GIG REVIEW: Nails, Toxic Holocaust & Gatecreeper Live At The New Parish, Oakland, California
The New Parish, a small club known for hosting intense gigs was an abode for metal heads in bay area last Friday which was embraced by the likes of Thrash metal heavyweights Toxic Holocaust and none other than the relentlessly brutal Nails. The guys have just concluded their tour of the states, which also comprised of old school death metal hordes Gatecreeper. Local support was provided by San Francisco based black/death metal band Succumb.
I was right in time for the show to begin. Succumb was on stage, and they brought with them the hard-hitting barrage of ever tempo changing blast beats and nasty riffs. The sound was immensely huge and I fell in love with the sound system of the club as well as the band. In my opinion, they were the tightest of all upcoming underground bands I have seen open the show. They definitely are a band to look out for.
It was not fully crowded yet, however people had started to pour in as it was time for the first main act Gatecreeper. I had secured my place in the front row to experience some old school death metal brutality up close. It was a straight up brand of death metal that they played, and they played it damn good. I could feel the first major mosh pit of the evening raging behind me, while others were having a great time sacrificing their necks to the sick riffage laid out. The evening was impressive so far, and the best was yet to come.
To think of it, I live in the bay area, the land, which has produced some of the greatest thrash legends this face of earth, has seen, and at the same time I am not much a thrash lover. Above all, the greatest irony at that moment being that I was standing in the first row awaiting thrash metal legends Toxic Holocaust to bring down the house. It felt like the entire crowd was going to crush the stage even before they could begin their set. The energy and enthusiasm was at an all-evening high.
I have to say, the band was worth every bit of enthusiasm and delivered what the crowd deserved. They played a solid set of heavy and raw thrash passion. Apparent that the band needs no introductions, let me just tell you about the atmosphere. It was extremely electric. The moshers had gone berserk while we head banged like it were the last day of our lives. Eventually the set ended, leaving smiles on everyone’s faces accompanied by loads of sweat.
It was now time to experience one of the greatest things to happen to metal in the recent past – Nails. They have been promoting their critically acclaimed album ‘You Will never Be One Of Us’ which is one beast of an album and surely one of the favorites of 2016. The mind-boggling blend of death metal, hardcore, grind and punk elements give this band a unique sound, which results in extreme punishing brutality. We waited, eager and patient to taste the metal for ourselves.
I guess it would be difficult to actually explain in words what went down that evening, so let me put forward my personal experience. It was compressed and packed to the extreme definition of it. It was a small venue, and literally there was no space to move specially with the mosh just behind us pressing further into the crowd. I survived numerous fists and crowd-surfing bodies on my head, I survived getting stabbed in my foot by the front rails which was no more in its original position, and now stood at a dangerous angle hurting the legs of everyone just behind it. In the same incident, I almost survived having my finger fractured, which was stuck between two of the front rails. I survived having my nose almost broken when someone’s banging head bumped into my face. Needless to say, it was one of the most intense gigs I have ever been to. The band belted out track after track of ominous brutality while we stood with our melted faces in awe and veneration. Also, special mention to that guy who hung from the balcony on the floor above and jumped directly over the crowd below, on our heads, that too twice. Cheers! To whoever, wherever you are.
Nails proved themselves to be the one of the best live acts, and one of the most brutal bands active today, while Toxic Holocaust’s brand of thrash siege the minds and hearts of the ever enthusiastic crowd.