Posted by: Necci – May 03, 2012
It’s been years since my body hurt this horribly from headbanging. I thought after all the years of swinging hair around at the Jaxx, NorVa, 930 Club, and alone in my bedroom built up some weird tolerance for avoiding the aches and pains that usually follow a show. I felt like a champion. King headbanger! Your neck hurt after that Kvelertak show, dude? Ha! Check out these extra windmills I can do. No pain!
Well fuck, I feel like an old man... er, 16 year old kid at a Testament show. Revocation, Cannabis Corpse, Ramming Speed and Humungus absolutely ripped everyone’s ass to shreds last Wednesday. I’d been looking forward to this show ever since it was announced, and waiting for it felt like waiting for your eBay haul to arrive in the mail. It’ll never get here. Ever! Well, it came and so did I.
Thanks to the NHL playoffs almost forcing every series to a game seven, I missed most of Humungus’s set. While the Caps were making headlines in Washington (and racists making headlines in Boston), Humungus was warming a decent amount of headbangers up for the best metal show of the month. I came in to their last song and the dudes are just as good as I remember. Hair blowing around everywhere, tight, galloping riffs, high pitched screams and plenty of invisible grapefruits to clutch in the air. These dudes keep on crushing. I hear a new full length is in the works?
Ramming Speed set up next but I’m pretty sure that dude with the violin played right before them. Could’ve been before Cannabis Corpse, but whatever. He plays thrash metal tunes on his violin and does double bass with his feet. He’s pretty rad, but I couldn’t make out whatever tunes he was playing. Is it even a violin? I’m sure a music major will yell at me: “It’s a cello, dude.”
Back at it, Ramming Speed crushed. I’m not sure if they played any tunes off their new album, but they all sound about right to me. Their new album couldn’t be coming at a better time, as they’ve taken their sweet ass time getting it together. Hyper party thrash, but not that kind of skate thrash party. I hope that shit is dead. If I see another flip brimmed trucker hat with “smoke beer” written on it I’m going to burn my Municipal Waste shirt, and I don’t want to do that--it’s my only white metal shirt. Anyway, Pete Gallagher is one of the best frontmen in metal right now, and Jonah Livingston is a rare kind of technical metal drummer that has more stage presence than most guitarists. But god dammit, the crowd at Strange Matter was too thin to rage, at least on this night.
Cannabis Corpse! Whoa, what a transformation. Okay they only lost one dude, but that dude was Andy Horn. That’s kind of big, eh? Well, you know who doesn’t give a shit? Metal maestro of the year Phil Hall. Fucking triple duty for this guy--bass in the Waste, guitar in Iron Reagan, and now bass and vocals in Cannabis Corpse. Catching breath. Corpse accomplishes in a 3 piece what would take most bands five people to pull off. Brent plays through two full stacks to round out the sound, while Phil does a good enough job at vocals, who needs a front man? I feel like Cannabis Corpse may have shot themselves in the foot early on with the Cannibal Corpse worship, because they are definitely becoming very solid in their own right. With a ton of really good riffs and songs, Cannabis sets themselves far enough apart from Cannibal to do their own thing. Really impressed with their set.
And finally, the band I’d been waiting for, Revocation. I was a little wary of a live performance, seeing as the drums on their latest album are most definitely programmed, or sound-replaced, or whatever they’re doing these days. YouTube videos of the band didn’t sound great, and lets face it: very few musicians can pull off this kind of technical mastery. Some friends of mine also had the same concern.
Well, after I was done headbanging through the first two songs, we all said the same thing to each other, with that dorky, impressed smile on our faces: "Yeah, they are fucking legit." Some bands like to thrash, party, and put on a good physical performance. Some bands are serious musicians that stand still and play the album correctly, note for note. Revocation is a great mixture of both. Technically speaking, they are perfect, but they still have enough hair and whammy bars to throw around to entertain. I really don’t know what to say about these dudes that won’t sound like I’m giving them hand jobs, so just get their latest album, Chaos of Forms, and go see them play live when you get the chance. It’s heavy, shreddy, progressive, jazzy, powerful and fun.
Another great line up at Strange Matter on a quiet Wednesday night. Two days later and I’m still hurting. Smoke beer, dude.
As always, check out more pictures at hardrockrva.blogspot.com.
By Grant Fanning