If you've lived in Orange County here in New York over the last 20 years, chances are you've either heard of or seen metal act Heavens to Mergitroid. Though they've been mainly inactive for many years, the four-piece occasionally reunite for the one-off show here in the New York area, as they have recently on August 22nd at The Chance in Poughkeepsie. The band-guitarist Michael McCorkell, vocalist Sam Space,bassist Brian Gregory and drummer Jimi (Jiyo) Young, with limited rehearsal time, took to the stage once again, supported by Briar Cliff, Downfire, and Ncm, for a night of heavy rock and metal. Sea of Tranquility Publisher Pete Pardo, a high school classmate of both McCorkell and Space, was on hand for this reunion show and reports in with a full show review.
Briar Cliff-this hardcore/metal act began their set pretty early, and I was only able to catch a limited part of it as I was catching up with Mike and Sam from Heavens to Mergitroid after not seeing them for many years. Needless to say, if you like your metal with plenty of 'core' elements, featuring plenty of bombastic, crunchy guitar riffs, this band will certainly be for you. Be sure to catch them next time they are on a local stage near you.
Ncm-these guys started out the night as a duo, as their bass player was late arriving to the venue, but that didn't deter them one bit, as the guitar player and drummer blasted through a few tunes of catchy hard rock, metal, punk, and hardcore, before the bass player finally arrived for the last few tunes. They even invited on to the stage their friend Silvia, who despite being stricken to a wheelchair, delivered the 'feel good' moment of the evening as she belted out a few tunes with the band and really got the crowd into it.
Downfire-I had never heard of these guys before, but man, did they ever deliver. A good mix of classic metal, power metal, and thrash, Downfire played metal music with big riffs, flashy solos, and catchy melodies, cruising through a set that left me wondering just why this band is not signed to a major label. When you have metal songs this memorable and no shortage of explosive guitar riffs & solos, that's a winning combination that is worthy of bigger and better things for this act.
Heavens to Mergitroid-I'll be honest, though I've known both Mike McCorkell & Sam Space for more than 25 years, this was the first time I've seen Heavens to Mergitroid live. For whatever reason, I'd never been in the same place at the same time that this band regularly played back in the 90's. So, when the call came from Mike that they would be planning their reunion show at The Chance, I made sure not to miss this one. Combining the swagger of vintage Aerosmith with the dark, edgy power of Alice in Chains, Heavens to Mergitroid ran through a set list of songs from their demo CD like "Broken Hope", "Fear of Fear", "Squirm", and "Welcome to Hell", as well as new song "Static".
Though the band seemed to have some initial jitters, after a few songs lead singer Space really started to get warmed up, prowling the stage with plenty of venom yet injecting the right amount of humor, especially once he donned his 'Dr Seuss' hat mid-way through the set. The rhythm section of Young and Gregory was firing on all cylinders, and McCorkell's guitar was beefy, thick, and plenty loud. After an hour+ set, the band were just about out of material, but hopefully next time around there will some more new material to flesh out the show. Anyone in attendance would be hard pressed to say that this band have spent so much time apart-for a group of guys who haven't played together in over a year, they were tight and powerful, and sounded like an act who have been out on the road regularly for many years.
Till next time fellas!
Picture of Love
Slice of Life
Fear of Fear
Well of Souls
Will to Power
Static (new song)
Welcome to Hell
The Great King Rat