Venue: The Forge – Joliet, Illinois
Special Guests: Dust Bolt, Power Trip
Date: Friday, September 29, 2017
Reviewed by: Michael Juvinall – Horror Patch
Special Thanks to The Forge venue!
In the early days of metal, i.e. – 1980-82, I cut my teeth on thrash metal with bands like Slayer, Metallica, Overkill, and of course, Exodus. I enjoyed the mainstream stuff too, Iron Maiden, Dio, Judas Priest etc. but I clamored for more extreme music, which was when thrash caught my eye and I never looked back. I got caught up in the “Big 4” of Thrash (Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax) just like everyone else but another San Francisco Bay area band caught my attention at that time as well. Exodus was an incredible thrash band that should’ve been in the “Big 4”, but that’s another story. Exodus was brutally heavy and had one of the best debut albums ever.
Thrash was incredible and all, but I wanted, needed more extreme sounds. Then death metal came about as a heavier, faster, more brutality alternative sound inspired by thrash.
The first death metal albums came about in the mid-1980’s from DM forefathers Possessed, Death, Morbid Angel and others. During the latter 80’s came another Floridian death metal band that forever changed the face of the subgenre forever…Obituary.
It was going to be a great night in Chicagoland as I was about to watch two of my bucket list bands play on the same ticket. It just doesn’t get any better than that.
The first band on-stage to begin the festivities was German thrash metal outfit DUST BOLT. I had been listening to these guys for a while and always wondered how they would be live and I have to say – darn good. They were very energetic on-stage, moving a lot, thrashing, giving the night a good start. Dust Bolt sounded great with excellent guitar work and a drummer that played like he was on fire (which he might have been due to the hot conditions inside the venue).
This was only the third time that Dust Bolt had toured America and you could tell they were happy and willing to show the crowd their music. They played for 30 minutes and set the tone for the night to come.
Following Dust Bolt was Dallas, Texas-based thrashers POWER TRIP. I was not very familiar with this band, so I was excited to see what they were all about. They had a good sound, thrashy but with hardcore elements. The Frontman had decent vocals and the guitars were heavy but I’m still not a fan – their sound didn’t do much for me. They played for 38 minutes.
Finally, the mighty EXODUS rolled onstage! I had the pleasure of seeing them once before about 30 years ago on their Pleasures of The Flesh tour and from what I remember, they were incredible. But things have changed, band members have come and gone, technology is much better now, and of course, all the members have aged, and I was interested to see how they’ve held up.
They kicked things off with “The Ballad of Leonard and Charles” which sent the sold-out crowd into a frenzy. For a group of older guys, they had enough energy to power the city. Back into the fold was long-time Frontman Steve “Zetro” Souza who was back for his third stint with the band. His voice hasn’t held up as well as I would’ve liked but he still had a lot of growls and screams left in him.
The main attraction for me was guitarist and original member Gary Holt, who now pulls double duty playing for Slayer as well as Exodus. It must be crazy playing arenas one month and then playing small to mid-size venues for Exodus the next. Holt is the heart and soul of the band. He writes most of the songs both lyrically and musically. Oh, did I forget to mention he’s one hell of a guitar player?
Set list for the night:
- The Ballad of Leonard and Charles
- Blood In, Blood Out
- And Then There Were None
- Fabulous Disaster
- A Lesson in Violence
- War Is My Shepherd
- Bonded by Blood
- The Toxic Waltz
- Strike of the Beast
I hate to say it, but I call it as I see (or hear) it. Exodus didn’t sound good at all on this night. I have to say I was disappointed. There was way too much distortion going on and it was hard to make out which songs were which. It was loud, obviously, but the feedback was awful. I expected more from a band of their pedigree. They played for 65 minutes. It was still an enjoyable time and watching them perform onstage was incredible and they did get points just for who they are, but I had to detract my rating for their sound quality.
3 ½ out of 5 Pentagrams!
Florida death metal legends OBITUARY finally took the stage to cap off the night. Despite not being around as long as Exodus, they seemed to have the respect of the crowd, more so than Exodus. Obituary’s style of death metal is my favorite by far. I simply love the slow, grinding, doom-laden approach they take.
They started things off with “Redneck Stomp” and set the tone for the full set to come. The crowd was loving it and the mosh pit quickly erupted on the floor. Frontman and singer John Tardy hasn’t missed a beat in his 30 plus years in the band. His voice is still the best in the business. His long, drawn-out growls is stuff of legend and at least for me, makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand when he sings.
They played a good variety of their repertoire focusing more on their old-school stuff, which was fine
was incredible. For me, Obituary took the night as the best of the two headliners. It was an absolute pleasure hearing them rip through the best of their classic tracks. Obituary are a definite must-see if you get the chance!
- Redneck Stomp
- Sentence Day
- Chopped in Half
- Turned Inside Out
- Find the Arise
- Visions in My Head
- Turned to Stone
- Don’t Care
- A Lesson in Vengeance
- ‘Til Death
- Slowly We Rot
5 out of 5 Pentagrams!