Concert Review – Lamb of God & Megadeth (Budweiser Stage, Toronto, ON, 05/18/2022)

After two years of waiting, Toronto was finally able to witness all the energy and heaviness of “The Metal Tour of the Year”… and it was absolutely awesome!

OPENING ACTS: In Flames and Trivium

Ladies and gentlemen, or whatever way you like to be referred as, what an incredible night of first-class, high-octane, infernal Heavy Metal we had yesterday in Toronto at the unparalleled Budweiser Stage, with IN FLAMES, TRIVIUM, LAMB OF GOD and the one and only MEGADETH showing us all why their tour was named The Metal Tour of the Year! As a matter of fact, last night’s concert was originally scheduled to happen in 2020, but of course due to the shitty COVID-19 pandemic (which apparently seems to be finally over), it had to be rescheduled countless times. Anyway, the wait was totally worth it, as all bands were simply awesome yesterday, putting a huge smile on the faces of everyone at the venue (and the fans didn’t seem to care about the fact the temperature in the city dropped from the mid-30’s to the low-10’s in just a couple of days). Well, I believe Sweden’s own Melodic Groove Metal/Metalcore icons IN FLAMES were awesome as well, as due to work and traffic I wasn’t able to make it to their concert, but a friend that arrived earlier said they kicked ass.

Cloud Connected
Behind Space
Everything’s Gone
Where the Dead Ships Dwell
Call My Name
All for Me
I Am Above
Take This Life

Band members
Anders Fridén – vocals
Björn Gelotte – guitar
Chris Broderick – guitar
Bryce Paul Newman – bass
Niels Nielsen – keyboards
Tanner Wayne – drums

I was scared I wouldn’t be able to make it to see Orlando, Florida-based Heavy Metal maniacs TRIVIUM, but fortunately I arrived at the venue around 10 minutes before they hit the stage with their short but extremely powerful performance. Matt Heafy, Corey Beaulieu, Paolo Gregoletto and Alex Bent were beyond happy to be back in Toronto after almost five years (yes, their last concert in the city was in the distant year of 2017), and add to that the superb tracks from their most recent album In the Court of the Dragon, those being the title-track In the Court of the Dragon and my favorite one of the album, Like a Sword Over Damocles, and there you have a recipe for success (and mosh pits). “Throes of Perdition” and “Feast of Fire”, which were on the setlist in the US dates, were replaced by Strife and Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr, and let’s say those new additions to their setlist received a killer feedback from the crowd, who engaged in several mosh pits while the band was on fire onstage. And what can I say about the jumping up and down ignited by Matt during their hit In Waves? That was outstanding to say the least. Furthermore, Matt mentioned this was the biggest show of the entire North American tour, proving how much us Torontonians love all bands involved, and hopefully that will inspired Trivium to return to Toronto for a full-bodied performance on their own in a not-so-distant future.

In the Court of the Dragon
Like a Sword Over Damocles
Beyond Oblivion
Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr
Capsizing the Sea
In Waves

Band members
Matt Heafy – lead vocals, guitar
Corey Beaulieu – guitar, backing vocals
Paolo Gregoletto – bass guitar, backing vocals
Alex Bent – drums, percussion


If there’s a band that knows how to inspire any type of person in the world to slam into the mosh pit, that’s undoubtedly Richmond, Virginia’s Groove Metal horde LAMB OF GOD, who precisely at 8:10pm hit the stage for the total delight of all metalmaniacs ready for a good dosage of heaviness, rage and insanity. Still promoting their 2020 self-titled masterpiece, the unstoppable Randy Blythe and his henchmen put on an unforgettable show, from the opening song Memento Mori, until the very last second of their all-time classic Redneck. It’s beautiful to see the rise of Lamb of God to the status of metal giants, as now they even have fire onstage like what they provided us with in Walk With Me in Hell, which was by the way flawless and one of the top moments of the entire night. It doesn’t matter if they played darker, more introspective songs like 512 or if they exhaled sheer violence like in Contractor, everything was perfect, and Toronto definitely shared their love for the band with all horns in the air, all screaming, and of course the frantic, never-stopping mosh pits in the floor section. As expected, Randy, who seemed possessed throughout their entire set, delivered a couple of Woooooo!’s as his personal tribute to the “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, and dedicated Redneck to the guy who in 2018 tried to swim back to that same venue during their tour with Slayer. Toronto can’t wait to have Lamb of God again in the city, an I can’t wait to slam into the pit to the sound of one of my favorite metal bands of the past decade.

Memento Mori
Walk With Me in Hell
Resurrection Man
Now You’ve Got Something to Die For
11th Hour
Ghost Walking
Laid to Rest

Band members
Randy Blythe – vocals
Phil Demmel – guitar
Mark Morton – guitar
John Campbell – bass
Art Cruz – drums


As expected, most fans at the Budweiser Stage were there to witness “MegaDave” Mustaine and his Thrash/Speed Metal institution MEGADETH distill their unique classics in the city again after so many years, and when the clock hit 9:45pm our dreams came true as the first notes from Hangar 18 (right after the intro Prince of Darkness) were played by Dave and his bandmates Kiko Loureiro, James LoMenzo and Dirk Verbeuren. Is there a better way to kick off a show than with such classic, followed by the underrated tunes Dread and the Fugitive Mind and Angry Again? What a brilliant start to their set, winning the hearts and minds of everyone instantly. Dave and Kiko played their guitars to perfection as usual during the entire concert, making our jaws drop and inspiring us to show them the horns during and after each song played. I loved the fact they’re still playing the superb Trust after so many decades, and although they replaced another pulverizing song, “She-Wolf”, with A Tout Le Monde, that didn’t do any harm to their concert. Who doesn’t love to sing such stunning ballad together with Dave, screaming the song’s French words at the top of his or her lungs? In addition, a few different versions of Vic Rattlehead appeared onstage during the songs Conquer or Die!, Dystopia and Peace Sells, adding an extra touch of awesomeness to the show, culminating with their undisputed hymn Holy Wars… The Punishment Due. By the end of the concert, Dave mentioned the band is recording the follow-up to their 2016 album Dystopia and that the album should see the light of day this summer, so all we need to do now is wait for it and for another night of our beloved Megadeth in Toronto… and Dave promised he’ll return to the city, oh yeah!

Prince of Darkness
Hangar 18
Dread and the Fugitive Mind
Angry Again
Conquer or Die!
The Conjuring
Sweating Bullets
A Tout Le Monde
Symphony of Destruction
Peace Sells

Holy Wars… The Punishment Due
Silent Scorn
My Way
Shadow of Deth

Band members
Dave Mustaine – vocals, guitars
Kiko Loureiro – guitars, backing vocals
James LoMenzo – bass, backing vocals
Dirk Verbeuren – drums

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Album Review – In Flames / Siren Charms (2014)

A mediocre album by Swedish Melodic Death Metal giants, possibly the worst they will ever release in their career.


in flames_siren charmsWhat’s happening with the most prominent Melodic Death Metal bands from Sweden in 2014? After the just average new album by Arch Enemy, it’s time for Swedish Melodic Death Metal icons In Flames to release what’s probably their weakest album of all time, the pedestrian Siren Charms, their eleventh studio album and also an unfortunate stain on their remarkable career.

Before fans come cursing me or anything like that, let me say I’m not asking for a new The Jester Race (1996) or Clayman (2000). Quite the contrary, I’m an advocate of bands that evolve during their careers, or even some that completely change their music style. I even like their previous album, the controversial Sounds of a Playground Fading (2011), and didn’t find any issues in the music by In Flames without founding guitarist Jesper Strömblad. However, in my opinion, there’s an invisible boundary for what a band can or cannot do with their music, and that’s something called INSPIRATION, which is pretty much inexistent in Siren Charms.

The opening track, In Plain View, can be considered a very good summary of the whole album: weird vocals by Anders Fridén, more noise than melody (or maybe just noise and no melody at all), and where are those good old characteristic riffs they became famous for? Although slightly heavier than the previous track and despite its interesting intro, Everything’s Gone becomes something so uninspired after a while and all instruments sound so sloppy together it’s really hard not to quickly skip to the next track; and if you do that, Paralyzed makes things even worse, with all its electronic elements being totally disposable. Once again, what happened to Anders’ voice?

Through Oblivion is another terrible song where you can barely listen to the guitars, sounding like some garbage not even Korn is capable of recording, while With Eyes Wide Open, despite being a lot more melodic, is not the musicality we were all expecting from this band. And don’t think the title-track will do any good for the album, as Siren Charms is another disappointment with nothing outstanding in it, especially its really weak vocal lines. Fortunately, When the World Explodes sounds like Anders finally woke up and decided to scream properly. It’s the closest we get to what In Flames do best (and the best song of the album by far), with highlights to its much better riffs and the awesome female vocals by Swedish soprano Emilia Feldt.

in flamesThe lead single chosen by the band, Rusted Nail, is just average (not to say it has lots of horrible moments), with its guitar lines saving it from being a total disaster, followed by the slow and tiring Dead Eyes and the slightly more exciting Monsters in the Ballroom, showcasing the best clean vocals of the entire album and an interesting guitar solo. And to end this disaster in a “St. Anger” style, we have more of the same tasteless musicality in Filtered Truth, which sounds like a demo version of something most bands would throw away without thinking twice. And I’m glad I just got the simplest version of the album with no bonus tracks, because it was an arduous job to listen to this album in its entirety (more than once, by the way).

In Flames will forever kick ass live, but I’m a little concerned about what their concerts will become in a near future. I mean, who will enjoy watching them playing most of the songs, if any, from Siren Charms, when they have so many amazing classics in their previous albums? Have they reached that unwanted stage of their career where they will just release new albums for money, no matter how bad they sound, as long as they keep headlining tours and festivals and fans keep paying to see them live anyway? I really hope not, so let’s just consider Siren Charms a lapse in their creative process, completely forget about it, and wait for their following releases.

Best moments of the album: When the World Explodes.

Worst moments of the album: Paralyzed, Through Oblivion, Siren Charms and Dead Eyes.

Released in 2014 Sony Music

Track listing
1. In Plain View 4:05
2. Everything’s Gone 3:24
3. Paralyzed 4:15
4. Through Oblivion 3:37
5. With Eyes Wide Open 3:58
6. Siren Charms 3:05
7. When the World Explodes 4:39
8. Rusted Nail 4:55
9. Dead Eyes 5:23
10. Monsters in the Ballroom 3:53
11. Filtered Truth 3:31

Band members
Anders Fridén – vocals
Björn Gelotte – guitar
Niclas Engelin – guitar
Peter Iwers – bass
Daniel Svensson – drums, percussion

Guest musicians
Emilia Feldt – guest vocals on “When the World Explodes”
German Jesterheads (In Flames fans) – guest vocals on “Rusted Nail”