Run To The Pit

Happy Power Trip – Insanity Alert – Broken Teeth – Terror day!

Today I’m on quite a tight schedule to get down to London and back and see five bands I’ve shelled out £30 to see. With the going ons of my last two disastrous Manchester gigs I’m approaching my ten hours out of the house with a huge amount of trepidation.

As I said in the Born From Pain post, I haven’t seen these opening bands all them many times and I’ve especially been looking forward to seeing Insanity Alert and Power Trip since the last time I saw both bands last year. Not exactly a lifetime ago, but they are two of the best and most exciting bands I saw last year.

To cover myself I’ve ended up with three seats on two trains. I originally purchased my return tickets and estimated what time I presumed Terror would be done and dusted and added a bit of time on to negotiate the tube ride from Kentish Town to Euston.

I overestimated and originally booked a ticket for a train leaving the capital at 2125 which gets me back to my house just before midnight. Once the official times were announced Terror depart the stage at 8pm and I just about have time to get on a train that gets me into my bed nearly 90 minutes earlier. At least if things over run then I now have a plan ‘B’.

On the southbound journey I arrive at Euston two hours before Austrians Insanity Alert take to the stage. Due to the ridiculous prices that the O2 Forum charges a few lubricating beverages will be required away from the venue. The doors open at 4pm and the band appear half an hour later. All fine and good until you remember how notoriously slow the door guys are at the venue. The first time I went to the building we heard the opening band from outside as we snaked around the building in a sloth like queue. Six years further on though O2 customers have the perks of a fast access entrance, so we’ll give that a go later.

Run To The Pit is the closing track of the band’s self titled debut album from 2014. The track itself sounds vaguely familiar but I’m not quite sure where I recognise it from…*

* sarcasm. Of course I know it’s Judas Priest.


Here Comes The Tank

Hello WordPress, it’s been a while! I’m currently en route to a hastily arranged trip to Eindhoven to catch some of the bands at this years Eindhoven Metal Meeting, my first time at this particular festival and my first time within the Effenaar venue.

Last weekend was spent battling plummeting temperatures and snow fall trying to getting to a couple of shows. Friday evening was spent in the Rebellion Club in Manchester reliving the early 90’s halcyon days of the UK thrash metal scene. Late additions Xentrix opened up the show just to give their new frontman another workout, only his second show with the band I think. Yorkshire thrashers Re-Animator followed, their first show for some time after their guitarist beat cancer for a second time. Closing the show were Acid Reign and as usual they were superb.

Twenty four hours later I was in Manchester again at the much bigger Academy as I got press ganged into seeing sludge behemoths Mastodon. I’ve caught the band on several occasions over the years, but this was my first experience of a headline show. They were good at what they did. The stage set up gave you something visual to look at, it’s just that I personally found them dull and there was nothing memorable for the casual fan. The songs I know from radio airplay were all absent.

Due to the inclement weather and deteriorating conditions the third show of the weekends trio was cancelled. I was only going to see Scottish thrashers Disposable and they would’ve been the second entry on my European road trip entries. That auspicious accolade now moves from Scotland to Austria and coincidentally the first band I should be seeing in Eindhoven this afternoon.

The winter gathering of the EMM is now in its ninth cycle. Over the years they have put together some stunning line ups and quite often they’ve had multiple tours crisscrossing the continent joining up on the same weekend. When I caught the ThrashFest tour in Berlin 2010 and Hamburg 2011 a more death metal orientated package bolstered the Dutch line up on both occasions.

Highlights for me today are Swiss avant-garde thrashers Coroner, German beer obsessive Tankard – two bands I’ve been listening to for three decades and only seen once previously. Sandwiched between the thrash metal is Swedish death metal band Merciless who I’m intrigued to see. I have a few of their albums from back in the early 90’s, but I’ve not listened to them for a very long time and never seen them live.

Extreme metal pioneers Venom are headlining tonight. I saw them earlier in the year at Bloodstock and they weren’t too impressive. Maybe it was the daylight surroundings, so maybe an indoor setting might be more suitable.

If fatigue doesn’t set in Czech black band Master’s Hammer close the main stage – a weird European festival thing where there are usually bands performing after the main draw. The whole thing goes on until the metal hordes are kicked out into the winter night at 2:30am!

On the second stage prior to Tankard and company I’m hoping there’s room inside for me to squeeze in and see Dutch thrashers Distillator and from Vienna Mortal Strike. 🇦🇹

I have the bands one and only album so far, For the Loud and Aggressive, and it’s a pretty decent 45 minutes of thrash metal. It’s definitely retro thrash, hardly reinventing the wheel, but are many bands doing anything much different in 2017? The album finishes with a cover of Tankard’s Zombie Attack and with the Germans playing later in the day will there be a guest vocal slot if they decide to give it an airing?

Metal Punx Never Die!

Last week on the DRI bill I discovered what is my favourite new band (well for the next few weeks anyway, what did I say earlier about loyalty?)

I bid you welcome to the blog’s first Austrian representative Insanity Alert. The Innsbruck band, with a Dutch vocalist, have been together since 2011 and released their second album Moshburger last year. 

I’ve been aware of the band by name for a while now and have a copy of the self titled debut album on my hard drive, but I’ve never really given it a listen. When I saw they were supporting DRI it made the already cheap ticket (a mind boggling £11.50) even better value for money. 

I wasn’t sure if they’d ever passed through the UK before, but apparently they played Nottingham with Ghoul back in February. I’m pretty sure I missed those dates as I was seeing either Kreator or Wormrot when they played close to home. 

Listening to them through a small set of speakers or earphones doesn’t really do the band any justice at all. From last weeks captivating 45 minute performance it’s on the stage where they shine. A host of simple props and signs accompany the band while they plough through their manic crossover thrash. Confessions of a Crabman is much more entertaining than doing the whole time consuming Crabulon dance with Evil Scarecrow. 

I though last week would be my last, or possibly only time, seeing Insanity Alert. Roll on 48 hours and the big reveal from the 2018 edition of the Persistence Tour was announced and the band will be back in Blighty in January. They seem to be the opening band, followed by Broken Teeth and ex favourite band of the moment Power Trip. Those three bands alone are worth the admission fee, never mind having Terror, Madball and Hatebreed finishing things off. I’ll remind you again in the new year, but if you are fortunate enough to be at one of the eleven Persistence shows get in there early. You won’t be disappointed.