METAL METAL METAL by Morbid Alex

Show review: Fallen Decade, Sinned, Tyrants Blood and Pestilence at the Rickshaw Theatre.
Local thrashers Fallen Decade were the bills openers, and in my opinion they have the sort of live show which could lend them longevity, a Relapse or Metal Blade signing and a wider audience. Led by a great frontman, the entire band showed superb stage presence. Though their style may have been a little too metalcore-infused for
the old guard, I thoroughly enjoyed it and definitely feel like they have a really good shot of achieving what I'd call "midstream" success (That's not my word, by the way. I didn't invent it.). They'll never be Iron Maiden, but if they stay together and keep putting on quality shows they're less than two years away from being able to quit their jobs and opening for the Faceless (and Satan knows I'd rather see them again than sit through a Beneath the Massacre set a second time). It would be a shame for them not to capitalize on this.

Sinned are the sort of band who sound like a blend of the groups featured on their shirts. There really isn't anything wrong with their stage show, but their music is far from innovative. I happen to like Decrepit Birth, Arsis and, you know, the Faceless, but I would love to see Sinned forge their own sound instead of styling their passages after their influences. I'll give credit where credit is due, however: beyond their obvious technical skill, Sinned's members have a knack for basic songwriting. Transitions and tempo changes flow effortlessly, and they are as convincing when locked in a slowed-down chug as when they're shredding. While I can't recommend them in their present form, I'll gladly acknowledge the group's potential, especially when songs like epic closer "A Monument to Man" show that the ambition is there.

The word crushing gets tossed around to the point of irrelevance in metal journalism, but I can think of no
adjective more apt to describe the set local heroes Tyrants Blood played. Their music was meant for the live setting, where the inherent passion becomes apparent amidst all of the music's intricacies. Their stage setup, though hardly high-tech, certainly amplified their already considerable stage presence. They play the sort of death metal which I've been craving recently: forward-thinking but still recognizably within the original spirit. Essentially, I recommend seeing them live, and would personally love to do so in a smaller venue. They don't fuck around.

Dutch death metal legends Pestilence played their first Vancouver show since I was born. Their setlist was mostly drawn from two of their classic records (Consuming Impulse and the experimental Spheres) and their latest release Resurrection Macabre. While I can't say I have a preference for the newer material, it's still clear that Pestilence are one of the most compelling technical bands out there. My one complaint would have to be about the band's stage presence: vocalist/guitarist Patrick Mameli seemed a bit distant from the
proceedings, never allowing any elation to slip into his voice as he called for additional circle pits, and only bassist Jeroen Paul Thesseling did anything except stand in place and play. Still, this is a minor caveat, as I was quite glad to have finally been able to see another legendary death metal band.

Dream Theater, Iron Maiden at GM Place (The Final Frontier tour)
Ah, the big budget show! How I had avoided you these past two years, and how sweet these two years have been (yes, I'm still kicking myself for not having been able to go to the Somewhere Back in Time tour)...
Truth be told, this bill is nice because it gathers two of the only bands actually worth sitting in a godawful 50$ (plus 10$ because fuck TicketMaster) nosebleed seat for. Dream Theater played one of their first support slots in years, but the only difference was that they truncated their show to a reasonable 50 minutes and restricted themselves to a parsimonious set selection. They still showed the same willingness to improvise during their long instrumental passages. Songs which I had previously felt neutral towards gained a new life
on stage. Surprisingly, the oldest song they played was also their weakest. James LaBrie strained his way through "Pull Me Under", robbing it of its power. In every other respect he had a great night and justified my faith in him as a frontman. The rest of the band was constantly on point, energetic and fun to watch.
Seeing Iron Maiden has been a dream of mine for years. The set consisted mostly of newer material, of which I was forewarned. Truth be told, I was fine with that. Iron Maiden have vigorously resisted the thought of becoming a legacy band, allowing them to still enjoy the act of playing live. My only complaint (besides the terrible 10$ beers which people somehow purchased)? Sound. Bruce's vocals, though always on point, occasionally got buried in the wall of guitars. Otherwise, everything was there in full operatic, ostentatious glory. From the stage setup to the passion of the crowd, there really isn't anything like a Maiden concert, and it isn't an experience I'll forget.

If you aren't yet exasperated with my writing style, you can check online soon at web link to read my review of a recent Woods of Ypres show, as well as a few more record reviews. Then keep browsing our site. It's pretty awesome. Then, when you're done with that, come on over to thenumberoftheblog.com to read some less professional articles by me. (I write as Alex_P. Infrequently.) My best thus far list will be appearing soon. Feel free to leave me some feedback.

In the coming month, I'm looking forward to checking out Skeletonwitch and Russian Circles open for a band I don't care about at the Rickshaw on the 8th and seeing Cynic play with Intronaut and Dysrythmia on the 26th. Obviously, other stuff will also arise, and I shall follow. See you guys there. Posted: Jul 4, 2010
In this Article Artist(s) Pestilence, Tyrants Blood, Sinned, Fallen Decade, Dream Theatre, IRON MAIDEN Resource(s): Rogers Arena, Rickshaw Theatre