Staring out the window of KFC into the neon lights of downtown Glasgow in the rain, you’d be fooled into thinking you were watching Blade Runner. A shit Blade Runner filmed in a city crushed by the iron fist of Thatcher on a budget of £50 & a multipack of Marathon bars. Anyway, our fried chicken-based pitstop resulted in our missing openers Psychoanalysis. Arriving just in time for Angelus Apatrida, Latin for Rather Decent Spanish Thrash Band I’d Never Heard Of, they launch into a full pace, balls out thrashgasm in the vein of Kreator & Exodus. The Glaswegian crowd did their part for international relations by ending their set to a rapturous chant of “Gracias”.
I was quite looking forward to Warbringer, despite finding them a fairly unengaging proposition on the times I have seen them before, I was sure that their potential on disc had to cross over and tickle reality at some point. Maybe it was the confines of the cosy venue or the effect of the crowd rabidly hoovering up everything that they dangled forth like a coked-up Ian Watkins fluffing for ‘Bukkake Onslaught 6 – This Time It’s Personal’ (allegedly) but they majorly dominated my face. Unleashing the first 3 tracks from Waking Into Nightmares in order and increasing the thrash factor by a factor of 10 on each one was not a bad way to get things underway, the small but passionate posse of ‘bangers thoroughly losing their minds for a band that are strangely the mainstream media darlings of the new thrash scene. Their set was as good as they could possibly extract from their 2 and a bit releases, with Total War and Shoot To Kill ripping all and sundry like a large nailbomb in a small orphanage.
It was an excellent performance, Warbringer narrowly missing the hallowed 5 Grimmett accolade only due to their being bizarrely Rick Rolled by the crowd. Baloff would have unleashed the Helicopter Trout for that act of poserism. However, he would have already penalised 56,000 Grimmetts for their obliviously forming under the name Onslaught in 2004. They should be more careful and original when naming themselves, like I was when creating my 2 new thrash bands Metallica and Slayer.
Skeletonwitch are the Rambo 4 of music. Taking the cheesy genius of the 80s & the cold, evil aggression of the 90s to create a single, perfect logical conclusion of muscles, gore & burning Vietnamese children. Much like Rambo 4, I spent the majority of their set short of breath & heavy on liquids in my underwear. Kicking things off with Submit To The Suffering, the entire set sided towards their latest LP Breathing The Fire, which is a shame as the very slightly superior Beyond The Permafrost is my preferred dose of skeletal witchery.
Highlight of the night, thrash anthem Stand, Fight & Die builds to a none-more-metal chant of “You Stand, You Fight, You Die!”. Despoiler of Human Live & Crushed Beyond Dust might not be the most progressive tracks in their canon but it’s a week on & my neck is still testament to their destructive power, i.e., it is fucked.
Seeing as their average song runs to 3 minutes 3.843243243243246 seconds (I didn’t even have to normalise for outliers with that one), they managed to blast through a decent collection of tracks in their hour-long set. I was worried that with any more Skeletonwitch, my brain would do an Bobby Blitz & explode as a result of a massive thrashgasm/stroke. By the time they closed with Within My Blood, the majority of the crowd were on stage with them, much to the venue staff’s dismay. Returning for an encore of Baptized In Flames, waves of bodies suicide-dived face first back onto the concrete like an army of denim clad lemmings. It was a thing of beauty.
Nate Garnette might look like a lovable ginger Santa but put a Flying V in that man’s hands & he’ll riff your face off as he attempts to keep up with Scotty Hendrick’s insane, Hank Shermann-esque solos. Frontman Chance Garnette’s inimitable vocals grab your attention like an angry Norse god attempting to rape you in the ear with his massive noise-penis. Skeletonwitch are rightly considered leaders of the new thrash pack as they push the limits of the old templates but whilst their albums are great, live is where the dominate.