There is without question that Saturday, October 8th at the Arlene Francis Center was a monumental celebration for the Sonoma County Metal and Hardcore Community. For this was not just another show, but the release show for Trecelence’s debut full-length album, “Justified Atrocities.” These die-hard local thrashers have put in a great amount of work leading up to the release of this album and playing in front of their local metal community made the release of this album even more special.
Playing alongside Trecelence were five other talented metal acts. You had Hellbender, Trial by Combat, Stained Humanity, Sepulchre and Hemotoxin. It was great to have Hemotoxin come from up from the East Bay to play this show. After reviewing their most recent album, “Biological Enslavement,” I was eager to hear the new material live. I found when arriving to the venue everyone was in great spirits as the metal community seemed extremely proud of Trecelence for their accomplishment. Plus, the guys in Trecelence were overly excited to play and give people a chance to hear some music from their new album. One could say it felt like Christmas, besides the fact that inside the venue was hotter than hell and could melt a snowman faster than a grindcore song.
Kicking off the massive metal celebration was Stained Humanity. I saw these guys for their first show and was looking forward to hearing how they have progressed. Compared to their first show, one could tell the young dudes were becoming more conformable onstage. The band is starting to form a solid sound that will help them continue to improve and allow them to open up more creative possibilities. The lead guitar playing stood out more too this time around and I think that is going to be an area where they can really explore their technical writing potential. Just need to keep practicing and finding ways to develop a tight and unique sound.
Second up was the Pittsburg, CA based group Hemotoxin, who would be playing Santa Rosa for their first time. I think the local audience responded quite well to the technical thrash four piece. Hemotoxin is an extremely atypical thrash group, because you have elements of old school death metal and the band even displays some progressive elements in their music. If you have followed these guys then you cannot deny that, “Biological Enslavement,” is a release that simply raises the bar for this type of music. The technicality in the riffs is top notch and the fluidity of the lead guitar playing is astonishing at times. Towards the middle of their set the pit was furiously moving and the band kept on delivering plenty of crushing songs to bang your head.
After Hemotoxin was local veteran metal warriors, Trial by Combat. The band would be playing their first show with a new drummer and hopefully he would not combust onstage like the drummer in Spinal Tap. The band of course unleashed their brutal assault of distorted destruction on the crowd and got the people going crazy within seconds. The vocals that came from singer Dashiel McKenzie offered up great amounts of brutality while the riffs from Jesse Palmer and Aaron Dudley annihilated people’s ears. Towards the end they threw in a cover of Amon Amarth’s, “The Pursuit of Vikings,” which went over well with the crowd.
Fourth up after Trial By Combat was the three piece old school death metal worshipers, Sepulchre. These guys are very talented and their sound takes from a variety of influences, which I think allows them to separate themselves from the usual old school death metal worship type acts. Also to point out, Chris Olney Burnett would be playing in Trecelence a little later in the evening, so for him to be playing a set with Sepulchre showed how much this young man is dedicated to the music. I would have also liked to see him play a set with his other band Amnesia, but already playing two sets was probably quite a test already. Overall, Sepulchre put on a tremendous performance that in my opinion is their best performance to date since I have known these guys. The passion that Chris along with drummer Forest Giulietti and bassist Luis Olguin had during their set was unbelievable. The riffs conveyed this malevolent sound from abysses beyond and the vibe from the music sounded simply unforgiving at times. For their last song they cranked out a very old school grindcore type song where Chris decided to break his guitar strings and let the crowd partake in the execution of the strings.
After Sepulchre delivered their killer set, Hellbender went on next to play their style of skull crushing metal. The guys in Hellbender are decent musicians who know how to get the crowd going. I just think a lot of people were feeling the heat inside the venue area and needed a chance to cool off and get some water. Even though the crowd was having a tough time with the temperature, I think the band played a decent set that was well received. They did a solid cover of Mötley Crüe’s, “Live Wire,” to finish off their set with Miguel Martinez from Aftertayst getting up onstage to sing with them.
Finally, the band of the night who would be playing songs from their new album hit the stage with an atomic explosion of raw energy. Trecelence tore right into the first song of technical thrash insanity that conjured up a cyclone of moshing metal maniacs. “Into the Gateway,” sounded spectacular and for me it brought back memories when they were guests on my old radio show and we played the demo version of the song. Bassist Zane Covington put on yet another solid performance by offering constant energetic stage presence. Chris Olney Burnett and fellow guitarist Donnie Small shredded their way through scales with tremendous skill and hammered out endless amount of wicked headbanging riffs. Behind the kit Ilan Cabrera pounded his way through each song and provided a strong backbone. Hearing the new material live was a great introduction for the audience and who were hopefully able to pick up a copy of the new album after the set. Overall, Trecelence kept on rocking hard and the crowd kept moving around until the very end.
Wrapping up this review, I just want to say that Trecelence should feel really proud about what they accomplished. Also, all the bands deserve major respect for their contributions to this memorable show. Now, I want to point out that the release of this album is a stepping stone for Trecelence. As the band sets their sights on the global metal world, I do believe their dedication, hard work and passion for the music will help achieve more of their goals. To conclude, may Trecelence keep melting metal minds for many years to come and congratulations on the release of, “Justified Atrocities.” Get yourself a copy if can!