Metal Day at the El Rey: A Concert Review

Posted by on Nov Sat, 2011 in Concert Review

International Metal Day, that most (un)holy of days, fell on 11/11/11 this year. In recognition of this divinely commissioned coincidence, Albuqurque’s own Historic El Rey Theater put together a badass gathering of epic proportions. These are the awesome results.

Night of Revenge is basically an ameteur Bullet For My Valentine. Their lack of experience is overshadowed by their potential. Quite talented for their age, they need only to improve their clean vocals and stage presence. Along the way, they can emerge as artists in their own right instead of an emulation of Mallcore. However, they deliver a spectacular show and proved a worthy choice to hit the ground running for the concert.

Have you ever wondered what Nu Metal would sound like if it didn’t suck? Speculate no longer, comrades. Walls Within does not disappoint. Heavy as hell, they have a more Blues oriented sound than most metal artists. Thrashy strings complement the pounding drums and harsh vocals. It’s a superb sound for the new generation. The ensuing mosh-pits are almost overwhelming at live shows, as are the plethora of  headbangers. Hope you’re ready for some serious whip-lash.

Bear the Nightmare is a contemporary union of Metal with synthesizers. The result is something like Children of Bodom. The crowd-pleasing fusion of genres may not be radio-friendly, but it draws a great audience for live performances. Their musical style is funky and dance-able, yet intense. It’s like psuedo-pop for moshers.

Ambryzette is Metal with a Post-Rock twist. The brooding melodic style is eroded by power-screams and snarls. They deliver an intense dichotomy of heaviness and ambience. Ever heard of Synesthesia, the phenomenon of senses overlapping? Having had more experience with psychedelics than I care to admit, I am all too familiar with this phenomenon. Now imagine you could hear a sunset. That’s Ambryzette.

Hailing from Santa Fe, Savage Wizdom brings soaring Power Metal with a vengeance. Their nostalgiac vocal style echoes the likes of Halford and Geoff Tate, yet modernizes the early Dungeon-Metal sound to suit the tastes of modern Metalheads. Subject matter is beefy, ranging from grim reapers to dragon slayers, with nary a love ballad in sight. This is the kind of music that has the whole front row headbanging in unison. They were a great choice to lead into the headliner.

Remember how Walls Within sounded like the hypothetical non-sucky Nu Metal? Well, Blinddryve is what Nu Metal sounds like in its present state. Nonetheless, they do have a certain allure. The brutal lyrics and overwhelming sound-walls that are typical of Metal have been toned down to appeal to a larger audience. There’s enough growls and distorted guitars to appease the average Metalhead, and the sweater-vest wearing masses can pretend to be rockers for a night. As such, the Metal-Day concert had ended, as T.S Eliot said, “not with a bang, but a whimper.”

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