08 November 2008
Iced Earth/Early Man/Vektor/Malnurture @ The Marquee 11/7/2008
Malnuture were the openers, and one of two local bands opening the show. They played a style quite similar to Iced Earth with some screaming and even growling over a more traditional heavy metal backdrop. Though they lacked the polish of a more seasoned band, but some seeds of good music existed there and without doubt if they keep playing they will have a nice sound. Mixing wasn't awful but one thing that drove me crazy was that the backup vocals were louder than the lead vocals...never something that should happen.
Vektor was the stronger of the local bands, and in fact the energy the crowd had when they were playing rivaled Early Man, a band actually on the tour. Vocals were definitely lacking, but I think the band was aware...they played predominately instrumental music with vocals only mixed in every now and then. All the musicians were very talented, I was debating buying a CD, but opted not to because I felt they too had not quite defined their sound. One sad note was that they announced this show was their bassist's last show...which was sad because dude held a mean groove.
Early Man sort of fell flat for a band on tour with Iced Earth. Which is not to say they were bad. They were quite enjoyable and definitely had that polished sound the local openers lacked. But much as their Thrash-y style appealed to me (especially with the clean vocals at time reminding me of Rush with their high pitch), there was something missing. Maybe it was just the first night and they weren't on their game yet.
Iced Earth, on the other hand, was definitely on their game. Though not a band particularly engrossed in stage antics, they still manage to be energetic and draw the crowd in (which was helpfully full of very loyal fans). Additionally their music plays very well live. Though my favorite songs were those with which I was already familiar, I enjoyed the rest of the set too. While many bands can be boring live if you are unfamiliar with their music, Iced Earth is not one of those bands. The music was not executed on the same sublime level as a band like Opeth, but these guys definitely know what they're doing.