Heart of Steel: Concert Reviews


ONE WHO POINTS TO DEATH
Canadian Tour 2004

CLB Armory
St. John's, NL  Canada
July 15th, 2004

Review & Pictures - EvilG

When I saw the tour listings on InfernalMajesty.ca I didn’t believe it. There were two dates listed for St. John’s, NL, Canada. These Canadian thrash metal legends had never played out here before and I thought for sure it was a typo and was meant to read “St. John, NB”. So I e-mailed the band and got a reply from their guitarist, Kenny Hallman, saying it was indeed true!!!

Infernal Majesty's 2 shows in St. John’s ended up being a part of a festival put together by Jesse Walker. The festival was called the “709 Metal Fest”. The first night of the festival was all ages at the CLB, while the second show was a bar show at CBTGS. Even though I had planned to go to both shows, due to a family emergency, I ended up only being able to attend the all ages CLB appearance so that is the show I’ll be reviewing. Fellow MR scribe, Rick, was able to attend the second night and his comments will follow my review and pictures.

 


Kenny Hallman, Infernal Majesty

I arrived at the venue, the CLB, in time to catch most of Cyprian’s set. The band is new and is local to the St. John’s area. They played some originals and covers. The stand out was their cover of “Speed of Light” by Stratovarius. I’ve yet to hear any bands here cover something like that since most have been from the death and core spectrum. Hopefully we’ll hear more from this young band soon.

After Cyprian’s set, another local St. John’s metal band called Commoname took to the stage. They started out in fine form playing a crushing cover of “1776” by Iced Earth. Sadly, it was downhill from there as they started to interject too much Green Day happy punk into what could otherwise was a good metal band. I don’t want to diss them, so I'll just say that they were not really my thing. They do play well, but anything punk is not my thing.

After Commoname, Entropy took to the stage. There have been at least 2-3 other band’s with the name Entropy in the global metal scene, but these guys hail from Corner Brook on the west coast of the island of NL. The poster for the festival had them listed as “technical brutal death metal”. They definitely got one word right in the description – BRUTAL! They were unfortunately not a technical death metal like Death or Theory in Practice but were moreso grindcore. Lacking in coherent song structure, hooks, or melody, I bowed out 3 songs in and went next door to Tim Horton’s for a break. Good thing I did because as luck would have it, Steve Terror, guitarist for Infernal Majesty, was there by himself so we got to hang out and chat about all things metal for about a ½ hour. Too bad I hadn’t planned things better and taken a recorder to do an interview. How Canadian and metal is that...talking to a cult thrash metal icon at a fucking Canadian coffee shop…anyway, back to the music.

 

Dead Jesus

After returning to the venue, it was time to see just what the band Dead Jesus were all about. The band is from Edmonton Alberta, Canada, and this was also their first time playing in NL. They have Infernal Majesty to thank for bringing them out on the road across Canada. Before I go further, I have to tell you what Dead JesusCLB stands for: Church Lads Brigade. Imagine that, “DEAD JESUS Live at the CHURCH LADS BRIGADE”. Fucked up or what? I bet those who run the CLB didn’t realize the craziness they had invited into their hallowed armory! To be honest, I didn’t have high hopes for Dead Jesus because of the band’s name. I am not a religious person, but I’m also not impressed by juvenile anti-god drivel (I prefer my anti-god drivel to be more sophisticated these days...ha!) like I might have been when I was 15. The band name alone begs for attention...thing is, the most attention I think they’ll get is from “evil” young teens and from bible thumpers looking for a target in the metal world. However, when they played I was into it. The rhythm guitars, bass, and drumming were top notch. The vocals were also not too bad although the backing vocalist sounded a bit like a crow…ha! I wasn’t familiar with the band’s music, so I don’t know what songs they played. The music was a mixture of death metal and black metal without relying on too much blasting but more on well chosen riffs and varied tempos. The riffing was melodic, chunky, and well executed. The only downside, on strictly the music side of things, was the absence of lead guitar. There were some slight "lead" melody lines, but nothing resembling a guitar solo. That was a real bummer for me! Overall, Dead Jesus were an entertaining band to see live.

I guess I should mention the stage act of the lead singer of Dead Jesus. Some people would probably be offended by it; some might think it was “sick” and love it…and me? Well I was amused by it, but as mentioned earlier this whole anti-Jesus stuff has been done 666 million times and is not shocking to me. The grossest thing he did was make cuts on his forehead and forearm and smear blood all over his face. The other “shocking” thing he did was rip up a bible. The good part though was when he lit it on fire and ate some burning pages…now that’s a little sicker!

Dead Jesus, being the nice guys they are, actually let the local metal band Fireign open for headliners Infernal Majesty this night! There was a good reason - it was Fireign’s last show ever. A mostly drunken Fireign took to the stage and proceeded to play one of the best performances of their short metal career. Asses were kicked, and a violent pit took shape along with plenty of crowd surfing and stage diving. Lead vocalist/bassist, Harry, had his unique brand of humorous drunken stage banter on display with comments like “looks like there are a lot of little sluts here tonight”, and “Are you going to quit fingering your pussy Trev, or play a fucking song?” and my favorite was when someone had lost there glasses and he said “Thow them up here so I can trample them with my mammoth hooves”. Ha! The band totally had the energy flowing and their fans were in the palm of their hand. They played all originals and ended the show with their “hit” song “Killer in the Night”. The fans really went wild on the last one showing the band what they’ve meant to them and to the local metal scene of St. John’s over the past couple years…they will be missed!!

In hindsight, I think it was a mistake to place Fireign in the slot before Infernal Majesty. Fireign should of went on last for one main reason…1/2 of the place was there to see Fireign and Fireign only. The other bands on the bill were just filler for some who probably were not even born when Infernal Majesty unleashed the glorious NONE SHALL DEFY album in 1987. Why many of these kids left after Fireign is a mystery. Perhaps they don’t like metal? Perhaps it was past their deadtime? Perhaps they don’t like to hear new bands….whatever the excuse is, is inexcusable. Of the 400 or so bodies who went to the show, I would estimate that easily ½ of them left after Fireign and did not come back to witness what was a brilliant performance by Infernal Majesty.


 

 

Infernal Majesty took to the stage in full classic thrash gear. Lots of leather, spikes, evil arm bands, etc. After meeting the band off stage it was remarkable to see the shift in their demeanor when they took to the stage. It was immediately clear that they were deadly serious, professional, and were about to unleash hell. The first song they played is arguably their best, or at least most recognized, song thanks to its somewhat frequent appearance on the power hour back in the day. Of course this song is the title track from the band’s debut album, “None Shall Defy”!!! They played the song like it was 1987 all over again.

 

 

Lead vocalist Chris Bailey despite having cut off all his hair still has his voice. The other 2 original members, guitarist’s Kenny Hallman and Steve Terror also still have it and are all in great shape. Both guitarists were playing Jackson Randy Rhoads style slying V’s which alone look very fucking metal. Their guitar sound was awesome! I spent the first part of the gig on Kenny’s side of the stage and then moved over to Steve’s. Being right up front, only 10 metres from their Marshall stacks, meant I was hearing mostly guitars…which was fine but the vocals were low in the mix right up front. The main speakers were above and slightly behind so I moved back to the middle and just behind the pit for the remainder of the gig where the sound was better…but could have been louder!!

 

I didn’t bring a notepad to write down every song they played, and the band didn’t have set lists taped down anywhere for me to take after the gig so I can’t remember every song that was played. From the NONE SHALL DEFY album I know for a fact they played “Overlorde” because it was introduced with the words (and I’m paraphrasing here) “this song is dedicated to our forefathers who fought and who lost their lives on the beaches of Normandy…this is Overlorde”. Great song, and even greater to hear it live! If memory serves, they also tore through “R.I.P.”, “Night of the Living Dead”, “S.O.S.” and “Skeletons in the Closet” from their debut.

To be honest the rest of a blur…the only other one I’m 100% sure of is that they played “One Who Points to Death”, the title track from their killer new album. They played other new songs as well and I was pleased that when played live the old and new sound much closer together than they do when listening to the studio albums.


If Infernal Majesty is playing your area…go see them! Even if you are not familiar with them, but you like some thrash metal you will be won over once you get to see them live. I hope they get to play here in St. John’s again before too long!!!
 


Thanks to: Jesse Walker (709 Festival organizer), and to Infernal Majesty for playing some awesome classic thrash metal for the fans in St. John’s!


Day 2 - Infernal Majesty
CBTG'S, July 16th 2004

Review by Rick
Live Pictures by Vicki King

Writing concert reviews is not something that I get to do often as very few (as in no) shows ever come anywhere near our little out of the way city. So when I heard that Canadian Thrash Legends Infernal Majesty were coming to St. John’s I almost did a back flip and a half. The band were to headline both nights of the 709 Metalfest with Alberta band Dead Jesus plus a number of local bands in support. Thursday Night was to be an all ages show at a fairly large venue while Friday was supposed to be a club show. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend the all ages show on Thursday Night so it was off to local club CBTG’s for the Friday bar show.

Now to preface the evening I have to first say that CBTG’s is one of the smallest clubs that I have ever had the pleasure of entering. But no one really seemed to mind. The venue was small and the heat was almost unbearable and the first band up when we entered was local death metal unit Corporal Punishment. This was my first chance to see them and they put on a great show. They played a variety of originals and closed their set with a cover of “Heartwork” by Carcass.

Up next was another local band by the name of Miscreation. They played a couple of originals but unfortunately I didn’t catch their names. By this time the heat in the club had become unbearable so we retreated to the deck where the guys from Infernal Majesty and Dead Jesus were hanging out with the local metalheads.

After Miscreation came off the stage there was a small break as Dead Jesus set up their gear. Now I had heard that the band had an interesting stage show so we headed back inside the club to get a good spot. That didn’t last long. As soon as the band ripped into their opening track the place filled up and we were soon in a sea of banging heads and moshing bodies. Being so far back in the crowd I didn’t see lead singer Calvin Fehr slit his forhead till the blood flowed. Just before the second set of “hymns” Fehr then produced a Bible and as the songs progressed he tore it to pieces, set it on fire and ate its smoking and blood-covered pages! By the end of the show he was sporting an automatic pistol in his blood-covered hands. The music was great and Dead Jesus definitely delivered on the stage show.

Dead Jesus
Dead Jesus vocalist

 

After the Dead Jesus gear was cleared away Infernal Majesty were set to take the stage. I made sure that I would get a good spot this time and went right up in front by the bar to make sure I could see. In minutes Infernal Majesty took the stage decked out in full spikes and leather gear. The chords of “None Shall Defy” kicked off the mayhem as heads banged to Infernal Majesty’s classic thrash sound. Infernal Majesty went on to play both old and new material including songs from their new album ONE WHO POINTS TO DEATH and some classics such as “Overlord”, “Night of the Living Dead” and a favourite of mine, “Skeletons in the Closet”. The show was energetic and even though the crowd began to thin late in the set because of the late hour, Infernal Majesty didn’t let their fans down. They put on one of the best sets of metal that St. John’s has ever seen and left us screaming for more. Hopefully they are true to their word and come back in the winter. All bow before Infernal Majesty…



Visit Infernal Majesty's website
www.InfernalMajesty.ca