After spending a whole day roaming around the Palladium and headbanging non-stop, my body and throat were sore. If it was any other morning, I would have stayed in bed and nursed my wounds. But with the 2nd day of the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival still ahead, I was too excited to let a little pain get in the way. If day 1 was hardcore vs. sludge and prog metal, then day 2 was a free-for-all of death and thrash metal. While headliners Cannibal Corpse and Job For A Cowboy proudly represented death metal, Viking thrashers Amon Amarth proved that metal could be diverse (even if diversity means silly get ups and medieval themes). Check some highlights from the 2nd and last day of the festival below.
– Pirate Metal first thing at noon? Arrrrr! Swashbuckle delivered an awesome set on the second stage very early on in the day. And even though it was only 12:30 pm, the upstairs floor was packed with both die-hard Swashbuckle fans (some even bearing Jack Sparrow hats and pirate flags) and new discoverers. Seeing mosh pits and a wall of death at the beginning of day 2: cool. Seeing mosh pits and a wall of death while getting to act like pirates: awesome!
– The U.K.’s Malefice made their American debut performance on the main stage. Unfortunately, it’s their only performance in the states for the foreseeable future. After seeing them perform early in the afternoon, I sure hope they come back and perform soon!
– The Red Chord (who was supposed to be in Europe but had to cancel due to Iceland’s volcano incident) was a last minute addition to the lineup, filling in for 1349 (who ironically were stuck in Europe due to the same volcano). Sadly, I was only able to catch their last song because Municipal Waste was performing during the same time on the second stage. In other words, my master plan to catch half of each band’s set failed miserably.
– “I don’t know how many times I got kicked in the face during Municipal Waste,” my friend who got up front during the Virginia thrashers’ set told me. Seeing as to how the upstairs floor was packed with fans ready to go berserk, I’m more surprised that my friend got out alive. Even Municipal Waste frontman Tony Foresta got in on the crowd surfing fun, jumping from the speakers into the audience three songs into the set.
– “You ready for some PURE FUCKING FOLK METAL?!” asked Eluveitie frontman Christian “Chrigel” Glanzmann. Though it wasn’t exactly the type of question you expect to hear at NEMHF, the audience definitely seemed ready. The crowd went crazy for the death metal folk band, with chants of “one more song” at the end of their set loud enough to possibly be heard outside the venue. Even I must admit that I got a kick seeing a metal performance with bagpipes, flutes, violins and a hurdy gurdy (don’t ask me what the last one is, even I had to look it up).
– Holy Grail were obviously trying to look and sound like Iron Maiden (or perhaps White Wizzard), but their shirtless guitarist Eli Santana for some reason reminded me more of a less oily version of Manowar (neither an insult or a compliment). Needless to say, they put on an entertaining set on the main stage during the afternoon.
– As awesome of a day it was, the one complaint to be told was the amount of time wasted in between setting up towards the end of the night. While it’s not unusual for shows to get behind schedule, it definitely felt as if they took longer than needed (or at least longer compared to the first day). Headliners Cannibal Corpse didn’t grace the stage until just a little before midnight (and they were scheduled for an hour and fifteen minute set). Granted, it wasn’t as if anybody was staying past their bed time. But after being at the show since noon, it’s fair to say that a majority of us in the audience were a bit beat. However, frontman Corpsegrinder did put us sleepy heads in line, saying “We’re sorry for all the delays … actually no we’re not you sick little maggots!” Who are we to argue with him?
– Just like with the first day, metal celebrities came out to join in on the festivities, even if they weren’t on the bill. On day two, Shadows Fall’s Brian Fair and All That Remains’ Jeanne Sagan were among those roaming around the Palladium.
– While Cannibal Corpse and Amon Amarth gave a great ending to the 12th annual NEMHF, it was Cattle Decapitation and Skeletonwitch (both of whom performed on the main stage in the late afternoon) that left the biggest impression on me during day 2. Maybe it was due to it being my first time discovering either band (you may judge me if now if you’d like), but I was completely blown away by both band’s sets.