|» Destruction 2014 03 22||
This was my first time finally getting to see Vindicator execute their tales of terror. I was so excited about this moment, that I decided to pass on my twice re-scheduled interview with Mike Of Destruction, just so I would not miss these bastards of noise and aggression perform. These dedicates all drove many miles just to have this opportunity to open for Destruction, and I knew they would give it their all and leave us feeling the pain and suffering of their fatal infection.
What I did not realize at the time was that my friend Justin Zych - the lone warrior from Fort Wayne, Indiana's Zephaniah - who also played live for Viking at last year's "Ragnarokker Festival", had rejoined the band to replace James J. LaRue, who moved back to California. Justin is quite an accomplished musician, and a great guy to get to know. You can expect that his entertaining flair will revivify and ignite the live vibe for any band for whom he plays. Thus, this was another reason I did not want to forsake finally seeing the adorned neighbors fulfill the promise of agony, by grinding the gears of fate.
These Ohio natives have just released a new (EP) called 'Sleeping With Evil' on StormSpell Records which I recently reviewed. They did their best to rock and destroy their U.S.S.A. fanbase by representing material from all their works, and only playing the title track from the new (EP). I imagine if they had more time allotted, they would have possibly hammered out "Hockey Stick Vengeance" and "New Clear Assault: End Of An Error".
I was grateful to hear both the witty and wild "Dog Beneath The Skin" and the resonating "Humanarchy" from their 'Outbreak Of Metal Vol.1' Split with Metal Witch. Vic Stown had a commanding presence as he stood proud, adorned in his Tygers of Pan Tang T-Shirt, while Shok Paris Bassist Ed Stephens held his own, and drummer Jesse released the rampage like a frontal beast. As expected, watching Justin play live on stage added that extra ounce of intensity. Man did he reign in bludgeoned mendacity, with his self-imposed alacrity and pellucid vehemance, slaying like a vicious vortex, or a tightened tourniquet choking you to the bone. Immediately, the platform of manic impression came undone. Therefore, their watchers in the eye of the tormented pit tripled by the third song, and many background contenders began to take notice and approach the stage, willingly.
I recognized every blistering cut, and even if I have never been a big fan of their tongue-in-cheek return to thrash style heavily influenced by older Megadeth, Dark Angel, Nuclear Assault, Hallow's Eve, etc., I felt myself drawn into the circle of vengeance, and quite enthralled in the essence.
Once it became clear, and I knew the assault would abate with only four minutes to spare, I was hoping to hear their killer Indestroy cover, yet they opted for "Gore Orphanage", which I regard as an error, but not the end of an era.
Most people feel their most accomplished work is 'Antique Witcheries',
but I found the production on that to be horrendous, so I prefer the album
called: 'United We Fall' and would have relished hearing "Hail To
The Thief" or "Nationwide Ruination". As they commence
work on new material with Justin - who is also recording a new Zephaniah
album called 'Reforged' - and bothers Vic and Jesse at the helm, I can
only imagine the shock trauma of their next nationwide congruent creation.
Performance: 7 chalices
I had not seen my brothers in Widow for years. I was amazed to discover that they were on this particular Tour. Cris and John E. Wooten IV have always been the bulwark holding this three piece together, and they informed me that they had yet another new drummer named Jason Wheeler, who had only been playing with them for five days. He seemed like an affable guy, and very professional. This, of course, affected the set-list, as he just had not learned many of the classics like "The Pleasure Of Exorcism", "Nightchild", or "The Teacher's Pet".
Cris Bennett explained to me that Widow have had a great year touring the world, even going to Japan and Australia. It was also a reunion of souls as he saw other friends he had not seen in ages. This family affair added to the enjoyment overall. Widow is always entertaining to watch live, and even the skeptics who had only heard their earlier material with harsh vocals like in the former days of Sorrows Bequest or the female fronted fiasco of 'On Fire', were won over by their performance; and even, afterwards purchased CDs and other merch. This is quite remarkable since their last album 'Life's Blood' came out in 2011.
Just like Justin, Cris is an exceptional guitarist with a great deal of character, and he always rocks out, quite cocky, free as a bird. At the same time, with fist held high, born out of mettle mystery, Johnny sings and slings the bass. The brothers cut from the same cloth do their best to represent their catalogue of originals, minus any covers. I recognized the songs and sang along with such festive hits as "Lady Twilight", "Nightlife", and the clever and cloying "Amercian Werewolf In Raleigh', as the band hails from North Carolina.
No matter which way you faced, you would not miss their on stage antics, leaving no stone unturned. They ended the set with a rippin' version of 'Angel Sin'. Even if this was not their best performance, as I had often seen them with Peter Lemieux, their former drummer, I respect how Jason played his heart out, and I was pleased to see the crowd enjoy and embrace their live performance, beyond all judgement.
In all fairness, Widow was the odd man out for this Thrash Bill and would
soon be replaced by Exmortus on later dates, so for a Traditional Metal
act to take hold of the night by driving the crowd into a frenzy, and
preparing them for the upcoming devastation, I feel they kept their eye
on the prize and stole your love. Widow are here to stay.
Performance: 7 chalices
I have never been too big into Krisiun. I have been told they are great guys to meet, and even more fun to hang out with after a show. Lucklessly, everytime I see them on stage, all the songs tend to blend together, despite the fact they have so many albums, and have existed for over two decades. I used this opportunity to go outside to get some fresh, yet frigid air and then mingle and meet up with my friends. No disrespect to the actual Brazilian Brothers of Metal, but with the outdoor smoker's patio at this club, it was just the right time to relate and reminisce.
Surprisingly, my 10 year old, long-haired son who had been by my side
most of the night enjoying himself thoroughly, while the wife took the
pictures of the bands, wanted to sit and watch Krisiun, so he would be
the one to ask about their performance as he very much dug it, go figure!
Performance: - chalices
(sorry, no setlist)
The moment of truth was finally at hand, another day of reckoning and violent rebel revolution. I had not seen Destruction since the inaugural "70,000 Tons Of Metal" Cruise. I felt remorse having missed out on my interview, as Mike slept through both my initial scheduled time slots. After the show I apologized to him incessantly while he was washing his hands in the restroom, and reassured him that I was still writing a favorable live review for this alliance of hellhounds.
The dictators of cruelty opened with "Thrash 'Til Death". Overall, I found the sound to be muddy and inchoate at times, and it only improved as I got closer to the stage, occasionally leaving my son to thrash by himself, under the guidance of several volunteer bangers who were more than willing to watch him. I did make it down to the crowded stage to hear some of the killer Classics like the deposition of "Eternal Ban" and the sign of fear found in "Life Without Sense".
Unfortunatley while facing the sentence of death that was the deadly pit of vipers, rank subjugation, and intoxicated wannabees, I was clocked in the jaw by a mad mosher, and nearly butchered by his death breath. Then it became too sweltering and hot for me to endure any longer. Although, my young, skullcracked, brain damaged friend Sam remained faithful the whole time, arm raised, satieted, raging furiously, screaming for vengeance, always willing to stand up and shout for more.
Meanwhile, as my wife was trying to shoot the show with her new high quality camera, she was struck by fighting, and hit hard by a drunken carnivore who ended up spilling his whiskey sour all over her, leaving her long locks, and reddish-brunette hair sticky and congealed until she was able to wash it out a day later. This in no way caused her to reject emotions, nor deterred her elation as she elected to snap shot after shot, accepting the price and penalty, rewarding herself by buying a T-shirt after the gig.
Bonded by blood, my son and I had quite a good, clean, friend, vile time wailing out lyrics; especially, with "Nailed To The Cross", where in unison with Schmier and the voracious crowd we would yell, "Nailed To The Fuckin' Cross!", knowing full well, spiritual genius aside, we would not be attending the church of disgust the following day.
Most of the searing selections were all oldies, and the inventor of evil: Schmier even commented how the band had not been to Columbus since '89, as he searched the scene for any old school representers who upheld the legacy of the past, and who might have had the priviledge to have seen the infernal overkill back in the day.
As I was eventually released from my agonizing zygomatic infraction, I celebrated hearing newer cuts like "Carnivore" and "Spiritual Genocide" for the first time. However, I was much more drawn to the '80s era songs, and was very grateful to experience 'Death Trap" and "AntiChrist". After the show, Schmier informed me that the band was even playing my favorite song "Black Death" at some European Festivals, as well as "United By Hatred".
On most occasions when I have watched them live, they have often opened with "Curse The Gods", but this was now to be their encore, along with "Total Desaster", "Bestial Invasion", and "The Butcher Strikes Back". I would have really like to have heard "Invincible Force", and "The Alliance Of Hellhoundz" as well, but I could tell the band was having problems, and suffering from semantics on stage. The obligatory drum solo amidst the savage symphony was a sure sign of this.
I later discovered that they cancelled their Tennessee show on Sunday due to poor ticket sales, and the club they played the night before in Delaware was apparently smaller than their tour bus. Thankfully, this Saturday was the right night for fighting, and even though it was Schmier's first time playing the club where Dimebag was shot, he held his own, brought the hammer down, and delivered the eternal devastation.
After having spoke with Schmier about how horribly they were treated last time the they toured America, and how they swallowed their pride and returned again to the U.S. to give it another go, I was saddened to learn that they were still struggling. This in no way deterred them from raising hell and unleashing the full Metal discharge of thrash anthems. I totally respect this unholy trinity and the headhunter himself Marcel who shows no signs of repentance.
Performance: 7 chalices
Setlist: (might be slightly incorrect)