Testament at The Newport Music Hall, Columbus, Ohio, May 11th

The Bay Strikes Back Tour is in full force. An article I wrote and photo gallery of my images is going up soon at Ghost Cult Magazine. For now, I am posting a few photos that are not in that article, taken at the Newport Music Hall in Columbus, Ohio on May 11, 2022. Death Angel first, then Exodus the next day, then Testament. A link to the Ghost Cult article will be added when it is published.

Photos by Wayne Edwards.

Links.

Ghost Cult Magazine Full Article, https://www.ghostcultmag.com/concert-review-the-bay-strikes-back-tour-testament-exodus-death-angel-live-at-newport-music-hall/

Exodus, https://exodusattack.com/site/

Newport Music Hall, https://promowestlive.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Testament at The Newport Music Hall, Columbus, Ohio, May 11th

Exodus at The Newport Music Hall, Columbus, Ohio, May 11th

The Bay Strikes Back Tour is in full force. An article I wrote and photo gallery of my images is going up soon at Ghost Cult Magazine. For now, I am posting a few photos that are not in that article, taken at the Newport Music Hall in Columbus, Ohio on May 11, 2022. Death Angel first, then Exodus the next day, then Testament. A link to the Ghost Cult article will be added when it is published.

Photos by Wayne Edwards.

Links.

Ghost Cult Magazine Full Article, https://www.ghostcultmag.com/concert-review-the-bay-strikes-back-tour-testament-exodus-death-angel-live-at-newport-music-hall/

Exodus, https://exodusattack.com/site/

Newport Music Hall, https://promowestlive.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Exodus at The Newport Music Hall, Columbus, Ohio, May 11th

Death Angel at The Newport Music Hall, Columbus, Ohio, May 11th

The Bay Strikes Back Tour is in full force. There is an article I wrote and photo gallery of my images that is going up soon at Ghost Cult Magazine. For now, I am posting a few photos that are not in that article, taken at the Newport Music Hall in Columbus, Ohio on May 11, 2022. Death Angel first, then Exodus the next day, then Testament. A link to the Ghost Cult article will be added when it is published.

Photos by Wayne Edwards.

Links.

Ghost Cult Magazine Full Article, https://www.ghostcultmag.com/concert-review-the-bay-strikes-back-tour-testament-exodus-death-angel-live-at-newport-music-hall/

Death Angel, https://www.deathangel.us/

Newport Music Hall, https://promowestlive.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Death Angel at The Newport Music Hall, Columbus, Ohio, May 11th

Destruction, Diabolical (Napalm Records 2022)

German thrash legends Destruction celebrate forty years of mayhem with their fifteenth studio album, Diabolical.

The story of Destruction stretches back to 1982 when they first operated as Knight Of Demon. Quickly changing their name to the more familiar current one, the 1984 demo the band put out shook things up. Infernal Overkill (1985) and Eternal Devastation (1986) followed quickly, and when the Mad Butcher EP dropped in 1987, Destruction was on a path that could not be denied.

There have been a few shakeups in the lineup lately with the notable departure of co-founder Mike Sifringer last year. As disruptive as that could have been, Destruction pressed on and has created an excellent new album. On Diabolical, founding bassist and vocalist Schmier (Marcel Schirmer) is joined by Martin Furia (guitar), Randy Black (drums), and Damir Eskić (guitar).

Talking about the new album, Martin Furia said, “Diabolical is an album of extremes, everything is more brutal and more technical but at the same time more melodic and to the point. It’s a pure and devastating Destruction album with no gimmicks, full of power and adrenaline.” Some of that sounds a little contradictory, but it is not at all. The speed is furious, the technical performance is flawless, and the songs are filled with hooks and great choruses.

“Under The Spell” wakes the music gently, then builds on a march toward the rampage that is “Diabolical.” The Destruction sound is there – the pace, the shreds, the voice. This is everything fans are looking for. One great track after another follows, with stand-outs like “Hope Dies Last” and “The Last Of A Dying Breed.”

Other favorites for me are “Tormented Soul” as it has a powerful clomping pace that hammers a heavy tone in hard, and “Servant Of The Beast” that offers a careening wallop that’ll take your breath away. The closer is a cover, “City Baby Attacked By Rats,” that brings a little hardcore into the mix. I didn’t see that one coming. All signs point to Destruction being on pace to ravage the stage for years to come. Highly recommended.

Diabolical is out now through Napalm Records. Hard copies are available is many forms, and streaming can be had at all the usual places.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://destruction.bandcamp.com/album/diabolical

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/destruction

Napalm Records, https://napalmrecords.com/english/destruction

© Wayne Edwards.

Destruction, Diabolical (Napalm Records 2022)

Incite, Wake Up Dead (Atomic Fire 2022)

Arizona thrash makers Incite break fresh ground with Wake Up Dead.

Leading up to the new one, Incite had released five previous full-length albums: The Slaughter (2009), All Out War (2012), Up In Hell (2014), Oppression (2016), and Built To Destroy (2019). Each and every one is a ripper. Traveling back to the band’s beginning you will find the same in the early EPs. It is metal fierce enough to rattle your molars out of their sockets. Incite is Richie Cavalera (vocals), Eli Santana (guitars), Christopher “EL” Elsten (bass), and Lennon Lopez (drums).

They come out swinging with “Fuck With Me,” a full force battering with whirling shreds and shattering rhythm. The narrative theme is violence, and it recurs in every song. Some of the songs, like “Sucker Punched,” sport a noticeable groove sliding right in with the thrash. Make no mistake: every song is a detonation. The compositions, while compact, all are designed for maximum impact. They fill the space around your ears and your brain with sparking, electrical energy.

I love “Mental Destruction” for the way it shakes up lines with syncopation and bends your expectations with crooked looks. Other big tracks for me are “Fallen,” with its dramatic intro that blossoms into ravaging melody and chorus, and the anchor piece, “The Slaughter.” That last one is a short, choppy piece that cracks open your windpipe then squeezes it shut.

Oh, and don’t overlook “War Soup,” featuring vocals by Max Cavalera. It is two generations of musicians working together to make metal we all want to hear. This new Incite album is my favorite of theirs so far, and that is saying something because the back catalogue has serious metal in it. Recommended.

Atomic Fire Records is set to release Wake Up Dead on Friday, April 8th through all the usual outlets. Look for it on CD, digital, and vinyl.

Band photo by Oleg Bogdan.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://incite.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/INCITEband/

Atomic Fire Records, https://visionmerch.com/atomicfire/

© Wayne Edwards.

Incite, Wake Up Dead (Atomic Fire 2022)

Misfire, Sympathy For The Ignorant (MNRK Heavy 2022)

Chicago thrash trio Misfire let loose their debut MNRK Heavy long-player on April Fools’ Day, Sympathy For The Ignorant.

Misfire is Jay Johnson (vocals, guitar), Sean Coogan (vocals, bass), and James Nicademus (drums). The band came together just a few years ago, and the musicians have been plying their trade for some time, despite their youth. Two earlier EPs provided source material for the full-length at hand, and signaled concretely the direction the music was going. This is thrash metal infused with rare spices. The compositions have a bald familiarity but when you listen to Misfire’s music you are immediately aware that you’ve never really heard anything much like this before, taken all together.

“Fractured” is the first song, and it has some of the most creative rhythm and guitar work I’ve heard in a long time featured at the beginning. It is enthralling. After the first vocal passages, a cracking bass line sets up a ripping lead guitar break. It is a combination of mysticism, shallowly buried homage, and cutthroat thuggery. Fantastic.

Every song is a battering, one way or another, for your complicit brain pan. I love the aggression in the vocals on “Red Flag” especially, but of course it is always there, track by track. “War Of Mine” steps out on a doom cadence but breaks that rank almost immediate for full-scale charge, lapsing now and then into groove. And those sudden, exposed bass lines are incredible. A punch and a lurch and a steady trajectory all in the same vicinity.

Whether it is the slow burn of “No Offense” or the pulsing haze of the title track, this album holds nothing back. Recommended.

Sympathy For The Ignorant is on the shelf Friday, April 1st through MNRK Heavy.

Band photo by Wombat Fire.

Link.

Bandcamp, https://misfireofficial.bandcamp.com/releases

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/Misfireofficial

MNRK Heavy Records, https://mnrkheavy.com/

© Wayne Edwards.

Misfire, Sympathy For The Ignorant (MNRK Heavy 2022)

Nequient, Darker Than Death Or Night (Nefarious Industries 2022)

Chicago hardcore band Nequient release their second full-length studio album this week, Darker Than Death Or Night.

You’ll see Nequient described as a hardcore band or maybe a death metal band. The press release declares the band’s music to be from a variety of wells, and that the band draws “influences from a broad spectrum of aggressive styles including grindcore, crust, sludge, death metal, black metal, and noise rock.” That covers a lot of ground, and it absolutely rings true. Wolves At The Door (2018) was Nequient’s first long-player, and I think the new one is even better. The band is Chris Avgerin (drums), Keenan Clifford (bass), Patrick Conahan (guitar), and Jason Kolkey (vocals).

The first track is a rampage, “First Casualty.” It sets the bar very high right at the jump. The chaos of “Worshippers of the Apocalypse” is what I imagine being gargled in Satan’s colon might be like; so to, “Consensual Hallucination.” The ragged rawness of these tracks is enough to make your gums bleed. The intensity and rapidly shifting off-angle attacks are a true aural battering. But this manner of music isn’t the only look you get, even if it does predominate. “Minotaur” is a gloriously doom-ridden landscape of mountain-high walls past which you cannot see the sun. “Wrongs” does this a bit, too, but with a more active brand of gloom.

The number one track for me comes near the end, “Bootlicker.” Here the emanations are barely contained. At many points along the way it seems like the music might burst apart into a ball of fire. “Golden Age of the Grift” is the kiss goodnight, and it is more of a kidney punch than a peck on the cheek. Nequient has put together one of the fiercest albums I have heard this year. Recommended.

Nefarious Industries will release Darker Than Death Or Night in multiple formats on Friday, March 18th and you can preorder it now.

Band photo by Nicolas Côté.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://nequient.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/nequientband

Nefarious Industries, https://www.nefariousindustries.com/

© Wayne Edwards. All rights reserved.

Nequient, Darker Than Death Or Night (Nefarious Industries 2022)

Cryptivore, Celestial Extinction (Bitter Loss Records 2022)

Australian one man band Cryptivore rakes the earth with Celestial Extinction, the inaugural long-player.

Brisbane’s own Chris Anning handles all the instruments, including voice, for his project Cryptivore. Five years ago he released a demo called Unseen Divinity, and now we have ten new songs. There isn’t any inherent reason why one person cannot take on the complete burden of creation and performance, except that it is a lot to do – it’s an enormous task. Sometimes it turns out well and other times you really miss the third party perspective collaborators provide. In the case of Cryptivore, the end result is excellent and engaging death metal. Well done.

The ten songs on Celestial Extinction all fall in the two-to-three-minute range, and brevity is an opportunity for high impact. “Gate Of Dismal Torture” is an excellent example. Clocking in at just over two minutes, it has great hooks and is able to stimulate suspense with tempo changes and unexpected punches. The track the follows immediately, “The Ethereal Deceased,” has a convincing doom intro followed by a catchy hook then pressed on by a forceful death metal verse. There are many looks on this album – it is full of exploration.

The elements in the music are clear enough to see. The best part about the music is the way Anning combines them and puts his own unique flair and sensibility in the mix. The first bars of “Solemn Desolation” are like a call to dark meditation and that gets almost immediately juxtaposed with a ravaging death metal torrent but then on the way out there is a cooking groove. I got into this album immediately and stayed with it all the way through, from the opening wails of “Cocoon Hecatomb” to the closing dramatic bars of the anchoring title track. Recommended.

Celestial Extinction is out on March 15th through Bitter Loss Records on digital, CD, and vinyl.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://bitterlossrecords-au.bandcamp.com/album/celestial-extinction

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/Cryptivore/

Bitter Loss Records, https://www.bitterlossrecords.com/

© Wayne Edwards. All rights reserved.

Cryptivore, Celestial Extinction (Bitter Loss Records 2022)

Overkill, Prong, and Cultus Black at Piere’s, March 9, 2022

It was a night of thrash in northern Indiana when Overkill stopped by for a little rampage on The Wings Of War tour.

I like the extremes of heavy music – I love doom and I love thrash. New Jersey’s Overkill has always been one of my favorite thrash bands. Starting back in the early 1980s, they have released nineteen (!) studio albums, the most recent being The Wings Of War (Nuclear Blast), which they are supporting with the current tour. My favorite Overkill album is probably The Electric Age, and I have been told many times that it’s a controversial choice. I stand by it, and at the same time, I will listen to any of their albums all the way through any time. The music always cranks the adrenaline up. I was most excited to see Overkill, but two other impressive acts went on ahead of them.

A band that I was seeing for the first time, Cultus Black (or Cvltvs Black), opened the show at Piere’s Entertainment Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana. On their Facebook page, they describe themselves as “a dramatic deathcore/Nu-metal crossover.” The photos will give you some idea of what went on. These musicians were fully committed and you have to see them live if you really want to understand the experience.

Like Overkill, Prong, too, have a history that stretches back to the 1980s. They released five albums during their first run, then took a break for a few years. For the past twenty years, they’ve been hitting it hard and putting out new music regularly. The band’s latest full-length album is Zero Days (Steamhammer). The style of heavy metal they play has been described in many ways, ranging from hardcore to punk to industrial to thrash to groove. I am satisfied to call it high energy heavy metal, and they stalked the stage like they owned the place. Great set.

Overkill took the stage and took no prisoners. They opened with “Wrecking Crew” and played one monstrous metal anthem after another, wrapping things up on an tidy encore. Founding members Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth and D. D. Verni led the way and Overkill tore the roof off the place to the delight of screaming fans. I was expecting to see a raucous performance but what the band delivered went above and beyond. Many famous and impressive bands play at Piere’s, and Overkill making the journey there was something extra special; another step up.

The Wings Of War tour continues, with many more dates this month and later in the year. Get out there and see these bands to satisfy your need for speed.

All photos by Wayne Edwards.

Links.

Overkill, http://wreckingcrew.com/Ironbound/

Prong, https://prongmusic.com/

Cultus Black, https://www.cultusblack.com/

Piere’s Entertainment Center, https://pieresentertainment.com/

Nuclear Blast Records, https://label.nuclearblast.com/en/music/band/about/71097.overkill.html

Steamhammer, https://shop.steamhammer.de/artists/prong

© Wayne Edwards. All rights reserved.

Overkill, Prong, and Cultus Black at Piere’s, March 9, 2022

Pillaging Villagers, Pillaging Villagers (2022)

If you are looking for high-energy drinking music for an enraged mob, you can stop at Pillaging Villagers.

Pillaging Villagers was created entirely by David Frazer. He brought in session musicians Jason Hirt (drums), Brian Koenig (guitar), and Adam Tucker (bass) to commit the ideas to indelible digital in the studio. The press release for the album puts it this way: “Merging the punk-influenced aggressiveness of crossover thrash with the Celtic melodies of folk metal, the ‘peasant metal’ of Pillaging Villagers takes the listener on a journey to a medieval world of pitchfork-wielding rebellion where songs of victory and sorrow alike are belted out with tankards raised high.” Whoever wrote that description deserves a tip because it really makes me want to hear the music. What in the world could this be?

“Wretched Of The Earth” has a hooky opening riff followed by growling vocals and a chorus that sounds like something you might hear from an homogenized Irish exile band. It is very odd. I like all the elements and I am trying to put them together in my head. They are not necessarily disparate, but neither are they necessarily cohesive. “We Remember” lays similar tread, turned up a notch. “The Count” adds an eerie key passage (reminiscent of John Carpenter) while maintaining pace. By now you start to get the hang of what is going on. I can’t say that it is completely understood but the structure has revealed itself to the point where everything is no longer a complete surprise.

Most of the songs are quite short, typically under three minutes. The exception is “The Crisis,” running over eight minutes. Compared to its fellows, this song begins dirge-like. It has a longer narrative arc, unsurprisingly, and the vocals are in a more relaxed mode, at least for time. The landscape does rise and fall during the extended journey, and in the end all these different looks were very appealing as sequenced. Excellent.

There are twelve tracks in all. Look for big singalong choruses and killer riffs around every corner. I haven’t heard anything else quite like this. The way the pieces are put together is fascinating. It is a unique accomplishment. Recommended.

Pillaging Villagers is out on Friday, March 11th. Bandcamp is the easy snag.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://pillagingvillagers.bandcamp.com/album/pillaging-villagers

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/pillagingvillagers

© Wayne Edwards. All rights reserved.

Pillaging Villagers, Pillaging Villagers (2022)