Sounds of the Underground – Columbus, LC Pavilion 7/22/07

15 bands! 10 hours of music!! My God am I tired!!!

That’s right, kiddies, I’m talking about the 2007 edition of the Sounds of the Underground tour which rolled through last night. Lots to talk about so here we go’ [in order of appearance] –

2 Cents – First band up, singing drummer (bonus points) – Several decent songs including ‘Crowd Control’ and ‘Fucked in the Afterlife’. Covered the ‘Simpsons’ and ‘King of the Hill’ themes followed by Slayer’s ‘Reign in Blood’. Good, heavy first act – Punk/Metal hybrid. Would enjoy seeing them again.

GOATWHORE(!) – Brutal and punishing, the mighty Goatwhore were put in too early into the lineup, WAY before the crowd was awake. Still, Sammy and the boys played like they definitely were! Gave it their all including ‘Sky Inferno’, ‘Bloodletting on the Cloven Hoof’ and closed with ‘Alchemy of the Black Sun Cult’ which was great to hear. But no ‘The Serpent that Enslaves What is Worshipped’. Dammit.

Devil Wears Prada – Melodic Emo/Metal from my hometown of Dayton, Ohio. Good sound, full of energy. Self professed Christians – which takes BALLS after following Goatwhore. At least one of the other bands on this tour seemed to make fun of these guys – wonder if they’ll still be laughing when they have to open for them.

#12 Looks Like You – Complex Scream-core, interesting but not really my thing. They’re like listening to a jazz quartet on acid, rolled in barbed wire and baked in helium. Very choppy, full of sick rhythms and screetching vocals.

Heavy Heavy, Low Low – More screaming, more erratic rhythms and more aspirin. Very different, I’ll give them that. Stuff grows on you like a fungus, even the spoken word bits. I believe the word is Experimental.

The Acacia Strain – Oh look, more screaming. But by guys who KNOW how to do this sort of thing at least, and have been doing it longer. Great band for the crowd, very motivational. Not my favorites but definitely good heavy Hardcore.

Amon Amarth – Whoa doggies, the Vikings have arrived! Pulverizing death metal played by a band who knows how to kick ass. Songs included ‘Runes to my Memory’, ‘Cry of the Black Birds’ and ‘Death in Fire’. Very enjoyable change of pace. Definite crowd pleaser.

Darkest Hour – Melodic Punk/Metal with a healthy helping of dueling guitars and double peddled drums. Songs included ‘Deliver Us’ and ‘The Sadist Nation’. Good stuff!

Job for a Cowboy – Really, truly heavy Death metal. Thundering and powerful, this ain’t your momma’s metal band! Songs included ‘Embedded’, ‘Knee Deep’ & ‘Altered from Catechization’ (or at least that’s what I thought I heard!).

Necro – Death Rap. Polarizing hip-hop/death metal hybrid – you either loved them or hated them. Not my cup of tea but I didn’t boo them like many did. Hey, some people love these guys and I admire their attempt to fuse two VERY different types of music. Sadly, they weren’t appreciated much by the crowd.

Chimaira – The first of the bands from Cleveland on this tour was the blasting wall of sound known as Chimaira. Hardcore/Metal fused with nitro and lit with a short fuse. Definite crowd pleasers played, among others, ‘Fuck Your Powertrip’, ‘Pure Hatred’ and ‘Worthless’. Probably got the biggest mosh pit of the day . . . and rightfully so!

Everytime I Die – Hardcore/Metal again, but more melodic than many that you will hear. I’ve seen these guys before and they’re always a good time. My favorite is ‘Imitation is the sincerest form of battery’ which they blew through in whirling storm of chaos and fury. Big fun!

Shadow’s Fall – By now, the last bastion of good Thrash metal needs no introduction and the boys from Massachusetts brought a tired, worn crowd back onto their feet. Video hit ‘Redemption’ was note for note perfection but every song was a blackened treat for the masses. WHY aren’t more bands like this out there!?! Dueling guitars, great rhythms and the tentacle-haired Brian Fair at the helm – what more could you ask for?

Mushroomhead – Special guests for the night were Cleveland’s other prodigal sons, and probably the crowd favorite (other than headliner GWAR themselves). Like Cenobites out of a Clive Barker novel, Jeffrey Nothing, Waylon and the boys dominated the stage like Judgement Day had come for us all. “12 Hundred”, perhaps one of the most infectious opening riffs to be heard in years, was a killer live track and rang in my head long after I’d left the venue for the evening. Mushroomhead’s clever mix of Industrial & Metal, Horror and Sci-fi themes is an intricate aural web of tribal rhythms, crunchy guitars and sinister electronics that never fails to blow me away.

And finally, last but certainly not least, the mighty GWAR – Scumdogs of the Universe. They came out with Mr. Lordi’s head on a stake and things went . . .well, to Hell from there. Typical show for them, gallons of blood, a few decapitations and a final battle with Satan for control of Hell (guess who won!). Easily one of the most entertaining bands in metal, they take themselves as seriously as Paris Hilton does the traffic laws, but with a stronger work ethic. Bloody good fun.

And that’s my brief recap, kiddies. Don’t miss this tour when it comes to your dank part of the forest or you’ll never forgive yourselves. Your ears might. . .but the rest of you will hold a grudge.

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