The Black Dahlia Murder, Arch Enemy, Hate Eternal, Evergray

The Paladium - Worcester, MA - 8/26/03

Live review

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So, I get into the show about halfway through The Black Dahlia Murder's set. Damn traffic. Turns out the show has been moved from the upstairs to the downstairs of the Worcester Palladium due to PA problems on the upstairs stage. Still, the place is slowly filling up. BDM tore through a ripping set which should also be some of the first shows with their new vocalist and bassist. Playing like a blackened At The Gates with some hardcore leanings, BDM had the crowd's ear the whole time, though it seemed most people had never heard them. By the end of their set, I heard many in the crowd, some who claimed to expect Black Dahlia Murder to suck, admitting to being impressed and were lining up to buy their cd. Score one city for The Black Dahlia Murder.
Everygray was the real untested rookie to the US, so they had a bit more to fight for. Sounding like thrashy power metal ala Nevermore with some uber-European keyboards, Evergray pulled it off fairly well. I had never heard them up until this point, but I'm interested to see more of what they have to offer. If you like clean vocal bands like Nevermore, I think this is a band to watch for. At least the crowd seemed to enjoy them, save for some of the death metal purists.
Hate Eternal followed up and by the time they hit the stage, the downstairs of the Palladium was respectively filled, for a show that was originally only meant to hold 400+ people. Hate Eternal came right out of the gates full force with Erik Rutan's death metal elite behind him. Then it happened. The technical problems began that would plague their entire set. The guitar and bass would suddently drop out, at times making some wonder if they were leading up to a drum solo. Erik was visibly pissed, but to his credit, took it in stride and kept hammering away whenever the sound came back and prayed to the metal gods it wouldn't happen again. Only, for about half the set, the metal gods were asleep at the wheel. Otherwise, when Hate Eternal had it together, they played with flawless vigor. The crowd seemed understanding enough, so the band wasn't faulted for the technical difficulties and they cheered and demanded more. Much respect to Hate Eternal for handling a classic rock n roll clusterfuck with a cool head.
Finally Arch Enemy took the stage leading off with the first track of their new album. The set was fairly split between "Anthems of Rebellion" and "Wages of Sin" with only "The Immortal" as an older track. Personally, I was waiting for "Beast of Man" and "Diva Satanica". Still, Arch Enemy has not lost a bit of their live stage presence. Unlike the sound problems of Hate Eternal, Arch Enemy were blessed with a cutting sound that let every member of the band, with Angela's vocals as a big plus, be heard perfectly. Though the crowd was almost totally followers of the Enemy, anyone that had never seen them live before was easily drawn in with the rest. After a quick encore, Arch Enemy got to leave, tired and happy, to another crowd chanting their name. If they show this kind of hunger on stage when they open for Slayer and Hatebreed next month, don't be suprised if you start hearing A LOT more about Arch Enemy.
Overall, a good show with four bands that showed why they are, for HE and AE, bands that are rising fast and, for BDM and EG, bands to keep an eye out for.

Reviewed by: Dan White