Testament – Headline
The Bay Strikes Back European Tour 2020 – leg 1 –
Exodus – special guest
Death Angel – support act
Amager Bio, Copenhagen, Denmark
6/2 – 2020
Live review and pictures by: Anders Sandvall
Christmas came really early for fans of thrash metal when Testament headed out on a European together with Exodus and Death Angel. The tour kicked off in Copenhagen and the show sold out pretty fast. Besides Copenhagen the tour also paid a visit to Sweden, Norway and Finland before they continued further down in Europe. Death Angel opened the show, Exodus came in the middle and Testament ended the event. Now that Slayer is retired I think that Testament must be considered as one of the bigger names in the thrash genre and I was really looking forward to see what the bands was cooking up for the fans.
The doors to the old movie theater opened at 6 and we were let into the venue, the doors to the actual hall was closed so I took a closer look at the merchandise as I waited for the time to pass. Testament brought a long numerous of shirts with different prints but I couldn’t see any vinyls or CD’s at all. Soundcheck was still going on but silenced as the fans were let into the hall about 30 minutes later. Exodus didn’t sell any albums either but Death Angel did and since the show was sold out the organizers had opened the balconies in the hall which they only do if there’s a sold out event going on.
Death Angel’s been active since forever and released their debut album back in 1987, the band was on hiatus in between 1991-2001 but kicked off their action again in 2001 and their latest studio album HUMANICIDE came last year and today the band only got two remaining original members in the line up.
The venue was filled pretty fast and the wait for the show to begin started and soon it was time for Death Angel to take on the stage.
“Humanicide” opened the show and it was full speed straight away, the fans barely had time to catch their breath until “Voracious Souls” continued and I couldn’t but be impressed by these legends on stage. The fans was as lit as the band and there were no doubt the band had been missed by the their Danish fans. The line up today is:
Rob Cavestany – guitar
Mark Osegueda – lead vocals
Ted Aguilar – guitar
Will Carroll – drums
Damien Sisson – bass
There weren’t much space on stage for the members to move around on and they pretty much stood solid on their spot throughout the show. “Claws In So Deep” followed as well as “Aggressor” and “The Dream Calls For Blood”. The mandatory circle pit was a fact as the show moved on and already now the temperature began to reach really hot. Osegueda said the band always got a nice connection to Denmark and that they had been visiting the country many times before. Thanks for showing up tonight he said, are you ready for a song from the album THE EVIL DIVIDE? Here is “The Moth”. Osegueda had the fans in the palm of his hands during the show and the rest of the band backed him up really strong. Osegueda said United we will never fall… and “Seemingly Endless Time” followed. The band really traveled back in time with that song which is taken from the 1990 year album ACT III.
“The Ultra-Violence” followed and as it ended an intro was heard through the speakers and Osegueda said the band only got one more song to play in “Thrown To The Wolves”. Osegueda said We are Death Angel and we play thrash metal and that ended the show. The members thanked the fans and headed off the stage.
Well what a way of opening this tour package with Death Angel! It was full speed ahead and the crowd loved it. Too bad the band didn’t have proper lighting and mostly stood in dark performing. Luckily the sound system worked much better and did the bands music justice. I was really impressed by Death Angel and the night had only begun.
Claws In So Deep
The Dream Calls For Blood
Seemingly Endless Time
The Ultra-Violence/Thrown To The Wolves
Just as Death Angel also Exodus has been active since forever, and just like Death Angel Exodus have been inactive a few times. This time around the band reformed back in 2001 and since 2014 old singer Steve Zetro Souza handles the mic. The band haven’t released an album since the 2014 year album BLOOD IN BLOOD OUT came and it’s really about time for the guys to unveil something new now. Maybe now when Gary Holt is back in the band things are about to happen.
A new drum set was put in place by the crew and a lot of speakers were placed on the stage. As always in Denmark, the fans went out in the lobby in order to purchase beer in wait for the next band and it was only the Swedish fans that stood solid in wait for Exodus. It took the crew about 35 minutes to prepare the stage for Exodus but finally, it was time for another round of bay area thrash metal. The Venom song “Black Metal” marked it was time for Exodus to make their way on stage.
The fans shouted as soon as they saw the members coming out on stage, Souza showed up after the intro to “Body Harvest” been played and just like during the Death Angel show it was full speed ahead. The fans closest to the stage headbanged through the first song and continued doing so in “Deliver Us To Evil”. Line up in the band today is:
Steve Zetro Souza – lead vocals
Gary Holt – guitar
Jack Gibson – bass
Lee Altus – guitar
Tom Hunting – drums
Unfortunately I thought the sound system didn’t work in favor of the band, it was too loud and the vocals was a bit too low in the mix, from time to time the sound disappeared shortly and it sparked in the amps. The fans didn’t seem to mind the unsolid sound system and banged their heads like maniacs. Souza thanked the fans for being there and asked if they band should talk or play? Let’s play “Blood In Blood Out”. Of course a circle pit had formed in front of the stage and Souza wanted the fans to say hi to Holt that once again was with the band. Souza said Holt was a “Fabulous Disaster” and laughed. It was a blast to see Holt re-united with Exodus again, I have waited for this day to happen.
Souza said the tour package was formed the bands wanted to kick off the tour in Denmark because the fans here mean so much to the bands. The fans all shouted at the top of their lungs when they heard what he said, here Copenhagen comes “Iconoclasm”. All of the members felt on fire on stage and that they had a really good time together. We love you all Souza said and it’s so nice to be spending this night together with you all, let’s play a song that we haven’t done live for a while and not with Gary in the band, the lyrics written by Gary is the best one he’s ever written and the song is taken from SHOVEL HEADED KILL MACHINE, here is “Deathamphetamine”. Souza had the fans to shout hey hey and he is a great frontman and an excellent singer to say the least.
“Blacklist” followed after which the members left the stage, the fans kept on screaming for more and the band re-entered the stage as Gibson asked if we wanted to hear more music. Souza thanked the fans for an amazing night and gave a shout out to Death Angel and Testament. Are you ready to go back where it all began? Say it together with us “Bonded By Blood”, that made the fans go crazy and Souza let the fans take over the chorus. You’re all amazing he said, I can guarantee that we all are bounded by blood forever. Ok we got two more songs to play, no we have one more I mean Souza said, are you ready to “Strike of the Beast”. Souza had the fans divide in two sides and it was time for a wall of death. He said the band is working on a new album that are coming out soon, and those words together with a thank you abruptly ended the show and 60 minutes of magical thrash metal music was over.
Exodus delivered magic and overall it was a solid show. The only negative was the bad sound system but the band didn’t let that have any effect on the show and it was full speed ahead. It was really nice to see Holt back in action with Exodus and I bet it was many with me that had missed him. I thought the show should last for more than 60 minutes but I guess the rest of the remaining time was dedicated to Testament.
Deliver Us To Evil
Blood In Blood Out
Bonded By Blood
Strike Of the Beast
After short while the main bands stuff showed up on stage, a huge backdrop with the band name on it hung behind the drums that were placed on a podium. Testament haven’t released an album since BROTHERHOOD OF THE SNAKES that came out 2016, however the new album is about to be released in April and it’s called TITANS OF CREATION. A single/video has already been unleashed titled “Night Of The Witch” and the band have maintained with keeping the line-up intact which feels promising. About 35 minutes after Exodus ended their show it was time for the main act to enter the stage and when the intro came on the crowd gathered in front of the stage in order to see Testament live in action.
“The Persecuted Won’t Forget” marked the beginning of the show and it was so fun to see the mighty Testament live on stage again. “The Haunting” followed straight away and two songs into the show Testament felt as solid as ever. The line-up in the band today is:
Eric Peterson – guitar
Chuck Billy – lead vocals
Alex Skolnick – guitar
Gene Hoglan – drums
Steve DiGiorgio – bass
Billy thanked the crowd saying the band had both some old and some new songs to offer the fans this night and no one should be disappointed. The next song is a song we don’t play often live, here is “Greenhouse Effect”. As I left the photo pit I could hear Billy announce “Dark Roots Of the Earth” which made the fans air their lungs even louder than before and when I got inside the crowd I saw that a circle pit had formed in front of the stage. “Last Stand For Independence” followed straight away and Billy’s voice and stage presence really knocked me off my feet. The band is legendary and Chuck Billy is one of the most iconic thrash metal singers of all time if you ask me. The members seemed to be having fun on stage and the atmosphere was friendly and fun. A lot of smoke partially covered the stage, the band had six smoke machines totally on stage so it was sometimes hard to see the members. Three boxes were placed at the front of the stage used for to stand on by Billy, Peterson and Skolnick.
The stage silenced for a while and Billy said the band had some technical issues, not strange since it was the first show of the tour. Short after Billy said it was time for “Throne Of Thorns” which woke up the crowd as well as the circle pit in front of the stage. Billy asked how the fans was doing and said it was time to play a song from BROTHERHOOD OF THE SNAKE in the title track. The song brought down infinite applauds and crowd surfing took place. The song is a personal favorite of mine so I was really happy to hear it. The fans also seemed to love the song and overall it felt like the crowd was hardcore fans of the band because everyone sang along in most of the songs the band played during the night. “The Pale King” followed instantly and while the intro was played Billy said he wanted to see everyone clap their hands.
He asked if the fans wanted to hear more and asked if the crowd appreciated to see all these three bands on a joint tour. You better be “Careful What You Wish For” he said and all the smoke machines went off together causing a blur on stage. Here comes another song we haven’t played for a while, let’s give it up for Gene “The Atomic Clock” Hoglan, he’s the reason why we’re playing this one, with all the climate changes we have going on today this song is an important one, here is “Fall Of Sipledome”. After the song the members left the stage which turned pitch black. The band came out again and Billy thanked for the applaud saying the band is going to release a new album in April and it’s going to be one of the best ones the band ever done. It’s now time to play a song from the new album and it’s the first time we play this live, Eric is going to sing in this song as well. Here is the live premier of “Night Of The Witch”.
Do you want to hear some more of Testament Billy asked? Ok but then I want to see everyone move around in here. Are you ready for “Into the Pit”. Needless to say the circle pit started out again and Billy let the fans take care of the chorus. The song is another personal favorite and I sang along with the rest of the fans, I didn’t engage in the crowd surfing that once again took place though ha ha. What do you think we should play next Billy asked, is it Ok to play another classical song? Here is “Practice What You Preach”. Billy had the fans shout hey hey and it seemed like this was the song many had been waiting to hear. Thank you mutherfuckers Billy said here is “Over The Wall”. Petersen and Skolnick had the fans shouting at their command and Billy said he wanted to see the fans raise their horns in the air. Billy stood up on the box at the middle of the stage saying it was time for “Disciples of The Watch” that ended the show. Billy introduced the band members and thanked the fans for coming and for having supported the band through all the years. Don’t forget to buy our merch he said after which the members left the stage.
I have nothing but love for Testament, despite the minor errors with the sound and the technical stuff the show was great and the band totally floored me yet again with their fierce and mean music. The band worked in harmony with the crowd and partially the temperature reached tropical heat in the venue. The members had a good time on stage and their happiness rubbed off on to the crowd. It was fun to hear songs like “Greenhouse Effect” and “Last Stand For Independence” which both are songs the band doesn’t play live often but it was also a blast to hear classical picks like “Into The Pit” and “Practice What You Preach”. The included something for everyone and was nothing but a brutal, mean and aggressive show off in how proper thrash metal ought to be played. Testament always delivers live on stage! Don’t forget to purchase TITANS OF CREATION when it comes out.
Eeie Inhabitants (intro)
The Persecuted Won’t Forget
Dark Roots Of Earth
Last Stand For Independence
Throne Of Thorns
Brotherhood of the Snake
The Pale King
Careful What You Wish For
Fall Of Sipledome
Night Of The Witch
Into The Pit
Practice What You Preach
Over The Wall
Disciples of The Watch
Thanks to Yesemin Kaymaz at Head of PR for help with press/photo pass to the show.