Skeletonwitch

support Warbringer + Angelus Apatrida
author AP date 07/09/10 venue The Rock, Copenhagen, DEN

On this first night of four days of beer, debauchery and music, the menu read metal. The location is our former home spot The Rock, and as usual, attendance is scarce. One thing that has changed is that the venue has now installed a flat panel outside that flashes the week's events, as well as a full blown information page on Facebook that finally does the necessary promotion. Of course, it isn't reasonable to expect hordes on a week day, and we at Rockfreaks are quite interested in seeing what the new management has planned for the place. But enough babbling, below are three reviews for your reading pleasure:

Angelus Apatrida

One of the most sensational, intense bands in Spain might sound like an exciting prospect, but let's keep in mind that Spain is hardly the mecca of heavy metal, least of all thrash. Angelus Apatrida are a professional, well-rehearsed outfit when they step on stage tonight, seemingly oblivious to the thin crowd, but their overt worship of Metallica, Megadeth and Testament puts a slight damper on things. The music is not as self-indulgent as Megadeth's, though it contains at least one blistering solo per song, but vocalist Guillermo Izquierdo might as well change his last name to Mustaine - such is the degree to which his vocals mimic those of Dave. Such issues aside though, Angelus Apatrida are by no means uninteresting, as they deliver their idolatrous brand of thrash with admirable passion, prowess and speed, but their stage presence could certainly use more energy, not to mention interaction with the crowd beyond introducing the band at least thrice. Overall, the performance is one of indisputable quality, but at the same time, too refined and lacking in attitude for the kind of music that the band plays.

Warbringer

Things go up a notch and then some when returning heroes Warbringer take formation and tear through a lengthy set of ballsy thrash, giving Angelus Apatrida a lesson in showmanship. Johns Kevill and Laux, who are the vocalist and guitarist of this mighty metal machine, make sure that just as devastating as is the heaviness of Warbringer's music, is the frenzy on stage. The crowd loves these stunts of course, and oblivious to the smallish turnout, Kevill shows us how to front a band and truly engage an audience. Not only is his energy relentless, he also takes the time to carefully introduce each song to us before roaring words about war, destruction and other manly things relevant to thrash. The music is, as hinted earlier, faster, heavier and more blistering than that of Angelus Apatrida, drawing rather from Exodus, Evile and Bonded By Blood than from the more classic, radio friendly bands that Angelus Apatrida so seems to love. But the music is also more interesting, with far more variation injected into the formula. Warbringer varies the speed repeatedly, and even ventures into black metal territory complete with towering blast beats towards the end of their set. Skeletonwitch would need to be pretty fucking extraordinary to top this.

8

Skeletonwitch

With an appearance that can only be described as fearsome, Chance Garnette growls with a fury not often heard within the confines of this genre. Skeletonwitch are not simply a thrash metal band though - we soon realize - as the music resembles deathcore much more. As such, the level of extremity goes through the roof in comparison to the other bands on the bill, and Garnette's dangerous looking spike bracelet only adds to the effect. Unfortunately it shines through from the band's set that they are used to playing to far larger crowds. The show lacks the passion, fun and conviction that both Angelus Apatrida and Warbringer were able to emote, and one soon grows impatient with the overbearing brutality. There are no hooks or melodies to latch onto as such until the final and most melodic song of the night, "Within My Blood" gets those unfamiliar with the band cooking. Too little, too late though, as Skeletonwitch have been unable to convince most attendees of the quality of their music. Somewhat convinced, and confident that this band has lots more to offer - judging from the precision with which their technical songs are delivered - I feel obliged to award this decent, if not completely flattering grade:

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