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Pure American Metal Tour: Lamb Of God, Chimaira, 18 Visions, Atreyu

So it’s Cinco De Mayo in Portland, Oregon.

The show is being held at a club called ‘Nocturnal’ with a capacity of around 300…and the place is PACKED. Beyond the heavily stocked merchandise tables (I mean these guys REALLY know how to merch!) the first band ATREYU comes out looking & sounding very much like every other screamo band, with the exception of a little fancier guitar work. The vocals were split between two guys (gee, that’s new) with the drummer handling the melodic parts. I didn’t think much of the ‘frontman’. I was waiting for them to break into ‘box full of sharp objects’ but it never happened.

Up next was 18 VISIONS. Somewhat in the Taproot vein, they had great tempo changes and the vocal harmonies really stood out. I love the melodic singing, but I wish I had heard more of it. These guys were like an accomplished version of the first band.

So on to band number three. Lo & behold, the show goes uphill from here! CHIMAIRA hit the stage with fantastic Metal energy. Come to think of it, not only the first loonghairs of the night, but the first band that sounded remotely Metal to me at all. They used keyboards tastefully, had an incredibly impressive drummer, a bassist with a WASP shirt and KISS tattoo, tight guitars, and a singer void of almost any melodic aspects whatsoever. So far, he was winning best screamer of the evening. So far.

Ok, main attraction time. LAMB OF GOD…LAMB OF GOD…chanted the roomfull of anxious headbangers. No disappointments here. By this time I was used to the Deathy Black Metal type voices I’d been hearing all night. I was expecting an Iced Earth feel from these guys but reminded me more of the stylings of Carcass or possibly Meshuggah. There were a few Pantera-esque moments too, especially when they would break into REAL LEAD GUITAR!!! Yes, I’m talking shredding solos. I would say LAMB OF GOD was not only the best band in this showcase but maybe the most original band of their genre. I picked up a copy of their first CD ‘Burn The Priest’ which thrashes along far above many of it’s peers.

Go ahead and check this show out if it comes to your town. It’s worth the fifteen bucks.

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