Death to false metal! Getintothis’ Mark Greenwood took in a night of furious thrash, devil horns and speed of all kinds.
Over twenty years ago Getintothis were very lucky enough to be exposed to the emergence of thrash metal.
Our misspent youth centred mainly on beer, weed and mosh pits, significant activities that marked the zeitgeist of late eighties and early nineties metal.
The big four bands, Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth, dominated a vibrant movement that fuelled punk and metal while actively negating the more glamorous romanticisms of preposterous hair metal bands.
So what of the thrash scene a quarter of century on? Conveniently, the Kazimier provides a platform of 21st century thrash and the venue is packed with metal heads and a few punks.
It’s a decent atmosphere as we enter and Visceral Attack are ripping it up with a fast and frenzied set that successfully blends the attitude and rawness of hardcore with tight and relentless thrash.
It’s a good mix, full of angst and rage and there’s nothing superficial about these lads from Ireland. Their recent 7-inch single is a good listen – devoid of pretension and appropriately aggressive, it accurately depicts a dimension of hardcore tinged with anarcho-punk while unashamedly throwing in furious guitar solos.
Punk IPA is the chosen refreshment tonight and it goes down well with a heavier brand of thrash from Divine Chaos.
In terms of performance, these hairy gents are a tad histrionic and theatrical for our taste, the pumping fists and satanic gurning become tiresome but nonetheless entertaining as the band skilfully smash through an immaculate and technically assured set.
Rather than following a thrash by numbers formula, Divine Chaos meticulously shift punchy riffs and rhythms around compelling rhythmic structures reminiscent of a number of power metal bands, while the vocals growl, bellow and scream, adding a more contemporary take on extreme macho thrash.
By the time Liverpool’s very own SSS take to the stage, the mosh pit is in full swing.
SSS are classic crossover, drawing on both west and east coast thrash, enduring a car crash of Slayer and Nuclear Assault while maintaining a punk sensibility.
Despite the obvious metal influences, SSS are bursting with political vitriol and corporate antagonism. Their short sharp shocks are administered by a captivating front man who frequently mimics lewd s acts in order to illustrate an anti-consumer stance.
The band unleash impressive new material tonight and are as tight as ever as they pile through what feels like fifty songs in twenty minutes.
Gama Bomb offer yet another take on the thrash metal genre, as they un-expectantly launch into a more NWOBHM (or should we say NWOIHM) style of thrash that echoes old-school Iron Maiden pumped up on cheap speed and super skunk.
While verging on the cartoonish at times, the band area weird montage of brutal thrash, comic book imagery, sci-fi obsession and self-effacing humour.
Gama Bomb set phasers to gurn at the Kazimier, Liverpool
Musically, they are brilliant; the lead guitarist effortlessly shredding through a series of solos that have probably left shrapnel wounds in the walls of the Kazimier.
Despite the inevitable horns and predictably dangerous stage diving, there’s a good humour around Gama Bomb with a front man who could easily find a side-line in stand-up comedy.
There’s something distinctly ineffable about these lads that sets them apart from their peers as chunks of no-nonsense riff-age are twisted around narratives of robo-cops, Atlantis, cannibals and shitting yourself.
On tonight’s evidence it’s clear that thrash is alive and kicking and refuses to be condemned to a rusty old archive. The energy, attitude and creativity of all the bands on display tonight collectively reassures the future of an often underestimated genre that refuses to budge.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Gaz Jones.
Further reading on Getintothis:
- Liverpool Sound City 2009: SSS, Johnny Foreigner, Sparkwood & 21, Black Eyes and Neckties, The Sand Band