Mayhem Fest Delivers The Goods in Camden, NJ

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The sun is beaming bright. A parking lot is full of sweaty, die hard metal fans. And only the sounds of “SLAYER!” chants can be heard from the crowd. This can only mean one thing: Mayhem Fest has rolled into town. The second annual Mayhem Festival, co-headlined by thrash titans Slayer and the infamous Marilyn Manson, arrived in Camden, New Jersey this past Friday. With a lineup made up of 13 bands spread out on three different stages, this year’s Mayhem Festival delivered the goods. By giving fans such a unique caliber of bands, and the opportunity to interact with those bands and their fellow concert goers, it was close to impossible to leave the show without a smile (or an evil grin if you’re too hardcore to smile). The following is a summary of what went down at each stage and in my opinion which band had the best performance from each stage.

5568_114183778807_504298807_2190085_4841255_n<On the Main Stage, Bullet For My Valentine, who the metal community seems to have a love/hate relationship with, kicked things off. While the band didn’t blow my mind away, playing a new tune in addition to songs from their catalog, the U.K. metal band received a positive response from the audience and in return gave an energetic performance. Next, the equally loved/hated Killswitch Engage stepped up to the stage to deliver an entertaining set. While Adam Dutkiewicz’s onstage antics were a bit too goofy and distracting from the performance (I guess Kerry King was right), singer Howard Jones’ strength in his vocals and presence on stage are undeniable. While BFMV and KSE definitely gave it their all, everything changed once the one and only Slayer took the stage. As the band stormed through classics like “Angel of Death”, “Raining Blood”, “War Ensamble”, “Mandatory Suicide”, and “Dead Skin Mask”, you were left in awe of the power possessed by the Metal Icons. Each riff, each solo and each scream tore you from limb to limb. It still amazes me how Kerry King, Tom Araya, Jeff Hanneman and Dave Lombardo has remained such a tight unit musically after all these years together. And as for the other co-headliner, Marilyn Manson….in order for me to maintain a positive outlook on the amazing experience held at this year’s Mayhem Fest, I will simply state this: you think its fun to watch a clown in a train wreck until you actually see it occur.

BEST OF THE MAIN STAGE: Slayer
WHY?: …… Do I really need to further explain?!

5568_114183033807_504298807_2189960_4019949_nOn the Jagermeister Side Stage, fans were treated to performances from today’s future giants of metal. New Jersey’s own God Forbid stirred the crowd into frenzy with their in your face thrash metal, while mass-core sensation All That Remains had the crowd in the palm of their fingers throughout their entire set. The Jagermeister Stage’s headliner, Trivium, worked the parking lot as if they were performing to an arena filled with thousands of fans with its own batch of melodic metal.

BEST OF THE JAGERMEISTER STAGE: God Forbid
WHY?: All That Remains and Trivium gave top notch performances that made me into a giddy fan (that’s right, I am not ashamed to admit). However, the NJ Thrashers gave a stunning hometown performance that made this fellow Jersey Boy proud.

5568_114183318807_504298807_2190004_3845959_nOn the Hot Topic Side Stage, lovers of the underground scene were treated to pounding performances from up and coming favorites White Chapel and Job For A Cowboy, both leaving a mark on the audience early on. In addition, performance from fan favorites The Black Dahlia Murder and Behemoth made it next to impossible for fans to not jump into a mosh pit and cause chaos. If their performances weren’t enough to make even the pickiest metal fan happy, a performance from death metal gods Cannibal Corpse certainly did the job.

BEST OF THE HOT TOPIC STAGE: Behemoth
WHY?: This was a tough one. While seeing Black Dahlia Murder for the first time live made me into a devoted fan, and witnessing Cannibal Corpse live was truly brutal, I have to give it to Behemoth. For they are the first band I have seen who can deliver in your face, pounding metal while garnered in such medieval armor and white make up. That is simply kick ass!

– Zach Shaw

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One Response to “Mayhem Fest Delivers The Goods in Camden, NJ”

  1. […] Mayhem Fest will also be beneficial to an already top notch festival. As you may remember from my review, I had an amazing time at this past year’s Mayhem Fest. This year’s lineup was truly […]

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