Sunday, May 4, 2014

Primal Fear/Arctic Flame/ Flag of the White Rose/ Mindmaze @ Baltimore Soundstage 4/29/2014

I went to see Primal Fear ($24-27) up in godforsaken Baltimore at the nice Baltimore Sound Stage.  After some initial parking difficulties and an almost altercation with some guy, I scampered thru the rain to the venue.  I saw Dave, Mike A, Milla, Bobbie, Nina, Tom, Avi, Brittany, Brian B and Renae there!



There were about 100 (plus or minus) people there. Kind of not a great showing, but it was a Tuesday night, AND raining like a mofo for the first night of this North American tour!  That is unfortunate because it's been about 4 years since they last came (I did not see them then, somehow) to the US.


Mindmazes

Mindmaze from Pennsylvania was on first. They are a power/classic metal band with a slight proggy tinge. The singer vocally reminded me of Kobra and the Lotus meets Krypteria with a tinge of Power Symphony (but better).  Their sound was very good and tight, I was wondering how I've not seen them before and March to Victory (also from PA) like 10 times. The guitar solos were pretty great, and rather clear. However, after thinking about some comments about 'power metal bands with one guitar' I am not sure if I won't want power metal bands to have less than 2 guitars!  The sound wasn't that thin, but I couldn't help but think that many harmony parts would sound 2x as good with another guitar. Dave was right about picking up the album, which I think a number of people also did. I def am enjoying it (even tho it was a little pricey it was overall worth it), it's one of the better local releases I've picked up.  I think they have a new album coming out later this year, so I would def be interested in that too!



Merch was pretty yawn inducing

Merchwise- Primal Fear's shirts were pretty disappointing. I almost got a shirt ($25) of the album cover, because that one was def the best. They had a bass drum head (like $100) and the deluxe version of the CD ($16). Mindmaze had shirts n CDs ($15) and some combo offers. Flag of the White Rose had some shirts and a CD yard sale ($5 random stuff to raise funds I think... I got a Jon Leon project disc).

Flag of the White Rose was up next, and their brand of hard rock (think more Lita Ford or Gene Simmons produced era Doro) was contrasting from MindMaze's more complex power metal.  Their mohawked singer had a punky vibe but more of a rock voice, and sounded a bit more solid than last time I had seen them. They were tighter and more confident (especially the wails), the drummer Nick looked like he was effortlessly spinning the sticks in between beats. The guitarist's solos were nice, clean, and the standout of each song.  Lemme harp on my double guitar comment, because their Priest cover sounded like it was missing something (another guitar).  Other than that, their songs resonated with me, possibly due to still being high from M3 fest.  A solid set that changed things up a bit.  They played a short set (~20 minutes) which seemed odd.  I think they may be on the rise up if they can get more gigs and maybe some more songs. Their originals were sounding pretty good!

Arctic Flame was up next, and I dunno if I was ready to hear Primal Fear, was distracted, or what. I thought they sounded fine, the singer in particular, but that it was nothing really distinctive. I've heard it before, not to say that they were not good. They just were not terribly interesting to me.  They threw out a Vinyl into the crowd near the end that Brian snagged.  I think if I was paying more attention I would have gotten into them a bit more.  They opened up with "Lights Out," which was fun, but I think I just wanted power metal at that point. :/


Ralf Scheeper's Primal Fears

German Power Metal giants Primal Fear marched (errr maybe bad wording) on the stage with the intro to "Final Embrace" and really didn't stop rocking until the encore break.  The high wails of Ralf Scheepers (Ex- Gamma Ray) were definitely the highlight for me, like a power metal version of Judas Priest, if you've never heard them before.  Basically, every song was a solid slab of True Metal.  This was the first stop of the North American tour, 2014 for their latest effort, the solid "Delivering the Black."  They played 4 songs off it, including my favourite off of it- the epic "One Night in December."  I actually thought the best sounding songs were the single "When Death Comes Knocking" and the very metal  "Metal is Forever."  I must have listened to the mid tempo "When Death..." a ton of times, cause I was shouting along the entire song, having a blast!

Mat Sinner, bassist and super songwriter (see Kiske-Sommerville,  Primal Fear, Scheepers solo), was in prime form tonight as well. Super songwriter II Magnus Karlsson (Freefall, Kiske-Sommerville, Allen-Lande, a TON of others) cut his hair but still brought out his A-game. Tom Nauman filled in for Magnus  apparently.  I think that these guys actually have written better songs with other bands (see parentheses) than with Primal Fear.  I really dig and recommend the latest album tho.  Well, whatever the case, after the Power metal combination of Iced Earth/ Sabaton recently had me craving more power, more metal, MORE TRUE METALS.  Ralf's screams on "Metal is Forever" certainly was spine chilling and totally metal.

Overall a great performance FULL OF METAL, fun time, despite the horrible rain and drive.  Would def see them again, but I wish they had toured with another 'national' band... I don't know how good they can draw, but totally recommend if you dig power metal to see these guys.

Next show: Black Label Society/Down at The Fillmore, then Fozzy/Raven !

Photos:

Merchandise
Mindmaze
Mindmaze and Me
Flag of the White Rose
Arctic Flame
Primal Fear from Germany!!!!
Primal Fear mas w/ Ralf
Primal Fear, MORE
Primal Fear END

Setslits:

Mindmaze (7:35-8:07)
  • Back From the Edge
  • Consequence of Choice
  • This Holy War
  • Destiny Calls
  • Dreamwalker
  • Never Look Back


Flag of the White Rose(8:20- 8:42)
  • Broken Ghost
  • No deception
  • Illusion
  • Heading out to the Highway (Judas Priest cover)
  • When the Past Unfolds


Arctic Flame (9:03- 9:34)

  • Lights Out (UFO cover)
  • Two sides of the Bullet
  • Steel Angels
  • Wish
  • Unknown God
  • Lords of the Wasteland


Primal Fear ( 10:04-11:26)
  • Final Embrace
  • Alive & On Fire
  • Delivering the Black
  • Nuclear Fire
  • Seven Seals
  • One Night in December
  • Angel in Black
  • When Death Comes Knocking
  • Chainbreaker
  • Fighting the Darkness
  • Bad Guys Wear Black
  • Metal Is Forever

  • Unbreakable Pt. 2
  • Running in the Dust
Update: updated FOTWR set