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Obituary, Carcass, and Amon Amarth Show Review: Kia Forum Los Angeles 12/17/2022

armon armoth show review

This past weekend I caught the recent Obituary, Carcass, and Amon Armoth show at the Kia Forum in Los Angeles, and here is a quick review of it. 

Obituary

As always, Obituary was incredible, and they opened on the bill. However, there was a giant fly in the ointment. Their set was WAY TOO SHORT and consisted only of the following:

  1. Redneck Stomp
  2. Sentence Day
  3. A Lesson in Vengeance
  4. Visions in My Head
  5. Circle of the Tyrants
  6. The Wrong Time

Given that “Redneck Stomp” is an instrumental, “Circle of the Tyrants” is a Celtic Frost cover, and “The Wrong Time” is a new song, it left the crowd starved for that brutal classic material from albums such as “Cause of Death” and “Slowly We Rot“. I wasn’t a massive fan of their latest single, “The Wrong Time,” but the material works live, so the song has grown on me.

Here is a video shot by a fan that does a reasonably good job of summing up the night.

Carcass

The Kia show was my second time seeing Carcass in recent months. Unfortunately, the band’s set was much shorter and less inspiring than their show at Psycho Fest. Aside from “Incarnated Solvent Abuse” the set consisted of all post-Heartwork era material, forgoing the early grindcore period, and their short setlist was as follows:

Buried Dreams

  1. Kelly’s Meat Emporium
  2. Incarnated Solvent Abuse
  3. This Mortal Coil
  4. Dance of Ixtab (Psychopomp & Circumstance March No. 1 in B)
  5. The Scythe’s Remorseless Swing
  6. Corporal Jigsore Quandary
  7. Heartwork

Amon Armoth

Amon Armoth’s production demands were the primary cause of Obituary’s and Carcass’s truncated sets. I knew Amon Armoth was big, but I never realized the monsters they’d become. Their production was insane and matched the greatness of Iron Maiden’s 1985 Powerslave tour (which was the first show I ever saw). Amon Armoth is trying to take the mantle of this generation’s Iron Maiden, and that’s big money. 

Amon Armoth sounded great — even too great. The drums we played tight to a click track, the vocals had backing tracks coming in, and I suspect there was even some augmentation of the guitars at points. 

Despite how incredible the production was, how great the sound was, and how crazy the stage show was when metal reaches this level of perfection, it also loses much of its grit. Unfortunately, this was the case here. I would rather see an underground band sweating it out, playing on stage volume, and killing it in a bar than see some over-polished corporate metal show.

 I didn’t even make it through the entire set, but it was as follows:

  1. Guardians of Asgaard
  2. Raven’s Flight
  3. Deceiver of the Gods
  4. Oden Owns You All
  5. The Pursuit of Vikings
  6. The Great Heathen Army
  7. Find a Way or Make One
  8. Destroyer of the Universe
  9. Put Your Back Into the Oar
  10. Cry of the Black Birds
  11. The Way of Vikings
  12. First Kill
  13. Shield Wall
  14. Raise Your Horns
  15. Twilight of the Thunder God

The Kia Forum

The Kia Forum is a rebranded version of the original Forum in Inglewood and a poor choice for this show. Possibly because of the size of Amon Armoth’s set, they required a space this massive. YouTube Theatre or Hollywood Palladium would have been better for this event. The forum was built in 1987 but seemed much older: Factor in $60 parking and $28 self-serve beers, and it’s going to take a lot of work to get me back to Kia Forum – unless it’s something completely mind-blowing.

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Kings Of Thrash (ex-Megadeth Members) Show Review 10/15/2022 @ Whiskey, Los Angeles

KINGS OF THRASH SHOW REVIEW

Kings Of Thrash is a Megadeth tribute band consisting of former members of Megadeth David Ellefson (bass), Chris Poland (guitar on Peace Sells and Killing Is My Business), Jeff Young (guitar So Far So Good, So What?) along with musicians Chaz Leon (guitar/vocals), and Fred Aching (drums). To date, they have played only four shows but have hinted a more extensive tour is coming. 

Kings Of Thrash sold out The Whiskey in Hollywood for this October 15th show. The setlist consisted of So Far, So Good, So What and Killing Is My Business, and Business Is Good, played in their entirety (almost), and a few songs from Peace Sells.

The Good

The best part of the show was that the band performed many deep cuts from the first classic albums that Megadeth may have played live on stage. The crowd responded strongly to the early material, especially  Killing Is My Business thrashers like “Mechanix” and “Rattlehead”. Predictably, the mosh pit on the floor got so violent that people were getting carried out. Nevertheless, it was great to see this response from an audience that probably wasn’t alive when these songs came out, judging by the average age in the crowd.

The encore was also great, even throwing in some deeper cuts from Peace Sells like “Devil’s Island” and “Wake Up Dead”. Chaz Leon and Fred Aching did commendable jobs covering their roles in the band. It’s also worth noting that Chris Poland is an absolute savage on guitar and is the best guitar player that has ever been in Megadeth

The Bad

Nothing was necessarily bad, though the was some room for improvement. One was the sound. When the band came out, they sounded perfect, but singer Chaz Leon complained about the monitors so much in the first few songs it caused the soundman to scramble the sound for the show’s first half altogether.

Jeff Young seemed like he was playing relatively slow, at a few points, dragging down the tempo of the entire band.

The worst thing about the show was the inclusion of Chris Poland as a “special guest”. He only performed four or five songs with the band as a third guitarist. When the show’s Killing As My Business portion started, Jeff should have exited the stage, and Chris should have been the sole lead guitar player, as he originally played and wrote the material.

The Verdict

If you are a hardcore Megadeth fan and Kings Of Thrash decides to take this show back on the road, this is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience worth checking out. This same night Testament, Death Angel, and Exodus were also playing in town…I chose Kings Of Thrash, and so should you!

Video

Here is one video of “502” performed at the same show as this review.

Kings Of Thrash Setlist

So Far, So Good, So What

  1. Into the Lungs of Hell
  2. Set the World Afire
  3. Anarchy in the U.K.
  4. Mary Jane
  5. 502
  6. In My Darkest Hour
  7. Liar
  8. Hook in Mouth

Killing Is My Business and Business Is Good

  1. Last Rites/Loved to Deth
  2. Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good
  3. Rattlehead
  4. Looking Down the Cross
  5. The Skull Beneath the Skin
  6. Chosen Ones
  7. Mechanix
  8. These Boots

Peace Sells, but Who’s Buying?

  1. Wake Up Dead
  2. Good Mourning / Devil’s Island
  3. Peace Sells

Past Show Dates

  • October 12th- Brick by Brick- San Diego
  • October 13th- Crescent Ballroom- Phoenix, Arizona
  • October 14th- The Space- Las Vegas
  • October 15th- Whisky A Go Go- West Hollywood, California
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Napalm Death / Final Conflict Show Review – Transplants Brewing Company, Palmdale, CA (4/15/2022)

napalm death band photo

We decided to take a chance and drive an hour outside of LA to catch Napalm Death playing with Final Conflict at Transplants Brewing Company in Palmdale, CA, on April 15, 2022. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the venue, but I have to say I was thoroughly impressed. Transplants Brewing Company is easily better than EVERY venue in Los Angeles right now. There was plenty of free parking (as opposed to the $30 many venues in LA charge), 7$ beers brewed in-house, a friendly staff, and the place has a great sounding room. If you live in LA, it is definitely worth the trip.

A local support act was on the bill and was actually pretty good, not life-changing good, but they were decent. I wanted to link to a place where you could find their music, but because of the crazy death metal font they used for their logo, I have no idea what the band’s name was (see flyer below). If anybody knows, feel free to drop it in the comments.

FInal Conflict

Next up was Final Conflict from Long Beach, CA. Palmdale was a one-off show, as Napalm Death continues their US tour with Arch Enemy and Behemoth starting in Tempe. I don’t know a ton about Final Conflict other than the fact they’ve been around forever, and I was familiar with some of their better-known songs. The band consisted of only one original member (Jeff Harp on guitar) and was backed up by Anthony Robles and Nick Manning, who play with a number of other punk rock bands, including DI.

Final Conflict dished out some competent Cro-mags style punk/hardcore that was well received by the crowd and got the mosh pit swirling at a furious pace. Again, nothing life-changing but delivered in such a professional manner; you can’t put it down either – especially considering the ages of some of the long-time members.

Napalm Death

Next up was English grindcore legends Napalm Death, who, if you want to get technical about it, consist of no original members. However, the current line-up has remained relatively steady since the early 90s. Guitarist Mich Harris does not tour with the band, and sitting in for him is touring guitarist John Cooke who, in my opinion, is not that good, but because of the nature of grindcore music, his sloppy playing doesn’t take much away either.

That band delivered a blistering set, consisting of a lot of material from their last two releases Apex Predator – Easy Meat (2015) and Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism (2020), as well as quite a few classics from the 80s and 90s with two cover songs (including the Dead Kennedy’s “Nazi Punks Fuck Off”). Bassist Shane Embury is an absolute monster, and drummer Danny Herrara is one of the best skinsman in the business. The duo is a formidable rhythm section. Vocalist “Barney” Greenway hasn’t lost a thing over the years vocal-wise and may have even improved. Unfortunately, his stage presence is a bit goofy, and he often looks like he’s having a seizure as he dances on stage. In addition, some of his far-left rants between songs leave a lot to be desired and make me thankful I can’t understand the lyrics on their recordings. If you could make out what he was saying, I imagine it would sound like the rantings of a possessed MSNBC host.

Napalm Death hasn’t lost a thing over the years and solidly deserve their position as the biggest band in grindcore because they play this form of music better than everyone.

Catch them on tour with Arch Enemy and Behemoth in these cities through May.

Napalm Death On Tour With Behemoth and Arch Enemy

Sat 16.04.2022 Tempe, AZ – Marquee Theatre
Mon 18.04.2022 San Antonio, TX – The Aztec Theatre
Tue 19.04.2022 Dallas, TX – Amplified Live
Thu 21.04.2022 St Petersburg, FL – Jannus Live
Fri 22.04.2022 Atlanta, GA – The Eastern
Sat 23.04.2022 Charlotte. NC – The Fillmore Charlotte
Mon 25.04.2022 Toronto, ON – Rebel
Tue 26.04.2022 Montreal, QC – Mtelus
Thu 28.04.2022 New York, NY – Terminal 5
Fri 29.04.2022 Philadelphia, PA – The Fillmore Philadelphia
Sat 30.04.2022 Worcester, MA – Palladium
Mon 02.05.2022 Chicago, IL – The Riviera Theatre
Wed 04.05.2022 Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre
Sat 07.05.2022 Salt Lake City, UT – The Depot
Mon 09.05.2022 Seattle, WA – Showbox SoDo
Tue 10.05.2022 Vancouver, BC – Vogue Theatre
Wed 11.05.2022 Portland, OR – Roseland Theater
Fri 13.05.2022 Berkeley, CA – The UC Theatre
Sun 15.05.2022 Los Angeles, CA – The Hollywood Palladium
NAPALM DEATH U.S. headline shows:
Wed 13.04.2022 Fresno, CA – Strummers + Elder Devil
Thu 14.04.2022 San Diego, CA – Soda Bar + Deaf Club
Fri 15.04.2022 Palmdale, CA – Transplants + Final Conflict
Wed 27.04.2022 Syracuse, NY – The Lost Horizon + Fed Ash
Tue 03.05.2022 St. Paul, MN – Turf Club + Pig Destroyer
Fri 06.05.2022 Grand Junction, CO – Mesa Theater + Unto Others