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Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival in Atlanta Georgia.

By: Hunter Elliott
Photography by Hunter Elliott

Raleigh Music was invited on a road trip by Adrenaline PR to cover the The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival at Aaron's Amphitheater at Lakewood! The Mayhem festival features new and old hardcore Metal, Thrash Metal, and hard driving rock! Featuring bands such as The Devil Wears Prada, Anthrax, As I Lay Dying, Motorhead, and Slayer, and a few up and comers as crowd warmers RMC could not miss this ride!

The day started at The Jagermeister stage with the band The Devil Wears Prada, a metal Christian band that has a heavy technical sound with plenty of energy to put the crowd in full throttle early. The band is composed of Vocals/Lyrics: Mike Hranica, Guitar: Chris Rubey, Guitar/Vocals: Jeremy DePoyster, Drums: Daniel Williams, and Bass: Andy Trick. They were performed songs from their latest album "Dead and Alive" a little different project then their first two albums. It is evident through the latest album they band is growing together and coming to define Christan Metal (which is not an easy task to pull off). Some of the songs featured in there set were "Escape" "Born to Lose" and "Outnumbered", "Mammoth" , and "Dead Throne"

With barely a chance to catch their breath, the crowd ducked as dirt bikes took to the air on the Rockstar Energy dirt ramps. The sound of CC's revving cued Anthrax to storm the stage. Opening with "Caught in a Mosh," the crowd immediately fell into a frenzied mosh. The line up is Joey Belladonna, Frank Bello, Charlie Benante, Rob Caggiano, and Scott Ian. Anthrax performed songs from their latest album "Worship Music", released September 2011. It was almost like stepping back in time watching this phenomenal metal band that is still giving it all and rocking the crowd. Among the favorites revisited were "Antisocial." "I Am the Law" and "Indians" as well as their new song "Fight 'em Til You Can't". Anthrax proved to be timeless after such an intense set.

The crowd jetted for the main stage stopping for a cold beer in the hundred degree heat for the next act, As I Lay Dying. This band was heavy, loud, and a bit scary, all of which make for an excellent metal show. As I lay Dying have been performing together for ten years now and have five albums to their credit. AILD's latest album "The Powerless Rise" was featured at the show also including songs "Condemned" "Anodyne Sea" "Cauterize" "94 Hours" "Through Struggle" "Nothing Left" "Confined" and 'The Sound of Truth". AILD is made up of Tim Lambesis– Vocals, Jordan Mancino – Drums, Nick Hipa – Guitar, Phil Sgrosso – Guitar, Josh Gilbert – Bass. I enjoyed the heavy, fast, and a little dark sound of AILD. By the end of their set the crowd was whipped up in a head banging frenzy.

Next up was Motorhead, the band who practically invented Heavy Metal. The current line up is Ian *Lemmy* Kilmister, Phil Campbell, and Mikkey Dee. Their sound is fast and loud and encompasses the definition of Metal.

Though members have changed over the years Lemmy has remained a constant and kept the sound headed in the right direction. The set opened with "Bomber" and was followed by "Killed By Death". The hard driving rowdy Metal fans really geared up when the opening chords of "Ace of Spades" tore through the amphitheater. Even though Lemmy is a veteran of the metal scene for more than thirty-five years he is still on the top of his game and is better than many bands that are half his age.

The final band covered was Slayer, a legend in the Thrash Metal community. They brought plenty of fast, hard and loud with them along with an insane stage show. Fireballs and smoked enveloped the stage as lights danced through the audience. Slayer cranked the sound and the crowd immediately fell into an intense mosh on the lawn. Yet another band that has been around a while, formed in 1981, they have been melting faces off for 31 years now. For all the energy and heart Slayer puts in their music there are so many new bands that could learn a lot from these pros. When Tom Araya started with "Disciple" the power of his music overtook the audience. Jeff Hanneman an original lead/rhythm guitarist was absent due to necrotizing fasciitis but Gary Holt from Exodus filled in perfectly. Kerry King the other lead/rhythm guitarist was there in full force and very methodical with his guitar. Dave Lombardo the drummer sure hammered out the rhythm and tied it all together. Crowd pleasers performed that night included "Mandatory Suicide," "War Ensemble," "Dead Skin Mask", "Seasons in the Abyss", and "Angle of Death". The show concluded with "Reign In Blood" and "South Of Heaven." These songs really put the show over the top and wrapped Atlanta in metal.

I am thankful to see these fine bands live and get to photograph some of the biggest gods of Metal With that said I was also spent and ready for the hotel bed and a cold beer. Those who have the chance to see the Mayhem Fest should go with no hesitation. We at Raleigh Music appreciate the invitation from Adrenaline PR and all those who worked to make the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Fest possible.

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