The 2004 World Series of Metal appropriately takes place in Cleveland, the setting of the Major League movies, a franchise that started impressively and ended with Major League III: Back to the Minors. The metal series launched in 1989 and has run annually since 1995, often as overloaded multi-day megabills featuring big-name acts like Megadeth, Overkill, and Testament. Last year's headliners were Killswitch Engage, Type O Negative, Lacuna Coil, and Static-X. This year's World Series, though, is closer to spring training at a farm club, and the lineup has fewer rising stars and more slumping journeymen.
Six Feet Under leads the pack, tongue firmly in cheek as it grinds your brains out. The '80s stars of Metal Church return for the second time this year, albeit with a mere two members of their classic lineup. Two displaced frontmen have starring roles: Buckcherry (yes, that Buckcherry) yowler Josh Todd and Anthrax's Joey Belladonna, with a set of solo material and thrash favorites. N.Y.C. vets Pro-Pain and rap-metal cult faves Wolfpac round out the big names, followed by a legion of local and regional acts (we stopped counting at 31). The organizers get props for doing something to put Cleveland on the map, but shows like this won't get us to the playoffs.