Cage, Dawn Of Valor, The Angle Obscure
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Triple Rock Social Club, Minneapolis, MN
This was San Diego-based Cage’s second visit to the Twin Cities, and it was a great opportunity for me to catch up with old friends. There were some changes from the original bill, as first Avian and then Avalon dropped off. Regardless, I was pumped to finally see The Angle Obscure attempt their complex, technical, progressive hardcore/metal in a live setting. I’ve already raved about their debut self-released album (the review is here), and this night’s show cemented by opinion that The Angle Obscure is one of the most inventive and exciting new bands. An equipment failure prevented the band from playing with keyboards, but didn’t matter in the least. They played a good chunk of the songs off of their Silence Is Our Canvas album, and the jazzy, free-form parts lent themselves well to some improvisation that kept the songs fresh. Since people were lined up outside the door waiting to get in, most of the good-sized crowd was already here to witness this great band. Their new material is highly anticipated.
Click picture for more photos of The Angle Obscure (18).
Click to watch The Angle Obscure play “Random Deforestation”.
Click to watch The Angle Obscure play “Point Of Transition”.
Traditional power metal band Dawn Of Valor was up next, and they really fired up the crowd with their intense style and presence. Vocalist Sean Iredale is a huge, imposing figure on stage, but he lightens up between songs with funny stage banter. The entire band has the intensity of machine gun fire that kept the audience on edge. Dawn Of Valor played all four songs from their self-released EP, as well as some new ones. Musically, they don’t stray far from Iron Maiden-style metal, but it’s hard not to get caught up with the fun that the band seems to have playing together.
Click picture for more photos of Dawn Of Valor (19).
Click to watch Dawn Of Valor play “Devil Within”.
Click to watch Dawn Of Valor play “Duel Wield”.
Cage drew two to three times the crowd they did last time they played at Station 4, and they proceeded to level the Triple Rock with the best show I have seen them perform to date. Although this was one of the first shows with their new guitarist and bassist, Cage was tighter than ever. Vocalist Sean Peck isn’t joking when he refers to drummer Norm Leggio (ex-Psychotic Waltz) as “The Legend”. I’ve seen Norm drum many times with his former band Teabag, but never has he played with such intensity. The set relied heavily upon Cage’s most recent album, Science Of Annihilation. After opening with “Planet Crusher”, they ripped their way through “Black River Falls” (inspired by their last trip through the Midwest), “Speed Kills”, “Scarlet Witch”, and “Stranger In Black”. The first two albums were ignored as Cage focused on their recent heavier material from Hell Destroyer and Darker Than Black. We were treated with a couple surprises throughout the night, including the excellent “King Diamond”, the European bonus track to Hell Destroyer, and “War Of The Undead”, a vicious new track played here for the first time ever. Sean Peck pulled off every scream with terrifying precision, and guitarist Dave Garcia let solos fly off his guitar neck all night. The recent personnel changes within Cage would certainly cause doubts to arise about their sound, but the new guys were great on stage and the entire band sounded rejuvenated and ready to take on all comers. Cage has been an underground, DIY phenomenon since day one, but tonight’s show proved once again that they deserve to be ranked among the power metal elite. The band doesn’t tour the US as much as Europe, so get to one of their shows when you have the chance.
Click picture for more photos of Cage (25).
Click to watch Cage play “Planet Crusher”.
Click to watch Cage play “War Of The Undead”.
Click to watch Cage play “King Diamond”.