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.

EPICA, LACUNA COIL, INSOMNIUM & ELANTRIS In Baltimore! [Photo Gallery]

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Epica & Cristina Scabbia

The Ultimate Principle tour featuring Epica, Lacuna Coil, Insomnium and Elantris reached Baltimore last Wednesday. This was one of the last dates of the tour and hence I wanted to thoroughly mull over the performance before I put pen to paper. This is hands down the most melodic tour of the year in North America. Rarely do we see a tour with two powerhouse mezzo soprano vocalists in heavy metal. The excitement in the Facebook groups devoted to symphonic and gothic metal has been palpable for months. As I grow older I have slowly gravitated towards the symphonic aspect of heavy metal, and not attending a lineup of genre defining bands was never a question! Continue reading

EXODUS, OBITUARY Slay The Stage In Baltimore! [Photo Gallery]

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Exodus

Here is a scenario, Baltimore city lay amidst ruins engulfed by flames and black smoke. As a raven flies over the city towards the inner harbor, it watches the fires and flames gradually intensify. The exact epicenter being 124 Market Place, the street address of Baltimore Soundstage. Surely this must have happened in one of the infinite alternate universes that exist. The cause behind this mayhem are two bands, Exodus and Obituary. On a balmy Saturday night, the two bands blew the lid off Baltimore Soundstage with the heaviest performance I have seen in a very long time. The tour titled “Battle of The Bays” is possibly the heaviest tour of the Fall, and I was not going to miss it. Continue reading

PROPHETS OF RAGE In Washington, D.C. [Photo Gallery]

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Prophets Of Rage

Prophets of Rage, the rap rock supergroup consists of members of Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, Wakrat, Public Enemy and Cypress Hill played to a packed crowd at the iconic 9:30 Club in Washington DC on last Wednesday night. While my political views no longer resonate with the lyrics of RATM and Prophets Of Rage, my opinion on their music has remained unchanged. I well and truly believe that the original quartet of RATM are a bunch of creative geniuses, and that is why they had been so successful in capturing the imagination of millions around the world. Tom Morello is consistently ranked among the finest modern guitarist. My primary interest in this show was because of the RATM songs the lineups were playing. And tonight was the night.

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DEAD CROSS & SECRET CHIEFS 3 In Baltimore [Photo Gallery]

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Dead Cross

 

Last Friday night I was in Baltimore to experience DEAD CROSS, a super group consisting of past and present members of the bands Suicidal Tendencies, The Misfits, Slayer, Faith No More, Tomahawk etc. I had been approved for this show months ahead of the show date, and as a fan of Slayer I was excited to see Dave Lombardo on drums. DEAD CROSS released their eponymous album, the first one of the band, which has received excellent reviews from fans and critics alike. While I am not a huge fan of hardcore, I totally get why the fans have been so excited about this tour. Continue reading

ALICE COOPER Dominated The Stage In Bristow, Virginia [Photo Gallery]

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Alice Cooper

Finally I had a chance to photograph and review a show of the legendary Alice Cooper, who brought the horror to Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Virginia. This is the third time I’ve seen Alice Cooper in Bristow, and I have enjoyed every single one of them, for there is never a dull moment in his show. Here is a guy who sent bone chilling shock waves through the spines of many a 70’s parents. Alice Cooper has been in the music industry for over fifty years. Here is a guy who redefined the world of shock rock, and is still delivering rock and horror with aplomb to the legion of his fans around the globe. And one can clearly see that here is a guy who truly enjoys being on the road playing in front of his fans. Alice Cooper needs no new spectacle, the classic ones are still as good as they used to be in the heydays of the 70’s. They need no improvisation. The theatrics and the energy on the stage flow effortlessly as it always has, the show is just perfect. All Alice Cooper needs to do is to show up on the stage with his band, and pick up the microphone. Continue reading

THE DEAD DAISIES, THE DIVES, THRILLKILLER @ Rams Head Live [Photo Gallery]

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The Dead Daisies

Last Friday night I headed back to Ram’s Head Live after four months to cover The Dead Daisies, a super group consisting of members who had played in bands like Guns N’ Roses, Thin Lizzy, Ozzy Osbourne, Whitesnake and various other well known bands. I had listened to their recent album ‘Make Some Noise’ and checked out snippets of their live performances. The Washington DC-Baltimore metropolitan had been hit by a major storm system in the late afternoons and those who made it to the venue on time really had to endure the horrendous traffic of the region in very hard driving conditions. I was extremely annoyed to see the show start earlier than the scheduled time, which in my opinion is criminal, especially as it was a major “weather alert” day. Continue reading

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