Metal Allegiance with Held Hostage, Superfix and Metalfier at NAMM!
House Of Blues, Anaheim, CA – 1/24/19
Metal Allegiance once again brought their brother (and sister) hood to the Anaheim House of Blues during NAMM. Supporting their latest album, “Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty” (Nuclear Blast), the revolving cast of characters embarked on a metal shredfest of some classic anthems mixed in with their own original offerings.
Metal Allegiance Intro by all-around cool cat, KNAC’s, DJ Will.
The “Core 4” of Dave Ellefson (Megadeth), Mark Menghi (arriving with black wig), Mike Portnoy (Sons Of Apollo, Winery Dogs), and Alex Sklonick (Testament) (adorned in fake mustache) were back and again brought some of the most iconic names in rock and metal along for the ride.
Returning to the stage this year were former MA Alumni and singers: Mark Osegueda (Death Angel), Chuck Billy (Testament), Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth (Overkill), John Bush (Armored Saint) along with guitarist, Andreas Kisser (Sepultura).
They were joined onstage this year by Mark Tornillo (Accept), Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy), Steve “Zetro” Souza and Jack Gibson (Exodus), Trevor Strnad (The Black Dahlia Murder), Phil Demmel (Machine Head) who put in a shit ton of amazing fret work on 11 songs in the set, an unannounced appearance by Eloy Casagrande (Sepultura) and special guest, Doyle (Misfits).
The set started with a tribute to metal legends, Black Sabbath and the first half of their eponymous debut album (while throwing in “Wicked World” from the N. American release for good measure).
After the Sabbath opening, mixed in between a hefty dose of tunes from their own two albums, Metal Allegiance threw in an all-out thrashfest of covers that included “Roots Bloody Roots“, that saw Sepultura drummer, Eloy Casagrande jump behind the kit while Chuck Billy, large and looming, grabbed the mic; “South of Heaven” (Slayer), with Trevor Strnad on vocals to growl out the lyrics; “Stand Up And Shout” (Dio), “The Toxic Waltz“, which brought out Zetro and Jack from Exodus to jam on their own tune and John Bush rewinding to his days in Anthrax with a killer version of “Only“.
Every musician here lived up to their reputation… Some standouts for me included Mike Portnoy who is just a Beast behind the kit. There isn’t a beat that he can’t own and I don’t think anyone could handle the load as effortlessly as he seems to do. Mark Osegueda, Bobby Blitz and Chuck Billy were stellar handling the majority of the evening’s vocals. Andreas Kisser and Alex Skolnik blistered through every song they played on. Having never seen Alissa White-Gluz before (And not being a huge fan of growling vocals), I was skeptical, but she was AMAZING on the MA tunes as well as “Last Caress“. Another highlight was getting to hear the always incredible John Bush singing “Only“.
The testosterone heavy set was neutralized by the appearance of the amazing, Alissa White-Gluz from Arch Enemy. Not that it slowed things down, in fact, it got intensely heavy as she brought both her clean and growling vocals on a duet with Mark Osegueda on MA’s “Power Drunk Majesty Part 2” and then stuck around to bring out special guest, Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankesntein to jam on the Misfits classic, “Last Caress“.
The encores came in the form of a couple of Iron Maiden classics as the Winston Churchill Speech intro brought us “Aces High” and the evening was capped by an all out jam of “The Trooper“.
Without further ado… The Metal Allegiance Setlist in Pictures…
Black Sabbath Set:
WASP/Behind The Walls Of Sleep
Cant Kill The Devil – Metal Allegiance
Roots Bloody Roots – Sepultura
Gift Of Pain – Metal Allegiance
South Of Heaven – Slayer
Stand Up And Shout – Dio
Terminal Illusion – Metal Allegiance
The Toxic Waltz – Exodus
The Accuser – Metal Allegiance
Bound By Silence – Metal Allegiance
Only – Anthrax
Voodoo Of The Godsend – Metal Allegiance
Mother Of Sin – Metal Allegiance
Power Drunk Majesty Part 1 – Metal Allegiance
Power Drunk Majesty Part 2 – Metal Allegiance
Last Caress – The Misfits
Pledge Of Allegiance – Metal Allegiance
Aces High – Iron Maiden
The Trooper – Iron Maiden
It’s clear that the camaraderie between these metal icons is not faked. There was a lot of love in the room and you could see the true admiration and respect that each member had for each other. The material on the two Metal Allegiance albums is strong and they’ve attested that the recording process isn’t a record-it-and-send-it-in type of situation… they actually make the effort to come together and record when they need to.
A True Metal Allegiance.
Held Hostage were direct support and for me should have been further down the bill. There was a trajectory from Metalfier to Superfix in intensity and showmanship and, Held Hostage seemed like a step back. They’re a decent enough rock act but came off (as one audience member mentioned to me) as more of a bar band. The singer did let out a few Rob Halford style screams that made me pay attention.
They’ve been around since the early 80’s and do some great work for veterans so definitely check them out. It’s possible I may be in the minority with my opinion as a lot of the crowd seemed to be digging the band.
Held Hostage features a line-up comprised of Tom Collier on lead guitar/Vocals (sometimes lead vocals), Greg Truax: lead vocals, Scott Gregg: rhythm guitar, Joe Reppert: bass, Ian Evans: drums, plus special guest players Carl Canedy: drums (from The Rods) Giorgio Mongelli (Ethan Brosh) Freddy Villano (Quiet Riot, Dee Snider’s Widowmaker, American Mafia), and Mike Santarsiero (Totally Lost Cause).
Superfix are becoming a staple of support for Metal Allegiance during their annual NAMM bash. The band looks a little different this year. Joining original members, singer, Kalen Chase, guitarist, Eli Rubin, and drummer, Greg Collister, were guest performers guitarist, Logan Mader and bassist, Damien Rainaud.
Having seen Superfix for the first time at last year’s show, it’s obvious that there’s been a growth or evolution in the band. This year’s set was a much heavier affair than last years, no doubt bolstered by an additional guitar in the form of ex-Machine Head guitarist, Logan Mader.
Once thing that hasn’t changed is Kalen’s, off-brand sense of humor (Fart Joke anyone?), which this year was kept to a minimum as they took all their allotted time to rock the Anaheim crowd. Eli is an amazing guitarist and this band has quite a few songs that make a crowd take notice.
Superfix were tight and hammered through their, too quick, six song set which definitely set the tone for headliner Metal Allegiance.
Kalen Chase – Vocals
Eli Rubin – Guitar
Greg Collister – Drums
Logan Mader – Guitar
Damien Rainaud – Bass
Return To Me
I caught the end of Metalfier’s set and they were loud and as the name implies, METAL. Loud and Heavy, they were a great act to welcome the growing crowd to the Anaheim HOB.
Andrew Janda – Lead Vocals/Guitars
Jeff Monge – Bass
Christian Cos – Guitar
Chris Vegas – Drums