Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Storming Through Trenton NJ: Warbringer, Midnite Hellion & Lethal Strike; 10/17/11

Well it doesn't exactly take a rocket scientist to figure out what's gonna happen when you lock a bunch of nutty headbangers in a room with Warbringer, Midnite Hellion & Lethal Strike, AND add alcohol. Something is definitely getting broken, someone's getting hurt and your probably not gonna make it to work the next day, I know I didn't. And as usual, with good reason of course, this was a show that I was really looking forward too. It had all the right ingredients for that ever so exciting recipe of disaster we all crave so much. DESTRUCTION!

I tried making it a point of showing up on time to help the Midnite Hellion guys out with their stage props and catch the opening band but that didn't exactly go as planned. We did manage to get there just in time to catch the opening act though, Trenton, NJ's very own Corpse! Making their debut appearance with California's very own Warbringer nonetheless, not bad too bad of a start huh? I really wasn't too sure what to expect from them to be honest. I've been talking with these guys online for a little bit now and I could tell they were putting a lot of work into their newly formed band, and I think it really came through that night.

I can honestly say that I enjoyed watching these guys play and that for a first show, they did pretty damn good, far better then I could ever hope to do if I were to ever take to the stage. With a very strong old school Death/Thrash sound to them I think if they keep at it they'll be hammering it out alongside the rest of the Jersey militia before they know it. Obviously these guys had a very short set but I managed to get the camera on just a little bit into one of their songs which I really dug, Possessed by the Pentagram. You can find these guys on Facebook & Youtube so go ahead and give their page a 'Like'. Lets give these guys some support, OR ELSE!

I'm sure at some point between bands I went to the bathroom and drank a soda, or drank a soda and went to the bathroom or something but does anyone really want to read about that? Maybe you do? Who knows.

Anyway, up next was a group of maniacs from Jersey City that you should already be quite familiar with, especially if you've been reading this Blog/Zine/Thing: Lethal Strike. I was just reviewing these guys previous show not too long ago and comparing their energy to bands like Warbringer and now I'm seeing them on stage right alongside Warbringer, definitely pretty cool.

These guys always play with a fist packed full of energy, their front man never stops moving for a single second and that is exactly what I like to see up on stage. I've said it before and I guess I'm gonna say it again but I really don't know why these guys haven't gotten way more attention on the national level. At the moment they're in the process of recording/releasing their debut EP which I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on and passing around like the plague. If you haven't already done so, head over to their Facebook page, give them a 'Like' and keep your eyes on what they've got going on. I know they've got a lot of shows coming up so don't be a total wimp, get out and see these guys live, show some support and buy their EP when it comes out.

But now, for my favorite part of the night, drum roll please....Trenton, NJ's famous batch of monsters. They're evil, they're ugly and they're coming for you; Midnite Hellion! I was lucky enough to catch their debut show up in Kearny, NJ back in September, which you can read about on here, and it was absolutely killer. So it should go without saying that I wasn't expecting anything less this time around. But at the same time, I sure as hell wasn't prepared to dodge all the shrapnel that came flying from this explosive performance....

While these guys were setting up their equipment a few people, including myself, helped set up some of their stage props. The MH guys had brought a number of sections of an evil Halloween fence to line the stage with, which wasn't exactly the most stable or durable thing in the world as we'd soon find out....haha. But we got it up & standing and got things looking a bit more evil then usual around there.

They also unveiled the killer brand spanking new MH banner that you may have noticed hanging behind them (how could you not notice that?) which my better half/partner in crime actually painted for them. AND, you may, or may not, have noticed the bands logo printed on the double bass drums. If you couldn't tell already, these guys have been putting some serious effort into their band and it goes well beyond just their image. These guys have a pretty solid traditional Heavy Metal sound with some elements of Speed & Thrash creeping under it to pull it all together.

Before kicking things off, their front man Sonny Zackeo got everyone in the crowd warmed up and laughing along with his hilarious commentary and stage antics, which was interrupted by someone's cell phone or something playing music through their amp every time the volume was turned up on their guitar. I still don't really know what was going on but it had me laughing.

Now, this was only their second show, but it was also their debut hometown gig and they had a pretty strong crowd there all fired up to see them before the had music even started. And just like in Kearny, you could feel something building up in the crowd before things came crashing together.

Kicking things off with the title track of their upcoming demo 'The Fever', they got things moving along right away and the crowd didn't need much time at all to catch up with them. So far so good as far as the fence was concerned, I had my eye on it....

Cranking out their sonic attack with Cross the Line and 1903; two more solid track off their upcoming demo, and following it up with a new one titled Witching hour.

It was about this time that I really started to notice how hyped up people were getting, jumping up and down off the stage, singing along, really getting into it and just going crazy. And just when you thought things have reached their limited these guys decided to push it over the edge with a Slayer cover; Black Magic!

The timing for this couldn't have been any more perfect, it was just like throwing raw meat into a pack of wild dogs. People began trampling over the fence to get on stage and sing along, grabbing pieces of it and smashing it against the stage, over their heads, throwing it and playing air guitar with pieces of it. By the time the song had ended there wasn't a single piece of this fence left standing or intact, all you could see were the smashed up pieces strewn across the floor, getting trampled on as MH pulled out one last song and another great cover for the night, Iron Maiden's Invaders!

This was the perfect end to a great set and I'm glad we got it all on video. Until next time....Beware of the Midnite Hellion!!!

At this point I was in serious need of some 'fresh' air and headed outside to bs for a bit, which basically turned into the rest of the night until Warbringer took to the stage. From what I'm told Diamond Plate and the rest of the bands on tour with Warbringer were really great and I'm bummed that I missed out on them. Ah well, these things happen. They'll be back.

After giving my ass a break I made my way back inside the second I heard the unmistakable sounds of Warbringer setting up, one of the best bands to come out of the new school attack on the West Coast and in the US in general. California, New Jersey & New York, I don't know what it is but there is something about the beach & ocean in general that pretty much guarantees top notch metal.

Anyone whose seen them before knows exactly what I'm talking about, these guys are a literal metal storm, delivering waves of destruction to every single show they play, and that is exactly what they unleashed upon the people of Trenton New Jersey. Blasting off with a barrage of West Coast terror, these guys got the crowd moving in a heart beat. And when the crowd stopped....front man John Kevill made it clear that he wasn't gonna be having that, literally stepping off stage to get the crowd moving by pushing them while still singing and not missing a beat! If you wanna stand still go find a fucking chair or stand in the back!

With a solid mixture of material from all three or their studio albums there wasn't a moment to rest. I hadn't had a chance to pick up their latest album yet, Worlds Torn Asunder, so I wasn't too familiar with their newer material other then what I'd come across on youtube, but I was definitely digging it. They busted out plenty of goodies from their first album War Without End along with their second release Walking Into Nightmares. I kept screaming for Instruments of Torture but my screams went unheard! But with songs like Total War, Shoot to Kill & Combat Shock how could I complain?

At some point guitarist John Laux managed to rip down some ceiling tiles with his guitar after slammed the neck of it into the ceiling, sending dusty tile fragments all over the place, not slowing him down for a second! Another casualty of War I suppose. Unfortunately, this war had an end to it and these guys had to call it a night.

Being the big dork that I am, once they got off stage I took the opportunity to chew John Kevill's ear off a bit along with my buddie Sam Agnew, one of the ax wielding maniacs of Jersey's Condition Critical. At some point I had mentioned to him that he needs to listen to some Condition Critical and pointed Sam out as one of their guitarists. Our jaws dropped when he told us that he's listened to them and actually likes them, mentioned their song Time Wave Zero saying that's a great song title. Again, being the big dork that I am I had to get that on film and asked him if he could repeat that again. And this is it, a perfect end to a killer night!

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