Destruction @ B.B. King Blues Club (4/7/2009)

Destruction are one of the true leaders in no holds barred Thrash Metal so it was great to find the German trio invading the stage B.B. King Blues Club tonight. The show would be my first time ever catching them in concert and that kind of gig is always exciting when its presenting something new to your eyes and ears. Destruction would be touring with both Krisiun and Mantic Ritual as their support so to learn more just scroll on down.

Logo - Destruction

Artist: Destruction
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Opener: Krisiun & Mantic Ritual
Date: 4/7/2009
Label: Candlelight Records

Although I have enjoyed almost every release that I get to hear from the band I have never ever seen Destruction in concert before and in most cases it had been the combination of other events happening on the same day or the fact that the band does not get over to these parts as often as the fans might like. Tonight we would rectify this as the guys prepared to lay waste to the stage and bring with them support from Krisiun and Mantic Ritual. Of course I had already caught Krisiun a number of times and learned about the fire of Metal youth from the guys who make up Mantic Ritual a few months ago so based on that I was glad to see this show happening over at Times Square’s favorite Metal venue – B.B. King Blues Club. I arrived nice and early to enjoy all three sets and here is how the night went down for those curious. Mantic Ritual would get it all started.

Mantic Ritual: This group of young Metal keepers of the flame was a part of the touring package that found Rotting Christ on the road back in January of this year and I felt that it was a good gig for the new band to be a part of. I watched how they impressed the audience that was very new to their name and sound with riff after thrashing riff. After the show you knew that the next time around people would be happy to see them as a part of the show. Tonight they hit the stage with a great level of youthful Metal exuberance which is always nice to see and their debut album ‘”Executioner” on Nuclear Blast Records is getting some truly positive attention from fan and media outlet alike. That’s never a bad thing. Fronted by Dan Wetmore, the four piece group hails from Pittsburgh, PA and delivers an Old School Thrash vibe as done by its New School of Metal Artisans. They would deliver a brief but fast-paced set of material from “Executioner” and also bring to the fore a cover of Venom’s “Black Metal”. They did it proper justice but I felt this was an odd choice to bring to the table and perhaps a classic from Exodus or even Kreator would have been more fun (especially with both of those bands playing a gig tomorrow at the Nokia Theatre). Musically these guys were getting the pace of the night into gear and the worst part that I found with the whole thing was that the stage banter seemed a bit hesitant. The band is new to the larger public and I think stuff like this will come in time so don’t worry if the crowd does not always call back at you on command. The bands full set was “One By One”, “Murder To Death”, Black Metal”, “Souls”, “Panic”, “Thrashatonement” and “Next Attack”. I’m confident that the best is yet to come from Mantic Ritual and especially when one considers the popularity found by both Black Tide and Warbringer who play a similar style and are proving that youth is NOT wasted on the young. Krisiun was up next and these guys mean nothing less than business when it comes to Metal.

Krisiun: I have not seen them since they toured with Unleashed a couple of years ago and before that I believe the band was touring with Behemoth and Morbid Angel, but I digress. The bottom line for a band like Krisiun is that there is no escape from the absolutely crushing power that they present to an audience when they hit the stage. I remember that I felt my bones vibrating beneath my skin when they played and this time around would be no different so I stood in a safer vantage point to leave with the same appearance that I arrived with. The bands newest CD is “Southern Storm” which continues to show why the group dominates the Extreme Metal genre. It is an album that is loaded with aggression and speed and from the moment that they hit the boards the crowd was moshing around like mad. One who arrived just as the band began their set would assume that Krisiun was headlining and not Destruction it was that intense. Fronted by bassist Alex Camargo who also sings, this was a very powerful set. I really want to sit and listen to this new CD again soon because the new numbers are smoldering offerings of Metal from experts. If you like your sound to pummel you into the ground then there is nothing that you would not enjoy about a Krisiun set. I wonder if they could handle a headlining spot over here in the States though but if that is not the future plan on their agenda, then I will certainly be sure to be present the next time that they are direct support. Kudos to Krisiun for keeping the power pumping in this side of the genre. Now it was time for Destruction, and I meant that in a literal as well as a musical sense.

Destruction: Having never seen them in action before I had to say that watching Destruction hit the stage was like watching a three piece assault force in action from the moment that they came out. I’ve always recognized their contributions to the genre but must admit that they were one of the bands that I never seemed to follow with any level of earnest. I lived vicariously through some of my friends who were the diehards of the bands activities and kept their musical adventures in my head with their own tales as the years went on. They are fronted by the towering Metal monster of Marcel Schirmer who handles the bass and vocals, while guitars are delivered adeptly by Mike Sifringer. Both are from the bands original lineup and drums are pounded relentlessly by Marc Reign. They have been signed to Candlelight Records in the states for a few years now and the latest offering on the label is “D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N.”. As a Metal band they are now celebrating twenty five years of traditional German Thrash Metal and as result their set list would feature a good number of their classics alongside their newer stuff. Tonight I had to say that I was mostly here to get the education in their sound that I have far too long been missing and they had me from the moment that they began. Schirmer talked to the crowd on a number of occasions and expressed his own appreciation for their staunch support and definitely seemed to be enjoying the response that song after song was receiving from the crowd. The moshing was at its fiercest during the bands set and a couple of the kids in the audience took to surfing above the heads of their fellow Metal fans. I saw one dude take a spill only to get back up to do it again and had to say that was the Metal spirit for you. Highlights from the bands influential years came by way of “Tormentor” and “Curse The Gods” along with many of their other venerated numbers and as I observed the audience it appeared as though the newer material was working well within the structure of a set loaded with so many favorites.

It was a very good night for Metal here this evening, but I really felt there should have been more bodies in place than there were. A good crowd yes, and nothing less than an energetic and appreciative one of all that these three bands were delivering without question. I guess with another big show the following night found that some of the regular Metal faces we see all the time had been forced to make a choice between one concert or the other. The dismal economic state is hitting the shows where it hurts so this was still a good three band deal to enjoy whereas the Kreator and Exodus show tomorrow will offer the fans five bands. Let’s hope this keeps happening as we sure don’t want to see bands suffering and instead keeping us entertained. On a personal note I did have one major case of “blech” when I realized that one of my lenses for the camera had rolled back out of the bag unnoticed before I left the venue. Let’s hope it turns up because tomorrow is really going to be a task otherwise.

Mantic Ritual Set List:
1. Intro/One by One
2. Murdered to Death
3. Black Metal (Venom)
4. Souls
5. Panic
6. Thrashatonement
7. Next Attack

Krisiun Set list:
1. Ominious
2. Combustion Inferno
3. Vengeance Revelation
4. Vicious Wrath
5. Refusal
6. Hatred Inherit
7. Bloodcraft
8. Slaying Steel

Destruction Set List:
1. Soul Collector
2. Bestial Invasion
3. D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N.
4. Eternal Ban
5. Life Without Sense
6. Urge (The Greed of Gain)
7. Metal Discharge
8. Death Trap
9. Thrash ‘Til Death
10. Medley: Black Mass/Antichrist/Release From Agony
11. Vicious Circle – The Seven Deadly Sins
12. Tormentor
13. Medley: The Damned/Cracked Brain/Reject Emotions
14. Invincible Force
15. The Butcher Strikes Back
16. Curse The Gods – encore
17. Nailed To The Cross – encore
18. Mad Butcher – encore
19. Total Desaster -encore

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