Axis of Metal: The Up-and-Coming Of Springfield Röck City

Daniel Oppenheimer of the Valley Advocate is reporting that "when MTV resurrected their heavy metal show 'Headbanger's Ball' in May of this year, guest host METALLICA played 17 videos. Of those, three were from Springfield [Massachusetts]-area bands: STAIND, SHADOWS FALL and KILLSWITCH ENGAGE. Another was from GODSMACK, out of Boston, and another from HATEBREED, out of Bridgeport, CT.

"STAIND sold nearly seven million copies of its album 'Break the Cycle'. Its follow-up debuted earlier this year at number one on the Billboard charts. And SHADOWS FALL and KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, both of whom have toured throughout Europe and in Japan, are playing the second stage at Ozzfest 2003, perhaps the biggest tour of any genre of the summer.

"Scott 'Ogre' Lee, booker at The Fat Cat in downtown Springfield and organizer of the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival, estimates that there are at least 10 other hard rock/metal bands from the area that have been signed to record label contracts. They include SPLIT SHIFT, ALL THAT REMAINS, CANNAE, BURIAL, LIGHT IS THE LANGUAGE, THE ACACIA STRAIN, SONNY and BLOOD HAS BEEN SHED. And bands like THIRTY STONES, HYPNOTIC KICK and FEAR NUTTIN' BAND, though unsigned, have opened for national acts and regularly play industry showcases in New York.

"Jeff Kapinos, who books at Geraldine's in West Springfield, says he has worked with 178 bands from the area that play 'originals' (as opposed to cover songs).

" 'First it was L.A., then Seattle, now it's New England,' says Chris Girard of BENT 2 STRUGGLE. To the extent that there is a heavy metal renaissance, New England is its Italy, and Springfield its Venice, or maybe Padua." Read more.

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