I write about thrash metal in this column a lot, and there’s a really good reason for that: it never lets you down. At least once or twice a month, some raging thrash crew rolls through Strange Matter and levels the place in the most glorious way possible, and it never fails to completely rule. So hey, why stop a good thing now? Let’s keep it rolling with Barbarian, who come all the way from Italy with some raw thrash of the sort that always makes me think of bikers with beards and dirty jean vests. Stripped-down, straight ahead riffs accompany guttural vocals and rumbling drums full of double-bass thunder as all of it rides a Harley straight down your ear canal and right into the pleasure centers of your brain. At which point, if you’re anything like me, you proceed to headbang with joy for a significant length of time. And all of you are just like me, right? Right? Don’t answer that.
Anyway, the point is that you need to come down to Strange Matter Thursday night and rock out with Barbarian. But there are plenty of other reasons to come down and rock out too, which are provided by a slew of openers with some powerful riffs of their own. Vermont’s Peucharist have a name that vaguely reminds me of Andres Serrano’s notorious “Piss Christ” painting, and with song titles like “Vomit Right In God’s Face” and “Religion of Piss,” I’m pretty sure that the same vaguely gross sacreligiousness is exactly what this band is going for.* As for Nashville’s Vile Desecration, they pull from the sort of lo-fi terror evoked by the earliest days of death and black metal to create an atmosphere of menacing murk. Both of these bands will rage your face off, as will local openers Disintegration, whose name always makes me think of the Cure but who’s music is much closer to that of Repulsion. Makes sense.
*–I know, I know, sacrilege was NOT what Serrano was going for–quite the opposite, in fact–and the painting has been widely misinterpreted. I can’t deny the images it evokes in my mind, though–and I can’t imagine I’m alone in that, either.