Skeletonwitch & Havok at the Whisky-a-go-go – 10/30/2012
I lived in Athens, Ohio for a few years and have had the luxury of being able to hear Skeletonwitch in their early days, and I’m happy to report the group is still thrashing skulls in their recent tour with accompanying headbang-worthy black metal groups such as Havok from Denver.
The crowd ranged anywhere from teens who were probably not even old enough to drive all the way to those mid-aged folks who still love and appreciate themselves a good metal show; black was a definite theme of the night, and how appropriate, for it being Halloweek and a thrash metal show after all—two of my favorite things might I add you.
And what better place than the Whisky for 6 hours of melting face on the eve of Halloween? Nowhere, I don’t think. People seemed to be getting antsy, however, awaiting the headliners, as there were a lot of younger (and very talented!) bands playing beforehand in the earlier hours of the evening, including Vengeance, Mutilisk, Ophiuchus, Extinction, Legal Tender, and Mutilation Rights.
But that didn’t mean anyone was walking out the door. Nope. When Havok took the stage, you could tell it was a sense of anticipation being relieved as they played their song, “Covering Fire.” The crowd was ready and rowdy, and the band definitely helped in that regard with their outstanding black metal sound, playing fan favorites such as “D.O.A,” a song about drunk driving. This is when the show hit its peak; as soon as everyone heard the intro, the black-wearing, sweaty, tattooed crowd was bouncing off of each other and the thrash vibe was in full effect.
After Havok put on a hell of a show, Skeletonwitch took the stage, opening playing a variety of old and new songs; you could tell fans were glad they favored their 2007 album Beyond the Permafrost.
I love Skeletonwitch so much, not just for their complicated, shredding guitar riffs or their perfectly orchestrated metal sounds of growls, bass, crazy good drums, and scratchy rage, nope, but it’s in the band’s overall coordination that’s a performance of flowy blonde hair synchronically head banging (you’d think they had it all planned out, but it just happens naturally) to their perfectly put together set, leaving us metalheads totally satisfied and ready for more.
The Ohio band powered through quite a set in an hour and a half’s time, hitting all ends of their musical album spectrum, never failing to disappoint. They played songs such as “Crush Beyond Dust” off of their Breathing the Fire album, “Vengeance Will be Mine,” off of Carnivore Retaliation, and ended with a very memorable finale with their song “Within My Blood.”
So while the night was long, there was never a dull moment; every band kept the audience on their feet and a good time was had by all, raging along, head-banging to an abundant 6-hour long show filled with black thrashy goodness.