Ok, you tell me? Is this cool, or one of the dumbest videos ever? Don’t get me wrong, I have much love for Tim Lambesis & co. – but I think they should ask the director for their money back. The CGI looks like it was done on a Commodore 64. Excellent cover of Judas Priest, though. Think I’d rather just listen to the CD.
Due to the length of time that has passed on this concert (almost 2 weeks), a full-on review of the Exhumed/Goatwhore/Havok show at the Alrosa Villa might seem a bit pointless. What the hell – better late than never! If you’d like another perspective of the same show, I recommend checking out Gogmagogical (always happy to support a fellow blogger).
Anyhow, this was a Tuesday night show – which is a rough situation for the headliners if there’s a significant number of opening acts on the bill. On this night, there were 5 openers – so sadly by the time Exhumed took the stage, there were about 40 of us left. A disappointing lack of support but I understand it’s how it goes sometimes. People get up WAY earlier than me & it’s just good that they came out at all, right? But I’m getting ahead of myself, here’s my thoughts on the lineup;
Kingsblood – If there’s such thing as Epic Metal, then Kingsblood is the poster-child. Growling death vocals backed by excellent Battle Metal-style guitar riffage and rapid fire drum blasts, this is music that conjures images of knights & barbarians without seeming. . .well, nerdy. The fact that guitarist McFly is also a graphic artist translates into awesome logo work that you can check out at the link as well as some tunes.
Skullbomb – delivered some pounding Thrash reminiscent of early Exodus, with catchy rhythms and galloping drum beats that took me straight back to the heydays of the 80’s. Like the next two bands who followed, I’m excited to see a continued resurgence of oldschool Thrash in the clubs these days, something I fully supported in the first generation, and will continue to support with these younger acts. Keep the spirit alive, gentlemen!
Next up was Mithridium, a melodic oldschool outfit with a propensity for face-melting, dueling guitar leads. I challenge anyone to listen to the first 30 seconds of “The Blood Of Retribution” and not drop their jaw in disbelief. Relentlessly heavy, polished and with a completely professional stage presence, these guys are ready for bigger stages.
Continuing the Thrash onslaught was Havok, a high energy foursome out of Colorado who blasted out amazingly technical songs making even this early week crowd put on their dancing shoes & open up a pit. I highly recommend “Scumbag in Disguise” but really, EVERYTHING they played was arena-level awesome with complex instrumentation and melodic hooks. These guys need to be huge – and I have no doubt that they will.
Evil followed, with the ferociously brutal Goatwhore from the mystic swamplands of Louisiana. Deftly mixing punk with Thrash & Black Metal influences, Goatwhore is the bastard offspring of bands like Celtic Frost and Agnostic Front. Ben Falgoust’s vocals permeated the stage with his unholy ranting, spewing venomous rebellion at the masses amidst the deafening wall of distorted power chords & thundering bass. Greatest crowd reaction of the night – and for good reason, Goatwhore is nasty little guilty pleasure that I recommend catching if you get the chance.
Final act of the evening were the Gore Metal legends Exhumed, who return to touring after a lengthy hiatus supporting their first new CD in almost 8 years (“All Guts, No Glory”). Despite being abandoned by a large portion of the audience, Exhumed played a full-on assault of grinding Death Metal like they didn’t even notice. Surprisingly sparse in theatrics (think Cannibal Corpse), Exhumed’s visceral delivery felt like heavy chunks of carnage filling the air with blood-soaked dread, delivering a tight, punishing show that underscored their status as godfathers of the genre. Really liked hearing “I Rot Within” and “Necromaniac” live, and seeing as how this was their first appearance at the Alrosa, I hope they do return someday & receive the responsive, watchful throng they deserve.
Thought I was dead, didn’t ya’?Â Nope, just been dealing with real life while still making it to a few shows that I want to tell you about – so here we go.Â First up, I LOVE me some good Horror Rock around Halloween, and with The Misfits & GWAR conveniently avoiding Columbus this season, one of the scary themed shows I DID attend was Wednesday 13 at the Alrosa Villa.Â Here’s the breakdown;
The first band I caught was Phantom 13 out of Marion, Ohio, who played some decent Horror Punk but were VERY derivative of early Misfits/Danzig (probably too much so for any real commercial success). Still, if you like that sound (and I do), Phantom puts out catchy tune-age like “Death Dealer” & “Dust Filled Veins” that’ll have you singing along in the shower (or is that in the blood bath?).
Next up, some local favorites of mine, Mystic Syntax – who you may recall I saw sweating it out in 90 degree mid-day heat at Woodshock. Much more conducive playing conditions this night, with another strong performance by the band that was one part Electro-Industrial, one part Metal and a uniquely strange experience to witness. Like a post-apocalyptic nightclub act, MS creates eerie tunes full of emotionless lyrics & driving beats wrapped in techno-centric keyboard samples. “Just Like You” is featured on the linked site, and gives you a good feel for their sound.
Polkadot Cadaver were next, an eclectic & funky experimental group formed by ex-members of Dog Fashion Disco. I’ll give them credit for avoiding cliche, but I didn’t need to hear (among other things) the full cover of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”. Not my cup of tea, but I encourage you to follow the link & give them a listen for yourself.
The following band, Vampires Everywhere are more of what I expected for an opening act on this bill, a Gothic boy band with heavy 80’s Sunset Strip influences. That being said, I found them to be very entertaining with a rocking set of Power Pop tunes overlaid with occasional scream-o vocals. Probably dripping in Twilight groupies, Vampires Everywhere have a melodic brand of cemetery angst that is catchy, listenable & was ultimately fun to watch. I particularly like “Immortal Love”, which you can hear if you follow the link.
Wednesday 13 came out last, with all the fog swept, light flashing intensity of a great Halloween show. Not as heavy on stage props as I would’ve expected, the band more than made up for it with a powerful presence, chugging through a set that mixed new offerings with a good selection of old staples (except “I Love To Say Fuck”, a personal fave of mine). Melodic & catchy, like most bands on this bill, W-13 do a great job of capturing a Punk sensibility, sprinkling in some A7X type metallic goodness and serving it all up in Psychobilly homage that’s both lyrically humorous (with songs like “Calling All Corpses” and “Happily Ever Cadaver” for example) but backed up by a good rock n’ roll crunch. Below is a shaky fan-made video from a show a few weeks previous, that aptly captures their live performance. Really good stuff, and I’d not hesitate to see them again. Thanks to some help from Setlist.fm, I can offer you what was played as well;
- Calling AllÂ Corpses
- I Walked With A Zombie
- Scream Baby Scream
- My Home Sweet Homicide
- Silver Bullets
- From Here to the Hearse
- Happily Ever Cadaver
- Put Your Death Mask On
- I Want You Dead
- I Wanna Be Cremated
- House By The Cemetary
- Til Death Do Us Party
- Bad Things
- Something Wicked This Way Comes