Live Reviews – Paths to Oblivion Tour: Pallbearer, Royal Thunder, and Backwoods Payback, Kung Fu Neck Tie’s, Philadelphia, 9/8/12

Alright, alright, so this show Ryan and I attended the same weekend as the Maps & Atlases show.  I dragged him out for some hard rock and heavy metal, and then he forced me to look at a bunch of dudes in button-downs with non-prescription thick black glasses.  I guess that’s an even trade.  Anyway, as you can see from the tour poster above Samothrace is listed and Backwoods Payback is not.  Samothrace had to pull out of the tour due to personal reasons.  I was bummed because after everything Ryan said about them in his review of their new album, I was looking forward to checking them out.  Royal Thunder and Pallbearer were the reason I was going to the show, though.  That and to make Ryan experience some “not so gay” music for a change.

Backwoods Payback – Three hot dudes and one hot chick.

Backwoods Payback, replacements for Samothrace, opened the show.  I have never listened to these guys before, but they put on an awesome show.  They were a nice blend of hard rock and stoner metal.  Tasty riff after riff, powered by crushing drum beats and sweet bass lines via the tall blonde vixen.  They were everything you could ask for in an opener that you didn’t know anything about.  From a personal stand point, if I don’t know an opening band, all I really hope is that they fit in with the rest of the bands.  Backwoods Payback complimented the two headliners perfectly with their music, as well as having a very energetic performance.  They are a band now on my radar who I plan on seeing again asap.

Beautiful and hairy Royal Thunder

Royal Thunder were up next, and they were the main reason I went out to the show.  From the opening seconds of “Parsonz Curse,” the band had my full attention.  The blend of the heavy riffs of Josh Weaver and Mlny Parsonz’s strong vocals create a solid sound of traditional hard rock.  Playing in a dimly lit, tiny dive bar added to the atmosphere of the band.  It was the perfect way to see Royal Thunder.  Up close and personal.  The band had incredible stage presence.  Weaver bounced back and forth all over the stage ignited with energy from start to finish.  Parsonz busted out nice bass licks, as well as pounding some full chords on her four-string, sometimes dropping to her knees.  Josh Coleman, on rhythm guitar, followed Weavers riffage wonderfully, while drummer Lee Smith kept a hard pounding beat behind his beautiful wall of hair.  I got the opportunity to speak to Weaver and Parsonz at their merch booth after the show and they were super cool people, extremely nice, and seemed genuinely appreciative of the fans that spoke to them.  Royal Thunder, to say the least, are an incredible live act.  They should be on hard rock and metal fan’s radars.  Don’t pass up the chance to see them if they come by you, and buy their album now.

Pallbearer, one part doom, eleven parts facial hair.

And then came Pallbearer.  Along with Royal Thunder, I came out to see these guys.  I am a huge fan of their album Sorrow and Extinction.  Again, I wasn’t disappointed.  Pallbearer, distinct from the first two bands, is a very straight-up traditional doom metal band.  Long slow songs, heavy riffs, howling epic clean vocals.   There isn’t too much to say about their sound.  They play doom and they play it very well.  Live, they played everything perfect, absorbing the audience in a hypnotic wall of distorted sound.  The only downside to their set, which was not the fault of the band, was that Brett Campbell’s vocals were mixed too low, most of the time being drowned out by the other instruments.  He has a very nice voice, and his clean delivery over the heavy distortion is incredible.  Other than that, their set was awesome.  They are a band whose sound is very easy to get lost in.

Overall, this was an excellent show — three bands that all had different sounds, yet fit together perfectly well.  If any of these acts show up in your neck of the woods, do yourself a favor and check them out.  Or be an ass and don’t.


4 Responses to “Live Reviews – Paths to Oblivion Tour: Pallbearer, Royal Thunder, and Backwoods Payback, Kung Fu Neck Tie’s, Philadelphia, 9/8/12”

  1. Yeah, I guess these bands were cool and all, but I really wish you didn’t tie me up, blindfold me, and play “guess the meat” with me before you drove me to the show. That hurt my feelings.

  2. […] doom with a girl singer, and it’s way better than you can ever imagine.  Nick and I saw them back in September and they captivated everyone in the audience with their Sabbath-like riffs.  It’s just […]

  3. […] like it’s bringing you to.  This is a band that must be seen live as well.  They were easily one of the best performances I saw this year.  If you like your hard rock to rock hard, pick this album […]

  4. […] I attended this wonderful, little show last week.  Nick and I are big Enslaved fans.  Ryan likes Royal Thunder, who we all love, and Michael just goes to whatever shows we tell him to go to.  Needless to say, […]

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