The O2 ABC2, Glasgow
Thursday 17th July 2014
Having last visited Scotland in 2011, the band were very much overdue a return to the country and the venue was buzzing in anticipation as the gear sat onstage all ready. As the bell tolls 9:15pm, drummer Mic Hourhihan sneaked onstage as the sirens wailed and the rest of the band followed him onstage to a tremendous reception.
'The Sound Of Violence' kicked off the set and as the first notes are struck, the venue goes absolutely wild! Vocalist Sy Keeler takes complete control of the venue as the main mosh pit of the evening starts with the solitary security guard assigned the gig, looking absolutely terrified of entering it should his services be required.
As 'Killing Peace' carries on, the first stage diver of the evening grabs his chance, only to arrive on the shallow stage with none of the band actually paying any attention to him so he launches himself back into the throng of the audience who promptly drop him like a stone!
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"It's awesome to be back in shitty Glasgow," Keeler tells the crowd to a mixture of laughter and disbelief but there's no time for long speeches here as the band power on through 'Let There Be Death' which has bass player Jeff Williams encouraging the crowd to get the fists in the air – something the crowd are more than happy to do after the exertion of the first few numbers.
'Rest In Pieces' brings the pace back up and the mosh pit is in full flow once again as Keeler does his best to keep the crowd enthralled before guitarist Leigh Chalmers steps up to the plate with an incredible solo while guitarist Nige Rockett counters it with some viciously heavy chords.
'Destroyer Of Worlds' follows which is just a masterpiece of thrash Metal, and it's clear from the noise of the audience that I'm not the only one who's thankful it's included in the set.
The band's latest album, 'VI', was released in 2013 and on there is one song that is destined to because a future classic and as the intro to '66'Fucking'6', the biggest roar of the night is let out from the crowd who know what's coming next. The power of the band's performance is just incredible. Bathed in red light, the mosh pit goes into overdrive as seemingly every one in the venue gets caught up in the moment when the chorus blasts out.
Keeler tells us that the last time he sang 'In Search Of Sanity' was actually in Glasgow back in 1988, so it was long overdue another airing but some of the crowd aren't too sure what to do. Some were obliviously present the last time but for some it was a new song so they were split into two factions with the older members of the audience happy to almost dancing away while the younger members of the audience seemed to enjoy watching the band's performance.
'Fight With the Beast' has bass player Jeff Williams getting up close and personal with one fan who seems to shout the lyrics down his ear as the lone security guard eventually makes his way to the mosh pit in order to try and impose some kind of order on the outskirts of the pit before admitting defeat and resuming his original vantage point.
'Metal Forces' is the beginning of the end for the bands set but has Keeler almost missing his vocal cue before laughing off the incident. 'Onslaught (Power From Hell)' has Keeler asking that "everyone should go crazy" and by this point the band can do no wrong and there doesn't seem to be a head in the venue that's not banging. With the promise of one more before the venue curfew kicks in, the band finish their performance with a rendition of 'Thermonuclear Devastation'.
The ninety second track is over and done before anyone has time to draw breath and as the band leave the stage the audience chant the band's name hoping for another song but as the house lights are turned on and a queue is forms once again at the merchandise table it's clear that Onslaught fans don't want to wait another three years to see the band in Scotland, so let's hope for a return trip in 2015, eh?
Onslaught Set List:
The Sound of Violence
Chaos Is King
Let There Be Death
Children of the Sand
Rest in Pieces
Destroyer of Worlds
In Search of Sanity
Fight With the Beast
Onslaught (Power from Hell)
Sy Keeler – Vocals
Nige Rockett – Guitar
Leigh Chambers – Guitar
Jeff Williams – Bass Guitar
Mic Hourhihan – Drums
Main support on the whole UK tour are Danish thrash Metal band Artillery who were formed in 1982 and participated in the early development of the genre with their highly energetic, riff-centric, fast-paced music. They split up in 1991 but reformed once again in 1998 only to split again in 2000.
The current incarnation of the band have been together since 2007 but unbelievably, this is their first ever gig in Scotland. The promise of the band finally making an appearance here was highly anticipated and the crowd took their positions at the front of the stage well before the band stepped onstage.
When they did finally appear on stage, they wandered with no announcement or intro music and got straight down to business with 'Chill My Bones'. Vocalist Michael Bastholm Dahl showed his vocal expertise early on as guitarist Michael Stützer played a solo which was unfortunately lost in the mix (something of a continuing theme throughout their set) but he carries on regardless.
Dahl greets the crowd with a beer telling them, "Well it is Thursday!" before the band continue with the title track of their latest album, 'Legions'. Judging by the amount of noise from the audience when it's announced, a lot of them were familiar with it already and from what I heard the album (nearly half their set consisted of track culled from the new album), it's made its way onto my to buy list.
Continuing on with 'When Death Comes' Dahl and bass player Peter Thorslund jostle for the centre stage position in centre stage with Thorslund eventually winning the battle. As Dahl goes for a wander around the small stage while Thorslund nonchalantly throws out the notes occasionally cracking a smile to those audience members jammed against the front barrier.
"We must play 'By Inheritance' every night," Dahl tells the audience to a roar of approval, which really tells you all you need to know. The track itself is a fast and furious number which had drummer Josua Madsen driving the beat as the first mosh pit of the evening kicks off.
We're told by Dahl the next song, 'The Challenge', is an old one (from 1987 to be more specific) to which the guy in front of me turns to his daughter and exclaims: "Fuck me, you weren't born when this came out!"
As the songs kicks off, though, so does the mosh pit once again only much bigger than before. Dahl gives one of his best vocal performance of the evening here along with a really animated performance, however, not all of the audience appreciate his efforts as one young lady towards the back of the venue cowers with her hands covering her ears as her boyfriend/husband/whatever takes photo after photo after photo.
As the band's set draws to close with 'The Almighty', those in the mosh pit let go one last time and really show the band what they have been missing by not playing here sooner. With the track not even finished, a steady stream move towards the merchandise table all really to meet and greet their heroes and congratulate them on classic performance that was more than worth the wait.
Artillery Set List:
Chill My Bones
When Death Comes
Michael Bastholm Dahl – Vocals
Michael Stützer – Lead Guitar
Morten Stützer – Lead Guitar
Peter Thorslund – Bass Guitar
Josua Madsen – Drums
Indian band Demonic Resurrection (who describe their style as "Blackened Death Metal") have spent the last couple of weeks playing at various UK festivals like Les-Fest and Sonisphere are were lucky enough to able to join this UK tour (dubbed the Thrash Invasion Tour) after the original band Hatriot had to drop out.
Having already wowed crowds with their inaugural UK date at Les-Fest (situated less than forty miles from Glasgow), the band hadn't actually played live in Glasgow city centre before and a modest crowd arrived at the venue to see the band's short but entertaining set on what turned out to be an unusually hot day.
Frontman Sahil Makhija (also known as Demonstealer) encourages the crowd to move towards the stage instead of loitering towards the back of the room telling them: "We've come all the way from India to see you so the least you can do is come nearer the stage!", an ice-breaker if ever I've heard one.
The band's sound is heavy, there's no doubt, and the keyboard adds an extra dimension to their sound but sometimes it seems like it wants to overpower the guitars. 'Apocalyptic Dawn' goes down well with the crowd as guitarist Nishith Hedge windmills impressively as the keyboard player (known only by his mysterious moniker of Mephisto) looks suitably scary clad in make up and hooded jacket as he mouths the words whilst staring straight-ahead.
'Trail Of Devastation' is a more up tempo number and had the audience's hands raised in the air when commanded by Makhija. It's one of the best received numbers of the set as the band turn in a tight, heavy performance which surely helped them shift some copies of their new album, 'The Demon King', which were on sale at the merch stand.
Set closer, 'The Unrelenting Surge Of Vengeance' is another mid tempo track that had Makhija urging the crowd to get involved once again, something they were more than happy to do as fist were punched in the air. Certainly my favourite from the band's set, they all put in a good solid performance and for those who missed them on their UK festival dates, it was a chance to see how the band fare in a live performance.
As the band leave the stage to generous applause, it's clear they are gathering a solid following in Scotland so let's hope they return to the UK sooner rather than later to capitalize on their growing fan base.
Demonic Resurrection Set List:
The Demon King
Trail Of Devastation
Death, Desolation And Despair
The Unrelenting Surge Of Vengeance