Date: September 25th, 2015
Venue: The Voodoo Lounge, Dublin
Line-up: Evile + Psykosis + Scimitar
At this stage it almost seems like the story behind this show gets more attention than the show itself. Originally scheduled in September 2013 in support of Evile’s, at the time, brand new album Skull, the show has since been delayed twice. The first delay was caused by the departure of lead guitarist Ol Drake leading the band to postpone the shows by a year to find an adequate replacement. One was found a year later, Piers Donno-Fuller, but again the decision was made to postpone the shows for a second time to allow their newest member time to adjust and learn the material. Third times the charm it seems as the show finally goes ahead tonight.
Opening the show was Scimitar, a thrash band from Belfast. On the heavier end of the thrash spectrum, the vocals were a rasp scream more akin to death/black metal. Their music was heavy as hell, unrelenting with the tempo kept high. Drummer Ryan Atkin was giving his kit quite the workout with his breakneck speed and groove. The sound mixing was spot on with lead guitarist John Thompson reigning front and center, his solos getting the full attention they deserve. The crowd response was good with a few people brandishing plastic toy scimitar’s proudly in the air.
Next up was Dublin’s thrash representative’s Psykosis. The guys played no frills old school thrash metal, think Anthrax, Megadeth or Kreator. Right from the get-go the heads were moving and not long after the pits started. The banter back and forth with the crowd was great, the guys were really enjoying themselves and it came through in their performance. Particularly of note were guitarist Tony Corcoran’s hilarious explanations of the songs. “Sea of Beer” has become a staple of Psykosis’ set in recent times, an improvised song which seemed to borrow heavily from “Old MacDonald’s Farm” but instead of his trademark farm he had some beer. Of course the crowd lapped this up with screams of “beer” filling the air.
Headliners Evile then took to the stage opening their set with “Underworld”. The sound was pretty muddled and Matt Drake’s vocals were being lost in the noise. Thankfully this sound issue was remedied very quickly with the rest of the set sounding amazing. The double whammy of “Words of the Dead” and “Enter the Grave” ensued mayhem with the mosh pits growing in size over the course of their set.
Matt was quick to address their 2 year silence, welcoming their latest member Piers Donno-Fuller to the fold, while declaring that Evile were back. He was even cracking some jokes, asking crowd members who bought the original 2013 gig tickets before jokingly asking if they’d turn to dust. He seemed genuinely disappointed at their lack of promotion of their latest album Skull and wanted to make it up by playing it in its entirety. A risk move for sure but the crowd didn’t seem to mind, in fact they loved it.
The new guy Piers Donno-Fuller fits into the band like a glove. The chemistry on stage was great but also his technical ability was amazing. It was never going to be easy to replace former guitarist Ol Drake but Piers did so with ease, nailing all the songs and of course their solos.
Skull’s title track had caused out-right insanity within the crowd. Using the songs build-up as an opportunity to really spread out the pit to either side of the venue so when the main riff kicked in there was a massive wall of death with sweaty bodies being thrown around.
Closing out their set with their greatest hits of sorts, “Infected Nation”, “Cult” and of course “Thrasher”, invoked the biggest response of the crowd by far. The screams of “purify your eyes” and “Cult” rang through the room, while “Thrasher” got the most violent response of the night with bodies flying everywhere.
So the big question is, was it worth the 2 year wait? A venue packed with sweaty headbanging thrash fans would scream a resounding “Yes!”.