Going to Nova has become somehow of a regular task with the people from Freak Show being the main small-event organizers lately. It’s good that events are now more frequent, but there’s also a big question on the quality of these events as to the variety of bands playing. As a reviewer, I feel that the same group of bands are being shuffled into each event, and I find myself reviewing an earlier review of mine, with no noticeable change in the bands’ sound and evolution. So I encourage Freak Show to dig up fresh bands for upcoming events, the same way that the GBOB competition introduced us to lots of new bands in the scene.
The event’s highlight was In Sanity, the Heavy Metal band that knows how to work out a crowd with an enjoyable performance forged from the sex-driven AC / DC Rock and the raw Judas Priest Heavy Metal. Aside from having some technical difficulties (“the curse of Rock N Roll” as vocalist Chris Down put it), the band gave the crowd’s their money’s worth, with two encores and a setlist which featured AC / DC’s “TNT”, Judas Priest’s “Living After Midnight” and some fun originals like “The Way I Am” and “She Wants My Sex”. Here’s “The Way I Am” from their Facebook Page (downloadable).
In Sanity was the last band performing that night, but Winter Blast did kick off a bit slow with opening band Railway, a female-fronted Soft Rock band which played a cool setlist of songs that aren’t among the ‘Top 5 Most Covered Songs of All Time’. I definitely enjoyed their cover of Joan Osborne’s “One Of Us”, and I encourage them to perform more at local pubs.
One of the surprises of the night was Tormented, the Melodic Death Metal band that participated at the local GBOB competition this year. As stated in the event info, the band played their last show under that name, and strangely enough they ended their Melodic Death Metal ‘era’ with Limp Bizkit, Godsmack and Breaking Benjamin covers. Their new vocalist Kevo, who’s currently performing with several bands in the scene, brought a new found energy to the band, and will hopefully allow them to get their Prog Rock, Jazz and Fusion influences into some originals.
The Core representatives in the local scene December Dies Alone gave their fans a good show, as well as free copies of their recent EP “When Memories Faught To Dissolve”. Whether one likes the aforementioned genre or not, it’s safe to say that DDA know their style and they know it well. They have been appearing quite frequently lately at Nova, so the only advice I got for them is to wait a while, prepare some new tunes and target a larger-scaled event to be able to reach new audiences. Here’s a video for DDA from a previous event.
The last band in this Winter Blast event was Ataxia, a Groove Metal band which is also a frequent Nova performer, although I really believe that’s keeping them from focusing more on their repertoire. Now don’t get me wrong, these guys can chug a few down-tuned riffs, akin to Lamb Of God and Ektomorph, but truth is, they are shoving too much riffs and breakdowns into their songs, to the point that their song structure is becoming very predictable and lacking any original touch. Check this demo version of an original by Ataxia.
In short, Winter Blast was another average event this year, partially saved by In Sanity’s efforts to give the crowd a fun time. The only comforting idea that I concluded this year is that lots of good bands are working on their original material, recording in the studio and preparing to release their material, hopefully in 2012. Now until we hear some new material and see some fresh bands out there, these types of events will simply be labeled as ‘just one of those events’.