EXODUS and OBITUARY are two of the biggest names in their respective styles. The two bands have built a legacy with consistently solid records and live performances. Now, the bands have joined forces for the Battle of the Bays Tour and the question is, can both bands which are held in such high regard still bring a devastating and adrenaline inducing performance?
Opening proceedings was KING PARROT. The Australian outfit’s combination of grindcore, thrash and punk speaks volumes for an intense live performance and for the most part, the band delivered. The savage licks of Ari White and Andrew Livingstone-Squires‘ guitar riffs kept the momentum flowing rapidly whilst Matthew Young‘s snarls and growls roared above the chaos. As an opener, KING PARROT did a formidable job of whipping up a storm before the main event.
PRONG have been involved in the heavy metal scene for decades now yet the band have never quite hit the levels of their peers. Despite that, the attitude of the band towards their approach to the live stage has always been positive and that, for the most part, reflected in their performance. With a catalogue of former members that is enormous in length, the question beckoned as to whether this incarnation of PRONG would still be able to provide a solid live show and for moments the band truly delivered. The drumming and bass work of Art Cruz and Jason Christopher respectively kept the rhythm flowing whilst only original member Tommy Victor‘s guitar play and vocal deliveries were consistently solid. The band may not be hugely exciting but PRONG provided a solid performance throughout.
EXODUS have been one of thrash metal’s biggest names for years now and 37 years after exploding onto the scene, the band still have what it takes to bring a solid live performance all these years later. With vocalist Steve Souza consistently reminding the packed crowd that their set would be focused in the old school, their performance reflected that by bringing exactly what thrash metal is all about; chugging riffs, chaotic blasts from the drums, whirlwind solos and a enthusiastic and passionate stage presence. From the galloping riffs of And Then There Were None to the enormous chorus of The Toxic Waltz, EXODUS did more than enough to incite chaos throughout their performance. As a band, EXODUS worked well as a tight unit with all the components of their sound coming together to form a huge wall of riffs and mayhem. Frontman Steve Souza oozed enthusiasm as he paraded the stage and never missing a vocal line. 37 years after they exploded onto the scene, EXODUS more than proved that they have the ability to provide a performance that is utterly monstrous and oh so fantastic.
On the other side of the fence, you have OBITUARY. As death metal exploded in Tampa, Florida OBITUARY have always been considered one of the pioneers of the movement and 32 years after their emergence, the death metal titans still pack an almighty punch. From the offset, the band’s slow-pounding riffs and John Tardy‘s iconic vocal snarls set the tone for the evening, this is the sound of death. With their set covering a range of material from throughout the band’s lengthy career, all the bases were covered. From the chaotic blasts from Donald Tardy’s drums on Don’t Care to the savage riffs of Intoxicated and Slowly We Rot, OBITUARY performed with precision and white-knuckle adrenaline. Newer material such as Visions In My Head and Ten Thousand Ways To Die held their own compared to the classics and the inclusion of two CELTIC FROST covers was a nice touch which sent the crowd crazy. Whilst John Tardy may not interact with the audience on high quantity, he instead delivered a stage presence that was perfect for the old school death metal sound. Snarls, growls and bellows were delivered to exquisite quality whilst Terry Butler‘s thick bass tones complimented the enormous riffs of Trevor Peres and Kenny Andrews. OBITUARY are considered one of the pioneers of death metal and their performance further reinforced that, 32 years on, the band still can provide a performance of sheer death metal brutality.