Music Reviews ā€” 22 March 2012
Metal Alliance Tour 2012 at Gramercy Theatre: A LocalBozo.com Concert Review

Metal Alliance Tour 2012
Gramercy Theatre, New York, NY
March 21st, 2012

Over the past decade, the world of heavy metal didn’t wait idly by for the music industry to give them some respect. Instead these headbanging men and woman have forged ahead, staking their claim in the music world, one album, t-shirt, and tour at a time. And speaking of tours, one traveling festival especially proves the loyalty of the fan base. Chugging into another successful year, The Metal Alliance Tour traverses North America giving metal devotees exactly what they crave. Fortunately for us locals, ‘Alliance’ made its way to New York City’s Gramercy Theatre last night, showing once again how crazy the Tri-State area is for metal. LocalBozo highlights three of our favorite acts on this year’s bill.

Concert Review: Metal Alliance - 3 Inches of Blood

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Hailing from Vancouver, British Columbia, 3 Inches of Blood embody both the past and present of heavy metal. Their sound mixes thrash with the ‘New Wave of British Heavy Metal’ (NWOBHM) sound popularized by iconic bands like Iron Maiden and Merciful Fate. But ’3 Inches’ are far from a clone band and stand out on their own. Most of the Metal Alliance bill was filled with ‘death’ acts. But anyone who calls themselves a true metal fan, has to appreciate all of the sub-genres.

Manhattan metal-heads impressed once again by throwing horns up and giving 3 Inches of Blood a ton of respect. Early in the set, they busted out “Deadly Sinners,” a track from their debut album, we had yet to hear live. Not only did it sound remarkably like the studio recording, but in a live setting the boys were given the range to improvise and play some serious solos.

’3 Inches’ lead singer Cam Pipes, has a voice that is downright amazing. Throughout their set he belted out verse after verse with a classical music style invoking the NWOBHM sound that influences the band as a whole. With three solid albums in, and one on the way this year, nothing can stop ’3 Inches of Blood’ from dominating all metal scenes.

Ā 

The death metal would quickly return to feed the rabid fans when Arizona’sĀ ’Job for a Cowboy’ stalked onto the Gramercy stage. ‘Cowboy’ are one of the fastest growing metal acts around, with the passport stamps and record sales to prove it. The New York City faithful embraced them like kin, with many in the audience donning the band’s shirts. The power of death metal has grown massively in recent years, and their metal crossover appeal is one of the reasons why.

The gigantic pit in the center of the venue and the subsequent headbangers up front ate up ‘Cowboy’s’ fantastic set. One of the major highlights was ‘Constitutional Masturbation’ from the band’s ‘Ruination’ album. Lead singer, Jonny Davy’s guttural growl left many in the crowd with jaws needing to be picked off the floor.Ā  ‘Job for a Cowboy’s’ set left little time for crowd banter. But when a moment opened up, they spread much love to the crowd for all the support. And the band got it right back, with one of the biggest pits of the night.

Concert Review: Metal Alliance - Dying Fetus

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Many, if not all of the acts at Metal Alliance would not be there without their metal forefathers preceding them. Hence, the legendary ‘Dying Fetus’ was featured prominently on the bill. For over twenty years the boys from Maryland have earned their death metal stripes and waved the flag with vigor. What is equally impressive is that for about five years the band has been a trio. And with just three members, if you’ve ever listened to a ‘death’ act, that layering of sound is quite an impressive feat as wall of sound needs to be produced just right in order to mesh the growling vocals with the bombastic instrumentation. And Dying Fetus does this admirably.

The ‘Metal Alliance’ crowd was hungry for this band, and it showed. Before touching upon the face melting vocals, it must be said that for death metal band, these guys are extremely technical. This should come as no surprise, with over two decades working together to refine their sound. During “One Shot, One Kill,” the band equally exchanged pummeling guitar and baselines, rounded out by Trey Williams’ pounding machine gun drumming.

If you want to hear perfected death metal vocals, grab a ‘Dying Fetus’ album or concert ticket immediately. The exchange of menacing growls between John Gallagher and Sean Beasley were symphonic. Typically we’re wary of making comparisions, but Dying Fetus might just be death’s answer to Layne Staley and Jerry Cantrell, because of the perfect blending of both distinct voices. The Metal Alliance Tour blew away the New York City crowd because of its smart booking and true appreciation for what the fans were hungry for. We support the bands and this tour gives us what we craved.

- Jay Rubin

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