Cross Purposes

Screeching guitars, booming bass, pounding drums, and shrieking, almost obscure vocals were some of the characteristics of the Cross Purposes concert featuring Morbid Angel, Motörhead, and Black Sabbath. Sounds highly melodramatic, doesn't it?

The show was held at the Ritchie Colloseum, at the University of Maryland. The acoustics sucked, but besides that, it was well worth the money spent. The opening act was Morbid Angel. I usually don't get into these screaming, somewhat non-musical opening acts, but this band was good. I was hyper enough to groove to them. The guitars were okay, the vocals, as the name says, were morbid and very cool, and the drumming was awesome! It's what kept me going. I am not at all familiar with their stuff, but what they played from the new album sounded good. They were a lot better than the Melvins who opened for Primus. They probably were the most aggressive of the three bands.

Next on line was Motörhead who always are a fun band to watch. I could barely hear Lemmy sing (which is just as well, I suppose) and barely make out what they played, but given the classic Motörhead formula, it didn't make much of a difference. They played some stuff off of 1916 (the album I'm most familiar with) including The One to Sing the Blues, and I'm so Bad Baby I don't Care. They also placed Ace of Spades and other cool, fast stuff. They were good to watch. What sucked most was that they didn't play Nightmare/Dreamtime. They'd have won the crowd over had they done that.

When I first heard Sabbath was playing at the Ritchie Colloseum (it's just like a basketball court), I thought "So, this is what they've descended to." I thought it'd be pretty mediocre with some good spots. It was better than mediocre. One does have to give credit to Tony Martin. He's not the greatest vocalist in the world, but he's decent. He screwed up some of the songs, but some he did quite a good job (though I probably could've done better :) I thought! He does have a good voice, though it's hard to come up to the level of Ozzy or Dio. It was a real trip down memory lane (I grew up to a lot of Sabbath) as they played classic tunes like Black Sabbath, Children of the Grave, Into the Void, Paranoid, The Wizard, Mob Rules, to newer tunes such as Time Machine. They didn't play Computer God or TV Crimes (I'd have liked to see Tony Martin scream out TV Crimes).

They did play Iron Man in the end and they merged it into a medley of two other tunes. The person who really stole the show was lead guitarist Tony Iommi. He was truly brilliant, and his guitar work was simply mesmerising.

All in all, one went through over 25 years of classic metal and hardrock and there were moments that showed why Sabbath is one of the greatest metal bands of all time.

If you've never seen Sabbath or Motörhead (or Morbid Angel, but want to get into some death metal), and like their music even remotely, this concert's well worth checking out if it comes near you!!

"Politicians kissing babies for good luck.
 T.V. preachers sell salvation for a bunch.
 You don't need no golden cross, to tell you wrong from right.
 The world's worst murderers where those who saw the light."
                           ---Motörhead, No Voices in the Sky

Music ramblings || Ram Samudrala || || February 16, 1994