UK thrash is doing rather well these days so I wasn't going to pass up the opportunity of seeing three of the best thrashers from our shores so a ticket was bought and my second gig of 2011 was attended.
First up was a young band called Bleeding Oath who had apparently won the right to open the night up in an online contest. These guys were barely out of their nappies but they seemed to have ideas well above their station. They played a sort of progressive black death metal with some melody and also rather flat clean vocals. They sounded like a mix between Akercocke and Morbid Angel but with weaker music and zero song writing ability. However their instrumental skill was actually quite good for such a young band. They got an OK response from the mostly very young crowd but since they weren't thrash the kids mostly tolerated them and waited for the head banging feast to come.
Next up were the UK's best kept secret as far as thrash metal goes. I can't figure out how these guys are not signed and releasing albums to be honest they are that good. I've seen them a couple of times already and I was hoping they were gonna do some new tunes and that they did. The new songs sounded completely immense. Technical jamming riffs with torrents of groove and a clean as a whistle delivery. Apparently they are releasing 2 new songs soon so I look forward to that but what they need is an album damn it! Anyway their 30 minute set went by in a whirl of stage divers and moshpit mayhem and I think they got the best response of the night. The last song "The Rauncher" which is their anthem so to speak got the kids into a total frenzy with it's rampant riffs and melodic grooves. These guys deserve to be BIG!
Next up were Elimination whose album I bought direct from the band last year. It's not a fantastic thrash album but it's really solid over all. In the live setting the crowd's response was a little more muted due to the songs not being quite as catchy as Mutant's. Still they know a solid head banging riff or two and wound out plenty of 'em for the healthy Sunday night crowd. The singer's voice was a touch annoying for my tastes but these guys were solid thrash mongers and got some nice wind milling riffs going on. They just need to work a little more on their songs to make them more catchy or memorable.
Finally it was time for head liners Evile. It is the first time I am seeing since the death of the bassist as I missed the tribute shows last back end. It's the second time I am seeing the band and they don't disappoint. The young crowd went pretty apeshit for Evile. Their songs have bounce, groove and thrust and memorability, all the elements required to make quality thrash. Their songs are pretty dynamic, lurching from manic thrash assaults to slower and groovier riff attacks. The sound was sometimes a bit muddy and Matt Drake's vocals got a bit drowned out at times but the band is still super tight and this with literally half the audience on stage either diving or head banging with the band!
Evile played for about 70 minutes and went down a complete storm. They played a new song which was mid paced and had a massive groove to latch onto and saw almost the whole of the Underworld rocking out within seconds of the main riff starting up. The title track from current album, Infected Nations, got a massive response with mass mosh participation.
As for tonight's gig - well it was a fitting tribute to the UK thrash metal scene and a very enjoyable way to spend an otherwise boring Sunday evening. Just goes to prove thrash metal is perhaps the most fun metal genre of all especially in the live setting.
Evile is now taking time out to record their third album and it should really be something special after the brilliant Infected Nations. I just hope Mutant can release a full debut album soon as it will be a monstrous effort and make no mistake!