Upon walking into the show this past Tuesday evening, I was already having a gut feeling it was going to be a fantastic evening, it was packed. People in attendance were really ready for some great metal; you could totally feel it in the air. The first band that I saw take the stage was Saint Ridley from Detroit, Michigan. Once they started they never stopped. Paul Ridley’s style of being a front man totally matches his aggressive style of living for the better of himself and his band mates. Over the past few years, Paul has undergone duodenal switch, which is the most invasive weight loss surgery one can receive. After the surgery the doctor that was in charge of Ridley’s care neglected to give him the blood thinners, which were required to be taken prior to the surgical procedure. This resulted in one of Ridley’s intestines wrapping around his pancreas. This led him to having to heal all over again, but in dealing with the healing, a blood clot the size of a marble travel to his heart and it killed him. He was dead for just under 5 minutes, and then was brought back, then he died again, and then brought back to life. He had a stent put in and had to wait until he was strong enough to survive the surgery. Ridley has lost his life, and received it back. He has lost tons of weight and survived some major obstacles. I had a very brief moment where I was able to meet Paul Ridley and let him know how great Saint Ridley’s show was. He truly seems like a grateful person. Truly appreciative for what he lives for, and indebted for all that’s around him. Saint Ridley’s music had a wide range, from punk to sludge. The vocals drifted back and forth between a twisted roar, to a very controlled skilled singing pitch that easily grabbed everyone’s attention. They really speed things up towards the last quarter of their set. Grinding their way into a gripping chaotic noise with skilled guitar playing, and great drumming; the vocals stabbed through the music with true feel, strength, and intensity. Everyone in attendance was glued to what Saint Ridley brought to Columbia, and I truly hope that they return soon.
What can be said about the heavyweights that have been involved with this band? Jamey Jasta is the lead vocalist of the infamous band HATEBREED, along with other side projects such as his sludge metal band Kingdom of Sorrow, and hardcore punk band Icepick. Jamey also owns Stillborn Records, a metal and hardcore based record label from West Haven, Connecticut. In 2011 Jasta released a solo album with super heavyweight guest appearances by Randy Blythe and Mark Morton (Lamb of God), Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society) just to name a few. Needless to say, that Jasta sounds exactly the same live, as they do on their record. Jamey Jasta came out onto the stage with obviously no need for introduction. Pulverizing the crowd with a huge build into a massive sound that drove everyone immediately to the front of the stage; Fists were in the air, people were screaming along with the words, and you could just feel the power in the music these guys deliver. I was really digging the topics of some of their songs. How the media blames metal for violence, yet metal blames the media for violence. Very well spoken and true, but for some reason it reminds me of when Rick Santorum (Republican presidential candidate) recently went on a tangent about waging a war on heavy metal music “because it is a tool of Satan.” WHAT A JOKE! Hey Rick, 1984 called, they want their controversial topic back! These guys have a great passion for what they do and I don’t think it has anything with forcing Satan down anybody’s throat. They honestly keep the ball rolling by strengthening the metal community with their great musicianship, fan base outreach, and lyrical connection to the listener’s daily life. I knew Jasta’s set was going to be fantastic when Jamey Jasta walked out on to the stage with an old school TESTAMENT shirt on. If you like ANTHRAX, TESTAMENT, LAMB OF GOD, then this is something you need to make sure you put on your list of bands to see. Ending their portion of the evening with “Buried in Black” throwing the Crowd into a proper breakdown of their style of metal. Their sound was awesome, and the pit was strong. Jasta is a band that totally delivers quality metal with a straight up honest approach for their love for what they do…DELIVERING QUALITY METAL AT ITS FINEST!
Remember the movie Mortal Combat? Yeah, me too. The soundtrack was way better than the film and I always found myself listening to the Fear Factory song, Zero Signal. The first time I ever got the privilege of seeing Fear Factory was at OZZFEST 99. They were on a side stage and played right after HEAD PEE. Without a doubt FF was the reason I decided to attend this show. They walked out onto the stage after a short intro and just tore the place apart. Forming in 1989 in Los Angeles, California with 9 albums under their belt, this band hasn’t let up at all when it pertains to entertainment value and great metal. This was their first time to Columbia, SC and all I have say is I was so glad to have seen them in my home town. They pretty much delivered their best tunes from their 1995 release “Demanufacture,” and slammed into other newer songs from “Genexus” as well. The atmosphere FF delivers live is something to be expected from their sound. Very dark, hectic, chaotic, with a slice of an industrial feel. The only original member to date is lead vocalist Burton C. Bell. The band has gone through a couple of break-ups over the years but have patched up things smoothly in order to maintain what they are truly gifted to deliver. Over the years they’ve toured with CANNIBLE CORPES, TESTAMENT, BIOHAZARD, BLACK SABBATH, SEPULTURA, and that doesn’t even scratch the surface of tour history from this band. Id’ have to honestly say that FF is a must see band as well if you haven’t caught them yet. Having such a metal pillar in this town truly is a great thing.
Well I can understand the fact of being played on the radio a ton of rock stations nationwide will enhance the attendance at any bands show. People mostly classify CC as Nu Metal, and the genre fits with basic cubical work space low volume radio atmospheres. But live is another story…Lots of lights and looking pretty. With growling vocals and catchy riffs, Coal Chambers set was carried along pretty smooth. Mostly because it just seemed like there was something else going on that made it more of being about a show than being about the music. Everyone in the band looked like they were there in a fashion show. The crowd seemed about halfway interested in what CC had to offer. It was a good show, but honestly the best bands were the previous ones in my opinion. The hardcore CC fans were there, but they were far outweighed by the real metal fans for the bands that had previously played.