- Venue: Top Fuel Saloon – Braidwood, Illinois
- Date: January 12, 2020
- Special Guests: Next To Eternity, Oblivion Zero, Consume The Divide, Remnants Of Rebellion, War Hammer, Blacken The Day
- Reviewed by Michael Juvinall – Horror Patch
- All Photos Copyrighted by Michael L. Juvinall/Darkside Photography – All Rights Reserved
Special thanks to James Zahn and Product Of Hate
It’s a brand new year, a new decade and 2020 is already shaping up to be a great year for metal in Chicagoland! For our first show of the year, we’re in Braidwood, Illinois at the Top Fuel Saloon, home of radio personality Uncle Freak. On this mid-January evening, we were at this self-described 5-star dive bar to check out and review Kenosha, WI. based Napalm Records/POH Metalworks thrash metal recording artists PRODUCT OF HATE.
Also on the bill for the show were mostly local Chicago area bands. NEXT TO ETERNITY, OBLIVION ZERO, CONSUME THE DIVIDE, REMNANTS OF A REBELLION, WAR HAMMER, and BLACKEN THE DAY.
I have seen and reviewed POH before about three years ago. I was interested to see if they have matured as a band since then. Not to say they were bad by any means the first time I reviewed them, in fact, they were outstanding previously. I was anxious to see if they still had that fire in them I first saw.
POH took the stage around 9:15 pm and played for an hour. The crowd thinned out quite a bit throughout the night due to it being a workday the next day but the small crowd didn’t stop the band from playing their hearts out.
The band kicked things off with “Blood Coated Concrete” from their 2016 debut album, Buried In Violence. They came out thrashing and never let up. One thing I remembered about the band from previously seeing them live was their huge amount of energy. That definitely hasn’t changed as they are not static on stage by any means. Frontman Adam Gilley is such a blast to watch perform, his energy is infectious and really gets the crowd into the show.
POH’s music is top-notch and for a young band, they are exceedingly well played. The twin axe attack of brothers Gene and Cody Rathbone was dynamic as they both tore up the stage. Also, the banging bass guitar of Mark Campbell evened the songs out perfectly. Mike McGuire behind the kit provided the all-powerful heartbeat of the music. With his thunderous beats leading the way, the band sounded incredible.
Finally, upfront and center was singer Gilley. The man has an amazing voice on so many levels. His low end and high end are equally impressive and he can scream with the best in the business. I don’t want to repeat myself but in my review of the band from three years ago, I equated Gilley’s sound to a young Phil Anselmo and I still stand beside that comparison only more so now.
Product Of Hate is heavy as hell, technically masterful, and a damn fun band to watch! Their second full-length is on the way and will be released in March via their own POH Metalworks shingle, and I can’t wait! These guys are deserving of a bigger stage and a bigger spotlight. I can only hope they get the recognition they truly deserve in the near future.
4 ½ out of 5 Pentagrams!
- Blood Coated Concrete
- …As Your Kingdom Falls
- Start The March
- Revolution Of Destruction
- Where’s Your God
- Mouth For War (Pantera cover)
- You Brought This War
- Kill. You. Now.
Direct support came from NEXT TO ETERNITY. They are a Joliet, Illinois based metal band.
Other support was from OBLIVION ZERO. A thrash metal band out of Pontiac, Illinois.
CONSUME THE DIVIDE is a prog heavy metal band from Woodridge, Illinois.
REMNANTS OF A REBELLION is a metalcore outfit from the Chicagoland area.
WAR HAMMER is a thrash metal band from Peoria, Illinois. I have to say this band was the biggest surprise of the night for me. I love POH and I already knew how good they were. But War Hammer caught me by complete surprise. I had heard of another band called Warhammer but not this one. I was amazed at how awesome they sounded. They were polished, tight, and very heavy. I don’t really know anything about their background or history but they sounded like a professional band. This is one band that I’ll have to keep an eye on for the future.
4 out of 5 Pentagrams!
Another local-ish band jazz metallers BLACKENED THE DAY started everything off for the night.