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Review for Allentown, PA - August 2nd, 2008

Discussion in 'Suspyre' started by DTJeff, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. DTJeff

    DTJeff I Am My Nation

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    Originally Written for MetalSetlists.com

    So, tonight was a buffet of generally progressive metal acts playing about 10 minutes from my house. I'll hit each band individually.

    Overall: Sound was crap, as I'd expect from the venue (Crocodile Rock), there were technical difficulties which led to a late start and the cutting of sets, turnout was pretty dismal as I expected, but overall I had a great time and all the people I met were very cool.

    Cypher Seer
    Cypher Seer are a Traditional/Power Metal band based out of New Jersey, and normally have former Onward vocalist Michael Grant as their lead singer, but for some reason tonight they had a random fill-in that couldn't have fit the band less. He wasn't a horrible singer, just had a very unfitting voice and dry delivery for their sound. The songs were still pretty good though, even though the band played sloppily.
    Set list:
    1.Point Black
    2.Awakening Day
    3.Final Encounter
    4.The Curse
    5.Black Rain

    Odin's Court
    These guys are a Prog Rock/Metal outfit out of the Maryland/Virginia area. There's no question about the playing talent of these guys, but at many times their music got a bit too "Prog for the sake of Prog" for my tastes, the band almost seemingly having an allergic reaction to 4/4. Also, this band desperately needs a new, real singer. Overall they played very well though, in terms of performance easily the second best of the night. My friend was very into them, and I was definitely loving the Redemption shirt the guitarist wore. They closed with a very interesting and surprisingly metal cover of Lionel Richie's "Hello".
    Set list:
    1.Terracide
    2.Volatilestial
    3.Oceanica Toxica
    4.His Dark Materials
    5.Love You to Death
    6.Animaulic
    7.Mammonific
    8.Manifest Destiny
    9.Hello (Lionel Richie cover)

    Dark Empire
    Dark Empire are based out of New York and generally a Progressive/Thrash hybrid, almost like Blind Guardian with some harsher and more prog elements going on. Normally their singer is Jens Carlsson of the bands Savage Circus and Persuader, but unfortunately he couldn't make it over for this small group of shows, so the group had a temp replacement vocalist which kind of sucked. Musically their set was pretty sloppy, and vocally it was just a mess, but I suppose there wasn't much that could've been done under these circumstances.
    Set list:
    1.Eyes of Defiance
    2.No Sign of Life
    3.Salvation Denied
    4.The Forgotten Sin
    5.Prelude
    6.Haunted
    7.Possessed
    8.Humanity Dethroned

    Suspyre
    This band is a Prog/Power group based out of New Jersey, and easily stole the show tonight in terms of technical abilities and tightness of performance. I really dig the sound of these guys. Nothing but postive thoughts about these guys really, and the music scene around here could do with a lot more bands like this. I picked up a copy of their CD "A Great Divide" afterwards. Their set list was a lot longer than it looks, a few of these songs being of hefty length.
    Set list:
    1.Distant Skies
    2.Crimson Shade
    3.Last of the Survivors
    4.April in the Fall
    5.Apex
    6.Serpent I Am
    7.Blood and Passion
    PS. Thanks to the guys from Suspyre for helping me out with the set list afterwards!
     
  2. OdinsCourt

    OdinsCourt Valhalla

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    I don't normally comment on reviews and people's opinions about performances; however, I feel this reviewer’s point of view has to be put in context, as there were very difficult circumstances surrounding the show for the performers.

    There were NO stage monitors. Musicians who perform can understand how this can make things near impossible to deal with, and those who don't will often think "so what" because they typically have no idea of what this means. Why do I say this? Well, the reviewer commented how 3 of the singers from the bands essentially sucked, sounded dry, didn't fit, etc., as well as sloppy performances by bands (EDIT: the review above was slightly altered by whoever posted it - the one on the source website says "the singer wasn't great but still easily the best to be found between the 4 bands" about Suspyre, so the reviewer actually said "negative" things about all 4 bands). Well, they couldn't hear themselves AT ALL. Again, if you aren't a musician and especially a singer, you probably don't understand how stressful this is, and how it makes it nearly impossible to give a solid performance. If you can't hear your pitch or the pitch of the instruments relative to the voice, there is greater room for problems.

    The other part about the sound is that the system was messed up, and there were only 3 "working" channels. This meant the keys were miced, and there were 2 vocal mics leftover. Everything else was from cabinets or natural sound. Aside from that, the EQ was obviously screwed up, and made the vocals sound very much like they were filtered through a megaphone. The sound guy did a great job to achieve even this limitations, even though it still yielded a sub par night of sound.

    The bands dealt with a lot of stress last night. The situation made it extremely difficult to perform, and unfortunately resulted in a so-so show, when it could of been amazing. The bands all felt bad for the fans most of all, as it is very disappointing to see a show with bad sound, and one where the performers are limited in their ability to deliver. For those who came out, we're all sorry that your expectations may not have been met, and we did all give it our all to put on the best show possible, and hopefully you can appreciate that.

    At any rate, glad there were still some redeeming qualities in the show.
     
  3. FreakAccident

    FreakAccident Member

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    Could of, or could have? :Smug:
     
  4. GreggSuspyre

    GreggSuspyre Member

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    I, too, don't like to comment because everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I agree the vocal situation was a fiasco. The singers couldn't hear themselves. I am not a singer, but it must have been nearly impossible to perform difficult music without hearing a note coming out of your mouth. Whether you like someone's voice or not is an opinion, but I really think all the singers the other night did an amazing job, especially considering the circumstances!

    Anyway - to the reviewer: thanks so much for the review, and thanks for coming out! Glad you stuck around for the whole show, even with the messy PA situation.
     
  5. SkiBumMSP

    SkiBumMSP Member

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    I have to agree with Matt above...

    Believe it or not, I drove all the way up to this from friggan Fredericksburg, VA (a good 4 1/2 to 5 hour drive).

    Yeah, I was also very disappointed in the crappy sound presentation (believe me, I am used to hearing my music on a friggan $20,000 stereo setup in my own home!) However, I was actually quite impressed with just how well all four of these bands pulled it off despite the really crappy PA situation they were all faced with. I've seen Odin's Court perform before in much better situations (i.e., last year's BARFest in San Fran), and believe me, they can indeed deliver if given the chance. Although that was the first time I've seen Suspyre perform live, but I have both of their albums, and I know they have it were it really counts in the talent department, crappy sound system or not! I've also heard Dark Empire's EP, but did get a copy of their full length album at the show. I was listening to that on the way to work and it just friggan kicks totall ass! Same thing with Cypher Seer (I also picked up their album as well), so I know these bands are no slouches.

    I had a good time, although like everybody else, I wish it could've been much better in the sound department, plus would've been nice to also have seen a better turnout. Was it the best show ever that I've seen? Unfortunately, given the situation, not at all, but if these four bands ever decide to perform together, I'll be there in a heartbeat! Damn shame the Jaxx show got cancelled, as that Croc Rock situation was making Jaxx look like Carnegie Hall! I bet that show would've been just friggan awesome if they had a chance to perform at Jaxx, with the larger stage, better sound setup and so forth.

    Call me a fanboy, but I thought all four of these bands did a fantastic job, especially given the very difficult situation they were presented with.
     
  6. DTJeff

    DTJeff I Am My Nation

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    I understand where the guys in the bands are coming from, I totally do. I am in a band myself and have played many places of varying size and quality, including Croc Rock several times. The sound there is awful, it's just a way of life. I know how difficult is to perform without good monitors or monitors at all, not being able to hear what's going on at any given moment, trust me, I've been there. I realize in hindsight now I should have probably approached the system with more of a grain of salt, but I hardly felt I was bashing anyone. I still really enjoyed the show and all 4 bands. I'd go to see the same show again without a second thought on it. I think I have a bad habit of using too harsh of words in my own reviews.
     

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