When we saw two of the foremost British thrash metal bands – aka the mighty Xentrix and Acid Reign, were playing the same bill with one of the latest British thrash metal bands Shrapnel we just had to be there to see what went down. Cue a trip to London’s Underworld venue in Camden Town for a night full of what we hoped would be thrashy greatness.
Opening the bill for tonight, Shrapnel (6) exhibit a set of thrash metal songs firmly steeped in nostalgia. It’s an unremarkable set that does a perfect job of setting everyone present up for what is to follow.
Acid Reign (7) still seem a bit rusty, this is only their third show back, but are nevertheless immensely entertaining. Cuts like Humanoia see the majority of the crowd present bellowing along. Frontman, H is both in excellent rabble rousing form and handles the crowd perfectly shutting down several hecklers with trademark wit. Former guitarist Kev also puts in an appearance (complete with cardboard sign saying “The Real Kev.”) It doesn’t quite steal the night with Xentrix following but it is still an entertaining performance and one that promises much from ‘Acid Reign’ in the future.
Xentrix (8) are one of the great unsung heroes of heavy metal. Having been back for a few years they are are as tight a live band as any and play a business-like hour long set jam packed with brilliant metal songs: ‘Crimes’ and ‘Black Embrace’ being two highlights worthy of mention. However, as singer Chris Astley puts it before playing three songs from the upcoming album; “we’re not a fucking nostalgia band,” and so it proves as all three new songs aired tonight sound as good as anything the band have produced in the past.