Last Saturday night, the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio was packed full of metalheads ready to enjoy the music from not one, not two, but seven heavy metal & metal core bands to delivery their music to the masses. Three local bands opened for the national touring bands Havok, White Wizzard, Revocation & Forbidden. The show was opened up by Domestic Terror, followed by Dismemberment, and Black Rue. Black Rue was my favorite out of the local trio of bands. Black Rue’s singer had a similar to look to Dimebag Darrell, with his long hair and beard. Considering the location of this concert, his look was a little unnerving to this hard rock fan. I enjoyed their tunes though, and thought they might merit a second look. Check them out on Reverbnation.
Denver, Colorado natives Havok was the first band out of the national acts, and easily one of the best. David Sanchez and company delivered a tight set of metal that included songs from the band’s two CD’s Time is Up and Burn. The last time I saw these guys in May of 2010, they a three piece band. Since the last time I saw them play, the band has filled their vacant guitar slot with guitarist Reese Scruggs. Scruggs playing combined with the great vocals and fretwork of David Sanchez has helped to take Havok’s sound to the next level. This up and coming metal band is great live, and no thrash metal fan afford to miss them. Check them out on Facebook at this link.
White Wizzard was next on the bill, and compared to the other heavy bands on this bill, they seemed like an odd fit for this show. Don’t get me wrong, I dig these guys. Their Iron Maiden-esque sound works for me, and the band does it well. I thought it was strange to have a more NWOBHM sounding band sandwhiched between two thrash metal acts, and an extreme metal band, but at least they are out there getting their music heard.
White Wizzard has had a revolving door of musicians over the years, but the lineup has appeared to have stabilized as of late. The band’s current singer, Mike Gremio (formerly of Cellador) does a great job on vocals. If you haven’t heard him sing before, you ought to check him out. Gremio’s vocals could be the key to White Wizzard making it to the next level of their career. Their set was far too short in my opinion.
Revocation was up next, and I knew absolutely nothing about this band, with the exception that they had one of those completely unreadable band logos. I did not know any of the band’s songs. While I thought the music was really good, the vocals didn’t really do anything for me. I have to admit, I am not a big fan of extreme metal so I didn’t enjoy this band as much as the others on the bill. I prefer vocals that I can understand, and don’t care for that cookie monster stuff too much. Revocation was easily the most intense band on the bill, and I can’t fault them for that. When singer/guitarist David Davidson would gaze into the crowd, I didn’t know if I should be frightened or excited. That is s0 Metal!
After a rather lengthy soundcheck, Forbidden stormed the stage, and simply blew me away. Forbidden is one of those thrash metal bands that I never thought I would get a chance to see, so I was looking very forward to seeing them play live. They far exceeded my expectations, and were easily the best band of the night. Singer Russ Anderson probably hasn’t missed too many meals, but this guy can still sing with the best of them. He was flat out getting it done at the Alrosa Villa. The guitar triage of Steve Smyth, Craig Locicero and Matt Camacho might just be the most under rated in thrash metal. They put on one energetic set which included the songs: “Forsaken Gates”, “Overthrow”, “Off the Edge”, “Forbidden Evil”, “Step By Step”, “Adapt or Die”, “Draggin”, “R.I.P.”, “Twisted”, “March”, “Omega Wave”, “Infinite”, a killer cover of Black Sabbath’s ”Children of the Sea” which Russ Anderson dedicated to the late Ronnie James Dio, “Through Eyes of Glass” and “Chalice of Blood”. If you are a thrash metal fan, you gotta get out to see these guys play, you won’t be disappointed!
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