|» Onslaught 2014 10 31||
It was a cold, rainy night this Halloween when we drove to Columbus to see Onslaught and Artillery. Traffic was horrible, and we endded up arriving just when our friends in Vindicator hit the stage. The turn out was rather poor, but the fans were very loyal. In fact, two of my friends dressed up for the occasion: one as King Diamond, and his significant other as Eddie from Maiden.
This was a very uncommon experience, because Striker from Canada dropped off the bill and was replaced by a band that I did not even watch, when they played after Vindicator. I later found out from Neil Turbin who was fronting Onslaught as a favor to the band, that this a member from this band was serving as their tour manager. The whole thing was crazy and chaotic, but I have waited my entire life to see Artillery, and thankfully I purchased the last hoodie that they even had for the tour.
All in all it was a very momentous
occasion, and I am grateful I had the bleesed opportunity to attend and
After having witnessed Vindicator for the first time seeping into the evil infernal overkill of Destruction awhile back, I was very excited to stand united with them again. My friend Justin Zych from Zephaniah is such an animated guitarist on stage, and this lone warrior from Vahalla, clad in his Manowar shirt proved just how much alacrity he possesses. His stage presence serves to consolidate and solidify the bond that the two Stown cold brothers Vic and Jess share in their destruction of just as much equipment as they can afford.
For this event they were joined on stage by Tim Frederick of Eternal legacy on bass wearing his trademark cheery red spandex pants. Tim's other Cleveland band Wretch have a new album due out on Pure Steel next month. Zephaniah are also hard at work on their sophomore follow-up, hopefully due out early in 2015.
This was my good friend's first time witnessing the not necessarily hokey schtick insurgence, and he was quite impressed with their professionalism and thrashing rampage, and all out new clear assault. Vic always does his best Dave Mustaine impressions, so for the good of what we heard, "Gears Of Fate" "Bastards Of Noise And Aggression" and "Dog Beneath The Skin" were true standout tracks.
I keep beseeching them to play their cover of Indestroy "U.S.S.A."
live, but at least we were treated to a decent rendition of the tortured
skullcrusher "Take This Torch" by Razor. Watching Justin and
his band of brothers rile the crowd, and watching the fertile bastards
unleash their noise and aggression, can truly be a communal relay of nationwide
Performance: 8 chalices
The time has come! "By Inheritence" is one of my prized albums of all time, so it was a true ascendent grace to finally get to relish the almighty Artillery live. Albeit, of the two Stützer Brothers , only Michael was present for this tour, as Morten was suffering from health issues. He did not demonstrate much stage character either. However, I did talk the ear of Peter Thorslund and the other Danish dudes at their merch booth by sincerely commending them with my valid appreciation of their notable achievements.
Their overall performance was rather enjoyable, but imagine my shock when they completely omitted playing anything from 'Fear Of Tomorrow'; especially, when they continue to re-record songs like "Eternal War" from with their newer line-ups, released as digipak bonus tracks. I guess it is never too late to regret.
I was not enamoured with 'Legions', their latest offerings at first, and it took time for me to appreciate their new singer Michael Balstholm Dahl, as I preferred the warrior blood cries of Søren Nico Adamsen. Michael reminds me of a younger Mike Howe when he fronted Metal Church and performed in the "Badlands" video. Overall, he held his own with an adrenalized stage visage, and his awesome vocal range proved memorable when he attempted older material, sounding like the original vocalists who once performed such deadly relics as "The Challenge" and "Khomaniac". I especially enjoyed his range on "By Inheritence" truly imitating and emulating Flemming Rønsdorf.
I was also equally impressed with their touring guitarist Rune Gangelhof. With his Kerry King haircut, and beard, and donning a Decrepit Birth T-Shirt, one would not think he could slay or shred on tracks like "Terror Squad", or "When Death Comes", but he was absolutely amazing! He upheld such hunger and greed poised to decapitate all deviants. He even gave me his personal guitar pick.
Peter tended to favor my side, more than Michael, but I was still over
elated with his uniform command of the material. I was even able to appreciate
newer songs like "Chill My Bones" "God Feather", the
first two tracks off 'Legion'. Sure it would have been cool if they acknowledged
their come 'B.A.C.K' album from 1999 with a song like "WWW",
or if they did not omit anything from 'My Blood', and if they would have
played "Back In The Trash", but time constraints did not allow
for such deeds of darkness. At least the band is always up to the chalenge,
and ain't givin in to any delusions of gradeur or pathetic sandbox philosophy.
Performance: 7 chalices
I am always piqued to watch Onslaught, but due to personal issues with the health of Sy Keeler's son he was not able to make the U.S. Tour. The band had two choices: cancel or continue without him. Since they had well befriended former Anthrax, current DeathRiders vocalist Neil Turbin, they offered him the opportunity, and he was more than willing to comply.
When I spoke with Neil he mentioned that fans were not too pleased with his past few performances since he had to rely upon an Ipad taped and attached to the mic. stand to assist him with all those crazy lyrics Nige has penned. What do these people expect! Honestly, he is doing the best he can with what little time he had to prepare for this tour. It is not just the complex lyrics either, there are the structured vocal melodies nuances; not to mention having to factor in the British accentuated vocal pronunciations and attenuated aspects.
Personally, I feel Neil did a fine job, he was authentintic, and his voice was pitch on, hitting the necessary highs when applicable. Perhaps, people were expecting an Anthrax cover. I know the metal thrashing mad Nige Rockett is not opposed to doing it eventually, as 'Fistful Of Metal' was such a major influence on him personally, as he later admitted to me.
For me, though, this was such a unexampled and treasured experience, and even though at times there was the lack of enthusiasm in the crowd, Neil and Nige strove on, dedicated to their craft. Jeff Williams was very motivated as well, egging on the crowd, and he even presented his bass to my face and begged me to strum along to "Destroyer Of Worlds". British, blonde, bratty touring guitarist Lee Chambers was equally driven and his solos were spot on for "Let There be Death" and "Fight With The Beast".
The crowd did seem to react well to their latest hit "66'Fucking'6" for which they have made a killer live video. I even observed as a dude wearing a Morbid Saint shirt used his GoPro camera to film the entire song. Other newer slices like "Chaos Is King", or the more plodding "Children Of The Sand" fit nice in the mix with "Sounds Of Violence" and "Killing Peace".
It would have been sweet to hear "Cruci-Fiction", "Shellshock", "Antitheist" or "Shock And Awe", but I accepted the circumstances. They still honored their past with "Metal Forces" and two searing strikes from their debut, even when the crowd was beginning to thin, as the weather grew more intense with sleet and freezing rain.
I wanted to purchase a 'Power From Hell' shirt, but they were sold out in my size. I am pleased that I was priviledged to witness this line-up and this tour for two bands who have existed for over three decades, and continue to discharge the devastation into the universe.
Performance: 8 chalices