Destruction @ Reggies, Chicago (US)

DESTRUCTION / HEATHEN / WARBEAST / ART OF THE FLESH / SOULS DEMISE / SAVAGERY

Date: 05th May, 2011
Venue: Reggies Rock Club
Ticket: $20 (€14)
Promoter: n/a


It was a working day but also it was Cinco de Mayo and having a hearty Metal filled billing was the best way to celebrate. Well, the billing looked very long taking into account the late starting time (07:00 pm) that also meant a really late ending… On the other hand, a metalhead cannot be stopped with such excuses, so METAL KAOZ was at the venue to do an interview and cover the event of DESTRUCTION’s return in US soil. The last minute change in the interview time with DESTRUCTION, meant that I did not have time to watch the first band SAVAGERY but one cannot be on two spots at the same time.

I was happy to see a decent number of metalheads inside the venue that proved that the name of DESTRUCTION is still more than able to attract the US audience. So, the first band that I got the chance to watch on stage was SOULS DEMISE hailing from the town of Chicago. After a short research I learned that this was a local band formed sometime in 2000. Well, despite my interest for unsigned bands, SOULS DEMISE failed to draw my attention. I found the vocals kind of flat with no character and rather disconnected with the music. And the music was something like modern Thrash with very good guitar work, especially in the leads, that added a nice melodic touch. But, apart the guitar duo, I did not find something else to focus my interest… I am sorry guys, maybe another time.

SOULS DEMISE setlist:

01. “Solstice”
02. “Cleched Fists”
03. “Thy Kingdom”
04. “Disappear”
05. “Angels”
06. “Second To None”

SOULS DEMISE

Souls Demise @ Reggies Rock Club (photo by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Souls Demise @ Reggies Rock Club (photo by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Souls Demise @ Reggies Rock Club (photo by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)

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Next on the long billing was another Illinois band named ART OF THE FLESH. Now, this band put something new to the table that can be described as a bizarre blend of Thrash and Metalcore with some pinches of Progressive. Yes, it sounded as confusing as the previous description; there were fast moments and slow breaks, while the vocals were definitely on the screaming my lungs –core tradition. I don’t know if the band is using the same mix in the recordings but that night the bass guitar was covering everything. And that was a shame since the lead guitars sounded pretty interesting with an almost melodic Death Metal approach. Some credit also deserves the drummer who put a lot of energy changing tempos and holding the sometimes difficult to follow groove and the long in time duration songs. It was nice music suggestion from this band that I think needs time to solidify and from the listener’s point of view time to be digested.

ART OF THE FLESH setlist:

01. “Devil’s Speed”
02. “Walls”
03. “Born To Suffer”
04. “My Truth”

ART OF THE FLESH

Art Of the Flesh @ Reggies Rock Club (photo by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Art Of the Flesh @ Reggies Rock Club (photo by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)

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After the local supporting bands it was time for the DESTRUCTION touring package with WARBEAST in the first position. This Texas band with RIGOR MORTIS’s Bruce Corbitt on the vocals entered the stage receiving a enthusiastic cheer. And the band delivered what is best described as old school Thrash, the way the DESTRUCTION fans like. Fast guitars, headbanging rhythms and full blown vocals for our mosh pitting delight. Reggies got on fire and sweaty under the spell of the most experienced members. I really love Corbitt’s way of performance that gets everyone connected to the on stage happenings with all his grimaces. The guitar duet did an amazing job exchanging riffs at ease and in maximum velocity. “The next song is dedicated to all women; hey, I might be stalking you afterwards” said Corbitt introduced “Stalker” that gave another reason to mosh pit. That was a great and Thrash solid performance from the Texans.

WARBEAST setlist:

01. “Scorched Earth Policy”
02. “Unleashed”
03. “Krush The Enemy”
04. “It”
05. “Stalker”
06. “B.O.P.”

WARBEAST

Warbeast @ Reggies Rock Club (photo by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Warbeast @ Reggies Rock Club (photo by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Warbeast @ Reggies Rock Club (photo by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Warbeast @ Reggies Rock Club (photo by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)

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My Greek ancestry means that I have missed the chance to watch several bands that shined during the 80s. One of those was HEATHEN that I loved since the excellent “Breaking The Silence” back in 1987. As most of you know the band was reactivated and actually did release a very good album two years ago under the title “The Evolution Of Chaos”. So, the lights went out and the intro brought the band on the stage to face a most enthusiastic response that I have to admit I did not expect. It seems the old school US Thrash fans shared the same respect for the Californian band with me. The first track we got that night was “Dying Season” and the band sounded amazing! Also, there was a lot of energy in their show despite the fact that this was just the 3/5 of the original lineup since there was a replacement (Jon Dette) behind the drum kit and a new guitar player (Kragen Lum).

Two more songs came from the last album and then David White asked us if we would like to have an old one; yeah right! Who could possible say no to the band’s first albums? And then HEATHEN did “Open The Grave”; I tell you this was a childhood kick for me. The only picture I had from this band was fromtheir video clip “Set Me Free” and from the inside sleeve of the vinyl version of the album, so I felt my heart exploding! And I believe most of the +30 metalheads felt the same since there was a massive response to the track. “No Stone Unturned” and “Fade Away” (David’s favorite track from the last album as he said) sounded great while the setlist reached the end with another great oldie “Death By Hanging”. The bottom line is that HEATHEN are back kicking major ass and I hope for future releases!

HEATHEN setlist:

01. “Dying Season”
02. “Control By Chaos”
03. “Arrows Of Agony”
04. “Open The Grave”
05. “Hypnotized”
06. “No Stone Unturned”
07. “Fade Away”
08. “Death By Hanging”

HEATHEN

Heathen @ Reggies Rock Club (photo by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Heathen @ Reggies Rock Club (photo by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Heathen @ Reggies Rock Club (photo by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Heathen @ Reggies Rock Club (photo by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)

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Watching the stage crew working as fast as possible to set up DESTRUCTION equipment, I confirmed my initial feelings about the late start and the long billing. This delay forced the timetable to go back at least 20 minutes and made everyone looked anxious whether the German band could fit the long setlist in the time given. Nevertheless, the stage was ready and the intro spread enthusiasm to the audience bringing the German Thrash legends with the guitar intro of “Curse The Gods”. Well, the guitar intro was shortened (remember the tight schedule) and hence I missed the chance to fully enjoy climaxing riff.

DESTRUCTION kicked the setlist in full force with the same power they always do. It is also kind of creepy to watch Mike and Schmier looking like the years have not touched them. And this also applies to the band’s Thrash sound that is rock solid for more than two decades. The Chicago metalheads went crazy and right in the middle of the venue a huge mosh pit was formed while there was a lot of pushing in the front rows making it difficult to take steady photos (who cares?).

There were some problems in the microphones that I have to admit I did not notice but Schmier looked totally pissed off! Nevertheless, the show went on with “D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N” that was dedicated to the "dead terrorist" and with the Thrash anthems “Thrash Till Death” and “Nailed To The Cross”. Having looked at the setlist tapped on the stage monitor it became clear that the band was cutting some songs in order to keep their show as close as possible in the timetable. And that also meant minimal pauses between the songs that drained all the energy that was left inside us after that long evening. Schmier said that they will try to bring the German Thrash trinity (SODOM, KREATOR, DESTRUCTION) back in the US and of course everyone cheered to that idea! “Bestial Invasion” was dedicated to the long time DESTRUCTION fans that have been around when the band was in the US in 1988. This was the final track of the regular setlist but Schmier still looked totally pissed off with the mic problems that he complained about them on stage. The band returned with HEATHEN’s guitarist Kragen Lum and hit us with “Release From Agony” that sounded great with two guitars! The set ended as it should with the triplet of “Invincible Force”, “Butcher Strikes Back” (hell yeah!) and the killer “Total Desaster”.

I cannot remember a DESTRUCTION gig that did not meet the standards this band has set several years ago. Yeah, it might sometimes look repetitive, especially if you happen to watch them frequently, but on the other side you know that they can deliver the goods every time.

DESTRUCTION

01. “Curse The Gods”
02. “Mad Butcher”
03. “Armageddonizer”
04. “Hate Is My Fuel”
05. “Life Without Sense”
06. “D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N”
05. “Thrash Till Death”
06. “Nailed To The Cross”
07. “Metal Discharge”
07. “Death Trap” / “Tears Of Blood”
08. “Bestial Invasion”
09. “Release From Agony”
10. “Invincible Force”
11. “Butcher Strikes Back”
12. “Total Desaster”

DESTRUCTION

Destruction @ Reggies Rock Club (photo by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Destruction @ Reggies Rock Club (photo by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Destruction @ Reggies Rock Club (photo by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)
Destruction @ Reggies Rock Club (photo by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Destruction @ Reggies Rock Club (photo by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Destruction @ Reggies Rock Club (photo by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)

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