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Live Reports :: Killfest 2010

Live report : Killfest 2010

All Overkill live concerts Overkill [Thrash Metal]
All God Dethroned live concerts God Dethroned [Death Metal]
All Evile live concerts Evile [Thrash Metal]
Monday, April 26, 2010 - Emos, Austin
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Photographer : Darren Cowan




East coast wrecking crew, Overkill recently started its own version of the American metal festival, Killfest. This craze began when Ozzy Osbourne opened a can of worms with his Ozzfest-dubbed festivities in the mid-nineties. Starting as a regular tour bearing his name, Ozzfest soon became America’s premiere summer music festival. Megadeth followed with Gigantour. Danzig dubbed his fest-like tour the “Blackest of the Black” and now Overkill has started its own.

Although not a household name like Ozzy or Megadeth, Overkill has remained a staple in the thrash universe for nearly 30 years. “Killfest 2010” did not involve multiple stages in the manner of Ozzfest, but these New Yorker’s first run did include an excellent differing of metallic styles. Overkill brought out upcoming thrash artists, Evile from the UK and America’s Warbringer—both bands capable of carrying forth the torch of thrash metal.

Additionally, Overkill looked outside of the genre it helped shaped, finding three of extreme metal’s top players. Stalwart death metal acts God Dethroned and Vader made the journey across the open sea (and lots of land) to assail old school head bangers with blistering speed and violent tones. Hailing from Ohio, Midwestern American technical death metal troupe Woe of Tyrants offered still more youth.

Hugging a corner of Austin, Texas’ entertainment district (arguably the most expansive entertainment district in the world), Emo’s played host to this night of no-nonsense metal. Featuring a covered, outdoor stage fitted for larger acts and a smaller, indoor club, Killfest could have alternated stages to ensure quicker set up. Emo’s has even hosted two-for-the-price-of-one concerts, the latest being featuring the Cannibal Corpse tour outside and Dying Fetus inside (I also witnessed Napalm Death outside/Cattle Decapitation inside). We would not see such efficiency tonight, though, all the bands except Overkill played short sets, highlighting their best material and then making way for the headliner.





Woe of Tyrants

Before the legions of Overkill-shirted fans made their way through security, Woe of Tyrants grabbed this Texas crowd by the horns and would not let go. Highlighting tracks from their two Metal Blade albums “Kingdom of Might” and “Threnody,” WOT treated the crowd to a dual-axe shredding attack, thunderous drums and petulant, growling vocals. Expect soon this five-piece to enter your town like a tornado.

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Evile

Only its second appearance in North America—the first having come just a couple weeks prior—Evile stood before a mixed crowd. While at the top of many fans’ and critics’ list for best “retro” thrash artists, much of the audience had no idea what they were in for.
After playing a set mostly from the group’s newest Earache offering “Infected Nations,” the band treated the crowd to a surprise (only at Texas shows) version of Pantera’s “Cemetery Gates.” Dedicated to recently deceased bassist Mike Alexander, Evile did this classic track justice. Considering the god-like status held by Dimebag Darrel in Texas, this track went over well. Even one of the first pits of the night broke out.

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Warbringer

The crowd barely had a chance to rest its collective neck before Warbringer unleashed more neck-wrecking thrash havoc. Along with Municipal Waste and Toxic Holocaust, Warbringer has been in front of more large audiences in America than any other new-school thrash band. Like the ghost of Paul Baloff, white-high-topped singer John Kevill commanded his metal platoon to thrash like they’ve got a pair. After the set, I spoke to members of WOT about the singer’s incessant snot blowing. I wondered if he suffered from a cold. I was informed that this antic was just his thing. This sharing of bodily fluids definitely added an element of nastiness to a set custom-made for rude gestures.

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God Dethroned

Between machine-gun drum blasts and skin-scaling riffing, God Dethroned’s melodic bridges provided brief moments of serenity and rest to the thrashing mania of the previous bands. I had waited nearly a decade to witness God Dethroned’s patented blend of melodic death—since missing their act in Detroit with Cannibal Corpse and Hate Eternal—so this performance was particularly sweet for this scribe/photographer. Their appearance being higher up on the bill allowed the group a longer set.

Consisting of material taken throughout its career, God Dethroned set the stage for the next three bands to convey a similar career perspective. Material from GD’s latest opus “Passiondale” left a great impression on just about everyone in attendance. Fists swayed and heads swam in unison with the group’s epic melodies. “Poison Fog,” the highlight of “Passiondale,” turned a few heads when Henri Sattler introduced his clean-tongued voice. “Boiling Blood” seemed to satisfy the multitude of voices shouting out old song titles.

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Vader

The gents handling this tour chose wisely picking Vader to clear a path for Overkill. While not pushing the units of Behemoth, no death metal band is as important to Poland’s scene as this Star-Wars-dubbed act. Peter is one of DM’s premiere front men/guitarists. Tonight, his soaring whammy bar solos and horse voice went over quite well. Playing a set focusing on material throughout the band’s three-decade existence, it was evident more than a few death heads were in attendance. This being my second time in a few months, and second time overall, I went away with a similar feeling as the last time—satisfaction!

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Overkill

Overkill showed why they were the night’s top bill. Taking the stage amid a roaring crowd, these East Coast thrashers pushed the volume knob to 11, surely leaving the crowd to fend off an annoying ringing in their ears, most noticeable at bedtime. Overkill’s rotating laser-light show made an obvious improvement over the tepid lights that illuminate Emo’s. The group jostled the crowd with classic Overkill material such as “Wrecking Crew,” “Hello from the Gutter” and their namesake track, Motorhead’s “Overkill.” "D.D." Verni, Dave Linsk , Derek Tailer and Ron Lipnicki moved with smooth cohesion, making sure every note meshed together tightly.

I must confess to not being a huge fan of Overkill, but I am more of a fan now, considering their stellar live performance. Overall, the show featured a great bill of diverse talents, some with decades worth of recognition, others looking to make their name in the coming annals of metal (and they did, OH YES, they did). While we’ve all heard worst sound systems, the voices of each opening band’s front men were drowned out behind blaring guitar amps. The rumbling notes that emanated from each instrument, along with every band’s energetic performance, made light of this error, though. Evile mentioned in their Metalship exclusive interview how well the tour went. Let’s hope that’s a sign of more to come!

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on May 19, 2010 by Darren Cowan
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Comments


Seems you were in the first line, very close to the stage during all the fest !
Sun, Jun 6, 10- 21:32  
yep, and the crowd was very cool. I would tap someone on the shoulder and ask him/her to trade me spots so i could be right in front of the stage, and they were always cool and allowed me to do that. I love the intimacy of a small club, but larger clubs allow you to go over barricade and take pics. Then you don't have to worry about some silly bitch's hair in your shot or some dick wad putting his horned fingers in the line of your camera.
Mon, Jun 14, 10- 01:45  


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