Date: May 12th, 2012
Venue: White Rabbit, Plymouth
Support: Havok / Angelus Apatrida / Goatwhore
We’re knee deep in exam season, and what better way to get that pent up aggression out by going to a metal show? All the stuff that you’ve been learning over the last few weeks can be removed instantly from your brain by banging your head mindlessly and sweating your lunch away. Plus, you don’t have to worry about your appearance, because everybody is ugly at metal shows, right?
My personal favourites Havok (****) open the proceedings, immediately diving head first into all out thrash, Denver Colorado style. Playing mainly songs from their most recent album (2011’s ‘Time Is Up’), their half hour set is well received by the sea of black shirted, long haired punters in the audience. Pretty much all the songs sound the same, but hey, that’s thrash for you. No ‘Scumbag In Disguise’ here though disappointingly. The band have also adopted the slogan “no karate in the pit”, which gets a big cheer as a couple of ironic floor punches are thrown.
Having two thrash bands on the bill isn’t always a good idea as the same fans tend to have used a lot of their energy up by the time Angelus Apatrida (***) come around. They’re not quite as fast-paced as Havok, but they make up for that in twiddly bits. They played a good show a couple years ago when they came through town supporting Skeletonwitch and Warbringer, and this time ’round is very similar to then. Still, not bad by any means.
A lot of the uglier fans have come along for Goatwhore (****), who play a damn sexy set of black thrash (the music I mean… the band members are also, unsurprisingly, ugly). It’s all flashing lights and pounding drums. For many of the 10 year olds on the front row, this will be the first time they’ve heard such evil music, and this show will mark the start of their descent into accepting satan as their lord and their inevitable decline into greasy haired, Justin Bieber hating teenagers who sit in the corner listening to death metal. I’m sure Goatwhore will be more than pleased to be that catalyst.
3 Inches Of Blood (****) are a confused band. It’s like watching a foreign version of something you have come to take for granted in your own language. It’s like someone who’s never heard metal has tried to reinvent it, but by coming to the same conclusion. They are Judas Priest, in the 21st century. Just when you think it’s 1990 and ‘Painkiller’ is about belt out, there’s a part that is unquestionably 2012 thrown into the mix. Vocalist Cam Pipes‘ hilarious falsetto vocals fit the music well, and there’s no doubting that he can bloody sing. Metal anthem ‘Deadly Sinners’ delights the crowd as the second song played, and only a few leave afterwards as 3IOB speed through another hour of tunes. They end with ‘Battles And Brotherhood’, a song that reminds you why metal exists: to give you something to enjoy after a long day doing your shit 9 to 5 job. I tell you what though, just when I thought I was getting bored of metal, a show like this comes along and reignites my interest the genre. In the words of 3 Inches Of Blood, long live heavy metal!
Written by Martin Savage
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989.