Author and Photographer: Ian Urquhart
Nothing but metal could be felt in the air around Worcester, Massachusetts on April 20th, 2018. Home to many metal and rock concerts, the Worcester Palladium was set to host the New England Hardcore and Metal Music Festival of 2018. Bands stretched across the United States met in Worcester, MA to celebrate the awesomeness of what is metal music. Clear skies, warm sun, loud music and smiles all around could be seen and felt. Let’s break down the breakdowns.
Although the festival included over thirty hardcore and/or metal bands, Headrush TV was fortunate to cover a handful of talented groups. Let’s begin.
Epicenter – Straight out of Boston, the Epicenterfocuses mainly on their technicality when performing. A strong progressive, thrash metal vibe was given off throughout their performance. One neat detail about this band is that their drummer, Zak King, took over the lead vocals for Epicenter. Very innovative band with a lot to offer.
Sentinels – Traveling from their home state of New Jersey, Sentinels got everyone moving. A strong Born of Osiris influence could be heard in their performance. Both Thomas Cardone and Chris Dombrowski (guitarists) timed their progressive melodies with the kick drum of Dave Rucki, perfectly. A fundamentally driven, Progressive Metal band is hard to come by now-a-days, but these guys brought the heavy.
Noxii Arena – Led by Andrew Shea (lead vocalist), Noxii Arenamost definitely represented the Rhode Island heavy metal community. With hints of Whitechapel and Unearth being heard throughout their set, Noxii Arena looked to have felt right at home at the Palladium. Heavy. Fast. Technical. Noxii Arenagot the job done and got the Massachusetts faithful talking. If you have a chance to catch a Noxii Arena set, it is highly recommended you do so.
Barbarian – Also originating from Rhode Island, Barbarian brought a unique vision to their post-hardcore jams. With Mike Carp leading the vocals, Barbarian continued the onslaught of what was being made of the Worcester Palladium. There was a bit of a change when it comes to sound with this group. Hints of Beartooth as well as Memphis May Fire could be hear throughout their set. A pleasant surprise with no one complaining.
Deathamphetamine – Heading about fifteen minutes north of Massachusetts, the Nashua, NH boys of Deathamphetamineeasily stole the show on the upstairs stage of the Palladium. Observing the crowd, Deathamphetamine had the most fans and shirts scattered amongst the spectators. Additionally, their Groove Metal vibe took everyone for a wild ride. This sound was a bit different from the other bands performing. However, this change of pace really sat in with the Worcester faithful. A strong Lamb of God influence was felt throughout the set, as well.
Within the Ruins – With regards to the Main Stage performers of the Palladium, Within the Ruins definitely won the hearts of those watching/moshing. This night was a bittersweet event with it being Tim Goergen’s (lead vocalist) last show as the lead man to Within the Ruins. After a wild run, Tim hung up the microphone while passing it along to Steve Tinnon. Speaking of which, Within the Ruins’ fans were given a taste of Steve’s talents as he was able to sing during Within the Ruin’s last song. This was a heavy hitting performance. If given the chance, catch the Within The Ruinsfellas on tour.
Delain – Charlotte Wessels. Nothing more needs to be said. Lzzy Hale, who? Delain’s gothic rock vibe while being instrumentally influenced with symphonic metal, threw everyone for a whirlwind. With a decade of performing under their belts, Delain certainly knew how to work the crowd. It was a breath of fresh air being able to see such a dominate and strong, female vocalist representing the metal genre so genuinely. There were some whispers amongst the fans mentioning how Delain “sort of sounds like Arch Enemy.” Such a comparison would make sense. In summary, go see Delain if and when possible.
It is always reassuring to see so many people gather in one location to support a scene that gets criticized more than others. To show that there are thousands of people willing to travel and celebrate hardcore and metal music. With so many talented musicians expressing their love and devotion to their craft, it is only fitting to represent each band to their fullest. Having this annual festival speaks volumes to those who wish to keep the hardcore and metal scene alive and thriving.
Until next year and until the next metal/hardcore show, cheers my friends.
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