Infernal Majesty / Meatlocker Seven / Antiquus
Saturday May 21, 2005
Vancouver, BC Canada
**Live Review & All Photos By Lord of The Wasteland
Another night?but not just another metal show! This lineup was a unique one blending the old with the new as up-and-coming local newbies, Antiquus, shared the stage with Victoria?s painfully underrated Meatlocker Seven and the classic thrash stylings of the mighty Infernal Majesty. For a Saturday night, the crowd was surprisingly thin but this was one of the better small club shows I have seen recently as all three bands put on memorable sets.
Antiquus is riding high on the recent release of their brilliant debut CD, RAMAYANA, and having seen them just a few weeks earlier (read review here), the band seems to have improved even in that short time. Their mix of traditional power metal and epic storytelling is captivating on CD but vocalist Jesse White weaves quite a yarn in the live setting, delivering narratives and spoken word passages that tie the tales together. The guitar tandem of Geoff Way and newest member Trevor Leonard (ex-Fireign) drop extended solos and powerful riffs that would not be out of place on an Iced Earth or Iron Maiden album. Despite RAMAYANA being released a month ago, the band is already crafting new tracks for its follow-up and tested the waters with three of them that will continue on with the Ramayana concept. ?A Beautiful Stag? is Antiquus? calling card, in my opinion, as it embodies everything that makes this band great?engaging lyrics with strong vocals, a stellar solo and enough changes of pace to separate Antiquus from the throngs of power metal dross. Antiquus are definitely ones to watch in the future.
O Captain, My Captain (New Track)
Ramayana Part II – A Beautiful Stag
Ramayana Part III – The Hunt
Elutheria (New Track)
Redemption (New Track)
Meatlocker Seven made a rare trip off of Vancouver Island and were warmly received. I was impressed with their 2003 release, THE BIOLOGICAL MECHANISM OF HATE, but never caught their live set before but all the underground fuss about them is perfectly warranted. This is a damn good band that deserves more than indie releases and spotty local tour stops. Their thrash attack has been honed to perfection and left me wanting more than their brief half-hour set allowed. Bassist (and EvilG look-alike!!) Steve Migliarese and guitarist Mike Selman have been the backbone of this band since its inception in 1995 but two new members?drummer Lincoln McCulloch and guitarist Darryl Curran?were making only their third appearance with Meatlocker Seven and they fit in like old-timers. The band unleashed a stunning cover of Sacrifice?s ?Re-animation? and while not many people knew the song right off the bat, the opening chords were unmistakable to anyone who watched The Power Hour on Much Music back in the mid-80s. One person in attendance who DID get it was Rob Uribinati?former vocalist of Sacrifice and current frontman of Tenet, a death metal project with Gene Hoglan and Jed Simon from Strapping Young Lad. Even Trev from Antiquus came out and joined the small mosh pit that had formed to the Canadian thrash classic! Vocalist Bram Harvey mocked the shabby neighborhood and dismal conditions inside of The Brickyard throughout their set, however, when the roof sprung a leak and water began steadily dripping on to the floor, the staff?s solution was to use the bucket that holds the band?s beer as a receptacle. CLASSY!!!
Infernal Majesty is a bit of an anomaly. After releasing NONE SHALL DEFY in 1987?an album that would be come a cult thrash classic?they dropped off the face of the Earth for eleven years before releasing another album (UNHOLIER THAN THOU) and then kept fans waiting another six years before ONE WHO POINTS TO DEATH came out in 2004. Original vocalist Chris Bailey played the first leg of this tour (read Rick & EvilG?s reviews of the two St. John?s shows here) and then inexplicably left the band, so in stepped local boy Brian Langley of Mecha Messiah to helm the mike. This was Langley?s first show with Infernal Majesty and his nerves definitely showed despite having the lyrics to every song in the set at his feet. Langley fits the bill perfectly, both visually and vocally, so long-time fans need not worry that the band is suffering in the least. The rest of the band, including original guitarists Steve Terror and Kenny Hallman, are pure old-school, complete with long hair, black leather vests and pants, studded gauntlets, etc. One thing Infernal Majesty will never be accused of is selling out! Sadly, most of the crowd left before Infernal Majesty?s set with only about 40-50 people remaining. Those who did were treated to a longer-than-usual 65-minute set from the band culled entirely from NONE SHALL DEFY and ONE WHO POINTS TO DEATH, with the exception of ?Roman Song? and a brand new track (?Burnt Beyond Recognition?) that will show up on their new CD in October 2005. ?Overlord? and ?None Shall Defy? were crushing and even newer tracks like ?Cathedral of Hate? and ?Honey Tongue of Satan? showed you can teach old dogs new tricks. Unfortunately, all of the bands were plagued by a ?temp? sound guy who just couldn?t get it together and Infernal Majesty fared the worst. Eric Dubreuil?s bass was barely audible throughout their entire set despite constant complaints. Even with the leaking roof, technical difficulties and only a handful of audience members, Infernal Majesty pounded through the songs like a runaway train, devastating everything in its path. Langley also announced that the band will be opening for Overkill during a rare west coast stop on September 15th, so that show is sure to smoke.
***Thanks to Steve at Fireball Productions for the last minute addition to the guestlist.