Over The Weekend: California Metalfest IV at the Fox Theater in Pomona

Fear Factory at California Metalfest 4
Fear Factory at California Metalfest 4
Andrew Youssef

The Hype: How many hours of live extreme metal can you handle in a day? Eleven hours, you say? If this strikes your fancy then you were probably at the California Metalfest 4 held this weekend at the Glass House and Fox Theater in Pomona. A mind-blowing 63 bands split between the two venues came to melt faces and drum up work for chiropractors judging by all the headbanging and moshing that took place over the weekend.

Fear Factory at California Metalfest 4
Fear Factory at California Metalfest 4
Andrew Youssef

The Show: Fear Factory headlined Saturday night and unveiled their industrial metal in support of their latest album, Mechanize. Guitarist Dino Cazares made bowels quake with his deeply distorted and detuned Ibanez eight(!) string guitar. After opening with "Mechanize," Fear Factory dipped back to their 1998 classic album Obsolete with a double shot of "Shock" and the literally crushing "Edgecrusher."


The not-so-secret weapon of Fear Factory is their drummer Gene Hoglan. Putting all drummers to shame with his ridiculously fast double-bass drum skills and his nonchalant twirling of drumsticks mid-air was so amazing that it was comical. There was a reason he had a couple of video cameras documenting his octopus drumming. 

"Powershifter" and "Fear Campaign" gave way to another old-school blast of "Demanufacture," "Self Bias Resistor" and the vintage "Martyr." The crowd had started to thin out at the conclusion of their set, but Fear Factory did not disappoint. After eleven hours of music, it was excusable to take an early exit.

Job For A Cowboy got off to a "slow" start but ended strong. The Arizona-based band doesn't play country, in case you were momentarily fooled by their name. "Regurgitated Disinformation" was their statement about the propagation of misinformation by the media. It was a timely song given the rumors of Ronnie James Dio passing away. (Dio did pass away on May 16, at 7:45 a.m. --Ed.)

Whitechapel wears all black on stage in case you were wondering. The floor literally shook when the drummer triggered his bass drum sample. Glad I was wearing earplugs. The Knoxville, Tennessee band is gearing up to release their album A New Era of Corruption in June. Crowd surfing was so rampant that I was kicked out of the photopit after the first song. Easily one of the more active mosh pits of the day.

The Crowd: Guitar Center and Sam Ash music stores across Southern California must have had a bad weekend because I could guarantee that most of the audience played some sort of instrument. Air-drumming and headbanging were in full effect throughout the entire day.

Overheard: A group of teenagers discussing "Why does Whitechapel need three guitarists? I couldn't even hear what each of them were playing." Don't they know there is no such thing as overkill in extreme metal?

 

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