first of four guest appearances delivered that way.

It’s clear from the outset that the majority of Within Temptation are not the most interesting of bands to watch on stage, with the spotlight firmly on Sharon den Adel throughout the entire performance, a performance that, a missed cue during ‘Paradise’ aside is flawless, note-perfect and album quality throughout.


Up and running and in their groove, the good times and momentum continue with a double-hit from the excellent The Unforgiving as ‘Faster’ and ‘Iron’ hit the spot. The remainder of the set is Hydra heavy, and the sound is possibly the best I’ve heard in the old Arena, a venue merciless in smothering bands in drums and vocals, a spotless mix fully showing off the band’s symphonic arena rock.

If there are criticisms, it is by using backing vocal tracks and click tracks, you really could just be sitting at home listening to the albums, with spontaneity removed from the performance, but in its stead is a true, slick arena performance, vibrant and well performed.

Highlight of the evening is the mid-set ‘Angels’, the song that helped the breakthrough of the band, but it’s only when seeing them live that you realise just how many good songs WT possess in their arsenal, with a closing combo of ‘See Who I Am’, ‘Stand My Ground’, ‘Covered In Roses’ and ‘Mother Earth’ is lapped up. A slightly sedate encore is a minor disappointment, with an odd cover of Lana del Rey single ‘Summertime Sadness’ sounding awkward, before staple and classic ‘Ice Queen’ finishes things off traditionally.


For an enjoyable night, with two crowd-pleasing bands, this double-bill is worth checking out if/when it rolls into your town. Delain certainly picked up even more fans by the end of the show (including yours truly), while Within Temptation served up another slick, professional slew of symphonic arena rock songs.


Within Temptation Set List:

Let Us Burn

Paradise (What About Us?)



Edge of the World

In the Middle of the Night

Our Solemn Hour



And We Run

Tell Me Why

See Who I Am

Stand My Ground

The Cross

Covered By Roses

Mother Earth



What Have You Done

Whole World Is Watching (Acoustic)

Summertime Sadness (Lana Del Rey cover)

Ice Queen


Within Temptation on Facebook

Delain on Facebook



Lord Dying – Vaporizer – Lunglust: Live At O’Brien’s Allston MA


Thankfully for the majority of shows I have been to this year, the brutal winter weather has been no match for the brutal live music scene. Although O’Brien’s barely holds 100 people, the joint was sold out on this frigid, windy night. The placed was packed and people were keeping warm with a pint or three for this Friday night. Lots of local luminaries were out in force, naturally. One of the cooler people in the scene is Michelle Dugan, who makes gorgeous silk screen print posters and other kinds of design work for local and national bands. Hit her up if you need some fresh designs. Nice to even see some of the hipster metal elite of Boston, supporting a local artist, as I saw several people leave with their own posters. O’Brien’s is one of those places that is really small, but feels homey and cool to take in a show. Low lights, cold brews, decent sound, and good metal playing in between bands is always a recipe for a fun time.

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Sadly I missed seeing The Modern Voice while BS-ing with the door guy about getting in, which bummed me out a bit. Luckily for me Lunglust was coming on next. One of the best up-and-coming bands of the Boston scene, Lungust is the kind of band you never want to miss, with their brutal, crusty hardcore influenced metal. They have yet to let me down. Front man Jeffrey Sykes spits venom on the mic with his manic performance and spent most of the set in the crowd in front of the stage. With a lineup is now bolstered by the rhythm section from The Proselyte, they are super tight now and better than before. They have a new record coming out this year, so we will be keeping an ear out for that too. Definitely a group you want to listen to when your usual KEN Mode or Trap Them fix runs out.


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Vaporizer, hailing from Vermont, is a band I had heard a lot about, but never had seen live until tonight. They seemed to had the stage presence of ten guys with their ton of gear, packing onto the stage that is small for a four piece band, let alone five. They played an amalgam of doomy sludge with cool, weird occasional flourishes of proggyness, thanks to the vocalist Dan getting down on bended knee to make love/hate to his synthesizer. The crowd was definitely into these guys and they performed well,. Some of their tunes meander on a bit for my taste with some extras codas as the culprit. However, they definitely have the goods talent-wise. From what I could tell, the majority of their songs are about weed and mysticism, weed mysticism, and did I mention songs about weed? They had a lot of confidence as a unit too. So many bands look like they don’t care, so it’s cool (and sad) that bands that give a shit about performing live these days make themselves stand out a lot.


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Lord Dying set up their own gear with a quick-fast, like the tireless professional road dogs that they are. Out on the road supporting their release Summon The Faithless (Relapse) which has seen them open up regularly for their hometown Portland bromein in Red Fang on several tours, as well as many other bands in just a few years time. Tearing into a short set of songs from that release, the crowd was hella into it and many were singing along which was cool to hear. The band rocks out with none of the pretense of some of their stoner rock loving brethren, which makes them heavier and cooler than most. I also noticed their live versions of their songs are a lot tougher sounding, making me think their next album is going to be a real killer if they can capture this live feeling with these new songs. They played their jams like ‘Dream of Mercy’, ‘What is Not….Is” and ‘Greed Is Your Horse” to the loud approval of the crowd. In addition to their massively heavy title track, they also played a new song, that I missed the name of, but it was balls out hard. When they announced their closer ‘In a Frightful State of Gnawed Dismemberment’, there was an audible groan from the fans, as well as the usual “one more song” chant. Nonetheless, these workman like dudes, came, conquered and left as quick as they came in. Well done!

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Lord Dying on Facebook 

Vaporizer on Facebook

Lunglust on Facebook


Words: Keith (Keefy) Chachkes

Photos: Echoes In The Well