Headbangers’ Brawl is a weekly column where Metal Insider’s contributors take a moment to debate and analyze opposing sides of a topical issue occurring in the world of metal and/or the music industry.
To say that we were bummed about the Lamb Of God/Dethklok/Gojira tour getting canceled as a result of Randy Blythe’s detainment is a complete understatement. On the plus side, though, the tour’s cancelation gave birth to TWO tours. On one side, we have Lamb Of God touring with In Flames and Sylosis (with Hatebreed and HELLYEAH on select legs). On the other, we have Dethklok hitting the road with Machine Head, All That Remains and The Black Dahlia Murder.
Without question, we have every intent to attend both tour’s stops in the NYC area. However, this week’s Brawl finds Bram, Kodi and Zach trying to determine which of the two tours is the most brutal and kick ass of all.
Zach: Considering how long it’s been since they’ve properly toured the U.S. (as well as Blythe’s recent arrest), seeing Lamb Of God onstage again will indeed be awesome. HOWEVER, I’m going to go with the Dethklok tour on this one. Though it might not be as impressive as Lamb Of God and Dethklok on the same bill, hearing that Dethklok and Machine Head’s names together is enough to sell me on a ticket. Add on All That Remains and The Black Dahlia Murder, and you’ve got one hell of a package.
To be more direct, I’ll be going to see Lamb Of God to see them specifically (with In Flames and Hatebreed being added bonuses). With the Dethklok tour, though, I’m going to see the entire bill.
Bram: This isn’t an easy call. I thought that the original tour would have been one of the best tours of the year. Lamb of God’s first headlining tour, the return of Dethklok, who perfectly combine the TV show with a great live act, and Gojira, who I’d imagine much of the LoG/Dethklok audience would be seeing for the first time. That being said, if we’re going on a headliner basis alone, I think I might have to go with Lamb of God. And make no mistake – it’s because of Randy’s arrest earlier this year. After facing what the band has been through, not only will it be interesting to see if/how they’re going to address it, there’s just going to be a lot of good will towards the band. If they feed off of that, it might be the most impassioned shows they’ve played in a while.
As for the other tour, it’ll be hysterical to see those ridiculous cartoonish caricatures once again. But enough about Hellyeah! On the real, Dethklok, Machine Head, and BDM are a very solid lineup (and All That Remains too, if you’re into that sort of thing). Can’t really say anything about Sylosis. Hatebreed have finished recording their album, so maybe there will be some new music from them. At the end of the day, there’s definitely two tours to look forward to, and the real winners are metal fans. The only possible downside is that with there being two tours now, concertgoers on a budget may be forced to choose one over the other.
Kodi: I think it says a lot about All That Remains that they come with a disclaimer at this point. In all seriousness though, I’m in agreement with Bram on the original tour. That would have been the tour of the year, and it could have broken Gojira out to a gigantic new audience.
With the new tours, it’s not as clear cut. On the one hand, Lamb of God will decimate everything in its path on this tour. Randy Blythe is going to be channeling a lot of fury along with the rest of his band, and they’re always a killer live band to watch. But Lamb of God also has a pretty “meh” batch of openers compared to Dethklok, who has a legitimate A-lister of the now in Machine Head and two very good support acts in Black Dahlia Murder and All That Remains. So long as ATR sticks to its heaviest work – the band was a highlight from New England Metal & Hardcore Fest this year – I’d gladly watch a show with Phil Labonte & Co. again. In Flames just doesn’t really connect with me live, and Hatebreed has just never done it for me at all even though those guys put on a great live show.
If I could just see Lamb of God, I’d be all over that tour, and I admittedly do think this tour could go down in modern metal history based on that band’s performance potential. But in terms of the overall package, I know which show I’d have more fun at, and it’s Dethklok. Buckle up, because it’s time for a ride in the Hatredcopter.