Everything You’re Not


It only seems like a week since I was last off work and here I am again sitting at home but this time I don’t have to contend with building detritus – everything was finally finished on Friday. Most of my waking hours away from work last week usually involved running around here and there for family or tradesmen, so now a deserved seven days off before the Christmas bedlam starts at work. 

I had a few shows lined up over the last fortnight but for whatever reason I didn’t make any, so last Saturday was my first show since the Saturday before my birthday. 

I had so many options for Saturday that it was pretty hard to make a choice. My original plan was a trip to South Wales to catch the Acid Reign Christmas shindig, but family life got in the way of that one. Plus it was just that bit too far to drive there in back on the same evening considering I was up for work at 5am. 

The second option was Manchester for the Burning Manc all dayer headlined by Mesopotamian black metal band Melechesh. That was in doubt until a week or so before the event, so expecting a cancellation I made a decision to stay local and see Discharge. Talking of cancellations that gig was scrapped around 6pm that night due to ill health within the band. 

Determined to attend something the wife and I grabbed a taxi for the short trip up the road to Eleven to see Lords of Black. Not exactly a household name, but a Spanish power metal / heavy metal band with a vocalist with a big reputation. 

Frontman Ronnie Romero was seen in the UK earlier in the year fronting Richie Blackmore’s Rainbow for a sold out arena show in Birmingham. He has a great vocal range and it’s very understandable to see why he got the nod from Blackmore, especially when they close the set with the double punch of Neon Knights and Kill the King. I could hear influences of later era Helloween in their sound, so when I found out Roland Grapow, once guitarist of said band, co-produced, mixed and mastered the album it came as no surprise. 


I don’t know anything about the band and had never heard a song by them, but people I know who saw Rainbow said how impressive he was and he was playing a mile and a half away from my front door, so £15 was a no brainer, and it turned into a good night out and practice for this coming Friday when the beer, wine and spirits will flow once more at the wife’s Christmas works do. 

Apparently this track is from the band’s most recent album II released in March of this year. I’d had a bit too much to drink on the Saturday night and completely forgot to grab a CD, so I’ll have a look around for it when I’m in the soulless multi national chain in town later in the week.  


Ultra Thrash


Opening up proceedings with the first half hour of music tonight are Catalan thrashers Crisix – a bit of a bittersweet moment for me regarding the opening acts on this tour. 

I’m so pleased to get to see Crisix live again after I saw them in their own backyard nearly two years ago opening for Tankard in Barcelona, and tonight I will be witnessing their fist appearance on a British stage. The opening slot on the tour is split between these guys for the first seventeen shows, after Brescia they give way to Canadian’s Mortillery who I really, really want to see again – more about that in the next few days. It’s a shame it wasn’t a five band package for all thirty shows. 

Originally called Crysys and formed back in 2008, they released their debut album The Menace in 2011 (the album where Ultra Thrash is taken from) under the Crisix moniker after they were legally forced to change name due to the Crysis computer game. 

Their third album From Blue to Black was released earlier this year and all three have been very solid and competent slabs of revivalist thrash metal. They’ve reminded me of Anthrax in the past, and this was compounded when I saw them perform I’m The Man live, and a band like Gama Bomb where they can thrash hard but still have an element of tongue in cheek fun mixed in. 

I’m on a train from Stoke just after 3pm down to London and I’ll be on a train home as the headliners stroll on to the small Underworld stage, but when there are bands of the quality of Crisix and Evil Invaders preceding them the extra effort and cash out lay is well worth it. 

Unlike many of their European thrash metal brethren Crisix don’t seem to have had the breaks or opportunities some have had, but I’m sure their time will come for one of Europe’s best kept secrets and the first Spanish band to feature in this blog.