Thrashfest? Yeah, this is an old-school thrasher's wet dream. You bring together three of the best thrash combos from the good old days and from both sides of the Atlantic. Death Angel, Exodus and Kreator on the same stage in one evening in a comparetively small venue - that has to be a cool thing!
I'm tempted to say that Slayer have also joined us tonight. The Greek pretenders to the thrash throne, Suicidal Angels, are again visiting Denmark, and it is obvious that more and more punters like what they do. I do see why they've become on of the big hypes of the past year or so, because they play well and they certainly imitate Slayer's Reign in Blood extremely well. How can you not like that?!
I find myself more willing to accept what they do this evening and just enjoy the band's energy and enthusiasm, but I still have that nagging feeling that this is pure plagiarism and all the time I find my self wanting to shout 'Jesus Saves!', simply because that's the type of songs Suicidal Angels write.
It's no secret that Death Angel are my headliners tonight. I always had a soft spot for Rob Cavestany and his merry men, although their music hasn't always been first league material. 'Act III' excepted, of course, because that album is a master piece in its own right. The latest album, 'Relentless Retribution', is also a tour de force of catchy song writing, so this hack is hoping for a set consisting of songs from the master piece, the new album and then a couple off the debut.
It doesn't quite turn out that way. Seemingly Endless Time is the only tune aired from 'Act III'. I'm almost in tears. However, the new album is heavily represented with four songs out of the ten we get, so that's not too bad.
Sadly, the sound during DA's gig is less than perfect. This, in fact, is true of the entire evening. A shame, since we have such a bunch of talented guitarists throughout the evening. They all deserve the best possible sound!
Anyhow, Mark Osegueda and the rest of Death Angel are a true pleasure to witness on a stage. The joy of being right there, in front of an audience, playing thrash metal, is gleaming from these five fellows. They're banging their heads, jumping, almost crawling into the audience, smiling, laughing, shouting, and just spreading truckloads of good vibes.
Following an act like Death Angel is not an easy task in my view. To be honest, Exodus seem like a bunch of old and worn professionals after the Filipino-American energy bombs.
The good vibes are also less obvious, or, in fact, completely disappear at some point mid-set when a punter jumps on stage despite the fact that he's been told not to. He dances around and then puts an arm around Rob Dukes' neck. Dukes pushes the guy away, only to receive a push back from the insulted fan who then in turn is pushed into the drums and adorned with a couple of well-placed punches in the face from Mister Dukes.
Before the incident develops even further, the unfortunate fan is dragged off stage by security. Yeah, the guy was really annoying and should have stepped down, but, still, a bit of an over-reaction, Dukes?
Nevertheless, the music of this band speaks for it self. There are all sorts of reasons for Exodus not being part of the Big Four and whatever, but their influence on the genre is irrefutable, and Tom Hunting and crew show us just why it is so with a crushing set of thrash metal pure.
Unlike many Exodus fans, for me, the real Exodus is not 'Bonded By Blood'. No, for me the real Exodus is 'Pleasures of the Flesh', 'Fabulous Disaster' in particular and 'Impact is Imminent' to some extent. Yes, their most catchy phase. But eventhough I only get Toxic Waltz from that phase, I'm still putting the dial on 'Enjoy'. This is a fantastic thrash concert with amazing guitar work by Gary Holt and Lee Altus, and Tom Hunting just is a brilliant thrash drummer.
Bad shit for the punter who got caught in the claws of Dukes, but a rock solid thrash concert for the rest of us.
The stage is soon set for Kreator. With an impressive backdrop and two stairs added on the sides of the drum raiser, it looks like we're in for a special treat from Mille and crew.And then Johnny Cash's The Man Comes Around is heard from the PA. Unusual intro for Germany's premier thrash band, but, hey, why not? It's a good piece, anyway.
And in comes Ventor, Sami, Christian and last, but not least, Mille himself, firing the thrash canon immidiately with the title track off the 'Violent Revolution' album. What follows is a march through Teutonic thrash metal par excellence. For me, this a step even further back in history than both DA and Exodus, as Kreator's 'Endless Pain' was one of the very first metal albums I listened to. No, 'Endless Pain' isn't really a fantastic album, neither is 'Terrible Certainty', but 'Extreme Aggression' frigging slew everything around for a while back in the day!
This set is like a walk down memory lane mixed with the superb newer material that has come out of Kreator with the past three albums. Musically, this is definitely an approved gig.
One thing I had forgotten about Kreator gigs is that Mille talksa lot. And I mean a lot. It's alright to incite to singalong and shouts, but, man, can this guy go on forever? If he had cut down just a little bit on the tirades, we might have had time for the sorely missed title track from 'Extreme Aggression'!
Anyway, as I said, approved and thumbs up for not only Kreator, but also for the whole idea of putting together this old school thrash tour package - could easily be repeated!
Reign in Blood a definite influence -
A joy to behold -
Rob Cavestany and Death Angel
Throwing punches in Aarhus -
Rob Dukes and Exodus
Teutonic thrash attack -
Mille and Kreator
Click here for