by Steven SanchezThis past year, ever since events have been taking place since the pandemic lockdown lifted, there hasn’t been too many options for the metalhead crowd in the Central Valley for live entertainment. Then lo and behold, on Tuesday, October 4, at Selland Arena, the prayers of local headbangers was answered when Lamb of God, Killswitch Engage, along with Motionless in White and Fit For An Autopsy came to town and tore the stage up. This breed of metal is known for its dark themes and ear pulsing beats, so it was fitting that this show took place in the beginning of October to kickstart the Halloween season. Kings River Life Magazine was there front and center covering the awesome musical chaos that ensued. With this lineup, for all the metal fanatics that were looking for an adrenaline fix, this show delivered. The openers, Fit For An Autopsy and Motionless in White, were the perfect leadoff hitters for the night’s festivities. Autopsy supplied the metalcore, and then Motionless provided the loudness along with the theatrics. The white part is literal since they wore black and white makeup as was fitting for their sound. They both helped stir the pot in getting the frenzy going as the moshpits were forming and people were throwing up the horn fingers in the air. These bands will continue to carry the torch for the metal genre in the future. Killswitch Engage then took the stage. They definitely took it up a notch once they started performing. This band has been engaging metal audiences for years, harkening back to my high school days. These guys have conquered some of the best rock festivals in the world ranging from Ozzfest, Download Festival to Rock on the Range, Monsters of Rock, and Knotfest, to name a few. The Grammy nominees from 2005 for Best Metal Performance showed why they’re considered one of the pioneers of the metalcore genre. It was pulse-pounding in all the right ways. A really cool moment took place when the lead singer, Jesse Leach, announced that no matter what race or politics or beliefs you have that we are all one when it comes to music. That helped unify the audience, and that’s when the party really started. The moshpits just grew and grew. It was great to see rockers using this as an outlet for their release after dealing with the lockdown. For me, the highlight of the night was their own rendition of Dio’s “Holy Diver,” and since I am a Dio fan, it was amazing to hear. It would’ve made the vocalist proud. They definitely shook things up, but the night wasn’t over yet. Then came Lamb of God. The headlining act threw the proof in everyone’s face as to why they’ve been mainstays of the contemporary new wave of the American heavy metal movement. The Virginia natives have waved the flag for the metal community for over two decades by selling over two million copies in the United States and being a five-time nominee for a Grammy award for Best Metal Performance. They’ve toured with the biggest metal acts in the world such as Metallica and Slayer. They took no prisoners once they occupied the stage. There was pyrotechnics, and the volume was turned to another level that when I was viewing the show from the side of the stage the ground was actually rumbling. When I briefly went outside, I can hear the roof rattling by the sheer volume of the music. They went through an arsenal of songs that have defined their sound ranging from “512” and “Ghost Walking” to “Redneck.” It was an onslaught of classics and new song. The fans enjoyed them all equally. What was amazing to see was Randy Blythe scurry around the stage while letting out his guttural scream, entertaining the crowd, and jumping around the stage with the fire going off. It was mesmerizing. He is a total showman. He’s been doing this since the mid 90s, and he shows no signs of slowing down. This band is considered one of the top four main acts in the contemporary metal movement with high profile peers such as Avenged Sevenfold, Slipknot, and Trivium. Those are big names to be mentioned with and a worthy distinction in their genre, and going by what they did to the Fresno audience that night, they are undoubtedly worthy it.