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On the road at the New England Metal Festival: part 2 (continued)

This story is part one of a two part series. Collegian writers Dave Fonseca and Patrick Rennick completed a three-day road trip touring several hardcore metal rock shows. The following is a diary of their trip.

We approached Sunday with renewed vigor. Saturday had presented its share of highlights, namely Cryptopsy’s full rendition of None So Vile, but the proceedings left us feeling more drained than anything else. However, with Sunday’s high metal to hardcore ratio, we were more than willing to slug it out for one more day. The crew arrived just in time to catch the beginning of Behemoth’s set. Their brand of subtly technical and acerbic death metal translates perfectly live. While the intricacies were somewhat muddied by the Palladium’s sound system, any Behemoth fan worth their salt had no difficulty keeping pace. Playing a reasonable mix of their last three albums, the set culminated in Demigod’s “Conquer All,” a song that’s rightly become a live staple.

To our pleasant surprise, Canada’s Three Inches of Blood followed. The band was running behind due to a 30-hour trek to Worcester and had swapped sets with Behemoth. Undeterred by the fatigue of being held up in a van for two days straight, the band unleashed a hearty battle cry upon all in attendance. With tongues firmly planted in cheek and broadsword in hand, the band cranked out songs about pirates, “Fear on the Bridge”, settling scores, “Revenge is a Vulture” and obliterating posers, “Deadly Sinners.” These guys purvey a style of nostalgic metallic truth, which while unabashedly hokey is simply fun. In a live setting such as this, there was very little to hate about 3IB.

North Carolina’s Between the Buried and Me followed. Eschewing their more tender moments for a set of unrelenting brutality, their jazz tinged death-core was a highlight of metal fest. While it would have been nice to hear fan favorites such as, “Mordecai” and “Aspirations”, the tight riffing and potent grooves of “Shevanel Cut a Flip” and “Lost Perfection” proved that a band can indeed incite massive pit action without having to lower themselves to mindless chugging and drum syncopation.

Utilizing a cutting-edge strategy of running in front of everyone waiting in line for the Palladium’s smaller second stage, we broke through to the soon-to be killing ground for Denver’s Cephalic Carnage. Despite the best efforts of Palladium security, fans rushed into the area, severely overcrowding the floor space. What ensued can only be described as pure and unbridled mayhem. As the band launched into their schizophrenic brand of technical death-grind, the floor responded with a mosh pit that resembled Wall Street after a market crash. Cephalic Carnage decided to end the set with the classic, “Kill for Weed” a brutal call for legalization.

Hypocrisy led metal-heads on a sonic journey into the realm of alien abductions and astrology. Peter T

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