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Dimmu Borgir, Children of Bodom, Hypocrisy and Nevermore

The Palladium, Worcester, MA
Dec 13, 2003
By Josh


I arrived late in Worcester, rolling into an icy parking lot at approximately 7:15, which is late for me because I'm usually that guy who's there an hour before doors open for even a small upstairs show at the pinnacle Metal club in MA, the Palladium. I go to these shows a lot, enough to know that the wind whips wicked at all hours of the day, dropping the temperature below 20 F. I was more than fired up though, when I saw two massive lines entering the club, (largest since Metal and Hardcore Fest?) I knew this show would definitely be highlighting a year of tours that came through the area, and by the end of the night Dimmu Borgir proved themselves to be leaders of a rising nation of metal.

Hypocrisy took the stage first. I've always appreciated their style; Peter Tagtgren has crafted a trademark sound, and his workaholic attitude towards producing has yielded some impressive results particularly from Immortal. The keyboard for Fractured Millennium cuts in, drummer Lars Szöke begins the infectious tempo; one by one the members enter the stage and proceed to rip into their blend of escalating rhythm fringed with a melodic ambience which bears resemblance to witnessing a nova. The best part about Hypocrisy is the fact that they can do great mid paced songs like "Fire in the Sky" which leaves the audience head banging in unison right into a whirl wind frenzy like "Pleasure of Molestation". They ripped up mostly newer material and even played an unreleased song which should be featured on their next album. Unfortunately, Hypocrisy only played for half an hour, so they finished up with Roswell 47, leaving a packed crowd pleading for one last song. Lots of anticipation for their tour with Cannibal Corpse!

Children of Bodom were welcomed warmly for their first tour in the US. Singer/Lead Guitarist Alexi Lahio shreds like Enron and is a charismatic front man whose talents deserve praise. Onstage they have awesome energy, more than most metal bands, they head bang a lot but also run all over the stage dueling solos with each other. Now on their 4th album, Hate Crew Deathroll, the Finnish powerhouse massacred the audience with blistering songs like "Silent Night, Bodom Night", "Every Time I Die" and closed with "Downfall". No one seemed disappointed with their performance, the crowd even chanted "Bodom, Bodom" as they left the stage, leaving the crowd hyped for Nevermore.

Hailing from Washington, Nevermore have established themselves as possibly the best American Power Metal band existing today, their vocal fan base reassured me of that. I'm not a huge fan of Power Metal but these dudes had my attention. For one, they actually have some real heavy breakdowns which is something I've never associated Power Metal with, but they execute it perfectly with a real tight rhythm section found in bassist Jim Sheppard and drummer Van Williams. Guitarist Jeff Loomis decimates our ears with his piercing solos from a weeping 7-string onslaught. Finally singer Warrel Dane summons chaos and the band rips into a cover of "The Sound of Silence" by Simon and Garfunkel. Definitely a curve ball but the crowd fulfilled Warrel's wish creating a swelling mosh pit with crowd surfers flooding the stage. This set was better than their Metal Fest performance I witnessed in May.

The Nevermore banner dropped and Dimmu Borgir's backdrop was raised to place. Soon the lights faded and a long intro theme shook the venue and a set of rotating stage lights illuminated the crowd with a gloomy atmosphere.

Suddenly the band appeared on stage, equipped with spiked boots they graciously applauded the turnout, and without hesitation ripped into an epic hour set. They started off with “Lepers Among Us” off their new and critically acclaimed album, Death Cult Armageddon and took that straight into ”In Death's Embrace”, one of my favorites off Enthrone Darkness Triumphant. Dimmu blasted through a set of contemporary favorites sticking with material from 1997 to the present, playing mostly songs from Death Cult Armageddon, two from Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia, and “The Insight And The Catharsis” off of Spiritual Black Dimensions. The band soon exited the stage leaving a packed house chanting "Dimmu" in secession along with the people stomping the hell out of the balcony. Soon the band re-emerged and ripped into “Spell Bound By the Devil” and finished an impressive encore with ”Mourning Palace”. This was the best set I've seen them play in terms of material, sound and stage presence. Easily one of my top 5 concerts of this year!!!

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