Brutal Decay

I should have posted this a few days ago, but I’ve had so much running about to do at home, the Life of Agony gig on Friday and generally just being let down at work yesterday that prevented me from getting an early finish. Better late than never anyway. 

I’m currently a few thousand feet in the air on a flight to Amsterdam for an evening of thrash metal. The flight seems to be full of people who’ve partaken in to much expensive lager at the departure point and now are a bit green around the gills with the brief spell of turbulence we experienced on take off. They’re also the ones who look like they’ll be trying their luck in Amsterdam’s red light district this evening and trying to find solace the hash  cafes. I’m glad I’m heading an hour north east by train to sleepy Zwolle for my fix of Euro thrash. 

Even though the trek is headlined by Bristolian’s Onslaught, the Thrash ‘Tll The Death tour isn’t hitting home soil. Hardly surprising after attending several of their shows over the last few years to pitiful crowds. Band wise the UK thrash scene is having a renaissance and is possibly at one of its highest ebbs since the thrash metal glory days of the late 80’s. Attendance wise British fans seem to very apathetic towards home grown talent. I saw Onslaught performing The Force in full in Chester last year to no more than 50 people. A friend saw the same tour with less than 30 in Banbury. 

Danish stalwarts Artillery are the main support. This will be the fourth time I’ve seen them in four years in a fourth different country after waiting decades to see them. They and Onslaught traversed the UK together in what was the Dane’s first experience of British crowds. The attendance in Glasgow and Birmingham a few days later were hardly stellar. Having experienced tonight’s venue previously I’m hoping for a cracking few hours. 

Opening up the tour are a pair of Greek bands. I was in Camden’s Underworld early in 2014 to see Exarsis play with Suicidal Angels, Lost Soceity and Fueled by Fire then did it all again in Munich two weeks later. 

Athenian thrashers Chronosphere are a new band to add to my hefty list of bands seen, but a band I’ve been listening to since their debut album Envirusment surfaced in 2012. Several mainland European tours and two albums later I finally get to experience them live. With the way Britain seems to be going with all the Brexit uncertainty I’ll be surprised if they ever get to Blighty under their own steam, unless they drop on a support slot like their country men Exarsis have done. Now I need to find a way to cross off Game Over, Final Depravity, Ultra-Violence and Panikk (amongst a slew of others) from the European thrash bucket list. 

Over the years attending gigs this way had increased sharply, but I think this is due you our lax nature in booking the important bits of the equation and leaving it too late to snag the bargain flight prices. Considering Zwolle is nearly 600 miles from home I can’t really complain at paying £20 more than it could cost me to do the 170 mile trip to London by train. 

On to the last leg of the journey now, until we have reverse our steps at 6am Monday morning for a 9 o’clock flight, an hour now on the train to Zwolle. We’ll have left the cannabis tourists 80 miles behind us and heading to more sedate and tranquil surroundings, well until 6pm when the Greeks make the stage rumble. 

Brutal Decay is taken from the middle album of Chronosphere’s current trio of albums Embracing Oblivion from 2014.  

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Division Of Blood

  

Off down to that there Londinium again on Sunday for some thrash metal. Just incase I get withdrawal symptoms when I return to the frozen northern wastelands I get to do it all again five days later!

Just like the last time Suicidal Angels toured their sole British date was in the sweaty Underworld – and unfortunately like last time I’ll will have to bid adieu before the Athenian thrashers hit the stage  (thank you train companies for thinking people might not want to leave the nations capital for the north earlier than 9pm) and much like last time I’m hoping to catch the tour a bit further down the line  in Europe somewhere. 

I’ve missed them more times than I’ve seen them, but every show they were billed on has had a fantastic line up. London 2014 they headlined over fellow Greeks Exarsis, Lost Society from Finland and Fueled by Fire from California. I believe they were debut UK shows for those bands. I missed them earlier this year when they played the pre party gig for the Dynamo Metal festival. Originally we should have been staying over on the Friday in Eindhoven, but circumstances dictated we commuted there from Amsterdam. 

My pair of Suicidal Angel’s gigs have both been in Deutschland. The last time I saw them was a few weeks later on from the above London show when their tour joined forces with the Sepultura tour for a mini festival in Munich where the Brazilians headlined and Legion of the Damned, Flotsam & Jetsam and Mortillery were added to the bill. 

  

My debut viewing was in Berlin when they were the opening act on the Thrash Fest 2010 jaunt. This is amongst my most memorable shows, with Death Angel and Exodus following on, then the night was brought to a crushing finale by Kreator. 

  

Division of Blood was unleashed upon the thrash world earlier this year through NoiseArt Records. 


  

Bulletproof

On Monday afternoon I’ll be jumping on a Manchester bound train to catch the Marduk tour that is rolling into the city.

I’m not really a fan of the Swedish black metal headliners, but the other three bands that complete the touring quartet are of more interest to me, especially the opening band Bio-Cancer, hence the earlier than usual train, who I can not wait to see live.

These Athens thrashers will have half an hour to warm up the crowd that have bothered to arrive early. No doubt that will be a pretty sparse crowd at 6:30pm as all I’ve read so far is “I’ve never heard of them“. Well make the effort to get there early!

There have been some great thrash bands coming out of Hellenic Republic over the last few years and Bio-Cancer are one of those. If you like your aggressive thrash metal with precise musicianship and blistering speed then this is a band for you. The definite love / hate angle to the band will be the vocals. Well it’s more a high pitched screech than singing, so not exactly conventional for a thrash band, but it does work well.

I’ve managed to catch fellow Greek thrashers Suicidal Angels a handful of times now and last time they were touring they had country men Exarsis in tow. Now if only someone would bring Chronosphere over, or they play a European show in a city I can fly into easily, then that would be great.

Bulletproof is taken from the bands sophomore album, Tormenting The Innocent, released last year.

Blade Runner Theme

January 8th 2016 we say Happy Birthday to Roy Batty (or happy activation day). Less than four years from now you and your Nexus-6 replicant renegades will be the scourge of an extremely grim Los Angeles, where it seems like it rains all day, every day. Just a hint though, if you really want to extend your lifespan I suggest you steer clear of LAPD’s special agent Rick Deckard.

When I started tagging the countries of origin in this blog I honestly didn’t envisage the first entry from Greece, especially with it’s current batch of fantastic thrash metal bands, would be Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou, but to his friends we all know him as Vangelis.

Vangelis composed and performed the dark and brooding futuristic score for Ridley Scott’s 1982 neo-noir sci-fi classic Blade Runner, based on the Phillip K. Dick book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? A dystopian vision of 2019 Los Angeles sees an almost retired blade runner (Deckard) reluctantly taking on one last assignment by hunting down and “retiring” Batty’s gang of genetically engineered replicants.

If you like science fiction and want to see what the future has to offer us in three years, along with a spare two hours, I highly recommend watching Blade Runner. A bit of a slower burner, but such a visually stunning watch and often thought provoking. Oh, and Harrison Ford and Daryl Hannah might be a draw for some people.