Overkill, 3 Inches of Blood & Purified In Blood
@ O2 Islington Academy
7th October 2012
Review by Joffie Lovett
Photography by Michelle Murphy
It’s a warm Sunday evening in Islington and a mass of Metal fans are gathered at the entrance to the O2 Academy. Each person seems to have a smile on their face, whether young or old as whether you’re a long-time fan of Overkill or whether you’re seeing them for the first time, you know that this is a band that will deliver nothing short of an ass-kicker of a show and more!
After a short wait and a quick hello to a few of the band members and security guys I have the pleasure of doing a quick interview with Shane Clark from 3 Inches Of Blood before it’s time to check out the next band on stage, Purified In Blood.
Purified In Blood
Hailing from Norway and bringing their own unique brand of Metal to the shores of England on this tour, Purified In Blood delivered a high energy and heavy groove laden set to get the people of London suitably warmed up for the Thrash Metal that lay ahead for the rest of the night.
Fusing elements of Melodic Death Metal with the modern grooves of bands like Lamb of God and Killswich Engage, Purified in Blood have an interesting mixture of sounds between the American influences that they clearly have and the Norwegian roots of each member of the band.
In places the songs were broken up with faster blast beat sections that mixed small amount of a Black Metal element into the music and a backing track of Norwegian folk chanting even played over a couple of songs as well. So the variety of sounds and influences was really interesting to hear and for the most part it didn’t sound like too much of a mish-mash of styles.
Each band member looked extremely fired up and happy to be playing in the UK as well and the audience seemed all to happy be watching them. The singer (Hallgeir Skretting Enokssen) also managed to get a pretty decent sized pit going for the latter half of their set and got things really going after leaping over the barrier with Microphone in hand and performing a couple of songs amongst the moshpit much to the enjoyment of the crowd and photographers.
The security guys looked a bit perplexed as to how to react to it though but it was a fun experience and something that creates good memories of a gig when something slightly out of the ordinary happens like that. All in all I really enjoyed Purified In Blood for my first experience of them, a very tight band that create a really cool and interesting mixture of American Metal/Hardcore with a few Norwegian influences mixed in to give it a bit of uniqueness.
The live performance from all the band members was pretty spot on and I don’t think there was a single person in the place who wasn’t fired up by Purified in Blood’s set and all the more ready for the next band 3 Inches of Blood by the time these guys had finished.
3 Inches of Blood
Despite a number of line-up changes over their history and now being one of those rare bands that features no original members, 3 Inches Of Blood continue to go from strength to strength and with the release of their new album Long Live Heavy Metal and the new music video for the track Leather Lord the popularity of the band is ever increasing.
The band takes to the stage and launches quickly into an almighty rendition of Leather Lord and Deadly Sinners. It’s clear at this point that 3 Inches Of Blood’s NWOBHM style sound has been received extremely well in the UK as a lot of people were screaming along the lyrics to each of these songs word for word, and with material this powerful and utterly Metal in every sense of the word, it’s difficult not to!
Cam Pipes wore his usual most excellently decorated patch jacket displaying not only their love for the more traditional Metal bands but also giving a nod to a number of their influences.
The rest of the band for most part remain in their positions for the majority of the show and stay slightly static save for a bit of headbanging, but the music is so powerful alone that this doesn’t really flag up as too much of an issue (as with other bands it can make things a bit lack lustre) and Cam Pipes does enough of a good job of keeping the crowd’s adrenaline going on his own.
The set then continues with a dedication to all the ladies in the audience with Metal Woman and a whirlwind performance of Destroy The Orcs that got the audience really headbanging. Cam Pipes was on pretty much the highest (no pun intended) form that he could be in that night and delivered a vocal performance that would easily rank highly next to bands like Iced Earth and Judas Priest, and the rest band performed as a well versed riff delivering, face melting, guitar shredding machine.
Tonight 3 Inches of Blood put on an absolutely blinding performance that put a smile on everyone’s faces! If you’ve yet to see this band live then go see them soon, you’ll be guaranteed to see something extremely good when you do.
3 Inches of Blood setlist
Revenge Is A Vulture
Destroy The Orcs
Battles And Brotherhood
The Goatrider’s Horde
It’s then time for one of the greatest and most legendary names in Thrash Metal to take the stage, the mighty Overkill!
The anticipation builds as the intro to Come And Get It plays out of the PA and the band unleashes a barrage of fast paced Thrash Metal aggression. Bobby Blitz leaps into life and screams out of the PA with his signature high pitched vocals and right from the start the crowd erupts into an almighty moshpit filled with a shirtless mixture of young and old fans, as well as a few pretty huge and mental looking skin head guys that looked like they could bring down a house.
It really was quite amazing to see the crowd go from being pretty static to absolute sweat soaked chaos in just a matter of a few power chords!
Bobby Blitz then takes a moment to announce to the crowd “this next one comes from the Self Help section of the Overkill catalogue!” and with that comes Bring Me The Night from the Ironbound album and with its more classic speed metal/NWOBHM sound this song goes down very well with the London crowd. The pit seemed to grow bigger with each track that came and the band were absolutely loving the energy from the crowd as you could see that all of the members (Bobby Blitz especially) were really feeding off of it.
Rotten To The Core comes next and after speaking once more with the crowd for a little bit Mr Blitz continues to deliver his poetic musings in his usual awesome way of complimenting and lightly insulting the audience in the same breath with all the cynical kindness of Moe Syzlak from The Simpsons. When announcing the song title he said “you know, wherever you go and wherever you play around the world… …Metalheads always seem to all smell the same…”. Only a man such as Bobby Blitz could make such a statement with a smile and almost make it seem like a compliment, a truly legendary frontman until the end!
Other highlights from the show included an absolutely jaw dropping performance of Electric Rattlesnake combined with a crowd that was absolutely tearing each other to pieces! This was absolutely something that was amazing to witness as it was really just like standing in the middle of one of those classic 80’s semi-live music videos that so many Thrash Metal bands had made back in the day, where all hell is breaking loose in the crowd and the band absolutely destroys with their performance. This was the reality during Overkill’s performance tonight and everyone in attendance was impressed with what they were seeing.
The 3 song trio of Thunderhead, Old School and the return of an absolute classic from The Years of Decay album Who Tends The Fire was (for this long time Overkill fan) an absolute honour to witness. The live sound of the entire band during Thunderhead (as well as the rest of the show) made it sound 100 times better than the studio version, which is a real rarity amongst a lot of bands, and the crowd participation during Old School was so great and every audience member was singing along in such a way that I was looking to see the reaction of the regular bar staff on either side of the venue and they were pretty blown away with what they were seeing from the crowd.
Who Tends The Fire had a really impressive light show synchronised up with the band during the intro of the track (which was extended for the live performance) which consisted of an eerie red glow falling over the venue and a slow searchlight effect over the audience with some of the spotlights. It’s all the little details like this that make for a truly awesome and memorable show and Overkill always make sure of the particulars such as this when playing live making them still one of the absolute must see Metal bands in the world.
An emphatic performance of In Union We Stand and a fast paced adrenaline fuelled Elimination then follow to end off the set and the crowd start a deafeningly loud chant of “FUCK YOU!” before the encore of Coma, Fuck You and Powersurge. At the end of the night both young fans and old are leaving tonight satisfied that they have witnessed quite simply one of the finest live Thrash Metal bands that you will ever see in the world today. Never mind the other names out there, Overkill are a band that connect with their audience with a real working man’s honesty in a way that I don’t think any other big name Thrash Metal band really does and remain as humble towards their fans as they can be.
Tonight, like every other night that I have had the honour and pleasure of seeing Overkill, Bobby Blitz and co demonstrate why the original names of Thrash are still the strongest, especially given the strength of their latest material both in the studio and live. The special relationship between Overkill and London lives on and we all wait with baited breath towards the next full on Thrash Metal assault from these true titans of the Metal world.
Come And Get It
Bring Me The Night
Rotten To The Core
Hello From The Gutter
Who Tends The Fire
In Union We Stand