Tag Archives: doom metal

REVIEW: Tool‘s Epic Showmanship Takes Fans on a Sonic Odyssey for Night Two at Footprint Center (2-10-24)

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PHOENIX — On an unexpectedly brisk February evening, amidst the peculiar backdrop of lightning streaking across the Arizona sky, an eager audience gathered to experience the second night of Tool in Phoenix, accompanied by special guests Elder, on their simply-named “Winter Tour.” It comes as no shock that Tool effortlessly filled their hometown venue for two consecutive nights. These performances were a delight for fans of progressive rock, as both bands firmly reside within this genre’s realm.


Elder’s journey began as a trio in 2006, in a quaint seaside town in Massachusetts before eventually relocating to Berlin, Germany. Evolving into the present-day roster of 4 members, lead vocalist and guitarist Nick DiSalvo stands as the sole remaining founding member. The group boasts an impressive discography, including, but not limited to, six full-length albums. 

Comparisons abound between Elder and Tool, and while Elder tends to lean more toward the classifications of doom metal and stoner rock, there are undeniable similarities between the two groups. The 4-song, 40-minute set, which felt more like a mesmerizing jam session by a highly skilled and technically proficient ensemble, seemed to defy the passage of time. The band does not do very much that would be considered new, but what they do is done extremely well. 

Nick DiSalvo of Elder performing at Footprint Center
Nick DiSalvo (Vocalist, Guitarist), Elder
Katherine Amy Vega © All Rights Reserved

Even without the elaborate visual show that Tool brings to the table, Elder’s performance—accompanied only by their name on the screen behind them—was very enjoyable. It served as a compelling example of why you should show up early to witness the openers. In fact, DiSalvo thanked the crowd for coming early to see them. They are worth catching when they come to town, and one can only hope they will swing by again sooner than later.


Among the fans in the arena, there was a palpable sense of anticipation, steadily mounting as the clock ticked towards 8:30. Nearly every attendee had settled into their seats about 15 minutes before the lights dimmed, all eager for what was to come—and with good reason. The opening sequence offered a tantalizing glimpse of the extraordinary spectacle about to unfold before their eyes.

The lights dimmed, the crowd erupted into cheers, and a heartbeat from “Third Eye” began. As Tool’s widely-acclaimed drummer Danny Carey climbed behind the kit, a massive skull moved across the screen from right to left in an arc. A second pass gave the skull muscles and blank eyes, a third and final pass gave it skin, irises, and pupils. By this time, guitarist Adam Jones and bassist Justin Chancellor had walked out, taking up their places in front of Carey.

Maynard James Keenan (Vocalist), Tool
Katherine Amy Vega © All Rights Reserved

Tool sets the stage in an unconventional way: The bassist and guitarist stand in front of the elevated drummer, who has quite the legendary kit surrounding him. On each side, slightly set back, are platforms mostly shrouded in darkness. Behind Carey, there is a walkway, serving as the domain of vocalist Maynard James Keenan, who adamantly prefers not to be at the forefront of attention. He has been known to face away from the audience to immerse himself in the right mindset for certain songs, but he did not do so this evening.

As the notes for “Fear Inoculum” began, Keenan could be seen pacing in circles on the stage-right platform. Keenan rarely stops moving during the show, and can be seen frequently crouching down as if he is preparing for an unseen opponent he could employ his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills against, given his black belt proficiency. He also rhythmically slaps his legs or pounds his chest to the beat when not singing. In essence, Keenan is a spectacle unto himself, captivating the audience with his dynamic presence.

Maynard James Keenan (Vocalist), Tool
Katherine Amy Vega © All Rights Reserved

There is an old adage that everyone knows by now: The only things certain in life are death and taxes. But nowadays, it seems almost incomplete without adding a third certainty: Maynard James Keenan’s disdain for all manner of cell phone usage at concerts. No matter which side you fall on the issue, there is no denying that as a concertgoer in these times, you are likely to partially watch the show through the lens of someone in front of you as they hold up their phone to record a video. Keenan has no problem letting you know how he feels about this, and in fact he insists that venues eject people who have their phones out. 30 or so people were reportedly kicked out during the prior night’s show for violating this rule, and at least 4 were spotted being escorted from the floor on this night. 

After “Fear Inoculum” ended, Keenan addressed the ban on cell phones by laying into the culture of addiction to false connections, informing people if they could not put their phones away for 2 hours, they should seek help. His reasoning was that he—and the band—wanted everyone to be present in the moment as they were taking the crowd on a journey. With the exception of the few who discovered that yes, it was still chilly outside, and yes, security was dead serious about enforcement of the policy, the audience as a whole respected the artists’ wishes. 

Maynard James Keenan (Vocalist), Tool
Katherine Amy Vega © All Rights Reserved

Keenan was not using hyperbole when discussing the journey to come. The show truly is a transformative experience, with visuals that sometimes evoke the sensation of a particularly intense trip on psychedelic mushrooms. A prime example occurred when the screen behind the band abruptly showcased towering, 40-foot-tall aliens peering out at the crowd. Overall, the visuals behind the band are absolutely incredible to see, and there is no denying that they immensely enhance the experience. It should also be noted that Jones is an accomplished makeup artist and set builder—including work on Jurassic Park—and as such, some of the visuals came from him. 

Adam Jones (Guitarist), Tool
Katherine Amy Vega © All Rights Reserved

Tool has a decent-sized body of work, with just over 50 songs in total, but the shows tend to have somewhat sparse setlists due to the length of their songs. This show was no exception, with just 11 songs, five of which came from 2019’s Fear Inoculum. There was a 12-minute intermission after the first 7 songs, where seemingly the entire arena made a mad dash to offload trash, visit concessions for some more food or drinks, and/or make a pitstop in the restroom. 

For those who managed to return in time, they were treated to the sight of Carey—sporting a personalized Phoenix Suns jersey and basketball shorts—standing before a colossal gong. After gently massaging the gong’s surface with his drumsticks, Carey took a mallet, pointed back toward the crowd, and delivered a resounding strike. Following this striking display, he settled behind his drum kit and unleashed a multi-minute drum solo, captivating the audience as it was magnificently showcased on the towering screens behind the stage.

Danny Carey (Drummer), Tool
Katherine Amy Vega © All Rights Reserved

Carey’s drumming prowess is unparalleled, a true maestro behind the kit. It’s not only enthralling to watch but also a delight to listen to him weave his rhythmic magic. 

Next up was Chancellor, who delivered a relatively swift bass solo. Despite its brevity, witnessing him coax sounds from the bass that seem impossible was incredibly impressive.

Justin Chancellor (Bassist), Tool
Katherine Amy Vega © All Rights Reserved

Lastly, but certainly not least, was Jones, who effortlessly shifts between styles, making it a bit more challenging to emulate him. However, witnessing someone defy “traditional” styles in such a remarkable manner is truly awe-inspiring. It’s a sheer pleasure to observe this trio craft music in ways that most can only dream of replicating. 

Adam Jones (Guitarist), Danny Carey (Drummer), & Justin Chancellor (Bassist) of Tool
Katherine Amy Vega © All Rights Reserved

There would be a total of 4 more songs, including “Flood,” which saw confetti dropping from the ceiling during the intro. Right before the final set, Keenan informed the crowd – almost resentfully – that since they had been good, they could film the final song. He also brought up the fact that he would be touring with A Perfect Circle and Puscifer, with a return to the valley in April. He then told the audience that they could take out their “stupid” phones, but warned that if they used their flash while taking photos or had their light on while filming, he would come down and “kick them in their vaginas.” As if on cue, someone immediately held up their phone with the light on, which drew Keenans’ wrath, as well as the attention of security.

What other song is better to close the show with than one of the most recognizable songs in rock, “Schism”? The opening notes may not be quite as recognizable as the riff, but almost any rock fan is immediately going to recognize those notes. It is fun to watch Tool live; every facet of the show is nothing short of entertaining, and the journey that Keenan promises to take the fans lives up to his word. As the final notes faded, Keenan left his perch for the first time, fist bumping each of his band mates before exiting the stage and allowing them to take the final bows they deserve. Keenan is an anti-star, if you will, and yet he certainly has the gravity of one. 

Maynard James Keenan (Vocalist), Tool
Katherine Amy Vega © All Rights Reserved

Do yourself a favor and go see Tool next time they come to town. And if you are able, go see Puscifer and A Perfect Circle with Primus in Phoenix on April 16th or 17th (SOLD OUT) as well. Especially considering it will be Keenan’s 60th birthday celebration, we have every confidence they will not leave you disappointed. More Tool and Sessanta tour dates on Live Nation.

View Tool’s Phoenix Setlist (Feb. 10) on Setlist.fm

Photo Gallery

Photographer: Katherine Amy Vega

Tool & Elder – Footprint Center 2-10-24

Photography © Katherine Amy Vega, Kataklizmic Design
All Rights Reserved.

Italian Symphonic Metallers ETERNAL SILENCE Release ‘3’ EP with New Single called “Antithesys”

Building on the positive reception garnered by their full-length album “Timegate Anathema,” released through Rockshots Records in 2020, ETERNAL SILENCE has now unveiled their latest digital EP titled “3.”

About The ‘3’ EP

The EP serves as a conceptual exploration, drawing inspiration from the Norse legend of the Norns, divine beings entrusted with shaping the trajectories of human destinies. These eternal and formidable entities, wielding the power to script the fate of the universe, take center stage in a narrative uniquely crafted by Marika Vanni and the band. This tale unfolds across three distinct parts, each offering independent stories that seamlessly converge into a unified and compelling narrative.

"3" EP artwork by Jessica Campo
“3” EP artwork by Jessica Campo

The album is complemented by artwork created by Jessica Campo, where each piece visually represents a distinct chapter of the narrative conveyed in this EP. The recording sessions transpired at 2Play Studio in Induno Olona (VA), with the meticulous mixing and mastering skillfully handled by Maria Grazia Zancopè.


  1. Thread Of Life  
  2. Prayer Of The Resilient
  3. Antithesys
  4. Death And The Maiden
  5. How Soon Is Now

The number 3 holds infinite significance, particularly within this EP, where profound connections to Norse mythology are interwoven. Much like the Norns, pivotal female figures transcending human existence, three is symbolic. These entities intricately weave, braid, and ultimately sever the threads of both mortals and gods, concurrently nurturing Yggdrasil, the Tree of Life. Their care facilitates the perpetual flourishing of this ancient tree within its eternal life cycle.



Thus, the band reveals its most recent sonic opus, marking the third chapter in their conceptual series. The track offers a distinctive viewpoint from the final Norn, a Valkyrie grappling with the duality of strength and maidenhood, determining the fate of humanity by severing the thread of life. Infused with a captivating fusion of power, folk, doom, and gothic metal, the band delves into darker themes, narrating the internal conflict of a young woman navigating her various roles. This release, featuring the accomplished violinist Katija Di Giulio, further cements Eternal Silence’s stature as a dynamic force in the metal scene.

Alberto Cassina, singer, guitarist, and founder of the band, states: “This is a project that I had in mind for some time. I have always been fascinated by Norse mythology and its evocative atmospheres, which have accompanied me for several years and have become a part of me. In the pre-production phase, we worked closely with the Rockshots Records team and our management, who had the opportunity to listen to and appreciate the timeless atmospheres of the legends, showing curiosity about the development of the story. Hence the decision to present our effort divided into a few releases so that the listener can also be captivated by this magical and intense aura”.


  • Marika Vanni – Vocals 
  • Alberto Cassina – Guitar / Vocals 
  • Martino Boneschi – Solo Guitar 
  • Katija Di Giulio – Violin 
  • Alessio Sessa – Bass 
  • Lorenzo Aimo – Drums

For more information on ETERNAL SILENCE, visit the band’s official channels:

Black/Doom/Punk Duo MANTAR Release New Music Video for “Seek + Forget”

Monstrous black/doom/punk chimera MANTAR have released the official video for another brand new song off of the band’s new album, The Modern Art Of Setting Ablaze, set to be unleashed August 24, 2018 via Nuclear Blast.

Check out “Seek + Forget” here:

In case you missed it, watch the intense new music video for the track “Age of the Absurd” here.

MANTAR The Modern Art Of Setting Ablaze Album Art

New Album, The Modern Art Of Setting Ablaze, out August 24, 2018 via Nuclear Blast

Multi-Format Pre-Orders & Merchandise Available Here

About Mantar

Hailing from Northern Germany, MANTAR have achieved more in five years than most bands twice their age and size. The product of a twenty-year friendship between guitarist/vocalist Hanno Klaenhardt and drummer Erinc Sakarya, theirs is a success story born entirely of one thing: hard work, with three albums, an EP and a live release already to their name. Releasing their 2014 Svart Records debut Death By Burning, an uncompromising clash of stripped-back punk attitude and metal intensity to instant critical acclaim, the band toured relentlessly, gracing stages the world over, including the hallowed likes of Roadburn (NL), Wacken Open Air (D) and Maryland Deathfest (US). They used 2016’s Ode To The Flame, their Nuclear Blast Records debut, to further build upon their incendiary live reputation, conquering not only Europe and the US, but Russia, Japan and South Africa.
The Modern Art Of Setting Ablaze is a title in-keeping with MANTAR‘s symbolic obsession with fire on albums previous; this time disavowing mankind’s tendency to blindly follow those that would lead us into oblivion. This isn’t necessarily a political statement; more a morbid fascination with current smoldering tensions that threaten to set the minds of the masses on fire.
MANTAR recently announced the first leg of their European tour for November/December 2018 – see below for all dates:

MANTAR Tour Dates:


17.11.2018       Markthalle – Hamburg, Germany
19.11.2018       Musikzentrum – Hannover, Germany
20.11.2018       Hirsch – Nürnberg, Germany
21.11.2018       Turock – Essen, Germany
22.11.2018       Dynamo – Zurich, Switzerland
23.11.2018       KJH Hallschlag – Stuttgart, Germany
24.11.2018       Rockhouse – Salzburg, Austria
26.11.2018       Backstage – Munich, Germany
27.11.2018       Arena – Vienna, Austria
28.11.2018       Explosiv – Graz, Austria
30.11.2018       UT Connewitz – Leipzig, Germany
1.12.2018         SO 36 – Berlin, Germany
8.12.2018         Schlachthof – Wiesbaden, Germany

MANTAR is currently on the road, playing select club shows as well as Europe’s biggest festivals. See dates below:

Cold Summer 2018

27.07.2018         Metaldays Tolmin Slovenia
03.08.2018         Wacken Open Air Wacken Germany
05.08.2018         Sylak Open Air Saint-Maurice-de-Gourdans France
10.08.2018         Sonic Blast Moledo Moledo Portugal
12.08.2018         Bloodstock Derbyshire England
24.08.2018         Kulturkombinat Bunker Rostock Germany

25.08.2018         Reload Festival Sulingen Germany

Stay tuned for more information coming soon regarding the release of The Modern Art Of Setting Ablaze.

More MANTAR Videos:

‘The Spell’ lyric video
‘Cross The Cross’ music video
 ‘Era Borealis’ stream video
‘Schwanenstein’ stream video
‘Praise The Plague’ stream video

MANTAR Online:

www.mantarband.com | Facebook | Nuclear Blast