Live at The Belasco Theatre
Los Angeles, CA
April 18th, 2019
Review and photos by Travis Baumann
Metal Allegiance is a premiere super group with a revolving roster of some of the best talent in the metal scene today. Originating as a group of friends who got together to cover their favorite metal anthems, it quickly evolved into something much more.
With two full length albums of original material that instantly rank up their with their contributor's primary projects, Metal Allegiance is a must see concert experience.
The brain child of bassist Mark Menghi. the band quickly got its foundation with full time members Alex Skolnick from Testament, David Ellefson from Megadeth, and Mike Portnoy from Winery Dogs (and ex Dream Theater).
Collaborating with this tight core was a plethora of amazing vocalists and musicians. This tour included none other than Chuck Billy from Testament, Troy Sanders from Mastadon, Phil Demmel from Machine Head, and John Bush from Armored Saint (and a stint in Anthrax as well).
At the end of the set they had another special guest join them on stage, Nita "Hurricane" Strauss of Alice Cooper's band (as well as Starbreakers and Iron Maidens) came out and performed on the last two songs. But we are getting ahead of ourselves... for now back to the beginning.
As the band came to the stage, the primary musicans played the duration for the most part, but the vocalists rotated through out the set - sometimes one at a time, on a few songs, two or more came out at once to share the vocal duties.
"Pledge of Allegiance" was the anthem that started it all so it was also a fitting place to kick off the festivities. Originally voiced by Mark Osegueda of Death Angel fame, John Bush handled the part on this evening.
Chuck Billy swapped spots with him to sing the part he voiced for the original album release, "Can't Kill the Devil", which was awesome to see live this time around. True to their origins, they slip in quite a few covers in between their original material and the first of the evening was "Leper Messiah" from Metallica's early repitoirre.
They followed that up with "The Accuser" (original vox by Trevor Strnad from Black Dalhia Murder) which led into another from the latest Metal Allegiance album with John Bush's own contribution, "Bound by Silence". This track is one of my favorite songs from "Power Drunk Majesty".
John continued with an Anthrax cover from his time with that band, "Room for One More". The next cover was a rager from Exodus, "Bonded by Blood". They did "Gift of Pain" from Metal Allegiance's self titled album, originally sung by Lamb of God front man Randy Blythe.
My all-time favorite Metal Allegiance song to date was up next with Troy Sanders taking the stage for his "Let Darkness Fall". This is such a great song and Troy is manic and fun to watch on stage. I honestly wish that I could watch him in this capacity all the time.
Switching up again, they did "Dying Song", original vocals by Phil Anselmo, before hitting up another great song from their latest album, "Voodoo of the Godsend". Max Cavalera sang this on the album but Chuck did an impressive job for tonight's rendition. Chuck and Alex covered their own band Testatment for "Into the Pit", which of course pitched the mosh pit into a frenzied state.
Troy came back out for his contribution to the last album for the Ministry influenced "Liars & Theives". The band did another one from "Power Drunk Majesty" with "Impulse Control" (album version by Mark Osegueda) before settling into a bout of covers to end the set.
John Bush came back out for another Anthrax song, "Only" and then David Ellefson led the charge on one from his band, "Peace Sells". It was very entertaining to see the different vocalists each do a part of the classic Megadeth verse.
A main-stay of Metal Allegiance sets, the old Metallica staple, "Metal Militia" kept the audience singing along before they hit the final two songs of the set. Alex introduced Nita who joined them for Iron Maiden's "The Trooper" and one of my favorite Motorhead songs, "Iron Fist".
It was an amazing show and a good time was had by all. The entire band was smiling and enjoying their time together and the audience was treated to a mega dose of metal. We got so many great originals and so many fun covers as well. I love seeing Metal Allegiance live and can't wait until I get to see them again.
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