Lamb of God, Killswitch Engage, Testament, & Huntress tear down Roseland Ballroom NY 10-25-13 (Exclusive Coverage)

Lamb of God, Killswitch Engage, Testament, & Huntress tear down Roseland Ballroom NY 10-25-13 (Exclusive Coverage)

The new, the old, and somewhere in between gathered for a mass of metal on Friday October 25th in NYC at Roseland Ballroom. The evening took on a certain atmosphere as many in attendance heard the news that Roseland Ballroom will be closing in the coming months. Over the years the venue has been the stage for many metal bands from Slayer to Dio. This knowledge would make the evening that much more historic. When this tour featuring Lamb of God, Killswitch Engage, Testament, and Huntress was announced back in July many metal fans were eager to see this line-up tear up a stage at a venue near them. The wait was over and a packed crowd of metal heads were ready for an evening of heavy metal.

Starting the fire were Southern California metallers Huntress. After a successful summer on the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival and touring with Danzig, Huntress is showing no signs of slowing down with their melodic metal attack on a new audience. It’s very often in the metal scene you will see many of the same faces in the crowd from show to show and this evening was no different. As Jill Janus and band hit the stage many in the audience were familiar with the music. Janus provided an engaging theatrical performance to accommodate her powerful traditional metal style vocal delivery. By the time their set was complete there were some new fans in the audience which were not turned onto Huntress.

Next up were thrash metal titans Testament. Over the past 3 decades Testament has released ten studio albums and secured themselves in metal history as one of the greatest of all time. When Greg Christian (bass) returned in 2004 and lead axe man Alex Skolnick returned full time in 2005 Testament were as strong as ever. A headlining act in their own right the guys rocked hard and fast. Fans moved all over the floor as Chuck Billy summoned the metal gods with each vocal line belted out. Old school metal fans clamored for more and there is no doubt most wished Testament had a longer set.

With a burning flame of energy already ignited, Killswitch Engage hit the stage with original vocalist Jesse Leach returning to the band after a decade absence in 2012. To many fans this was a bittersweet time as in the decade Howard Jones had become a fixture with the band and recorded 3 albums as lead vocalist. Needless to say it’s always exciting for fans to see the return of a lead vocalist to their favorite band.

As the band hit the stage “Eye Of The Tiger” played loudly over the PA. Wasting no time they blasted off into the new track “The New Awakening”. Next up was a trip down memory lane with classic Killswitch tracks like “A Bid Farewell”, “Fixation on the Darkness”, and “Rose of Sharyn”. With an excellent mix of brutality and melody already Killswitch were ready to raise the bar when they broke into new track “All We Have”. Leach moved from brutal screams to melodic vocals with ease as fans were completely engaged in the performance.

Their set moved at a nice pace with a plentiful offering of new tracks from Disarm the Descent (2013). Fans sang along with pretty much every song Killswitch offered and energy was high throughout Roseland. Screams were loud when the 11 year old track “My Last Serenade” began and was something fans really enjoyed.

Mainstream hits “The End Of Heartache” and “My Curse” promoted a very positive vibe among the crowd with sing along choruses, fans arms reached to the sky screaming along each word. The guitar work of Adam Dutkiewicz and Joel Stoetzel on “My Curse” echoed melodic metal vibes throughout. Their set concluded with newer single “In Due Time”. Killswitch Engage proved they are still the leaders of a melodic metalcore scene they helped build.

Last but not least were metal giants Lamb Of God. After all the drama, emotion, and stress over the past year regarding the Randy Blythe accusation of causing the death of a fan in Prague; vindication has been won with the acquittal of charges. Going through such an emotional roller coaster in that time fans showed much support to Blythe and Lamb Of God, and now the band is back in 2013.

With an impressive stage set up highlighted by two massive video screens behind the band and one each side of the stage Lamb Of God were ready to go. The set began with newer tracks “Desolation” and “Ghost Walking”. Chaos broke out in the crowd as the thrashing guitar work of Willie Adler and Mark Morton blazed through the songs. Changing pace a bit the band went into the dark melodic track “Walk with Me in Hell”. When the thrash drum beat of Chris Adler hit the air for “Set to Fail” heads banged violently in excitement.

Randy Blythe spoke to the crowd in between songs reminiscing about how the band started out playing at legendary local venues CBGB’s and L’amours. If you know your rock n roll history you’d know that both of these venues are now closed down much like Roseland Ballroom will be in the coming months. It was a nice touch that Blythe paid homage to the history of the city and some of it’s most memorable venues. The set marched on with a good mix of newer and older. Being continuously vocal and engaging the crowd Blythe told the crowd that regardless of your political beliefs to respect the men and women enlisted in the armed forces. With that said he dedicated “Now You’ve Got Something to Die For” to armed forces. The scene was captivating and emotional as photos of soldiers played on the video screens.

It was quite exciting when Bylthe spoke the opening words to “Omerta” leading into the assault of metal the track offers. Going for the throat the band went into the 2004 fan favorite “Laid to Rest”. The room felt like it was moving back and forth and fans excreted as much energy as the band did.

Bylthe joking said to the New York crowd he knows their a bunch of “Yankees” but deep down were all rednecks which lead into the metal storm “Redneck”. The set closed out on a high note with a track that started it all for Lamb of God, that being “Black Label” from the New American Gospel (2000) record. The energy was awesome and the song closed out a set of brutal metal.

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