October is just beginning and the Phoenix Theater started the month off with an explosion of local metal talent. Six bands took to the black stage to appease the passionate and ravenous concert attendees.
I must say that this was one of the best turnouts at the Phoenix Theater that I have been present for. Also, the crowd’s energy throughout the whole night never faded, which fueled the six hardworking bands. Besides Thought Vomit who I saw back in July, this would be the first time for me seeing these other five bands. Now, I was especially excited to see Santa Rosa’s Trecelence who I interviewed for the radio show a few months back. After a week of tests and being sick, I was ready for a metal show!
The opening band, Channel the Suns, started the show off with some unique prog metal jams. I was intrigued by the band’s dual vocal delivery where one singer used a death growl style while the other vocalist used a clean style. Their instrumental compositions where creative, but seemed to be all over the place. I think the talent was there and I applaud the desire to be dynamic. The bass player and singer who did the clean vocals was extremely energetic and would run around on stage with a superhero cape. For the most part Channel the Suns did a solid job kicking off the show.
The second band Vile Riot Villains, whose members had painted markings on their faces as if they were part of the 1979 cult classic movie The Warriors, had a strong response even before they started their first song. I could definitely tell the band’s groove/thrash style clicked with most of the fans in attendance. People were banging their heads and starting to move around more. Vile Riot Villains really exerted plenty of energy during their set and did an efficient job building up the momentum.
Taking the third slot was Hereticide from Los Angeles. This out of town bunch of brutal death thrashers brought the heavy metal thunder to the Phoenix. One of their guitar players looked like a Viking Warlord and played his guitar as if he was beating down upon an enemy. The band would shout, “Oh Yeah,” throughout their set to keep the crowd going crazy and alive. For the most part their sound was nothing new that I have not come across before, but the energy and passion elevated them to a level where they stood out. Also, any band who gives free CDs away after their set is cool in my book.
Fourth up was the band who literally stole the show, Trecelence. This group of Santa Rosa, CA based musicians sounds solid on their demos, however, put them in a live setting and they will knock you over. I mean, the dual guitar attack was in high gear with plenty of wicked technical solos being traded by guitarists Donnie Small and Chris Olney Burnett. Bassist and singer Zane Covington was full of passion while he hammered away on his sunburst Rickenbacker bass. Zane’s vocals were very strong and conveyed the lyrics with such potency. Of course I cannot leave out drummer, lIan Cabrera, who was a technical beat master behind the kit. Overall, the crowd was worked up into a thrashing frenzy throughout the whole set.
On stage next was, X-Method, a group of Bay Area thrashers who knew a thing or two about laying down some heavy riffs. Their singer had amazing stage presence and did a great job interacting with crowd. Also, one of the band’s guitar players successfully did that swing around guitar trick without it falling, so that added to their live show. The band even played a sick Sepultura cover which I can honestly say sounded not too far from the original. From the beginning of their set to the end, X-Method never let their foot off the gas pedal.
The final act of the night was Sonoma County’s Thought Vomit. If any one is looking to see a furious mosh pit, just attend a Thought Vomit show. Even if the crowd at first is not moving around, Thought Vomit’s singer Spencer Clark will do something about it. The guy is in another world while up on stage...or in the middle of the crowd. The band’s songs are pure unapologetic expression which comes from each band member’s inner rebellious musical soul. Thought Vomit had the singers from X-Method and Vile Riot Villains come out and perform a cover of Black Sabbath’s, “Paranoid.” A perfect way to end a metal and punk filled evening of nonstop entertainment.
Well, one show down and plenty more to come this month for the Sonoma County Metal and Hardcore community. Try to make your way out if you can and keep headbanging and supporting the local scene!