The Ozzfest Meets Knotfest surfaced from the pits of hell and within their roster many legions of death were gathered to celebrate music; metal music in all its sound waves, shapes and weight. Wether you are a fan of Marylin Manson, Kreator or underground death metal act Exhumed; the bands were there to rage and make fans lose their way. The festival took place in the San Manuel Amphitheater with all the heavy bands playing through out the weekend.
The opening act on day one was ready to hit the stage and deliver magnificent metal, Thrown Into Exile came in hot, with brutal metal. The Californian locals opened the stage, fans were there as early as 11:00 am, when the guitars roared loud. This is important, as no other opening bands in previous Knotfest, or Ozzfest had a big crowd that early in the morning. Younger fans are picking up new music and Ray Sanchez and Mario Rubio guitarist of T.I.E. delivered some finger licking riffs. With Scott Shelko on drums hammering away, the Ozzfest had kicked off hot.
The Nuclear Blast Extreme stage had acts like Rings of Saturn who delivered intense guitar licks, Miles Dimitri and Aaron Stechauner deliver the music that transport you to another dimension. Meanwhile, Ian Bearer roars with his guttural vocals. Despite the minor sound issue at the beginning, the guys shook it off and performed with skill and technicality. Fallujah, a bay area death metal band also performed on this stage intensifying the pure adrenaline projected at fans. The quintet came strong and projected a furious sound on stage, with Brian “Deebs” James and Scott Corsairs delivering the technical guitar work that brought them fame. This band is heavy, and unleashes the fury on stage, as fans crow surf and headband relentlessly. A diabolical band closed the Nuclear Blast stage on day one, Possessed, delivered satanic songs to impure souls. It was a packed stage, as old school fans and new comers hailed Possessed. Death metal is said to be created by these brutalizers and fans got a dose of that intense sound. Jeff Becerra, delivered sadistic vocals while Daniel Gonzales and Robert Cardenas delivered heavy guitar and bass tones. This band has demoniacal chemistry and their sound hits your ears as if it was the first time you have ever heard death metal. That old school death metal tone destroys stages with magnitude and loud drums by Emilio Marquez, fans watched and raged to every single song. The festival had multiple stages, and though choices were made when you decided to witness certain bands over others, but the love for metal was displayed by fans.
Acts like 1349, Norwegian black metal act, burned stage A with their Aural Hellfire. The corpse painted black metal purveyors were treated by a huge crowd, one that hailed 1349. Black metal fans are devoted individuals, as this band delivered the sounds of classic black metal, raw, relentless and dark; fans were evoked and chanted to songs mesmerized by such talent. The Norwegian force brought their wrath to San Bernardino and fans embellished the darkness, as the clouds dimmed the sky. An ominous force was delivered by John “The Charn” Rice on drums, and Archaon on guitars, producing those crucial black metal riffs. Ravn gored like a demon on stage fronting 1349, projecting their dark aura forward. Mean while a heavy contrast was added by Seideman on bass punishing those whose souls are lost in the infernal flames. True black metal was hailed as 1349 delivered a ritualistic sound.
Before Kreator, the closing act bands like Night Demon and High on Fire demolished the stage with heavy metal and rock n roll. Night Demon opened this stage, and delivered a mesmerizing set. The trio from Ventura California rocked hard on stage, with Jarvis Leatherby on vocals and bass, their speed made fans mosh relentlessly. Guitarist Armand John Anthony shredded away head banging like a true rockstar. Fans crowd surfed and sang along while Dusty Squire hammered away his cannons. Night Demon might be at starting their career but they are no strangers to touring for fans that love heavy metal. The guys delivered an insane show. Soon after, High on Fire, came with heavy guitar tones and deep bass lines complimented by astonishing drum work. All of those course of Matt Pike, Dess Kensel, and Jeff Matz the Oakland trio that has been ravaging stages since 1998. A heavy octane sound is what this band delivered on stage and the fans received their sound with arms wide opened. This band is heavy, groovy and it will make you light up a joint, smoke it and feel the vibrations. Day one neared the end, and the main stage was set to go for Children of Bodom soon after Orange Goblin delivered a doom bomb.
Children of Bodom’s, first Ozzfest was a great success, despite the early performance, as the sun was still out, melodic death metal composers conjured a brutal show. Alexi Laiho pushes his skills each time he is on stage, with riveting guitar solos and finger licking riffs he is able to project raw gory vocals as well. Daniel Freyberg, the newest addition on rhythm guitars can also bend and pull on the strings with agility and precision. Both guitarist created a melodic sound that made the entire amphitheater go wild. Janne Warman enjoyed chugging a beer while he delivered keyboard solos, and symphonic melodies. Jaska W. Raatikainen was a bit hidden by his monstrous drum set, all heads needed to deliver powerful blasts while Henkka T. Blacksmith complimented those catastrophic explosions on bass. Children of Bodom will never disappoint metalheads. The days was a fulfilled one, loaded with metal of all kinds and humans with one common interests, extreme fucking music.
Bands like Tombs from New York city went up on stage b, and their sound keeps getting heavier, and faster with each show they play. Mike Hill, wearing his aviator glasses strummed that guitar with power. This post black metal band redefines the sound of modern black metal, sounding heavy, fast and giving that grim feeling this genre gives. Iron Reagan, the hardcore punk band delivered about 15 songs in a thirty minute set, yea fast and heavy as hell. The band is packed with energy and each members gives all their energy on stage. This is a band you do not want to miss. Havok and Barrones also performed bringing intense sounds. During the Barrones set a fan was crying, not sure if it was excitement or a song hit a sad corner of her life, regardless the band kicked ass. Per usual, Havok delivered a neck breaking performance. Thrash metal lords savaged the stage. All these bands delivered their souls to the audience and in return each fan raged, sang and mosh to quench their insatiable lust for heavy sounds, and extreme music.
The night ended with the sounds of The Deftones, and Prophets of Rage to have Ozzy Osbourne close the Ozzfest. The Deftones played a great show, followed by Prophets of Rage, who ultimately are Rage Against the Machine with out Zach De La Rocha, still brutal nonetheless. The fans went wild as POR played some Audioslave tunes as well as Rage Agains the Machine. The Amphitheater went wild as Tom Morello gave the bird to the sky, and as the band raged on stage. Ozzy Osbourne delivered what could possibly be his second to last final tour, and with Zakk Wylde on guitar they delivered songs like Mr. Crowley and Crazy Train. If you did not go crazy during this performance, you must not be a metal fan. All hell broke lose during this festive night, where metal heads from all corners of the country congregated to celebrate music, from death metal, black metal and heavy metal the fans were there to support the scene that matters, the music that gives them a sense of belonging and as a family they all raged.
Written by: Hostile Jo
Photos by:Jose Barrientos
Copyright ©2017, Rockbrary LLC all rights reserved