Metal Allegiance teamed up for some heavy lifting at the House of Blues Anaheim

Metal Allegiance, an all-star supergroup of heavy-metal musicians, recently held their 10th Anniversary concert celebration at the House of Blues Anaheim on Thursday January 25th during the 2024 NAMM Show.  The band features a core group of notable metal musicians including Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater), David Ellefson (Ex-Megadeath), Alex Skolnick (Testament), and founder Mark Menghi.  This core four then invites a large cast of all-star friends to join them at each show.

In Anaheim this saw performances from John Bush (Armored Saint), Chuck Billy (Testament), Troy Sanders (Mastodon), Brann Dailor (Mastodon), Andreas Kisser (Sepultura), Bobby Blitz (Overkill), Gary Holt (Exodus/Slayer), Doc Coyle (Bad Wolves / God Forbid), Hel Pyre (Nervosa) and Chris Poland (ex-Megadeth), among others.  The band played a blistering 19 song set list featuring their own original songs from the band’s two full-length albums (2015’s self-titled debut and 2018’s Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty) and an EP (2016’s Fallen Heroes) as well as a mix of classic metal covers from band’s like Judas Priest, Rainbow, Mastodon, Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, Motörhead and Iron Maiden.

The highlight of these shows is seeing the crazy groupings that arise from the large cast of metal superheroes assembled.  It’s like a heavy metal Justice League waiting to fight it out on stage for each song.  Seeing some of your favorite metal musicians absolutely kill songs you’ve never heard them play on is awesome.  Experiencing legendary metal musicians from different bands interacting together onstage is also a blast.  Just feeling the infectious energy coming from this group onstage is palpable, the spontaneity of the performances is exhilarating, and you can tell these heavy metal gods are really just a group of guys waiting to rock out on their favorite songs with their friends.  It’s funny that the classic songs often sound technically better than the originals, given the insanely talented performers involved.

The Metal Allegiance anniversary show this year was a memorable part of NAMM as always, and the packed black shirted audience in attendance seemed to agree. The faithful Anaheim crowd chanted, air drummed, and bashed their heads along the whole evening. Any group that can inspire a crowd to mosh out in a packed club for hours after attending a day-long music conference is clearly doing something right.  The masterful musicians of the Metal Alliance continue to impress by demonstrating the musical whole in their case, is far greater than the sum of its parts.

Photos and Review by: Alex Matthews