|» Thrashfest 2010 12 08||
2010 has certainly been a fantastic year for all lovers of thrash metal. The gathering of the so-called 'Big Four' - Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax - for some shows together was a historic, unbelievable event. Other thrash titans such as Testament, Exodus and Kreator have also been busy entertaining thrash devotees in various parts of the world this year. In Europe, 2010 was concluded in a most fulfilling manner with the mouth-watering Thrashfest - boasting a line-up of the aforementioned Kreator and Exodus plus Death Angel and Suicidal Angels. This was of course an event which called for the presence of Metal Covenant.
Hailing from Greece, Suicidal Angels were announced as winners of the
Rock The Nation award in 2009 (along with Sweden's Steelwing). Being signed
to Nuclear Blast in the process, the band subsequently got the chance
to be part of some big tours as well as festivals. An old-school thrash
metal band, the slot on Thrashfest with its illustrious line-up is no
doubt the perfect ending to 2010 for the Greeks. It is indeed evident
that they are relishing the moment, as they put on a committed display,
with frontman Nick Mellisourgos inciting the crowd. Their intense, pulverising
thrash, in the vein of old Sepultura and Sodom, duly get a good reaction,
with necks and hair in motion among the spectators. At first listen, the
songs offered are perhaps not that spectacular but surely promising, while
the stage presence obviously will improve with time. All in all though,
this is an energizing opening to tonight's festivities.
6 chalices of 10
(sorry, no setlist)
This is the third time in 2010, after not performing in the country for many, many years, that Death Angel, one of the classic Bay Area thrash bands, play in Sweden. It's something that singer Mark Osegueda is genuinely excited about, expressing some crowd-pleasing praise of Sweden on a number of occasions. Whatever part played by our fine country, it is clear that Death Angel are on fire this evening, displaying wholehearted energy and devotion. Osegueda, windmilling his long dreads, has formidable frontman abilities in terms of stage presence and his voice is still in very good shape. His bandmates contribute similarly; headbanging, running around and putting on an engaging show. Rob Cavestany, the other remaining member from the classic line-up, delivers some razor-sharp rifffing, while drummer Will Carroll sure, as Osegueda puts it, is "working his ass off" with thunderous double-kick drumming a regular feature.
While the music is certainly performed tight and with much proficiency,
Death Angel are well-equipped song-wise as well. Four tracks from the
latest album are played and mix well with tunes from the old days as well
as from more recent albums. Highlights include Mistress In Pain and Thrown
To The Wolves, both delivered in blistering versions. It's obvious that
far from everyone in the audience are familiar with all the songs, and
one could well suggest one or two more of the older gems be thrown in.
Nonetheless, Death Angel get a warm welcome, and plenty of action is taking
place on the floor. There is no doubt Death Angel are an entertaining
live band, and with the Americans already confirmed for the Getaway Rock
festival in Sweden next year, they can expect everyone present tonight
to be eager to see that gig.
7,5 chalices of 10
In contrast to Death Angel, Exodus have played here frequently in recent years. Despite having limited time onstage as a support band, these thrash legends choose to fill half their set with tunes from their latest records. Initiating the attack are the two first tracks from their latest, excellent offering, with Beyond The Pale delivered in a ripping version. Blacklist, from 2004's comeback Tempo Of The Damned, has become a staple in the set and is a killer of a groove-monster tonight, with some great singing from the crowd as well. Then again, as expected, the temperature rises even higher when the early classics are introduced, with the crowd going mental. Bonded By Blood has everyone screaming along, Toxic Waltz sees the biggest moshpit of the night so far, and Strike Of The Beast incorporates a wall of death.
It is evident the band are enjoying the great response. As always, it is a treat to watch Gary Holt roaming the stage, cool as fuck, with a wide smile on his face as the crowd goes nuts to his deadly, timeless riffs. Fellow axeman Lee Altus is thrashing like hell and interacting with fans, while frontman Rob Dukes gives a dedicated effort, complete with some - albeit quite funny-looking - leaps from the drum riser. Though over in an instant, Exodus' set is a winner and afterwards, some can be heard expressing curiosity whether Kreator can top this.
8 chalices of 10
If there were any doubts over Kreator following Exodus, those are quickly erased. Already when the show is being prepared, the band's artwork providing nice scenery, it is clear this will be something special. Then, after Johnny Cash's The Man Comes Around is played as an intro, expectations are brought to the maximum as a film on the screen showing some footage from Stockholm is followed by live scenes from backstage. Violent Revolution is a tremendous opener, with loud singing from the crowd. It leads straight into Hordes Of Chaos, wherein frontman Mille Petrozza's screams of "chaoooos!" function as a fitting cue to the crowd who is up for some serious mayhem. Petrozza seems even more fired up than usual, spitting out vicious vocals and fiercely pumping his fists in the air to galvanise the fans. A trademark call-to-arms speech from the singer is then followed by the monstrous Terrible Certainty and the ultra-aggressive Betrayer which send the place into a sweaty frenzy which is upheld for the rest of the show.
While his bandmates contribute splendidly, it is Petrozza who is the undoubted centre of attention. Displaying an admirable passion, he has the audience in a tight grip, making them follow his every call for some chaos. He also expresses appreciation to have both young and old fans present. The crowd responds by engaging in wild moshpits to the old classics Endless Pain and Pleasure To Kill. What is clear is that Kreator have a most impressive repertoire of songs, making it impossible for the Germans to fail. Highlights tonight include People Of The Lie and Enemy Of God - one tune old, the other one newer, but both receiving a storming reception.
Everyone would agree that Thrashfest is a most memorable event, and it is rounded off in brilliant style, with a brilliant atmosphere throughout. Assisted by an effective stage show, complete with cool projections and clips on the screen, this is an outstanding, highly professional performance by Kreator. Since their return to the characteristic Kreator sound, Petrozza and co have really cemented their status as one the most influential bands in thrash metal, undoubtedly playing their part in the revival of the scene by inspiring many young bands. At the same time, their reputation as a live act is still strong. In the right setting, preferably at an intimate venue such as tonight, Kreator is still a thrilling experience. It is an adrenaline dose of colossal proportions, one that will be available for a long time yet - something all thrash fanatics are very grateful for.
9 chalices of 10