Tag Archives: Mayhem Fest

The Vault: Mayhem Fest 2015 at the PNC Bank Arts Center (7/21/15)

mayhem2015

Editor’s Note: In the wacky world of publishing, some stories don’t see the light of day. Whether they sit on the back burner until they become irrelevant, positions change hands or they just plain get cut, it’s just one of those things. Today, one of those unpublished articles will finally get its due as we traverse the archives of “The Vault.”

Rockstar Energy’s Mayhem Fest, the annual touring metal festival with a more mainstream lineup than others. Due to the festival being a haven for nu-metal and metalcore artists, I usually never bother to go.

However,in 2012 I planned on going to see Motorhead, get a second round with Slayer and Anthrax and in 2013 Amon Amarth and Mastodon; but car repairs and work schedules made it impossible. When King Diamond was announced for 2015 I knew I had to go.

I went down to the PNC Bank Arts Center with my friend Drew as well as my middle-aged metalhead friend Jay for our chance to see the King. Due to the amount of crappy bands on the bill, we decided to get there in time for Jungle Rot, skipping the first three hours of the fest. Due to the PNC Bank Arts Center being 90 minutes away and New Jersey being traffic land, we left with an extra hour in between (just in case we got stuck).

Sister Sin

We got there around 3:20. Drew and I had free tickets while Jay still had to buy his. After waiting for Jay at the box office we then walked over to the Victory Records stage, where Sister Sin was playing. Drew and I watched them while Jay looked at merch. Sister Sin were a hair metal throwback band from Sweden and while Drew and I both agreed that though not our thing, they still performed well.

Jungle Rot

Jay came back just in time for us to catch these death metal legends. Both Jay and I have seen these guys before but its been years for both of us. Drew had yet to ever see them and was very curious. As they always had been for us, the band’s hardcore influenced death metal delivered. Due to having a short set they didn’t get to play a lot of their classics like “Fractured” and “Victim of Violence.” This aside, the set was still good and the pit was pretty violent.

Thy Art is Murder

I had already sat through this terrible deathcore band about a year ago at Summer Slaughter and they were the worst band on the bill (although neither them or Within The Ruins stopped it from being one of the best shows of 2014). During their set we just got some disgusting overpriced dinner and came back to hear their last 2 songs (which sucked).

Whitechapel

Drew is a big fan of the first two albums (2007’s “The Somatic Defilement” and 2008’s “This Is Exile”) by deathcore pioneers Whitechapel. He’s also had five chances to see them and missed them every time. Though the setlist only had two songs from that era, Drew still wanted to see them because he missed them so many times before.

Jay and I on the other hand are not fans of them at all. During this time I noticed Jungle Rot were at their merch booth. I waited in line to meet vocalist Dave Matrise in person, whom I’ve also interviewed. Matrise was a really nice guy. I then watched the rest of Whitechapel’s set. Neither Jay or I were impressed while Drew was only impressed when they played the two older songs.

The Devil Wears Prada

Around 6:30 p.m. I was scheduled to interview Slayer’s Paul Bostaph behind the main stage. This left me with about 20 minutes with The Devil Wears Prada. We all walked to the main stage where they were playing. Drew and I had close seats while Jay sat a little higher up. None of us wanted to see them. They played very boring and very generic metalcore. When I was finally called to go back stage I was very happy to not be watching them anymore while Drew and Jay were stuck.

Hellyeah

After that awesome interview with Bostaph, it was time for the show to shift from generic metalcore to generic groove metal. Drew and I KNEW this was going to be bad. Jay on the other hand was curious simply because Pantera’s Vinnie Paul was in the band and had never heard them before (he ended up hating them).

The band looked straight out of Oniontown (a hick part of Dutchess County, NY) and the vocalist Chad Gray of Mudvayne always annoyingly chanted about metal brotherhood. Four days before this show I saw Superjoint Ritual play live. Seeing these two in within a week reminded me why I respect Phil Anselmo more.

King Diamond

The time finally came for the main reason why I was here. Drew and I were huge King Diamond fans for many years and never thought we would ever see him. Jay had not seen him since he played The Chance ten years ago with Behemoth, Nile and The Black Dahlia Murder (where are these tour packages now?). Jay realized that the seating area was pretty empty and that security was pretty bad.

King opened the set with “The Candle,” getting Jay really hyped. The stage was very theatrical with coffins, grave stones and a woman who would play characters from King’s songs. The set contained classics like “Tea,””Welcome Home,””Eye of the Witch” and “Sleepless Nights.” It got even better midway through the set. Slayer’s Kerry King got on guitar and they played the Mercyful fate songs “Evil” and “Come to the Sabbath.” King then ended the set with THREE songs from his 1987 masterpiece “Abigail.”

Slayer

The final act of the night was Slayer (or as people like to call this lineup, “Slayodus”).

I saw Slayer once five years ago with Megadeth and Anthrax. Slayer had the original lineup and played all of  1990’s “Seasons in the Abyss” and some other random songs. Megadeth played all of their greatest album (which also came out in 1990) “Rust in Peace,” plus some random songs as well. Rather than keep tradition and play all of their 1990 classic “Persistence of Time,” Anthrax met the others halfway and just played seven random songs.

Jay has seen Slayer many times with the last time at this point being Mayhem Fest 2012. For Drew this was his first time. They started the set with mostly newer songs. If you had read my ranking on Slayer albums you know I mostly like the older Slayer albums other then a few songs (which some of those were played). The band then shifted into a set of older songs. I was really glad they played “Hell Awaits,” ”Postmortem,” ”Chemical Warfare” and “Ghosts of War”- which were all songs they didn’t play last time. While it wasn’t the original lineup, it still was a great set and all three of us were glad we went (which is all that matters anyway).

 

Paul Bostaph Talks New Slayer Album, Jeff Hanneman, Mayhem Fest

On July 21st 2015, Rockstar’s Mayhem Festival came to Holmdel, New Jersey. The fest had several big names, though the highlights were Jungle Rot, King Diamond and Slayer.

Jungle Rot put on a crushing death metal performance and got the pit going. Their setlist only contained six songs, but they made the most of their short set.

King Diamond was the most hyped act of the year and had the biggest crowd of any band that day. The theatrical set mostly consisted of songs from King’s classic albums. It got even better halfway through when he covered the Mercyful Fate classics “Evil” and “Come to the Sabbath” with Slayer’s Kerry King on guitar. The set then ended with three songs from King’s most popular album, Abigail. 

However, the final band of the night was none other than Slayer. Slayer started their set with several of their 2000’s songs including the three singles from their upcoming album Repentless. The second half of the set was all older songs including the popular tracks “Raining Blood”,”South Of Heaven”,”Hell Awaits” and “Angel of Death” as well as deep cuts like “Chemical Warfare”, and “Ghosts of War”. The band’s energy was great and the sound was spot on.

During the fest, Alternative Nation was able to catch drummer Paul Bostaph for an in person interview. We discussed the band’s upcoming album as well other topics related to his body of work.

Tell us a little about your upcoming album Repentless.

We all have different opinions on the album since we are all different people. It’s the first album we have done without Jeff as well as the first album I’ve been on since God Hates Us All in 2001. The whole time I was in the studio, Jeff was on my mind. He was a big part of the band and I feel I lost a friend. We still haven’t let things settle… that type of thing is not easy to deal with.

I noticed the three singles released for far,”Repentless”, “As Stillness Comes” and “Implode” are pretty different. Which one would you say represents the new album the most?

I wouldn’t say that one any of those songs represent the whole record at all. The different between the three represents diversity in the record. Each song on this record will have a different intensity. Some songs are darker then others. The three songs released show that it will not be the same thing on every track.

I see Mayhem Fest is going well so far…

Mayhem Fest is awesome! Unfortunately, I have not been able to see any of the bands on the second stage. The second stage is normally not very close to the main stage and we usually get here too late to catch those bands. I really enjoy sharing the stage with King Diamond. I’m a huge Mercyful Fate fan and love his solo stuff as well.

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