Wednesday, 4th December 2019
Review by: Pete Mutant
I got to sit down for an interview with Ryan of Municipal Waste before the show, you can check that out here.
Municipal Waste were last round these parts over three years ago, nearly three and a half, which is a long time for the raging thrashers of Glasgow to go without. I’m sure most had forgiven the band for making us wait so long when this tour package was announced. It had some very heavy reasons for everyone to get excited for tonight as there was a hefty mix of some very good bands; it wasn’t all about the headliners.
It was the headliners though who put this whole tour package together and you couldn’t possibly say, without a tongue severely rammed in your cheek, that this was not going to be a spectacle of metal. There was something there for everyone with some lovely death metal in the form of Skeletal Remains, some heavy metal from Sweden with Enforcer a massive serving of thrash from Toxic Holocaust and our headliners of course.
Funny thing was the venue, as it had been a while since I was last at Ivory Blacks for a non-local musical affair. The grand opening of Slay was once again put off and the gig was moved elsewhere to this classic venue. It was sure to be packed to the rafters and packed to the rafters it was. There was a decent enough crowd there from the start, a small queue but nothing too mad. People didn’t want to miss anything as the first band were going to be on shortly after the doors opened.
Skeletal Remains [4/5] came on and opened with ‘Devouring Mortality’, and they almost caught me off guard as the Enforcer flag was out and I was, at that point, at the bar getting the first pint in. The driving heaviness set the scene and the old school riffs dominated. There was a bit of wah-tinged riffs at the end which was a nice touch but we were only at the start and things were only going to get better.
The second track, ‘Torture Labyrinth’, opened like a Chuck Schuldiner classic Death track and the quality was oozing out the band. So much so that during the next track, the awkward barrier at the start of gigs was smashed and the first pit opened up. It wasn’t long until we had our first attempted crowdsurfer either and the band were loosening up a bit too. Frontman and guitarist Chris Monroy wanted the crowd to keep it going as the set raged on.
The best song of the set was probably ‘Beyond Cremation’ which opened up with an absolute peach of a riff that just blew everything else before it away. It was the penultimate track of their set but an absolute belter. The set closed with ‘Traumatic Existence’, which had some great dual solos between Chis Monroy and Adrian Chegron that ended with an perfectly timed squeals from the guitars. What a way to open up the night’s music and there was still plenty more to come.
Enforcer [3.5/5] were up next and they jumped onto the stage with bounds of energy. The heavy metal sound was kicked into with ‘Destroyer’ and a very nice riff that got the juices flowing. The crowd was thick down the front but many were headbanging and sticking out the horns as this was a vast difference in styles from the first act and you were not going to get the same kind of reaction from the crowd. Enforcer had plenty of energy though and they weren’t finding it hard to please the crowd and get them involved.
We got a newer song next in ‘Die For The Devil’ which brought a lot of old W.A.S.P. to the table. There was a feel-good edge to the music as not many can resist the temptation’s of ’80s heavy metal. There were chances to sing along and there were plenty of opportunities to bang your head and the band were keeping the energy levels up throughout.
Both guitarists were putting in some nice leadwork. Vocalist/guitarist Olof Wikstrand played the lead role well and certainly looked the part. Guitarist Jonathan Nordwall and his glorious moustache could also shred away when necessary and drummer Jonas Wikstrand could put in some pounding rhythm aided by bassist Tobias Lindqvist.
The set was wrapping up but the crowd was getting motivated to sing along to ‘Take Me Out of This Nightmare’. “C’mon Glasgow you know this” was commanded by Olof as they were building to the big finish. They were something else entity and really mixed things up. This was a good first taste of seeing this band live for me.
Toxic Holocaust [4/5] were one of the top have-to-sees for myself. I came across them many years ago and ‘Overdose of Death’ has been a part of my collection since then. Lucky for me and the rest of the crowd, we were going to get a large dose of this album tonight. And why not open with a track from it? ‘Nuke The Cross’ started us off and the memories came flooding back. The crowd were beyond eager for some pitting and it didn’t take long for things to really get started.
Captain Holocaust himself Joel Grind demanded a circle pit for the next one as the band were ready to up another gear. The crowd responded and there was no going back from then on. The pits were constant as the thrash and speed was dealt out furiously be the three piece. The crowdsurfers started and then came in droves. There were three going at once whilst the band played through ‘I Am Disease’ with a slower but more dirty groove that changed things up a little.
‘War Is Hell’ was up next which had many singing along in between the desperate periodic breaths they were getting whilst in the pits. The pits were their own battleground. It was war, it was fucking hell but it was also glorious fun. The pillars in the venue were something to avoid but also a good point of reference for the circle pits to circle around. We got another “fast one” next with ‘Graveborne’ before we went to ‘Overdose of Death’ again for ‘Wild Dogs’. Pits and more pits; oh so good.
They finished up the set with ‘Bitch’ and it brought out more pits, more riffs, some more singing along and some real good times. It was my first live experience of the band and Toxic Holocaust did not disappoint in the slightest. What a night so far and we only had one more band left, our headliners for this night who put together this smashing package of bands.
Vocalist Tony seemed full of energy as he addressed the crowd, “What’s up y’all? You’re sexy, we’re all sexy. Phil’s mic isn’t on but Phil is sexy too”. Once Land Phil’s mic was sorted the band kicked on and we went into ‘You’re Cut Off’ which was greeted by a massive cheer then a massive pit. Short and very, very sweet. We were just getting started as there was plenty more left from both the crowd and the band.
We got a bit religious for the next couple of tracks as we went back to the band’s last album ‘Slime and Punishment’ for ‘Poison The Preacher’ before going into ‘Shrednecks’. I was in the pits for the next few and was enjoying myself as we got smashers like ‘Beer Pressure’ before Tony got involved again and started calling for more crowd surfers: “How’s everybody doing tonight? It’s more greasy than crazy like. We love crowd surfing. Just crowd surf wherever you want. Off that weird railing”.
‘Wave of Death’ got wave after wave of crowdsurfers from all angles whilst the pit was on the go so it was absolute chaos. An absolute joy too and the band weren’t letting up. When they announced ‘Sadistic Magician’ the whole crowd shouted along with them. Land Phil then brought in a lovely bassline before things kicked off again. There was no letup and we were running out of time rather than riffs and energy.
The band walked off but not for long as we still had more partying to do and get through as it has been constantly from the start. There was even a conga line earlier but we still had enough in us to make it until the end. ‘The Art of Partying’ was the end and we went for the big finish of course.
How I got through this night without an injury or severe bruising I’ll never know. I did take a good shot to the temple and got floored but that was just a bit more fun or that could be some concussion talking. Who knows, but I do know that this was one of the best gigs of the year and so close to the end as well. Thank you to all the bands, it was another fantastic night of metal in Glasgow.