Three titans of Thrash, together on the same stage, for only three dates. At last the planets had aligned and I just had to catch this event at any cost.
Xentrix have just reformed after a long absence from the music scene and the hunger to see them live is insatiable. They sold ALL of their merch the previous night in Dublin, the whole lot! As they take to the stage, this Saturday night old school crowd go nuts, people are still waiting outside eager to get in as they've waited more than 20 years for this moment. It's like they never went away, bodies start to hurl towards the barrier as Xentrix power through a short but sweet set including 'Crimes' & 'Black Embrace'. With the stage drenched in mainly red light it soon takes its toll on the eyes, but we are here for the audio barrage which we certainly get, a ripping cover of the 'Ghostbusters' theme and order is restored. Coming to an end far too soon people are still filtering into the venue wondering what the hell just happened, Xentrix are back, and I'm a happy man.
British hopefuls Evile have certainly gained a revered reputation as a live band, and tonight they're keeping that reputation fully intact. With their new album 'Skull' in the bag and awaiting release they soon tap into some new ones for us to digest. Mixed with some Evile classics it's a well-balanced set that greets the Manchester crowd. Oli & Matt sound superb as the set gathers momentum 'Cult' and new ones 'Underworld' & 'Head Of The Demon' light the touch paper as we all stand back in awe. Another tight rhythm section enables the brothers to set loose on the guitar flurries, with some shades of Metallica when they were good, it's a solid strong set that Manchester gets and they repay Evile in a monstrous noise greeting every track.
It's been a while since Kreator pulled up to these shores and it's been even longer since they played a headline show. Billed as their 'full production' it's also good to see a band making some effort to bring a decent live experience to a stage. Phantom Antichrist was my album of 2012 and as predicted is well represented tonight with four tracks. Mille is the consummate frontman, fully engaging with the crowd and delivering at full power. The stage set is like an old school gig, we have a depiction of the album cover with what can be best described as huge models of the creatures on the cover. A mix of classic Kreator and the Manchester crowd start getting wilder, the body count over the barrier is increasing and the atmosphere is charged with electricity and the heat of a thousand bodies. With 'Flag Of Hate' bringing tonight to its emphatic conclusion there's one more time for the bodies and barrier to meet and ensuing circle pit to erupt. Kreator delivered a gig worthy of classic status as they did the following night in London which I also attended….So as Mille waves his flag we can only hope its not too long before we see the guys over here again.
Words & Pictures