Destruction w/ Krisiun and Mantic Ritual – [Live]

Monday, 04 May 2009

There are only a handful of bands from my youth that I wouldn't even think twice about seeing live yet again these days. Bands that, although they have been around for well over twenty years, still sound as heavy and brutal as I remember them sounding all those years ago, and who can still deliver the goods live. Destruction are one of those bands. I don't think I have missed them when they have played in San Francisco since 1985 or so. So when I saw they were coming back to San Francisco in support of their latest slab, D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N., it was just a given that I was going to be there.

Opening the show tonight was Mantic Ritual, a four-piece retro thrash act who hale Pittsburgh. And all I can really say about the four young metal lads who make up the band is that anyone who covers Venom's "Black Metal" simply gets it. It's so cool to see a band like this who has obviously done their homework, and who chooses to carry the thrash metal torch, especially in today's world of Cookie Monster grunts and Metalcore. They may not have been offering anything new, but, honestly, they didn't need to. And although they still seem a bit green and a little rough around the edges, I am expecting to hear more from them in the future.

Next up tonight was Krisiun, the Brazilian death metal gods who seemed to be THE band on the bill that the 400 or so metal heads in attendance had really come to see. And brothers Alex, Moyses and Max whipped up a brutal sonic satanic frenzy that disappointed no one, myself included. Touring with Destruction in support of their latest offering, Southern Storm, Krisiun put on nothing short of a death metal clinic with the growling grunts of vocalist/bassist Alex Camargo, the blistering leads of his guitar-playing brother Moyses, and the pounding of the skins by the other brother, Max. What made me even more a fan of the band though was the sincerity of Alex, who honestly seemed a bit humbled by playing in San Francisco, and made sure to pay homage to Bay Area thrash with his tattered Possessed t-shirt. Their set was forty minutes of South American armageddon, and by the time they wrapped it all up with "Slaying Steel," it was pretty obvious that Destruction was going to have to kick some serious ass as to not be upstaged.

Just as the Krisiun had done about an hour earlier, Destruction hit the stage and just flat-out killed. Opening with "Soul Collector," Schmier and co. blazed through a nearly ninety-minute set that basically covered the entire lifespan of the band. Guitarist Mike Sifringer hasn't lost a step, and his leads on classics such as "Death Trap," "Invincible Force," "Tormentor" and  "Life Without Sense," reminded me why this band has been at the forefront of thrash metal for so long. As for vocalist/bassist Schmier, the guy is still a pretty incredible front man, even after all these years. Quite the imposing figure on stage, he can still belt out the Tom Araya-like highs, and also play his bass with the same intensity that he has for almost thirty years. The set was quite a nice mix of new and old, and every song seemed to sound even heavier than the one before it. After closing their set with "Butcher Strikes Back," the band returned for a killer encore of "Curse The Gods," "Nailed To The Cross" and "Mad Butcher” before wrapping it up with "Total Disaster." It was so nice to see that the band is still on top of their game, and it looks like my streak of seeing them live will not be broken anytime soon.

Yet another night of epic metal in San Francisco.


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