BY ROBERT A CHADWICK | Go Venue Magazine
On Thursday night, January 16, 2020, the city of Anaheim, California, at the House of Blues called for a round of pure heavy metal. Metal Allegiance was here to rock the crowd during the NAMM Show 2020 convention; their seventh year performing annually in Anaheim. Metal Allegiance is a heavy metal supergroup, formed in New York by Mark Menghi while recruiting bassist David Ellefson (Megadeth) – unfortunately he did not attend that evening, guitarist Alex Skolnick (Testament) and Mike Portnoy on drums. The band doesn’t have a permanent lead singer, they usually pick the guest musicians to contribute vocals to their studio and live shows.
The all-star lineup included special guests Mark Osegueda (Death Angel), Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth (Overkill), Chuck Billy (Testament), John Bush (Armored Saint), Troy Sanders (Mastodon), Phil Demmel (Machine Head, Vio-lence), Gary Holt (Exodus, Slayer), and just to name a few.
The set list was full of great metal songs ranging from Metallica, Judas Priest, Exodus, Anthrax, Slayer, Iron Maiden, and Rush (“Tom Sawyer” in the honor of Neil Peart’s recent passing).
One of Metal Allegiance’s two openers was a New Jersey-based melodic metallists Weapons of Anew featured vocalist Ray West, guitarist Freddy Ordine, bassist Stefan Reno Cutrupi and Chris Manfre on drums in supporting of their recent a new mini-album 2019 Tour Special EP which dropped on December 13th, 2019.
Next was Metal Allegiance’s direct opener Exmortus I haven’t heard of them before; they’re based out of Whittier, a Los Angeles area, whose lyrics mostly deal with battles and war; all with a blend of death vocals, and thrash riffs.
While both openers these guys were on fire, and ripped through each song effortlessly and aggressively. What a perfect way to warm up the crowd before Metal Allegiance hit the stage. Both are the bands to watch out for.
Personally, this was my first time attending this event, and of course this fantastic venue with the near-full packed of die-hard headbangers was in the room for an excellent heavy metal concert.
Metal Allegiance Set List – Thursday, January 16, 2020:
The Accuser (Metal Allegiance) | Bound by Silence (Metal Allegiance) | Can’t Kill the Devil (Metal Allegiance) | Leper Messiah (Metallica) | Exciter (Judas Priest) | Toxic Waltz (Exodus) | Princess of the Night (Saxon) | Refuse/Resist (Sepultura) | Wrecking Crew (Overkill) | Mother of Sin (Metal Allegiance) | Let Darkness Fall (Metal Allegiance) | Lights Out (Royal Blood) | What Doesn’t Die (Anthrax) | Only | Postmortem (Slayer) | Raining Blood (Slayer) | Angel of Death (Slayer) | Tom Sawyer (Rush) | Pledge of Allegiance (Metal Allegiance) | Running Free (Iron Maiden) | Overkill (Motörhead)