Despite not really knowing any of the bands, I headed out for this one after about the normal amount of whiling; I tend to see basically the same selection of bands over and over again, and it's good to broaden your horizons and also to see some stuff that's less extreme once in a while.
I got in on time, got a beer or so -- Red Blade kind of falsestarted in soundchecking and then taking a 10-minute break before starting their set, so I went up front and looked dumb in that process -- and soon enough the bands got cranking.
Red Blade [5/7]
Up from Connecticut, these guys set out a decent set of radio-ish thrashy metal with a strong hardcore flavor. The room was practically empty when they started, but they were game about it, and people filled in as they went on. Nothing earth-shattering or ultra-kvlt, to be sure, but this is a good spot as any for a band to start to climb out into the MA scene, and they got a good response from those gathered. Maybe they'd do better at the Fat Cat or whatever venue's still operating out of Springfield (out of my normal stomping grounds), but as far as I know, other venues in this state don't have a series like Metal Thursday.
I talked with some of the guys after and picked up a CD and some stickers; all of the above are still in my jacket and need to get unlimbered at some point, but the collection of stuff to take across continues.
This band, though, I really regret not being able to scare up flyers or something from, at least, because Germany, especially Wacken, would eat them up without bothering to go for the forks. "Du willst die neue Sonata Arctica entdecken?" Well, maybe not quite; they had a few more thrashier parts and some of the compositions were a little rough, but this is what you get, generally, from bands at this level, and it's more noteworthy when an extreme-power metal band can play a bar show and not have stuff like this come up. This was a really good performance, and it got a really good response; as noted, on the music, they'd get a good response across the water as well, but I'm not sure I'll have the drive to do up flyers for them on my own hook.
Some of the response, though, was probably due to them bringing their own people with them; the crowd density went down sharply after they packed up, which is kind of a shame. It's always good to support the bands you believe in, but if you go out for a show, try and stick with it. The other bands might be just as cool, but you won't know if you hit the road as soon as your friends close up.
Black Trip [5.5/7]
Though the crowd was a little smaller, those who remained made up for it in energy. Black Trip's relatively straight-ahead thrashing metal went over well with the remaining stalwarts, with the result of ceaseless if not exactly Dysentery-level mosh throughout the set. I did listen to the band as well, and they were good enough to vindicate the decision to get a ticket for Hate Eternal off them, but the crowd action was the main feature of this set, at least for those of us who were down in the middle of it.
Despite talking rather extensively with various dudes in here, and despite having stopped drinking before Black Trip for highway-patrol-related reasons, my mind is almost a complete blank about it. That which isn't forgotten will be followed up on, but work and other shit this week has been kind of intense, as the lateness of this writeup shows.
It's fair, if not exactly complete, to describe this band as "total Motorhead worship". (Ok, there are Sabbath elements too but.) However, this then leads to the question of when, exactly, this became a bad thing in the metal scene. Roadhorse kicked out a good, worthy set of whiskey-and-motorcycles rock and roll, took a couple anti-corporate cues from later thrash metal, and wound up with a cover of "Iron Fist" (rather than "Ace of Spades"), which is what you get from an actual metal band that draws on music from this period rather than a bar-rock combo. Sure, it's not exactly original, but it's good music, well done, and definitely worthy of the headlining slot. (Note no room for additional points from the bassist getting his house blown down; hopefully insurance and/or state/federal disaster relief will cover that.)
With Roadhorse finished and the lights gone up, it was time to head out; I got back in decent time, fucked over my weekend by waiting (and drinking really, really heavily with a mix of Irish and Paraguayans) to find out where to meet up and trade my flag over, and eventually managed to get this written up. I'm not going to be able to make it to the Tombs release show tonight, but Born of Fire tomorrow is go; meet up, gie me your band's leftover stuff to pass out overseas.