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
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
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