Apart from being an overdue
prospect within these shores, the ‘Thrash Invasion’ tour was an event that a
Thrash fan such as myself couldn’t afford to pass by. Before the tour kicked off
off, the bill changed a number of times, most notably when the European dates
were trimmed down and only UK commitments reconfirmed. As a result Hatriot had
withdrawn (this was at the same time that Zetro rejoined Exodus).
Anyhow, that’s enough of politics;
let’s get to the crux of the matter....
Despite having read about One
Machine from my peers, this is actually my first foray into the band’s music.
For those who are not aware, One Machine is a sort of ‘supergroup’ made up of
guitarists Steve Smyth (Testament, Nevermore, Forbidden, Dragonlord, Vicious
Rumours) and Jamie Hunt (Biomechanical), lead vocalist Chris Hawkins, bassist
Tomas Koefoed (Mnemic) and Italian drummer Michele Sanna (Coma). This line-up is
slightly different from the band’s current album (“The Distortion Of Lies And
The Overdriven Truth”).
Irrespective of their musical
pedigree, it’s clear from tonight’s performance that these guys are fantastic
musicians. Aggressive but melodic, technical but not Progressive, One Machine’s
music is perhaps closest to Artillery tonight. Despite the potential, I felt
something was missing in the songs I was hearing but this was perhaps related to
the absence of Jamie Hunt who had to miss tonight’s gig due to a family
One Machine faced a scant and
rather inert crowd but behaved as if they were performing for an ocean of rabid
Metalheads. For that attitude, I salute them. Chris Hawkins had a particularly
great night – he has such an excellent voice that never waned despite him
hopping around the stage like a jack-in-the-box.
One Machine have earned my
Kill The Hope Inside
The Distortion Of Lies And The
One Machine (dedicated to guitarist
Freedom And Pain
Nightlord, with their particular
take on Thrash, fared much better than I expected. In fact it’s hard to find
fault with their performance but I particularly liked the vocals of Jamie
Thorne, who also plays bass – his singing style and quality reminded me of
Sabbat and Skyclad.
The rest of the band were no less
the pros than Jamie was. For instance I heard some excellent guitar solos from
James MacKenzie and all in all the band worked very well as a tight and compact
unit. The material itself sounded exciting and fresh despite some of it being
over a decade old.
Now I hope the band comes up with a
recording to match my newly surged expectations.
Vote For Me
Black, Red And Green
Omens In Entrails
Despite a long and distinguished
career, this was only the Danes’ first UK tour. Personally, I had never seen
them in the flesh and after having devoured their latest studio-album (“Legions”
of last year) I was all the more excited at the prospect of seeing them perform.
I am happy to say that Artillery
rose to my expectations like veritable titans of the genre. Their Thrash was
ruthless, precise and mesmerizingly relentless. Particularly memorable was their
rendition of ‘Death Squad’ and ‘The Almighty’ and the band members themselves
seemed particularly chuffed at the audience’s enthusiastic response.
The set-list was never going to be
an issue for me (all I cared was that I was finally seeing Artillery) but if I
had to draw up a wish-list of songs I would like to hear, it would look very
much like what the band actually played. This includes ‘Godfeather’, probably my
favourite track from the aforementioned “Legions”.
Already I can’t wait to see them
Chill My Bones
When Death Comes
Not far off from Artillery’s
onslaught were....Onslaught. A band that I have been following since its
inception, Onslaught was incredible and gave a memorable performance. The band
was monstrously tight and the delivery jaw-droppingly powerful.
Egged by an enthusiastic and
supportive audience, Onslaught revisited every stage of the band’s career. Even
the title-track from the “In Search Of Sanity” album was there and while I
didn’t like tonight’s version as much as the original, I appreciated its
inclusion. ‘Metal Forces’ was one of the performance’s highlights and spawned
what was probably the wildest moshpit of the night. The encore, where the
Bristolians delivered 2 of their finest classics – ‘Onslaught (Power From Hell)’
and ‘Thermonuclear Devastation’ – felt like the aural equivalent of an army of
Panzer tanks crushing the feeble humans in their path. Vocalist Sy Keeler had a
dominating presence but special mention also goes to Mic Hourihan who had an
After Onslaught’s performance, all
the bands’ members mingled with the audience that had lingered on, happily
chatting to fans and posing for photos with them. This was a helluva great
The Sound Of Violence
Chaos Is King
Let There Be Death
Children Of The Sand
Rest In Pieces
Destroyer Of Worlds
In Search Of Sanity
Fight With The Beast
Onslaught (Power From Hell)