March 20, 2017 Last week an amazing evening of thrash metal hit Seattle when Havok brought their tour to Studio 7. Seattle was on the tail-end of the 2017 North American tour, but as each band hit the stage you would have never guessed they were wrapping up the tour because there was a ton of brutal intensity with their performances.
This was a big line up with 7 bands on the line up! 3 local supports acts and 4 touring bands.
The show kicked off at 6:45 with local support from Evil Awakening, a relatively new death metal band from Olympia, WA. These guys kicked out the intensity from the very beginning and set the crowd up for what was turning into a night of thrashing mayhem. Keep your eyes on these up and comers, you want to see them live.
Next up for the night was thrash Kaiju metal band Oxygen Destroyer from Seattle. These guys were seriously intense, dark and heavy. Their stage show is very tame compared to their music, so don’t be confused if you catch these guys and they don’t move around much. They are going to make you want to move and make the crowd open a pit. Great music from these locals, check them out and if you are local, get out to see them.
Third in the lineup was a bit of a contrast compared to all the bands on the line up. John Mahaffey from Seattle, a solo guitarist who did a solo guitar bit. While his show was entertaining to me (can never have enough metal guitars!) and he’s clearly a talented performer, it was just a really odd mix to the lineup for me. I could easily see this performer on many other lineup’s (Vai, Satriani, Malmsteen, etc) but Havok’s was a bit of a reach for the crowd. Mahaffey’s set was more melodic at times but had metal shredding just not as trash as most were prepared for. All in all, great performer and you should check him out.
Next up for the night was the starting of the Havok tour lineup as Thrown Into Exile from Los Angeles hit the stage. These guys brought full on melt your face off metal to the stage and the crowd was in full manic mode as the pit immediately opened up and bodies were going in every direction. Brutal crowd for this set, bodies hitting the floor more than once, but fellow pit fans quickly brought them back to their feet to continue on. I hadn’t see TIE before this performance but I won’t miss them again after seeing them. What a great set and great music. You have to catch these guys when they are in your area.
Fifth up for the night was a band I’ve seen many times before, Exmortus. I try to never miss these guys when they are in Seattle. Whether they are playing in the smallest hole in the wall or a larger venue these guys bring the shredding! They always do a great live show and the fans love them. This night was no different. Such an amazing set. The guys sounded great and as always the hair Olympics was strong with this group. If you are a fan of great metal music served up with a side of crazy hair flying in every direction, this is the band for you. If you see Exmortus on a line up near you, get out and see them.
Warbringer from Ventura, CA, hit the stage at 10:05 and the venue was packed. It didn’t matter that it was a late start, fans were intent to be there to see these guys. Even one of the youngest fans who was maybe 10 years old was wide awake and standing to the side of the stage full of excitement with both arms raised holding his metal horns high for Warbringer. Can I just say, yay to that kids parents? I’d never had a chance to see this band live before this show and I am so glad I finally had the chance. This was one brutal thrash set with insane fast tempos. The crowd tried to keep up with the music in the pit but the insanity of the music beat them. Vocalist John Kevill commanded the audience numerous times throughout their set and the fans happily obliged every command. What an intense and fun show! See these guys! They are setting out another USA tour soon so check their page for the dates, I can tell you for Seattle it will be May 24th with the Destruction tour.
Last up for the night, Havok from Denver, CO. For the true metal fan, this was a killer show from the beginning to the end. Such a long line up before even getting to Havok gave the fans a chance to build up their intensity. As Havok took to the stage the fans were ready to explode. The pit opened up immediately as fans went crazy letting out their aggression on other willing fans in the pit. Havok delivered an intense and brutal set to the fans that won’t be soon forgotten. Havok has a new album out now, Conformicide. It’s brutal!! Pick up a copy today. The guys are on a short break now that their North American tour has ended. In April they are kicking off their European tour and taking Exmortus and Warbringer along for most of those dates. So any European fans reading this, check out their April tour dates and get out and support them.
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