Anthrax, Exodus, Municipal Waste, Shadows Fall, Holy Grail– April 16, 2013 – House of Blues, Cleveland, OH

Monday, 20th May 2013

The 2013 Metal Alliance tour rounded up to be one hell of a salivating lineup.  Thrash legends Anthrax topped the bill, with Exodus as main support?  Fantastic.  Add in an impressive lineup of  Municipal Waste, Shadows Fall (replacing High on Fire for the last bit of the tour) and Holy Grail, and you’ve got one killer night.  Lets do this.

Curtain jerking are the California natives Holy Grail, giving the crowd an energetic offering of their old school metal attack.  Formed by ex members of White Wizzard (Holy Grail is infinitely better), these dudes are supporting their second and latest album Ride the Void.  Great album, and a live performance that equals the quality of their recorded output.  Holy Grail is on the up and up, and are always a good time.

Next up was Shadows Fall, who has been on a hell of a roll.  After the shockingly lackluster Threads of Life in 2006, the band have been on an absolute tear with their latest two albums.  This guy hadn’t seen them in about five years, and it was certainly great to see an old favorite on top of their game again.  The band hasn’t been this “on” since touring for The War Within way back in 2004.  Not going to allow five years to pass before seeing Shadows Fall again.  Good deal, fellas!

Defining “fun” thrash metal, Municipal Waste is simply a bombastic ball of energy and silliness.  Even if you’re not a big fan of their recordings, one can still have a blast at their shows.  Being a fan of both, the anticipation of seeing them is always great.  The Waste dudes delivered – drunkenly, of course – and put on a great show.  They opened up a pretty wild pit in a very crowded house, ran around like lunatics, and put on a highly enjoyable gig.  Tis’ a typical night for the Waste.

Heavy and violent is the best way to describe an Exodus show, and there was no lack of either on this night.  Insane pit that went from start to finish of their set, a tight and forceful set from the band, all culminating in a great atmosphere for all involved.  Playing new-ish songs like “Blacklist” and “The Ballad of Leonard and Charles” along with classics such as “The Toxic Waltz” and “A Lesson in Violence,” Exodus put together a good mixture and played every song with gusto.  That Toxic Waltz never goes out of style.

This was a special show and tour for Anthrax, for they were playing their classic album Among the Living front to back.  Playing entire albums has somewhat become a trend in metal, but this is one of those albums that one definitely would want to hear live.  And it came off swimmingly!  Classic tracks such as “Caught in a Mosh” and “I am the Law” sounded as perfect as possible. The band also played their cover of AC/DC’s “TNT”, which comes from their latest EP.  Great justice is done to the song, and it was cool to hear in a live setting.  “In the End” from their new classic Worship Music was also a set highlight

This being the fourth time seeing Anthrax since the reuniting with Joey Belladonna for yours truly, it’s good to see the band still functioning as a tight unit.  Before Joey coming back into the fold, it was nothing but turmoil for the longest time.  But now, the band is clicking on a massively high level.  Bands like Anthrax are big reasons why we’re here today, and to have them in a healthy state is good for everybody. Closing off with “Antisocial,” an amazing evening was concluded nicely.  Anthrax keeps putting on strong performances, and Scott Ian mentioned work on a new album beginning.  Anthrax is going nowhere, and that’s something all metal fans can smile about.

Anthrax official site
Exodus official site
Municipal Waste on Facebook
Shadows Fall on Facebook
Holy Grail official site