Metal Gods Tour
Other than the headliners, this tour doesn't really live up to its title, if only because none of the bands supporting Rob Halford are popular enough to qualify as "gods." But man, do they ever bring the metal.
Halford is, of course, Halford. Rob's voice is as strong as ever, as his band's most recent album, Crucible, demonstrates. Plus, he's fronting a truly crunching group that mixes the fury of mid-'90s Pantera with the anthemic power of Judas Priest.
Three of the lower-billed acts are worth the ticket price all on their own. Immortal's Sons of Northern Darkness was one of the best, most brutal records of 2002, blending lightning-quick black metal savagery with old-school thrash riffage. Amon Amarth busts out a powerful, Viking-style approach to death metal that's more about machismo than pagan philosophizing, while Carnal Forge could be the most purely savage act on the tour. The band's attempts to rewrite Reign in Blood are admirable, if not always successful, but in a live appearance, they're sure to whip the pit into a blood-maddened frenzy. This is the first tour of 2003 that no self-respecting metal fan should miss.