Manowar, Immortal, Catastrophic, and Havochate
Graceland, Seattle WA
Here I am again with another Seattle show review. Infinite Productions brought us this one and, as usual, it was an early (6 PM) show. What wasn’t so typical is that for the first time in a long while I was unable to secure permission to photograph the bands. From what I understand this is due to Manowar not allowing photography in the venues on this tour. That I did have a good time just watching the bands play so I can’t complain too much!
New York’s Havochate started off the night. They played a 30 minute long set that didn’t seem to do a thing to the typically hard to please Seattle crowd. Their frontman, Jon Mallek, looked like a young Ric Flair and had the mannerisms and posturing of Udo Dirkschneider. He had a vocal style somewhat like David Wayne (Reverend/ex Metal Church) but with much less range and a “shoutier” delivery. He did his best to get the crowd going but nothing seemed to work. The music sounded like that of many of the local bands I saw at the Lake Hills Roller Rink in the mid 80’s, pretty much just standard metal with some thrashier elements. The musicians were talented and played well together but the music was just a little too generic to do anything for me.
Next up was Catastrophic, also from New York. The crowd didn’t respond much at first but picked up substantially after a couple of tracks. Not many seemed to recognize Trevor Peres on guitars but that didn’t seem to bother him one bit and he played just as well as ever. His guitar had the same sound it did in the Obituary days, I liked it then and I like it now! Unfortunately I couldn’t hear Brian Hobbie’s bass from where I was standing so some of the guitar solos sounded a bit odd. Keith DeVito did a fine job as frontman and was able to get what looked like the only pit action of the night going on a few occasions. Rob Maresca was great on drums and had some killer facial expressions to accompany his playing. They played a quick 30 minute set that featured a few songs off their debut CD “The Cleansing” and several new ones like “The Day the Earth Died”. Get out to see these guys if you get the chance, they kick ass and deserve the support!
After ten years and seven albums Immortal is the only original Norwegian black metal bands that is still together and hasn’t changed their style drastically. Couple this with the fact that they were making their first Seattle appearance and you have a lot of people (your reviewer included) that were very excited to see this band. Despite having no sound check (their sound man went home shortly before the show) and therefore some sound issues Immortal proved that they are the true kings of Norse black metal. Abbath appeared to be a bit rusty on his axe during the opener, “Demonium”, but that rust broke free the time they started “Damned in Black”. He effortlessly combined simultaneous guitar and vocals and managed some sick facial expressions under his heavy corpsepaint. Drummer Horgh is a beast on the kit and was able to flawlessly reproduce the studio work in the live situation. Like most of the European drummers I’ve watched he barely seemed to break a sweat despite working his ass off for an hour. Saroth seems to be a great replacement for Iscariah on the bass and fits in well with the rest of the band. The place was pretty packed for Immortal and almost everyone was totally into it for the duration of their set. My highlights included “Damned in Black”, “Sons of Northern Darkness”, and the closer “Blashyrk (Mighty Raven Dark)”. Immortal had my head banging from start to finish; I hope they can come back as headliners in the near future.
Immortal set list:
Damned in Black
One by One
Sons of Northern Darkness
Withstand the Fall Of Time
Battles in The North
Blashyrk (Mighty Raven Dark)
To be completely honest I have never been much of a Manowar fan and have not owned a single album. I expected their set to stink but I’ll give any band a chance in a live situation. After Immortal finished their set (and a 40 minute break of generic medieval sounding music) I thought that most of the people attending would either leave or be too tired to really get into Manowar. I was wrong.
The lights went down, the band came on the stage and the thunder of the “Kings of Metal” hit my ears. I saw a lot of extra sound gear on the stage while the other bands were playing but just realized what it was there for. I’m really glad I remembered my earplugs because this band of warriors is just as loud as I have always heard. The crowd was completely different than it was during Immortal and the vibe had changed dramatically as well. Eric Adams delivered some powerful clean vocals and displayed an impressive range. Not only were his technical skills impressive but he really knew how to get an audience going. The majority of the people at the Graceland sang along with the choruses, responded wildly to between song banter (“This is a true metal crowd in Seattle, allright!”), and held their arms up in the “Sign of the Hammer”. Guitarist Karl Logan was quite the showman, striking intense poses during solos, guitar swinging in synch with the bassist, and doing all the tried and true metal moves during his ten-odd minute solo. Joey DeMaio played like a virtuoso, squeezing every conceivable note out of his petite piccolo bass in an extremely fluid fashion. Like the guitarist he was also given the opportunity to display his chops during a lengthy solo. He showed that he can captivate an audience as well as anyone else when he told the story of a kid from Seattle who beat an abusive father like a dog after 4 years of listening to Manowar and taking karate lessons. No solo from drummer Scott Columbus but he kept the beat like a trooper. I’m still not much of a Manowar fan but after seeing them live I have a new respect for them and what they do. After all, they kept me watching their entertaining show until the end! They are very good at playing Heavy Metal in a live setting and are true professionals in their live performance.
Manowar set list (corrections welcome):
Blood of my Enemies
Warriors of the World United
Kill with Power
Heart of Steel
Bass solo/Sting of the Bumblebee
Fighting the World
Kings of Metal
Sign of the Hammer
House of Death (?)
Hail and Kill
Black Wind Fire and Steel
Havochate web site: http://www.havochate.com/
Catastrophic web site: http://www.catastrophic.org
Immortal web site: http://www.immortal.nu
Manowar web site: http://www.manowar.com/
Metal Blade Records: http://www.metalblade.com/
Nuclear Blast Records: http://www.nuclearblast.de/
Rating: 9 /10