Two gigs in one week is always a good thing. It’s even better when the latter of which is expected to be a full-on thrashfest from two awesome bands representing the genre (which of course is my favourite). I’ve seen Exodus and Lost Society both once before, though not together, and they both well and truly thrashed the place at the respective gigs. Together, and accompanied by a particularly enthusiastic Glasgow crowd, meant this gig was gonna be a real treat indeed.
Introducing the evenings proceedings was of course Finland’s rising thrash legends of tomorrow Lost Society. Due to some delays in the bands’ schedules prior to the show, Lost Society were finishing up their sound check just as the crowd started walking into the venue. At first the crowd seemed disappointingly small due to people still entering the room during the set but after a few songs I turned round and saw the venue becoming increasingly full. The Cathouse usually has a pretty sketchy sound in my experience, especially for support bands but for Lost Society the sound was just right – tight and heavy with all aspects of the band’s sound cutting through the mix.
Lost Society’s performance was high-energy and great fun to watch. Frontman Samy Elbanna knew how to work the audience and like fellow guitarist Arttu Lesonen and bassist Mirko Lehtinen, they utilised every inch of the stage in their thrashing rage. The set mostly consisted of newer numbers from the latest album Braindead which went down really well with the Glasgow audience. From faster thrashers old and new like “Terror Hungry”, “Kill (Those Who Oppose Me)” and “Mad Torture” to slower crushers like “I Am the Antidote”, Lost Society put on an awesome show of modern thrash demonstrating that once the legends of the genre are no longer with us, thrash metal is in safe hands with the new generation. Another notable thing about Lost Society’s performance was the sheer mastery of the lead guitar parts which I had never noticed previously. Watching Elbanna and Lesonen’s skill both as soloists and their tight synchronicity in the dual guitar leads was amazing to watch up close, especially in songs like “Hollow Eyes” and “Only My Death is Certain”.
Overall, Lost Society well and truly thrashed Glasgow and are proving themselves to be the next kings of the thrash metal genre with Braindead (seriously check it out if you haven’t already). I’m eagerly looking forward to seeing them again in the future, and hopefully when they return to Glasgow it’ll be as headliners, in a bigger venue, or both.
Following Lost Society was of course thrash legends Exodus. It had been a while since they had last played in Scotland, and definitely a long time since frontman Steve “Zetro” Souza had been here, but Exodus certainly showed Glasgow how it’s done. Unfortunately guitar main man Gary Holt couldn’t be present on Exodus’ current tour (most likely due to commitments with fellow thrash gods Slayer) but his spot was left in the good hands of Heathen guitar maestro Kragen Lum who more than did Holt’s job justice.
Zetro’s performance as frontman was as if he never left the band. He engaged well with the audience and screeched his distinctive vocals with aggresion and convinction as if it was 1988 again. Sometimes it’s clear when older band’s start losing their touch but with Zetro and Exodus, it’s the complete opposite – they continually keep getting better with age reminding the younger bands who’s still boss. The set was a good mix of newer Exodus ragers from their latest effort 2014’s awesome (and potentially career best so far in my opinion) Blood In Blood Out and more classic tracks from throughout Exodus history. The band and crowd thrashed it out to the likes of “Blood In Blood Out”, “Salt the Wound”, “Blacklist”, “Impaler”, “Metal Command”, “The Toxic Waltz”, “Deranged” (a rare airing of one of my personal favourite Exodus songs – any chance of “Chemi-Kill” too next time guys? ), “Children of a Worthless God”, “Strike of the Beast” and of course “Bonded By Blood”. There was mosh pits, headbangers and lyric-screamers aplenty with the occasional wall of death throughout the entire set proving that Glasgow still has a taste for some good friendly violent fun any time Exodus comes to town.
Overall it’s clear Exodus are still reigning kings of thrash metal and they’re not showing any signs of slowing down yet. They still play hard and heavy, and bring an intense energy to the show just like when they started out. If it wasn’t for heightened security these days, there’d most definitely be blood upon the stage – I guarantee it. Check out the raging Blood In Blood Out if you haven’t already and make sure you don’t miss out next time Exodus come to your town – you won’t regret it.
Exodus are due to play Norway’s Inferno Festival tomorrow (23/03/2016) before finishing up the tour with Lost Society in Sweden (Malmo), Holland (Amsterdam) and Germany (Stuttgart, Aschaffenburg and Bochum) so there’s still plenty of dates to catch the bands on tour before the festival season this summer.
Blood In Blood Out and Braindead are both available now via Nuclear Blast.
All photos by Gary Cooper.