Monday, Philadelphia’s Electric Factory played host to a meeting of metal goliaths that included heavy hitters Mastodon and Opeth, as part of The Heritage Hunter Tour 2012. The headliners were joined by posi-occult rockers Ghost, for an evening of hard-hitting riffs and dense visual landscapes that kept a packed house enthused throughout the evening.
Swedish rockers, Ghost, kicked off the evening in their usual attire, with five of the six members outfitted with dark masks and robes while the unnamed vocalist sports the usual ghoulish-skeletal face paint and bishop garb. Despite the band’s menacing appearance, their music could easily fall in line with such legends at Black Sabbath and Blue Oyster Cult, evoking big smiles and warm crowd reactions throughout the performance. The members of the band protect their identities vigorously, being referred to as “Nameless Ghouls,” while they continue to support their debut album Opus Eponymous, which hit streets in late 2010. Ghost is rumored to have recently completed a forthcoming second full-length album.
One of Sweden’s leading practitioners of heavy metal, Opeth, hit the stage next lead by front-man and founding member Mikael Åkerfeldt, who continues to drive the band forward as they support their tenth studio album Heritage, released by Roadrunner Records last September. Making an impressive debut at number 19 on the Billboard 200, Heritage sees Opeth setting forth epic song structures that even incorporate Mellotrons, Rhodes pianos, and Hammond organs to compliment a smorgasbord of musical motifs throughout the record. Supporters got a healthy dose of new and old material that found Opeth hitting new strides of musical confidence, now over twenty years deep in the game.
In an atmosphere where most rock bands are struggling just to stay afloat, Mastodon managed to peak at position number 10 on the Billboard 200 chart with the September release of their fifth studio album, The Hunter, on Reprise Records in US and Roadrunner Records in the UK. The band continues to charge ahead following a successful tour run with Dillinger Escape Plan and Red Fang last year, and is showing no signs of slowing down. The packed house was definitely one for the Mastondon fans who went bananas as the band dipped into some of their old catalog to compliment a healthy dose of new song selections. On an interesting side-note, one of the few TV shows I follow, Oddities, on The Science Channel, recently featured an episode “Meat Mastodon,” where guitarist Brent enters the store in search of some new stage props. I thought he would for sure jump at the giraffe skull since announcing a new side project with Dillinger Escape Plan’s Ben Weinman, The Mars Volta drummer Thomas Pridgen, and and former Jane’s Addiction bassist Eric Avery, entitled Giraffe Tongue.. But I suppose that’s a story for another time..
We know you are here for the pictures, so without further ado..