This past weekend I traveled an hour and a half to Durango, Spain (within the Basque Country) to see Killfest 2010. The show consisted of Germany’s Cripper, the UK’s Savage Messiah, Greece’s Suicidal Angels, and New Jersey’s own Overkill. Aside from Overkill I really wasn’t privy to much of the other groups body of work. I had listened to Savage Messiah’s album “Insurrection Rising” the day before the show, and had downloaded some of Suicidal Angel’s material from Nuclear Blast’s promo site. That said, the once through didn’t really give me a good enough reference point to determine whether I was going to enjoy either of the two groups. That said, how many bands have you seen where the album kicks ass, but their live performance sucks? So I was eager to see in person whether or not any of the other bands (aside from Overkill) could hold their own in a live setting.
Unfortunately due to my GPS leaving me on the other side of town, I walked 20 minutes to get to the venue. Because of this I only caught Cripper’s last two songs. Let me tell you, that was enough to make me a fan. Cripper is fronted by a female named Britta. The tendency now a days is for all female fronted bands to sound like either Arch Enemy or Nightwish. Cripper sounds like neither, Britta sounds more like Phil Anselmo, or Randy Blythe than she does Angela Grassow. They’re a full on thrash band, and man do they bring it to the stage. They’re web site is www.cripper.de, you can download two songs I and Hysteria directly off of their site.
The second band up was Savage Messiah. If you like Megadeth, if you like Metallica, you’ll like Savage Messiah, you can tell that they’re heavily influenced by both. They put on a very entertaining, and solid live show. Dave Silver (lead singer/guitarist) even ventured out and spoke to us in Spanish a feat that not everyone can pull off. I have a Scott Ian story about him trying to speak Spanish at an Anthrax show I attended a few years back (Blitz and the guys from Savage Messiah enjoyed it). Let’s just say switching an O and an A at the end of a word can make a big difference, especially when you’re trying to say chicken in Spain! I was able to speak to the guys for quite a while after the show, more on this later. Check their music out http://www.myspace.com/savagemessiahmetal.
The next band up was Suicidal Angels, a band heavily influenced by Slayer. They also put on a great show, but like the other bands, I wish I would have had the time to bone up on their music to get into their performance that much more when I saw them. The only thing I could advise them, or any other band that comes to Spain, people here don’t know what a wall of death is, or a mosh pit….they do, but they don’t. 99% of the crowd does not understand you, so if you’re Dez from Devil Driver, or Nick from Suicidal Angels, don’t get discouraged when the crowd does not do what you want them to. I know that they “should” know more English than they do, but they don’t. At least Nick didn’t start rolling his eyes, and pouting like Dez. I also recommend checking out their site http://www.myspace.com/suicidalangels.
Last up was Overkill, hence the name of the tour, Killfest! Now a few weeks back, I saw that someone mentioned online how bands like Metallica, Maiden, Priest, Kiss, etc. should either retire, or get out of the way so that newer bands can headline various different festivals. Overkill is the perfect example why these newer bands aren’t headlining. Don’t get me wrong the entire night was excellent, but I have seen very few bands that bring it to the stage like Overkill. The band is relentless, pounding you track after track. Or as their song “Wrecking Crew” states:
We Will Walk All Over You…
And that’s exactly what they do. This tour marks the band’s 25th anniversary, and seeing them live in this setting makes me realize why Blitz, and D.D. have been doing this since the early 80s. If you listened to me interview with Blitz he mentioned how he and D.D. have actually been playing together for closer to 30 years. There are very few bands that have members with the same chemistry that Blitz and D.D. have up on stage, the two of them are non-stop, and constantly interactive with each other, the other members of the band, and the crowd.
With regards to the other members of the band Ron plays all of the material perfectly, eclipsing everything that came before him, and shining throughout all of the tracks, especially the ones off of the new album Iron Bound. Dave, and Derrick did a great job handling all of the guitar parts, the Dave hammering out pretty much all of the solos, while Derrick had an interesting incident with some yutz from the crowd. I’m sure he won’t remember it, but the dope that blatantly wanted to take his picks off of his mic will, or not, he was pretty hammered.
The set list featured song from throughout the band’s career, classics like, Rotten To The Core, Wrecking Crew, Hello From the Gutter, In Union We Stand, Feel The Fire, Elimination and a melody of Fuck You and Sonic Reducer.
They also included cuts off of Iron Bound, they opened with The Green & Black (their tribute to their fans), the title track and the first single off of the album Bring Me The Night were mixed in. They also included newer classics like Battle, Gasoline Dream, Necroshine, and Old School, among others.
After the show I hung out with Savage Messiah till they had to leave, we spoke about the tour (they had nothing but great things to say about Overkill and the rest of the bands on the bill), music in general, oh yeah and did I mention that Scott Ian story? By the time they left, the merch was all picked up, and didn’t realize that jacket I wanted to buy was packed up and gone, I remembered on my way home.
A few minutes later Blitz came out, and we chatted for a while regarding the interview we did a few weeks back, the reception of the tour and album, his thoughts on the other bands of the tour, this show, etc. We also discussed the Scott Ian story, and let me know (for all of you that listened to the interview) that his chimney came out “fucken great”! Great guy, not only was he cool during our interview, but we talked in person as if we had known each other for years. Nothing conceded, or big ego about him at all.
I was able to take a picture with Blitz, and like a dope forgot to take pictures with anyone else. From the picture you will see that I wore the new Talking Metal T-Shirt (available here http://www.districtlines.com/Talking-Metal), I did this on purpose as I’d figure members of the band (namely Ron Lipnicki) would see it, and come over and want to know how the hell some dude in Spain ended up with a TM shirt. It was pretty funny he kept eying me as he was taking pictures, and finally walked over. “What are you doing with a Talking Metal t-shirt?”, I laughed and responded “I knew you were going to ask that”. So I explained my involvement with not only MarkStriglRadio.com (great hard rock and metal 24/7 including Mars Attacks Thursdays 8PM EST / 5PM PST) , but with this very page, the TM Wire. We talked for a bit before he had to leave, including the second annual Screaming Metal (March 6th Dingbats, Clifton, NJ), his love for Kiss, playing with Overkill, etc. He was nice enough to do a radio ID for me as well, the guys from Savage Messiah did one too). Great guy also, no wonder everyone that I’ve spoken to about him has had nothing but good things to say. Wish I could have hung out more, but I still had that hour and a half ride home!
Great night, all in all, I recommend picking up not only Ironbound (www.wreckingcrew.com), but the latest albums by all of the bands on the tour. Also check out Killfest 2010, or any of these bands, especially Overkill when they’re in your area. I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed, and that they’ll “Walk All Over You” as well!