METAL ALLEGIANCE, the supergroup featuring Mark Menghi, David Ellefson (MEGADETH), Alex Skolnick (TESTAMENT) and Mike Portnoy (THE WINERY DOGS, ex-DREAM THEATER), celebrated the release of their sophomore album Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty at The Gramercy Theatre on September 6 in New York City. However, the evening was more of a commemoration and tribute to heavy metal music as the night began with opening acts TERRORBYTE, FOLLOW THE AWAKENED, WEAPONS OF ANEW to warm up the stage.
The show continued to heat up as VENOM INC., featuring former VENOM members Jeff “Mantas” Dunn (guitar), Anthony “Abaddon” Bray (drums) as well as the Prime Evil era bassist/vocalist Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan, were up next. However, Jeramie Kling (THE ABSENCE) has been filling in for Bray since last spring. The trio had an aggressive energy as they continued to support 2017’s Avé as well as their latest single “War.” Additionally, they ripped into a handful of VENOM classics such as “Die Hard,” “Lady Lust,” “Black Metal,” “Sons of Satan,” and “Witching Hour.” The highlight of their performance was seeing Mantas back from the dead as he suffered a heart attack last May, which resulted in a double bypass surgery in Lisbon, Portugal.
After a short break it was time for the official heavy METAL ALLEGIANCE party to begin as Ellefson, Skolnick, Portnoy, and Menghi took the stage with Andreas Kisser (SEPULTURA) and Mark Osegueda (DEATH ANGEL); they went straight into “Pledge of Allegiance.” The night was a reminder of 70000 Tons of Metal cruise, where on the final day of the event they have an All Star performance with different artists perform metal classics together. This evening was no different as they performed for over two hours with a handful of special guests including John Bush (ARMORED SAINT), Mark Tornillo from ACCEPT, Bobby Blitz (OVERKILL), Trevor Strnad (THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER), and Alissa White-Gluz (ARCH ENEMY). The guest musicians continued to surprise the crowd as no one knew what would happen next.
Originally this was slated as a record release party. However, it was so much more as the classic metal covers included JUDAS PRIEST’S “Rapid Fire,” ACCEPT’S “Restless and Wild,” ANTHRAX’S “Room for One More,” EAGLES’ “Life in the Fast Lane,” OVERKILL’S “Elimination,” BLACK SABBATH’S “Electric Funeral,” DIO’S “Stand Up and Shout,” IRON MAIDEN’S “Aces High,” and METALLICA’S “Hit the Lights.” Songs from the new album included “Terminal Illusion,” “The Accuser,” “Bound by Silence,” “Impulse Control,” and more.
LIVE IMAGES AND WORDS: ZENAE D. ZUKOWSKI