SoundShooter

About SoundShooter

A designer of genetically modified organisms and concert photographer turned reviewer, SoundShooter is a motorcycle obsessed geek based in the suburbia of Washington DC area. Considered a closet nerd by his closest friends, he often finds solace in the lyrics of Iron Maiden, science fiction novels and secretly aspires to harness the powers of a Marvel supervillain.

MARTY FRIEDMAN, THE FINE CONSTANT, SCALE THE SUMMIT In Baltimore! [Photo Galley]

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Marty Friedman

 

Here is a short story. A long time back a young kid growing up in a small hamlet by the Himalayas had chanced upon some guitar/music magazine with Marty Friedman on the cover, on the very same day he had first listened to the opening solo of “Hangar 18”. An article in the magazine had mentioned that Marty Friedman had grown up in a city called Laurel in a certain state called Maryland in the US. The name of this nondescript city of Laurel in a state called Maryland stuck in his head, maybe it was due to the magical solos in “Rust in Piece”. The kid developed into a fan of Megadeth eventually. He had also heard of a city called Baltimore that was in a book of the Tarzan series. When he moved to Maryland from a remote corner in Asia to pursue his studies he had no real clue of how close Maryland was to Washington DC or Baltimore for that matter. And little did he know that one day he was going to cover a show by the man himself Marty Friedman in a venue located in the heart of Baltimore. The boy of course is none other than me.

Megadeth has been my favorite thrash metal band, since I discovered them at the age of 20! At the cost of sounding like a very old guy I must mention in my defense that back in the days before the internet, western music reached the developing world quite late. As an example, disco was huge in the late eighties and early nineties in the Asian subcontinent! Can you imagine that? I regretted not being able to attend the Baltimore show of the Inferno tour, and out of nowhere appeared this Wall of Sound tour. I was not sure if I would be able to attend this show until the very last moment. Thank you very much painkillers! Believe me, they do a phenomenal job of subsiding the pain associated with wisdom teeth extractions. Attending this show came with a lot of emotions and is a very personal story to me. Hence, contrary to my usual style of dedicating individual section of a review for each band, I will let this be a potpourri of personal emotions that I felt at the show. Continue reading

DRAGONFORCE & ONCE HUMAN Dominated Washington D.C. [Photo Gallery]

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Dragonforce

 

On an extremely hot and humid summer Tuesday, The Reaching Into Infinity World Tour by DragonForce, arrived at Washington DC. This show certainly delivered with one of the most intense & intimate shows I had ever witnessed! We had recently reviewed ‘Reaching Into Infinity’, the latest album of DragonForce that hit the shelves during mid May (read review here). This was the first time I had attended a show at Rock & Roll Hotel in Washington DC, and I did not really know what to expect of the venue. Well, I have been to a lot of concerts of big bands, and let me tell you, for the crowd in the front rows, a concert cannot get any more intimate. The tiny stage at the venue means that you can nearly touch the band members with your nose. I had to literally lean backwards with my camera glued to my eye to make sure that my camera does not end up touching the guitars, or worse I get hit by the guitars. Just take a look at the photographs and you will see that even with my wide angle lens, I could barely get the musicians in the frame. These are the kind of shows in which I depend upon the kindness of metalheads attending the concerts to give me 5 minutes in a good spot to get the photographs, and then I move out of the way. It would have been damn near impossible to photograph this event, without the kindness and help of front row crowd. If you were one of the guys who helped me get the photographs, a big shout out to you, thank you for all the help, Metal Nexus & I really appreciate it!

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TesseracT Dominate Silver Springs! [Photo Gallery]

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TesseracT

Last Thursday night the latest incarnation of the Dystopia tour with Megadeth hit Silver Spring, MD. When the tour was announced, I just could not believe how good the lineup was. A powerhouse supporting lineup of bands like the doom metal band Lillake (who we have interviewed recently), prog metal/djent giants Tesseract & Meshuggah is not something that you generally see in a short summer tour. With our upcoming coverage of Megadeth and Meshuggah at this months Chicago Open Air festival, we decided to focus our attention on TesseracT.

TesseracT

The show started early, with TesseracT, the second band of the night, taking the stage sharp at 7-10 PM. An early weeknight show meant that the venue was not packed yet. The setlist of TesseracT was short, with only six songs, and I was little disappointed with that. I really like the last couple of albums the band has released. This short set was started off with the single “Smile”, which was released late last month and will be a part of their upcoming album. This is the first single the band has released since the last album ‘Polaris’, which was released aeon ago, back in 2015. If this single is a sign of things to come, which probably is since the band says the new album will be a concept album, then things are looking great for the fans of the band. The opening track ‘Polaris’, Dystopia was the second song of the night. This was my first time seeing TesseracT live, and the guitar work and the drumming was precise from get go. The vocals by Daniel Tompkins did not hit the album like precision until the end of the first song, however from that point on it was razor sharp. I love bands that can deliver album quality sound while playing live, and TesseracT deserve full points for that. If you have followed the work of TesseracT, you are familiar with the band you know how they blend an atmospheric sound with melodic clean passages and synchronizing guitar work with short riffs. The last song of the set, “Nocturne”, which by the way is my favorite TesseracT song ever, is one of the perfect examples of this method. Many people in the crowd were not super familiar with TesseracT before this show. By the end of the set the band had made their presence felt with the blistering final track “Nocturne” and deservedly got rousing applause from the crowd.

TesseracT

So what is my take from this live performance ? Well, I hope they release their album soon and head out as the headliner on another US tour. By the time this review is published, only five more dates remain on this tour, and most of you will probably not have a chance to see them live. TesseracT have headlined at Baltimore Soundstage, the other regular venue from which I bring you reviews, in the last tour and I don’t see why they can’t do it again. Heck, I do want to see them play a long set. A headlining tour exploring the length and breadth of the country will probably be the best way to appease all the fans who are missing out now. And I am really keeping my fingers crossed here. We will be bringing more reviews to you in future, so stay tuned!

THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE, SUMO CYCO, ARMY OF THE UNIVERSE In Baltimore! [Photo Gallery]

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The Birthday Massacre

This Friday night I found myself in slightly unfamiliar territory, covering a live performance by The Birthday Massacre, Army of the Universe and Sumo Cyco. I had not seen live performances of any of the genres that these bands are a part of, let alone the bands. My musical preference is usually harder, heavier, darker, abrasive and loaded with blistering guitar work. I have wanted to explore reviewing works of other genres for a while now. This Friday night after the end of a frenetic work week was a good one to buck this trend. Largely due to my lack of supreme expertise with these styles of music, this review is an assessment of the bands’ overall feel of the music, the live performance and the interaction with the crowd. Continue reading

Live Review: SABATON, LEAVES’ EYES, BATTLE BEAST In Silver Springs, MD [Photo Gallery]

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Sabaton

 

The Last Tour by Swedish power metal band Sabaton finally came to the Washington DC/Baltimore area last Monday night on the last show of their North American tour. This is a tour I have been waiting to cover for a while primary due to my obsession with military history, and history in general. And on top of that one of the supporting bands was Battle Beast and Leaves’ Eyes, possibly my favorite symphonic metal band. The last album released by Sabaton, ‘The Last Stand’, after which this tour was named, was very well received by fans and critics alike. Additionally, I had seen some phenomenal concert photographs of Sabaton clicked by some of my mentors and was raring to photograph this show. Let me dive in to the review now, you can check out the photographs at the bottom of the page. Continue reading

IN THIS MOMENT, GEMINI SYNDROME, AVATAR, MOTIONLESS IN WHITE In Baltimore!

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In This Moment

Last Friday night at the Rams Head Live in Baltimore I witnessed the most visually stunning concert I have attended this year. The bands were In this Moment supported by Motionless in White, Avatar and Gemini Syndrome. The vast majority of shows I cover are of bands I follow religiously. These bands I wasn’t as familiar with, but you can bet that will soon change. When the tour was announced the discussion by the fans of the bands lit up the Facebook groups and other internet forums, which piqued my curiosity. On this Half God Half Devil tour, In This Moment and the cohorts of supporting bands have been selling out venues left and right. And this Baltimore show was sold out months in advance. So I let this review be an unbiased assessment of the captivating live performance of the all the bands on the given night. Continue reading

The KillThrax Tour: Killswitch Engage, Anthrax, The Devil Wears Prada, Jasta In Silver Springs, MD [Photo Gallery]

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Killswitch Engage

The KillThrax Tour, featuring metalcore giants Killswitch Engage and old school thrash titans Anthrax arrived at the Fillmore in Silver Spring last night. The bands on supporting duty are The Devil Wears Prada, a band good enough to act as headliner, and Jasta, the eponymous band of Hatebreed lead singer Jamey Jasta. No way in hell were I going to not cover this event! Continue reading

After The Burial, Emmure, Fit For An Autopsy, Artifacts, Fit For A King, Invent Animate In Baltimore!

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After The Burial

Monday nights can be a dreadful affair, I despise them. Last Monday night was not just another Monday night, for heavy metal reigned supreme at Baltimore Soundstage. This was my umpteenth concert at the Baltimore Soundstage, and I must admit that I have never seen this venue more crowded on a Monday night. When I reached the venue, over two hundred people (yes, I counted!) were lining up at the door to get in. This is not what I was expecting as only thirty odd people has confirmed “going” to the event page on Facebook, which was surprising to me since this was a night with six strong bands on the bill. I have a love hate relationship with concerts with a long lineup, the plus point being the experience of seeing multiple powerhouse bands on one night, and the major negative being shorter setlists for the bands. On this night, After The Burial was headlining at Baltimore on their Carry The Flame tour, with support from four other excellent touring bands. Continue reading

KATATONIA, CASPIAN, UNCURED Take Over Washington, D.C. [Photo Gallery]

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Katatonia

Last Thursday night I found myself doing something I absolutely despise, taking the horrid DC metro rail, to do something I dearly love, enjoying live music. Katatonia, was opening the North American tour in support of their album ‘The Fall of Hearts’ at the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C. A small venue with a prominent stage with excellent lighting and sound system, many consider 9:30 Club to be the heart and soul of the music scene in Washington D.C. And I have never been to this iconic venue in our nations capital, despite having lived in the area for multiple years. This, combined with the excitement of seeing Katatonia live for the first time, my excitement was palpable. Still, I had little idea how good a night this was going to be. Katatonia is one of the finest heavy metal bands to have emerged from Sweden, and their ten studio albums bear testimony to that. The last album ‘The Fall of Hearts’ was released mid last year, which garnered excellent reviews from fans and critics alike. On this North American leg, they are supported by Caspian and Uncured. Continue reading

Deafheaven, Emma Ruth Rundle and This Will Destroy You In Baltimore, Maryland!

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Deafheaven

Last Sunday night, the genre defying maestros of Deafheaven enchanted the crowd at Baltimore Soundstage. On this current tour, in support of their excellent last album ‘New Bermuda’, they are joined by Emma Ruth Rundle and This Will Destroy You. This was a night to behold, so let me dive straight in to the review without further ado. Continue reading