THE THREE TREMORS / SACRED DAWN / SCARS OF ARMAGEDDON
Date: 08th March, 2019
Venue: The Forge
It was a busy Friday with at least three Metal shows happening in the Chicago area, so in principal choosing where to go was a tough riddle to solve. Or wasn’t it? Without putting the bands on a weighting scale, I would say that at least for me this was a no-brainer. I mean, having the three best screamers in Metal sharing the same stage is a more than enough good reason to choose driving all the way to Joliet. Moreover, to make the deal even sweeter, THE THREE TREMORS have an awesome album under their belt and rumor had it that they would play the entire thing live, among other goodies.
There was no way to get at The Forge early enough to catch all the bands on the billing but at least there was enough time to watch SACRED DAWN delivering the Power Metal goods with a pinch of Progressive. Seeing the band getting ready in front of a pretty scarcely occupied arena was a bit disappointing, although I would expect a packed venue when more modern-friendly shows were happening on the same day. Whether I like it or not, the audience for the traditional Metal of THE THREE TREMORS is a bit scattered around the States. “How are we doing this evening?” asked Lothar and with those words, he managed to wake some metalheads up because there was definitely a movement towards the stage and away from the bar. This was not an easy task because having some cold ones after a long week is a great pastime activity on Fridays and rather difficult to get away from… Still, the fast and heavy “The Decision” sounded loud enough to change people’s priorities and The Forge looked more like a concert venue and less than a bar. Fortunately, SACRED DAWN did not have to do more convincing since “I’m The One” that came without pausing saw fists in the air and greeted by the occasional yeahs from the ones who knew the band. It was obvious that SACRED DAWN were running on fresh and high-octane fuel, and after the awesome “Walls OF Jericho”, I realized why. “We are currently recording and mixing the new album for a summer release” said Lothar confirming the band’s good mood and gathered momentum. There was a two-song sneak peek of the band’s song-writing/recording doings, and based on this unofficial studio report, I can say with confidence that good things are on the making. The set ended with “Demonlover” that Lothar dedicated to a friend/fan of the band whose enthusiasm turned out to be highly contagious. Yep, that was a great way to end the set and leave a primed audience to THE THREE TREMORS.
SACRED DAWN setlist:
01. “The Decision”
02. “I’m The One”
03. “The Untold Story”
04. “Walls Of Jericho”
05. “Master Of Worlds”
06. “Metal Monkey”
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During the stage prep, the metalheads closed ranks in the front rows and the arena’s venue had acquired the look of a proper show. Still, I was expecting more people to be drawn by the level of musicianship that took over the stage for the next 90 minutes. Soon, everyone would realize how big of a mistake those who did not come made, and how lucky were the ones who became part of the show. Anyways, enough with the old man’s complain, and onwards with how the show went down...
Around 10:30pm, the lights went out and the short taped intro saw the band assuming positions, having the three tremors on the spotlight. It is impossible to imagine how well these three singers look onstage as one would expect to be somewhat awkward. This was not the case and I bet having a European show under their belt has helped this lineup found a way around the stage. Harry and Sean were at stage-right and stage-left, respectively, with Tim at the center. Still, the visual aspects paled in comparison with the way the three voices started delivering the vein popping “Wrath Of Asgard”. It is a different ballgame to hear the three singers on the record where the mixing-board can perform miracles than witnessing how those vocal chord-challenging timbres were exchanging leading parts. Yes, it made it sound like this band had already served more tour of duties than it really had. Of course, part of this success should be attributed to the CAGE lineup that did an amazing job throughout the set. The solid guitar action by the Garcia / Trask duo during the adrenaline pumped “Bullets For The Damned” showed it razor-sharp teeth from the get-go. Even though Sean Elg and Alex Pickard were rather pushed towards the back (ok, Sean is the drummer so he couldn’t do otherwise), were equal matches to the energy levels of the rest. The screams did not fade at all during the heavier, in-your-face and PRIEST-like “When The Last Scream Fades” but did give the perfect pass to the first cover of the night. Sean and Harry left the stage to Ripper who assumed the hands-out position that hinted what was next on the set…That’s right, “Burn In Hell” was next and it sounded absolutely fantastic, and I would give additional credit for getting the guitar distortion sound so close to the original. To my surprise, there was a loud singing-along during the chorus and I am saying this for the obvious reason; this is not a PRIEST hit but it definitely an underrated song from an underrated album. And to follow this with my favorite from the “The Three Tremors” LP, gave me the goosebumps. I mean, the riffs on “The Cause” are one more reason to headbang like there’s not tomorrow. And it was this point on the set that I truly appreciated Sean Peck’s vocals and at the same time made me a bit sad because I had never seen him live with CAGE.
With three singers sharing the stage, there was a lot to watch; Harry was extremely playful occasionally teasing everyone, Tim was the Ripper most of us know from his time in PRIEST and Sean was the one who had the clearest and loudest communication channel with the fans at the front rows. No matter the stage-behaviors, the three gentlemen nailed the vocals from start to finish, hitting those impossible screams like it was the easiest thing to do.
Ripper took the opportunity to greet a friend who happened to be David Shankle (his name should at least ring the MANOWAR bell) who also happened to be celebrating his birthday by coming to such and awesome show. Ripper went beyond the birthday wishes and dedicated “King Of The Monsters” to Dio and Lemmy with what seemed to me like a genuine gesture that steamed from deep appreciation of what those two Legends have offered in the Metal scene. This dedication was highlighted by following this song with the cover on “Heaven And Hell”. The rather loud singing-along did prove the obvious; music and personas like Dio and Lemmy unite metalheads no matter what.
After this nice double-dedication treat, it was Sean’s turn to visit his CAGE stuff delivering an amazing live version of “Hell Destroyer”. There was a guest singer [edit: his name is Alonso Zø Donoso] who joined Sean onstage but I have to apologize for not catching his name. You’ve got to love those little things that when you are describing them do not sound really special, so you have to be there to feel the excitement they bring. This instance I am talking about Sean turning his back to point at his jacket patch reading Hell Destroyer… Was this appropriate? Absolutely it was, and this also happens to be his nickname. I have admit that Harry (aka The Tyrant) was in amazing mood and, in fact, I would go that far and say that his performance was night-and-day better than the recent one with JAG PANZER. I don’t know, maybe the bigger stage and the energy surge from the other two singers might be the things to blame for this, but in the end of the day, who cares? Anyways, Harry introduced the next one by dedicating it to Ripper and I believe reading the lyrics you’ll see the connection. Harry got his turn to visit his rich backcatalogue bringing the almighty JAG PANZER on the limelight; “What is the most dominating color in Metal? What is the color of the stage monitors?” were some of the hints he gave us that “Black” would be next. What an amazing song that is! What an amazing performance by Harry who delivered the epic vocals with his unique timbre! Really, the slow parts of the song were a constant shivers-down-your-spine moment.
The last song from the regular set was “Fly Die” that Ripper explained talks about Pearl Harbor, and the anthemic guitar riffs were absolutely fitting for dropping the curtain on a high moment. Ok, the cheers to bring the band back onstage were somewhat weak and partly this is because everyone knows nowadays that there will be an encore, so really there is no need to ask for one. Oh man, I wish this would change and see a band return only if is asked to… Fortunately, THE THREE TREMORS did not wait to be properly called but did return with the drum intro quickly revealing what was next. Oh yeah, the three singers delivered an amazing version of “Painkiller” and it would unfair to only credit the singing part because the rest of the band did perform this one as close to the original as possible (especially the solo was a killer). After this awesome cover, it was appropriate to close the show with the album’s title track; yes, “The Three Tremors” knocked the socks off our feet for the last time and made me already feel excited with the news that there is a second album coming. Check what Ripper told METAL KAOZ HERE and you will share my excitement too. In the meantime, make sure to check THE THREE TREMORS live in order to catch part of this Metal action!
“An urban legend from the golden age
The fans demanded that it must be made
We'll push these voices past the limit line
You'll hear them echo 'til the end of time”
THE THREE TREMORS setlist:
01. “Wrath Of Asgard”
02. “Invaders From The Sky”
03. “Bullets For The Damned”
04. “When The Last Scream Fades”
05. “Burn In Hell” (JUDAS PRIEST cover)
06. “The Cause”
07. “King Of The Monsters”
08. “Heaven And Hell” (BLACK SABBATH cover)
09. “Hell Destroyer” (CAGE cover)
10. “Sonic Suicide”
11. “Lust Of The Blade”
12. “Black” (JAG PANZER cover)
13. “Fly Or Die”
14. “Painkiller” (JUDAS PRIEST cover)
15. “The Three Tremors”
THE THREE TREMORS
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