The Metal Files

My Life. My Music. Your Voyeurism.

Posts Tagged ‘thrash

Sepultura, Destruction, Arsis, Starkill & Headcrusher Concert Review, Austin, TX, June 10, 2015

with one comment

posteruseEarly shows on weeknights.  I love ’em.  Last night’s show was done by 10:30 and that was sweet.

To be honest, I was most excited about last night’s show to see Arsis again.  They’re one of my favorites.

Prior to the show I got to meet Sepultura who were really cool.  Got Paolo and Andreas in The Book.  I’ve got no problem saying that if Beneath the Remains was the only album that they ever recorded, they could have been my favorite thrash band ever.   But…

Headcrusher was the local support (originally from Bogota, Colombia) for the show and they played a tight energetic set on a hot stage going on right around 5:25.  They crushed it to an unfortunately small crowd.  Always a pleasure seeing them, even if I’m not the biggest death metal fan.

Chicago’s melodic death metal band, Starkill, was up next and to be honest, I couldn’t care.  I had listened to a few tracks earlier in the day and they just didn’t catch my ear.  They were pretty sloppy, too.  Maybe the heat was too much.  Don’t know.  Can’t care.

Arsis came on next and did what they do best…SHRED.  They played an intense 7 song set opening with Handbook for the Recently Deceased from their latest album, Unwelcome.  Not only do I like their riffs, I really dig the lyrics.  Malone writes some pretty cool stuff that goes outside of the “hey look, we love satan” type lyrics in a lot of death metal.  Great show, but always too short for my tastes.

Destruction came on next and hit the growing crowd right in the face with Curse the Gods.  They were tight but I could tell they were dying from the heat up there.  I missed the middle part of their set as I went to the bar next door to sit down for a few minutes.  My foot has been bothering me lately as well as my back (getting old!) and I needed a place to sit down for a little bit as Empire Garage doesn’t have seats anywhere.  When I came back I caught The Butcher Strikes Back and Bestial Invasion.  Shortly after their set, their tour manager invited me and 2 other guys onto their bus to hang out.  Schmier and  Mike were very welcoming guys.  Schmier had made a comment from the stage about the Germany/USA soccer match from earlier in the day and I commiserated with him about it.  We then got into a great discussion about Thin Lizzy.  Mike is a huge fan.  Good dudes.  They also signed The Book!  Seriously two of the nicest guys, along with their drummer, that I have ever met.

When I left the bus, Sepultura was already on stage.  The crowd had filled in quite a bit.  They sounded super tight, but I just couldn’t invest much time into them last night.  They weren’t playing anything that I really cared to hear, so I went home.

Arsis!  :)

Power Trip – Manifest Decimation (2013) Album Review

leave a comment »

ptripHaving seen Power Trip several times since FUNFUNFUN fest 2010, I had always wanted a full length album from them.  Thanks to Southern Lord Records, I got my wish.

Power Trip take me back to quality mid-to-late 80s thrash…Nuclear Assault, Devastation, a little Slayer…and thankfully, I don’t hear any Pantera (Panterrible) influence.  A lot of folks mention the DRI crossover punk/hardcore thing, but I never really listened to any of that so I cannot say for sure.  I may hear a little Cro Mags, though.  And I do like the Cro Mags.  This young band from Dallas does it right.  It’s high quality thrash and unlike many of the screamo shit mall hot topic metal bands out there today, these guys play guitar solos.  You heard me.  GUITAR SOLOS!  Good ones, too.

I bought this CD (yes, a CD) last week and have spun it at least 10 times now.  I absolutely love it.  If you’re into classic thrash, I highly recommend this band.  There are a lot of newer retro thrash bands out there, but I think Power Trip is a cut above them all.

While I like Riley’s singing style, I think they could have been produced a little better.  They are washed in the mix too much for my tastes.  But it’s not much of a detraction from the overall vibe and sound of this album.  I also don’t think there are any songs worth skipping on here.  It works perfectly beginning to end.  The album runs through quickly and can easily be played through twice.

9/10 – Enjoy!

Testament, Overkill, Flotsam and Jetsam & 4arm Concert Review, Austin TX, 2/5/2013

with 2 comments

Not too long ago it was announced that Testament, Overkill, Flotsam and Jetsam, and 4arm were coming to Emo’s. What a lineup! I bought a ticket as soon as they went on sale.

Let’s just get right into this. You’ve seen me talk about The Book several times and my outer metal nerd was in full effect yesterday. I left work and went straight to the venue to do some hanging around trying to catch up with Bobby and DD from Overkill and the Flotsam guys.

There was a guy and his son hanging out as well who had made a nice huge canvas screen print of a current Overkill photo with their logo on it. When those guys rolled up, they signed it cheerfully. I had Bobby and DD sign the book and got the usual question of, “What the hell is this?” Right after Overkill headed to their hotel, Gene Hoglan came out of the venue and I spoke with him for a little bit. Ten years ago I gave him a ride from his Strapping Young Lad show to go see Nuclear Assault at another venue. We laughed about shoving his huge frame into my little Saturn wagon.

A few minutes later I saw a friend of mine who works at the venue and he went ahead and walked me in with him before they started letting people in. Testament was doing their paid meet and greet on the patio and I was standing at the merch booth when Eric AK from Flotsam walked up. I shook his hand, talked to him about my F&J history of seeing them in Virginia. He remembered both venues saying something to the effect of, “The Peppermint Beach Club? Cool place on the beach? Loved playing there. But the Boathouse was a dump.” Mustaine said the same thing about the Boathouse when I met him in ’06. I loved that place (RIP), but whatever. Mike Gilbert came up as we were snapping a picture and photo-bombed it. I then had both guys sign the book and again a “WTH?” reaction. Eric said, “Come find us after the show, we’ll get Kelly and Ed to check this book out.”  Sweet!

The doors open up and a small crowd shuffles in. Australia’s 4arm was the opener at 645PM. I had just listened to a few of their songs earlier and while not overly impressed, I didn’t think it was awful…other than their name. They had a 30 minute set of standard thrash and were solid. I heard a little Slayer meets Bay Area Thrash in their sound. They were solid enough, but nothing groundbreaking.

Up next came Flotsam and Jetsam. They sounded great and to be honest were the band I was most excited about seeing. The last time was 1992 opening for Mercyful Fate. They were only given 35 minutes for a set and just came on and killed it. They sounded great in general, minus some sound issues from Ed Carlson’s amp…snap crackle and pop were all in attendance. Haha. They played Hammerhead and Escape from Within and 3 others. They were super solid, though. Kelly’s drumming was still as spot on as it was 20 years ago. I stood about 3 people from the barricade with a huge smile on my face the whole time they were on.  Just great.  Eric’s vocals started a little rough in the first song, but by song #2, he was in full AK mode sounding great and powerful.  I’m ready to see them again ASAP and hopefully with a longer set.  Eric told me after the show that they’d definitely add Der Fuhrer and She Took An Axe when they tour on their own.  I almost squealed like a little girl.

Overkill was up next and to be honest I wasn’t enthused about it. I absolutely love Feel the Fire and Taking Over and a few tracks each from Under the Influence and Years of Decay, but without Rat Skates’ insane drumming and Bobby Gustafson’s uniquely styled riffs, they lost a lot. That this man’s opinion. Overkill hit the stage and I got what I expected, a cross section of their long career. They did Rotten to the Core and Wrecking Crew and while I love those songs, they just didn’t feel right last night. Way too fast and a tad sloppy. Almost like ‘let’s just get through these as fast as we can’. I’m such a curmudgeon. They also played Elimination and Fuck You, but I only heard them from outside the venue and my friend Carlos who was getting ready to interview Flotsam called me to their bus to get Ed and Kelly to sign the book. Score! I’d missed Overkill the last 2 times they were here and I had heard that they were both good shows and that they had even played Deny the Cross(!!!). But not last night. Oh well.

Last night was my 7th time seeing Testament since ’87 on The Legacy Tour opening for Anthrax. They’ve never put on a bad show in my opinion and tonight they were on it. I think Chuck Billy’s voice sounded better than it has in years. He used his cleaner voice more than the rough voice he’s done a lot live in recent years. The setlist was a good mix of old and new with all of the usual suspects except for one, and to me it’s a major one…Disciples of the Watch was not played. To me, that is the defining Testament song. I can’t have everything, right? But overall the band was great. The new album is good and a lot better than Formation of Damnation. Gene Hoglan was on the kit again for this tour and the guy is so incredibly awesome that it hurts my soul a little. He’s so fluid in his playing that it makes it look like he’s not even trying. Skolnick’s playing was spot on as always but I always get the feeling that he’d rather be doing his solo jazz thing these days.

Overall it was a great night for $20! I bought a shirt from both Flotsam and Testament, Overkill didn’t have a design that I liked. Saw lots of friends and made some new ones. Flotsam said they’ll be doing a US tour after their new album, Ugly Noise, comes out in April. I hope they can make some Texas dates. Great to see Austin continuing to get some quality metal tours.

I didn’t get any shots of Overkill or Testament as I was playing the “old man” and hung out near the back of the venue.

4ARM

4ARM

More Flots

More Flots

Erik AK says, "Horns up!"

Erik AK says, “Horns up!”

Eric AK and I being photo-bombed by Mike Gilbert

Eric AK and I being photo-bombed by Mike Gilbert

set-use

Sigs from "Blitz" and DD of Overkill in The Book

Sigs from “Blitz” and DD of Overkill in The Book

tix-use

Death/Dark Angel – May 12, 1989

with one comment

This was a great show even though Death didn’t play.  Apparently their van broke down.  It was my first time seeing Gene Hoglan live.  Other than seeing OTT, a local band that I loved, seeing Dark Angel was pretty huge.  I wasn’t really a Death fan at the time, that didn’t really happen until Hoglan joined the band.  After that I decided to delve into their older material.  Good stuff.  After Darkness Descends, I lost interest in Dark Angel.  This was on the Leave Scars tour and I didn’t really care for that album at all…except for the drumming.  Gene rules.  This show also featured Brett Eriksen from Viking on guitar to replace Jim Durkin.  It was a great night made even more special by it being at the old Atlantic Beach Club.  I loved that place and saw some really cool shows there.  I also missed some really cool shows there!

Written by The Metal Files

May 31, 2011 at 8:08 pm

Deathwish – Demon Preacher – 1988

with one comment

Here’s an old one and a tad bit obscure. I remember first buying this on tape when it came out. I saw an ad in a magazine and thought the cover looked cool. Remember back in the old days when you had a good chance of picking a good band by their album covers? Not so much these days.

Deathwish hailed from England. While this isn’t a great thrash album by any stretch of the imagination, it’s worth giving a listen to once a year or so. I picked it up on CD a few years after its release and got it in a cutout bin for maybe $5. What an investment it was! A few days ago I sold my copy on eBay for $65!

Download it here.

Written by The Metal Files

April 30, 2010 at 7:54 am

Arsis – Forced To Rock (new track from Starve For The Devil)

with 3 comments

Arsis posted another song from their upcoming album Starve For the Devil called Forced To Rock.

Says frontman Jim Malone:  “How can I better the world? This is the question that I asked myself when writing ‘Forced To Rock’. I eventually came to the conclusion that the death metal world needed an anthem. Sure, it may not be the cure for cancer, but it is fun and fun is something that I feel is lacking in a lot of the music out there today. It’s music, it’s not saving lives; there is no reason to be serious 100% of the time. Tongue in cheek or foot in mouth; I am probably not the proper authority to comment on the matter.”

Cool song and definitely on the lighter side lyrically.  Can’t wait to hear the whole thing.

Written by The Metal Files

December 31, 2009 at 4:08 pm

The Big 4 Tour? Blech!

with 3 comments

Seriously?  There’s all this talk about Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax doing a tour together.  I wouldn’t go  no ThrashBandsRulematter how “legendary” it might be.  Let’s just face facts here (my facts!):  Metallica hasn’t put out anything worth listening to since maybe And Justice for all.  Slayer hasn’t released anything decent since Seasons in the Abyss.  Anthrax was lifeless after State of Euphoria.  Megadeth has made a good run of it in the last 5 years, but they wouldn’t be enough for me to want to see the other bands.  I believe they are coming near here with Slayer in a few months.  I’ll likely go and leave before Slayer comes on, just like I did last year when Judas Priest came on, I was out of there.

Now on the marketing side of this, it would be ideal if all of the egos could work it out.  Every band would stand to make a lot of money…mainly by having Metallica on the bill.  They sell out everywhere they play (insert easy joke here!).  Money wise it’s a no brainer as long as these bands don’t actually have to speak to each other.

There are certainly other thrash bands I’d much rather see than these.

Sometimes I really miss the old days.

Written by The Metal Files

September 18, 2009 at 5:40 pm