Yet again, due to interviewing duties I miss first support band Havok, whom I’m assured are a very respectable thrash outfit. If they sound as good as their merch looked then it’s my loss. Spaniards Angelus Apatrida [2.5/5] expound some very laudable thrash, with some corking riffs and blazing solos which make me wish I hadn’t been recently shawn. The indecipherable song intros and old school homages are out in force, but if you can see past this you’ll discover some very rousing material.
As New Orleans black/death/thrash warriors Goatwhore [3.5/5] take the stage something sounds very wrong. Ban Falgoust’s vocals are clear as a bell, and remain so throughout, however bass and guitar are all but absent, packing all the wallop of an incensed fruit fly. What’s more, the drums are present but the snare sounds absolutely vile, (and I don’t mean that in a good way!) impersonating a plastic tambourine pretty closely. Thankfully these shortcomings are soon rectified, leaving Falgoust & co at liberty to rock our collective socks off. The aforementioned front man, whilst not exactly rewriting the book on stage banter, exhibits an abundance of presence as his gauntleted hands carve up the air and his not inconsiderable mane is thrown around with wild abandon. This soon gets the punters rocking, with the first few rows resembling an explosion in a wig factory.
Goatwhore (and indeed the bill itself) are so diverse that anyone could find at least something to like here as they incorporate trundling Obituary-esque grooves, savage ballistic blasting and everything in between. Although there’s something of a disparity in their studio output, it’s remarkable how well old and new material flows in this context. ‘Judgement of the Bleeding Crown’ is a real highlight, and the way the solo coincides with a flurry of frantic blasting inspires horns to be raised both in the air and in the pants!
They round off in style with ‘Apocalyptic Havoc’, debatably their most catchy and identifiable riff, which sees fists beating seven shades of shit out of the air and the euphoric articulation of their trademark sentiment of ‘who needs God when you’ve got Satan’, gracing lips and t shirts alike.
3 Inches of Blood [4.5/5] are ball-bouncingly good straight out of the gate kicking off with ‘Metal Woman’, the opener of their latest LP, Long Live Heavy Metal. It’s often the case with vocalists like Cam Pipes who demonstrate ‘ambitious’ vocals on a record that they fall short of the mark live. What’s more 3IOB have something of a reputation for being a little hit and miss. I’ve personally seen them twice before and the first time back in 2005 was probably one to miss. I’m ecstatic to report, therefore that Pipes’ pipes are spot on this evening, displaying near record quality from start to finish.
From this strong start they immediately unleash their wild card in the form of ‘Deadly Sinners’ which is nothing short of rapturous. It’s as if there’s a magnet on the ceiling and everyone’s wearing iron gloves (and some might as well be!). Next in the cavalcade we’re treated to new tune ‘Leather Lord’, whose riff sets a new standard in speed for 3IOB, although Pipes’ vocals veer a little too close to ‘Painkiller’ for comfort at times, then it’s back to Advance & Vanquish again for mainstay ‘Revenge is a Vulture’. Although this is a belting track it’s regrettable that Shane Clarke’s guitar is next to inaudible during the solo, taking the bloom off the rose somewhat. Luckily, however this kink is ironed out in time for him to take centre stage with Justin Hagberg for a guitar dual which has the audience beaming. The jubilation continues through ‘Trial of Champions’, whose breakdown sees the audience’s fistfight with the air continue unabated, and then it’s on to ‘Battles and Brotherhood’ to round the set off.
So, it seems that 3IOB have well and truly honed their assault to stirring potency. OK, it’s pretty daft, but their fare really embodies all that’s endearing about metal, creating a gleeful intoxication which has nothing to do with alcohol.
3 Inches Of Blood’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/threeinchesofblood
Goatwhore’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thegoat666
Angelus Apatrida’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/angelusapatrida?rf=112961212051982