Chris Loomis

Metal Allegiance @ House of Blues Anaheim – 01/24/2019

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Metal Allegiance is the all-star team of heavy metal musicians, spawned from the Metal Masters clinics by former Marketing Director at Samson Technologies Mark Menghi. Metal Allegiance started as a live revolving door of musicians from the metal brotherhood of bands like Megadeth, Testament, Winery Dogs, Anthrax, Death Angel, Exodus and many more and play some of their own music mixed in with hard rock and heavy metal covers from other classic bands. They assembled in 2015 and 2018 to record two killer original albums led by the “core four” of Mark Menghi, Alex Skolnick (Testament), David Ellefson (Megadeth) and Mike Portnoy (former Dream Theater/Winery Dogs) along with various metal vocalists. The band does very limited live shows due to the schedules of all the different band members but all gathered in Anaheim at The House of Blues on Thursday night January 24 with a killer lineup that was surely to be an epic night of music.

For the last couple years Metal Allegiance has performed in late January, coinciding with the annual NAMM show which is what draws all the musicians to Anaheim. For the 2019 show, many of past Metal Allegiance performers returned along with a few new additions as well as a couple special guests.

The 2019 Metal Allegiance performance included the following performers:

Vocalists: Chuck Billy (Testament) | Mark Osegueda (Death Angel) | Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth (Overkill) | John Bush (Armored Saint) | Mark Tornillo (Accept) | Alissa White Gluz (Arch Enemy) | Trevor Strnad (Black Dahlia Murder) | Steve “Zetro” Souza” (Exodus)

Guitar Players: Andreas Kisser (Sepultura) | Alex Skolnick (Testament) | Phil Demmel (former Machine Head, Vio-Lence) | Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein (Doyle/Misfits)

Bass Players: David Ellefson (Megadeth), Mark Menghi (Metal Allegiance)

Drummers: Mike Portnoy (Winery Dogs/Sons of Apollo) | Eloy Casagrande (Sepultura)

The entire 2 ½ hr performance was EPIC . . . getting to see these thrash/heavy metal legends play together was beyond amazing – EVERY performance was a unique metal masterpiece. With that said, below are 10 standout moments of Metal Allegiance 2019:

Playing the self-titled 1970 debut album from Black Sabbath in its entirety:

A fantastic way to kick off the night with a slab of Heavy Metal that every fan knows and loves. Portnoy, Skolnick and Menhgi held down the music while Mark Osegueda, Bobby Blitz and Mark Tornillo rotated on the vocals. A perfect tribute to the God-fathers of Heavy Metal.

Chuck Billy singing Roots Bloody Roots with Andreas Kisser and Eloy Casagrande from Sepultura:

The hulking Chuck Billy sang a brutal version of Sepultura’s “Roots Bloody Roots” with Andreas and Eloy from Sepultura. Billy sang the chorus from way down in his gut providing the most inhuman screams you have ever heard. A classic thrash song by a classic band played by a group of thrash legends – EPIC!

Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein performing “Last Caress” with girlfriend Alyssa White Gluz:

Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein has carved out his own legacy aside from the Misfits with his two killer solo albums known as Doyle. The Vegan Beast made an appearance with Alissa White Gluz on vocals for the classic Misfits tune “Last Caress”. Gluz killed on vocals and Doyle beat his guitar to oblivion.

John Bush singing the Anthrax song “Only”:

John Bush joined Anthrax in 1992 and released Sound of White Noise in 1993 which contained the single and one of their biggest hits “Only”.  Joined by Andreas Kisser, Phil Demmel, David Ellefson and Mike Portnoy on drums, this all-star lineup played a killer rendition of this awesome song. Bush sounded incredible and the fans definitely loved it!

Steve “Zetro” Souza from Exodus performing “The Toxic Waltz” with fellow Exodus band-mate Jack Gibson:

The Bay area was (and is) a hotbed for thrash-metal roots and Exodus are definitely one of the innovators of the genre. With that said it only makes sense that Exodus was represented on this night and vocalist Steve “Zetro” Souza and bassist Jack Gibson taking the stage to really get the fans moving in the mosh pit with a killer version of “The Toxic Waltz” from 1989’s Fabulous Disaster.

Mark Tornillo playing Harmonica on Black Sabbath’s “The Wizard”:

German veterans Accept are best known for “Balls to the Wall” but in 1982 may have helped invent thrash metal/heavy metal with “Fast as a Shark” with its blazingly fast double bass drumming. In addition to having a killer voice that leads the newer Accept material as well as honoring the back catalog, Tornillo is also a talented harmonica player and he showcased that talent by playing harmonica on Black Sabbath’s “The Wizard”.

Alex Skolnick’s Tony Iommi mustache and Mark Menghi’s wig and 70’s getup during the Black Sabbath songs:

In addition to playing a brilliant musical tribute to the almighty Black Sabbath, guitarist Alex Skolnick and bass player Mark Menghi played the part with a visual tribute as well. Skolnick stuck on a fake handlebar mustache to emulate Tony Iommi while Menghi wore a wig and a seventies style shirt to emulate Geezer Butler. While Menghi’s getup lasted the entire tribute, Skolnick’s mustache peeled off soon after the show began.

East coast meets West coast onstage as Chuck Billy and Bobby Blitz share a moment:

It always great to see the comradery and respect these thrash legends have for each other and Anaheim got a dose of that with San Francisco’s Chuck Billy and New Jersey’s Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth. In between songs the two took a moment together to hug and share the microphone together to praise the genre and each other. 

Trevor Strnad on vocals for Slayer’s “South of Heaven”:

Without a doubt the most extreme vocalist to participate on this night was The Black Dahlia Murder’s Trevor Strnad. Combining his extreme death metal style with guitars by Andreas Kisser and Phil Demmel with the low end held down by David Ellefson and Mike Portnoy, this was surely a highlight of the night for fans of the heavy stuff.

The show finale of Iron Maiden’s “The Trooper” with all participants playing/singing on stage:

What a killer song to end the night . . . Iron Maiden’s “The Trooper” – a heavy metal anthem. All participants from the night took the stage (minus Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein) and traded off vocals, guitar licks and bass lines – a truly memorable way to end this EPIC night. Possibly a once-in-a-lifetime event to see these particular individuals on stage together.

And a BIG shout out to Mark Osegueda for his fabulous vocal talent throughout the show as well!

The 2019 show seemed to flow much better than previous Metal Allegiance shows as there was little to no “wait-time” in-between songs as the artists rotated on and off stage with ease. This was truly an epic night of heavy metal and it was wonderful to see the brotherhood and friendship come out on stage between all these musicians – lots of laughing, joking, high fives, just an amazing experience to see these performers honoring each other as well as some of their heavy metal heroes.

Each year Metal Allegiance puts together a show that tops the previous year’s and with that said, January 2020 cannot come fast enough.

Metal Allegiance Set List:

Black Sabbath (Mark Osegueda vocals) | The Wizard (Mark Tornillo vocals) | WASP/Behind the Wall of Sleep (Bobby Blitz vocals) | Basically (Bobby Blitz vocals) | N.I.B. (Bobby Blitz vocals) | Wicked World (Bobby Blitz vocals)

Can’t Kill the Devil (Chuck Billy vocals) | Roots Bloody Roots (Chuck Billy vocals) | Gift of Pain (Trevor Strnad vocals) | South of Heaven (Trevor Strnad vocals) Stand Up and Shout (Mark Tornillo vocals) | Terminal Illusion (Mark Tornillo vocals) | The Toxic Waltz (Steve Souza vocals) | The Accuser (Trevor Strnad vocals) | Bound By Silence (John Bush vocals) | Only (John Bush vocals) | Voodoo of the Godsend (Chuck Billy vocals) | Mother of Sin (Bobby Blitz vocals) | Power Drunk Majesty (Part I) | (Mark Osegueda vocals) | Power Drunk Majesty (Part II) – (Alyssa White Gluz vocals) | Last Caress (Alyssa White Gluz vocals) | Pledge of Allegiance | (Mark Osegueda vocals) | Aces High (John Bush & Alyssa White Gluz vocals) | The Trooper (all onstage)

Metal Allegiance Photo Gallery:

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