The Ivory Blacks in Glasgow always seems to be a bit of a hit or miss venue. It’s one of those venues which should be amazing, but yet the sound quality there has, on occasion been known to ruin the whole gig for both bands and audience alike. For this reason we were slightly nervous about tonight’s show. The CackBlabbath team have a lot of love for the joint headline acts, Toxic Holocaust and Exhumed and I personally was not too keen on my first time seeing them live being ruined by this.
My mind was initially put at ease however when local support Kingpin took to the stage and greeted us with their groove metal stylings and some of the most intense drumming I have seen from an underground band in a while. Their frontman delivered his aggressive vocals with passion and although they may not as yet be the tightest live band as a whole, he certainly got the crowd warmed up for the following acts. So far so good.
Next up were fellow Glaswegian lads (with one token Swede…), Exile the Traitor. We here at CackBlabbath first came across these boys at the end of Summer 2013 and were instantly blown away by their talent, sense of fun and general comradery as a band. We have kept a close eye on these guys since then, catching up with them towards the end of 2013 at one of their Dundee gigs for a quick chat (you can read the interview here) and were very excited to catch them again for the first time since the new year. The set kicked off well but unfortunately within seconds of the first track, there were sound issues resulting in one of the guitars not being heard at all and it was clear the band were having problems onstage. Ever the professionals however, the boys powered through with smiles on their faces and frontman Anton did an incredible job of keeping spirits high and blasting his vocals out to the crowd.
A highlight of the set was the inclusion of one of their new tracks, written about The Evil Dead; perfectly matching their dark, horror themed style. A disappointing set overall due to matters outside the boys’ control… luckily for me though I was able to catch them in Edinburgh the following night where they blew the other bands off the stage. If you are a fan of Black Dahlia Murder or At The Gates I would highly encourage you to check these guys out.
Desperately hoping the sound issues would soon be rectified, we stood back and watched Exhumed take the stage. Regardless of what they sound like, one thing that is clear from the off is that Exhumed are a band who like to have fun and do not take themselves too seriously. Their music is heavy, their songs are silly, they know how to put on a show and the crowd were loving it. During the set we are treated to a stagediving surgeon wielding a fake chainsaw into the front row of the audience and the nonsense of this helps everyone forget for a second that we can barely hear the vocals and once again their appears to be issues with guitar sound. Unfortunately this doesn’t last long and once again frustration sets back in. When a sound system can make a band as good as Exhumed sound bad, something is desperately wrong. Another disappointing set to add to the tally.
Final act of the night is the insanely talented guys from Toxic Holocaust. Sound issues quickly become a distant memory as the band tear into their thrash filled set, encouraging the crowd up onto stage to continue the stage diving fun which Exhumed had started. These guys are energetic, fast paced, never miss a note and single-handedly suddenly make the trip through to Glasgow more than worth it.
Although disappointingly playing very little material from the latest album, ‘Chemistry of Consciousness’, they still blast out a packed set featuring highlights such as ‘War is Hell’ and ‘Nuke the Cross’ from their 2008 album ‘An Overdose of Death’; arguably one of their strongest records. Before they leave the stage they give the crowd a two track encore before thanking the Glasgow crowd and heading back to the merch stand to pose for pictures and chat to their fans, proving that although extremely talented, also very nice guys.