Last night at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, a veritable metal meltdown took place when an assemblage of local talent took the stage for an early show.
First up was Flames Of Fury, fronted by the lovely and talented Angelica Vargas and featuring Jason Perez on guitar. Mike Lepond of Symphony X handled bass and a second guitarist whose name I didn’t catch were also on stage. This band has been playing out for a few years now and they put on a fantastic show. Vargas has got a great stage presence, an amazing energy level and she does a great job on the vocals. They play pretty great Iron Maiden-inspired metal but definitely have their own sound. Perez is a blast to watch on guitar too, getting really into the act. These guys were great they definitely won the crowd over.
From there, Ross The Boss (of Manowar, The Dictators and Death Dealer fame) took the stage. Lepond hung around and played bass for this set too while vocals were handled by Mike Cotoia of headliners Fate Breaks Dawn. Their mission? A full set of classic era Manowar tracks, eight songs in all. Now, this could have very easily gone south if the vocals weren’t up to snuff. There was no doubt that Ross’ guitar work would be fantastic, and it absolutely was. Lepond, being a very experienced and technical prog style player, had no trouble playing Joey DeMaio style and really anchoring the band but the vocals… if they sucked, this would have been a travesty. Thankfully, Cotoia proved more than capable, in fact, he was great. He hit all the high notes and did a great job of handling some pretty intense vocals. Anyone who has ever listened to Manowar knows that vocalist Eric Adams has got a range and a power to his voice that few can match but this guy did it. As to the set? They opened with Thor (The Powerhead), then did Metal Daze, Dark Avenger and in quite possibly the highlight of the night, an amazing version of Battle Hymns. This was followed by Kings Of Metal, Secret Of Steel, Blood Of My Enemies and last but certainly not least, Hail And Kill. This set was a complete blast and the crowd was one hundred percent loving it. It should have been longer though – here’s hoping these guys do this on a regular basis and honestly, it was so good that they could probably do really well touring with this act. It’s obvious at this point that Manowar isn’t all that concerned with playing North America anymore but honestly, these guys are just as good.
So having been won over by Cotoia, it was safe to say that his set with Fate Breaks Dawn was great too. His vocals here weren’t done in the Manowar style, though the influence is probably there if you want to listen for it. Lots of energy, the guy is just a good frontman. Lance Barnewold on lead guitar is a blast to watch too, while rhythm guitar player Juan Ortiz, bass player Michael Mahoney and drummer Marc Capellupo all do great work too. These guys are young but they’ve got an obvious love and appreciation for metal and it shows in their songwriting and their performance.
ROSS THE BOSS:
FATE BREAKS DAWN: