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Old 10-13-2007, 12:29 PM
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Cage -- San Jose, CA -- October 12th, 2007

I'll try to illuminate as much of the show as I can, due to some things that I shouldn't mention on a public message board clouding my memory a bit One of the most metal nights of my life for sure though, some damn good stories, oh well.

Anyhow I got 3 non-metal friends of mine to come with me to this local thrash show last night with CAGE headlining, they wanted to see what it was all about and of course get completely fucked up Without them though it wouldn't have been as tight so I'm really glad they came, and everyone had a great time despite one of my friends spraining his ankle in the pit, another getting a bloody nose from getting kicked by a stage diver, and the other puking all over the sidewalk I already came in to the night with a fractured wrist which happened last week, but miraculously it didn't get reinjured or anything at the gig.

Got to the venue at about 7 after a longass drive (thankfully the rain that had been pouring all day stopped by the time we hit the road), and to my disappointment found out that GHOUL were not gonna be making the show This is my second time in a month missing them on a night I should've seen 'em, sucks. FUELED BY FIRE were supposed to be on the bill but they didn't make it either, I could care less though. We didn't go inside for the first band DIMENSION OF GORE, who my band played a show with before so I already knew their deal, old school death metal style with modern technical aspects to it, whatever. We could hear them from outside across the park where we were hangin anyways. The venue itself (Macla Center) is pretty decent, I was really pleased with the location especially, and the fact that they allowed ins and outs - more places need to do that cuz it saved our lives practically. By the time we finally went inside this band called SVENHARDZ was playing their last song, and I regret missing their set cuz they rocked hard, vintage 80's heavy metal sound with some speed metal in there, badass. It served as a good warmup though for FOG OF WAR.

These guys are staples of the local thrash scene, and rightly so, especially after their lethal set last night. Live thrash metal man, I swear its the best thing there is. FOG OF WAR sound fantastically similar to MUNICIPAL WASTE with their music, so basically some crossover ownage. They were probably my favorite band of the night, the energy was insane from the crowd, the band, everything was righteous. They really set the tone I think for the rest of the night cuz you could feel the energy surging, I think they got a reaction to rival HATCHET even. I stage-dived and pitted the most during their set than any of the other bands, all my friends said they liked FOG OF WAR the best too after the show. Nuclear fucking thrash metal. Pulled the setlist directly from the paper they had on the stage, didn't mention the little teaser of QUIET RIOT's "Metal Health" that they played at the very end to cap the set though so I'll include that.

1.) D.O.A.
2.) Blood Of A Thousand Suns
3.) Six Packin' Heat
4.) Fog of War
5.) D.P. (Don't Fear The Wink)
6.) M.C.T.
7.) Kills On Contact w/"Metal Health"

Due to more non-show related shenanigans I ended up stumbling back into the venue as DEVASTATOR were already well into their set. I was really looking forward to seeing them, but from the 3 songs I caught they were definitely the downer band of the night. Sucks cuz I think they've got some of the strongest material, but their sound was off (not enough vocals/guitar), the crowd wasn't really going crazy, and it just didn't have the right vibe. Kind of a buzzkill overall. "March Of The Wicked" was sweet though, as I had hoped. Incomplete set:

March Of The Wicked
Nuclear Death

Finally it came time for what most people considered the real headliners anyways, HATCHET. Saw them early this year at the Tidal Wave festival, so I was pumped up to see them now in a smaller setting. They delivered much as I had expected with a full-on thrash assault, they woke the place back up immediately. You can just sense that these guys are incredibly talented and tight as a band, awesome energy and most importantly great charisma on stage, which is a big factor that will set a band apart. The lead singer made the announcement that they just signed to Metal Blade Records, I haven't read of this anywhere online but we'll see if there's an official announcement soon. As I predicted, the major labels are finally starting to take notice of the scene, what with WARBRINGER recently inking a deal with Century Media and FUELED BY FIRE with Metal Blade as well. Not sure how that HATCHET/FUELED BY FIRE pairing is gonna go down, believe it that there's definitely a contest between NorCal and SoCal in the thrash scene, solidified by Marcus imploring the crowd to "Let's show the LA fuckers how we thrash in the Bay!" during one part of their set. All that stuff aside HATCHET really deserve their break and I hope they make the most of it. Again I got a physical copy of the setlist so it's 100% accurate.

1.) Frozen Hell
2.) Attack Imminent
3.) Storm The Gates
4.) Sealed Fate
5.) March Of The Dead
6.) Morlocks Tomb
7.) Frailty Of The Flesh
8.) Awaiting Evil

By this time my energy was just shot down, I had a splitting headache and wanted nothing more than to just go to sleep. However, I had to stick it out for CAGE after having awaited 3 years to see them again after they first impressed me with their set opening up at the IRON MAIDEN/ARCH ENEMY show in Los Angeles on the "Dance Of Death" tour. This was their Northern California appearance, and judging by the band and crowd reaction this will certainly not be the last. After being on hiatus/in limbo for awhile they finally got a solid record deal and have really pushed their new album "Hell Destoyer", which while I don't like it personally it has garnered much critical praise in the metal world. The songs translate infinitely better live though, because there's no one in their right mind who can't enjoy screaming "METAL DEVIL!", "KILL THE DEVIL!", and any other embarrassing, SPINAL TAP-like heavy metal cliches. Sean Peck was giving me and my friend the mic all night long and we had a fucking blast imitating Peck's high screams and doing growls and shit, so damn tight. I thoroughly enjoyed their set even though it leaned heavily on the "Hell Destroyer" stuff, that shit was so much fun live, reveling in the self-parody and ridiculousness of metal. I can see how MANOWAR shows must be a total blast One of their guitarists looked like a body builder too, so that just sealed the deal The old songs they did were my favorites though, and overall they really capped the night well. Setlist is from memory, not in order except for opener and closer.

Final Solution
I Am The King
Kill The Devil
King Diamond
Hell Destroyer
Metal Devil
Wings Of Destruction
From Death To Legend

Even though I'm way too tired and my body aches way too much to head out to the thrash show with FOG OF WAR and others tonight in Berkeley, I eagerly await another night full of mosh pits, stage dives, metal necks, headaches, fist pumps, high screams, backpatches, and puke
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