Recent years have shown that bands going out as double headliners are better than doing competing tours. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t, like this summers mismatch of Marilyn Manson and Smashing Pumpkins. So back when it was announced that Symphony X and Overkill, two bands of totally different genres of metal, would be touring together it left a few people scratching their heads. Well this tour and the NYC show at Terminal 5 proved the head scratchers wrong.
I had never seen Symphony X before and only knew their newest album Underworld going in. I did have an idea of what to expect knowing Russell Allen‘s work with Adrenaline Mob as well as Mike LePond‘s solo album Silent Assassin‘s but otherwise I was going in blind.
I can safely say I’m now a fan of Symphony X from the show. They are quit possibly one of the best mixes of melody and speed in the world of rock and metal. While I knew Russell Allen‘s abilities as a vocalist from Adrenaline Mob, it’s only a hint of his abilities. “Without You” and “Charon”, both off their latest album Underworld, truly highlighted his abilities as a singer. I’m even more ashamed of myself for not knowing them prior to this show because as they dove into “To Hell and Back” and “Of Sin and Shadows” I was truly blown away by Michael Romeo. I’m still sitting here wondering how I’ve never heard his name come up in guitarist discussions over the years. He, like all of Symphony X, might be one of the underrated bands in the world of rock and metal for not being part of regular discussions of bands of the genre.
This set the mood right for New Jersey’s thrash legends Overkill to get the crowd into a frenzy. And they did just that. Opening the set with “Amorist” from their latest studio album White Devil Armory and rolled through a set of songs from all over their catalog. Which was definitely expected with the Historikill box set coming. Bobby Blitz, possibly one of the best frontmen in metal, always brings his best to each show. I truly love the way he rushes the microphone like a football player going for the tackle. It’s an adrenaline rush for the crowd and I’m sure for him. As a newer member to the Wrecking Crew I’m still becoming familiar with their catalog. While I dove into their early albums recently the ones coming in the Historikill box set is stuff I’m not totally familiar with. I really got into the first song of the encore “Playing With Spiders / Skullcrusher” as it really was unique. Plus the energy they guys have on stage is great. Seeing D.D. Verni, Dave Linsk, and Derek Tailer still totally amped on the last night of a tour speaks volumes to their unity as a band. Not forgetting Ron Lipnicki who I couldn’t see behind his kit but makes himself heard in a huge way, like any great drummer would.
Suffice to say any naysayers when this tour was first announced have been silenced. Yes Symphony X is considered progressive metal and Overkill is considered thrash metal. But in the end they both brought their top games for one….metal.