As the dual headed beast of hardcore and metalcore has now officially taken over both the commercial and credibility stakes from the last of the dying nu-metal breed, it is no surprise that tours which seek to take some of the hottest talent in each genre to the American masses are springing up as fast as those infamous golden arches continue to.
What is a little more special about a tour like Sounds Of The Underground, however, is that it takes bands who would never feasibly tour together and interweaves them all emalessly. With hardcore legends Madball preceding stoner monsters High On Fire, this tour might not be cool enough for the 'scene' kids, but is certainly a haven for those with an open mind towards all things heavy.
Lower down the bill bands like All That Remains and Throwdown prove that they are snapping at the heels of the more well established acts who have the pleasure of playing more than five songs a day. Dez Faffara plays his underdog role well with Devildriver and pulls out a blinding rendition of last single Darkest Before Dawn, proving he still has both the presence and the vocal dexterity to send some of the young upstarts on the bill back to school.
Throwdown facilitate a whole crowd 'bulldoze' mosh pit which makes for stupendous visual accompaniment to their rage-fuelled number. Meanwhile, Strapping Young Lad's Devin Townsend proves himself as both the natural comedian and egoless master of his art. Oh, and their tunes are pretty damn hot too.
Unearth suffer the curse of other established acts on this DVD, such as Every Time I Die, who may be playing awesome songs, but with a sound mix that is percussion drenched and lacking any clarity, it is not until bands like Clutch that true representations of many musicians material shines through. Clutch are perhaps the wildcard on this bill; sitting in neither the hard or metal camps, the bluesy stoner quintet surely win over more new fans than any other band in the line up.
Headliners Lamb Of God blow the rest of the bill apart. By the time their introduction has barely kicked in, The Faded Line has demonstrated why bands who grow their beards long, strip metal back to its roots and whack in some kick ass production supplemented by Phil Anselmo styled vocals will struggle to put a foot wrong.
There is over a hour of interspersed back stage tomfoolery which will amuse the teenager market and annoy those who would have hoped for more than one song from each band. The extras do degenerate into various frontmen pestering their band mates to perform impressions and drunken stunts, which will again amuse anyone to young to get served, while the rest of us will be at the bar discussing just how Norma Jean manage to simultaneously play such technical material so brilliantly and flail their guitars completely around their skinny bodies.