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Fire and brimstone
Godsmack / Rob Zombie
Marcus Amphitheatre
Milwaukee, WI
Sept. 12, 2006

Story and photos by Phil Bonyata

Nu-metal hard rockers Godsmack's music follows a path less travelled within it's genre. While grounded in swirling and dynamic bass and drum arrangements - the guitars' sonic fuzz cracked the beats like a swarm of hungry locusts. Lead singer and charismatic frontman Sully Erna canvassed the vast stage while sucking the limelight away from every other band member. The heavy handed tempos took center stage on "Keep Away" while Sully tried to slow things down with a deeper and slower delivery. The band got the hint. The menacing "Voodoo" snarled with a tightly tribal groove. Texturally the band gels well with their somtimes off tempo layerings. The buzzsaw guitars and rubber band bass grooves dominted the rattling "Vampires."

Godsmack then burned the candles at both ends with a shaved down version of "Whatever." "Stand Alone" - even though overplayed and oversexed for the Marines' TV commercials - still swaggered confidently.

Rob Zombie's evil Munsters' theatrics was like cyanide laced cotton candy for the Devil. Not going to hurt him, but will certainly put a smile on his face. The stage was a twisted carnival of sin and eye candy. Flanked by two large skulls, devilish cheerleaders, enough flames to charbroil the moon and a bevy of softcore porn thrusting itself on every video screen - the canvas was set Zombie's antics. "Living Dead Girl" was a deafening bass-heavy dispaly in pandimonium from one of the kings of nu-industrial music. The band then played a rather rote and suspect version of Van Halen's "Panama." Seemingly becoming a cover band the first strains of Metallica's "Sandman" started churning out before Zombie said "screw this shit" and said "let's do our own shit!" "Dragula" had Zombie literally spewing the lyrics all over his mic and the unfortunate few in the front row. The song bled brutality - but with a heart.

While Zombie is a talented musician whose music sings to the near underbelly of society - it is his talents as a director that sets him apart. "House of 1,000 Corpses" and "The Devil's Rejects" are brilliant examples of his twisted vision.