Concert review: Slayer

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also appearing: Lamb of God, Anthrax, Behemoth, Testament
Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio – June 7, 2018

It can be distressingly easy to take Slayer for granted. Can be, has been, continues to be. The band is both force of nature and fact of life, and has stood a silent, menacing vigil as the unofficially understood gatekeeper of extreme metal for well over three decades. If ever a metal band this side of, let’s say, Black Sabbath, could be said to have projected a palpable aura, it was Slayer, though not quite in a way they probably ever intended, despite the over-the-top illustrated deviltry that, blaring from both their garish album artwork and overpriced t-shirts beyond count, is the hallmark of their image. I sometimes picture them – or, more to the point, bald, bearded, stern, stocky, tattooed and temperamental guitarist Kerry King – as bouncers at some dingy club, or as symbolic hired muscle working a neighborhood poker game made up of aspiring metal bands and fans – stentorian, intimidating, unbending – ensuring only the worthy are ever dealt in. Continue reading “Concert review: Slayer”

Concert review: Dark Tranquillity

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also appearing:  Omnium Gatherum, Exmortus                                                                              Skully’s Music Diner, Columbus, Ohio – February 11, 2014

Columbus, Ohio is a pretty great town for concertgoing. I’m living, breathing, blabbering proof of it. There is ample opportunity here for both culture and comfort food of all kinds, and a veritable legion of concert venues of varying class, charm and capacity in which to make it all happen. For all the Katy Perry and Michael Buble invasions we periodically endure, the town also has a wonderful, fully independent radio station, CD102.5, that sees its mission, at least in part, to import as many indie rock and alternative bands as possible and put them in front of enthusiastic, relatively adventurous and discerning potential new fans, occasionally at a discounted price. Columbus also has a surprisingly consistent, if not by universal acclaim vibrant, underground metal scene. Continue reading “Concert review: Dark Tranquillity”