Ash Street Pub
Portland, OR

The Antichrist
Nuclear Blast

It was amazing to think this show was coming to Portland. In Europe these two bands are gigantic – and here they are playing a local club. The power of metal brought the kids out in droves as the Ash was packed like sardines. The smoke was thick and almost chocking and the bands were playing way past the deaf meter.

Destruction started their set with a screech of feedback and a thousand pounds of volume caving in the first five rows. This was German thrash-metal at it’s best and none do it better than one of the patriarchs of the genre. Releasing their first vinyl effort in 1985 (Infernal Overkill) Destruction rose through constant touring including a 1987 support slot for Motorhead to become one of the most influential bands in Europe.

Now in their 40s the trio of Marcel “Schmier” Schirmer (vocals/bass), Michael Siffringer (guitar) and Sven (drums) still send forth a punishing array of atomic fire. Opening with "Curse the Gods" and blazing through a number of new gems such as “Nailed to the Cross” and “Bullets from Hell” that they connected strong and tight. The crowd held fists in the air almost through out the duration of the set. Only mid set with songs like "Life Without Sense" and later “Mad Butcher” did the shear force let up – and then only briefly. The medley of “Antichrist/Reject Emotions/Release from Agony” showed the band hadn’t lost an inch but it was new “Thrash till Death” and “Total Disaster” that were ultimately the groups finest moments tonight.

Destruction were touring behind their latest Nuclear Blast release “The Antichrist”

Destruction set list

Intro/Curse the Gods
Nailed to the Cross
Eternal Ban
Invincible Force
Bullets from Hell
Tears of Blood
Antichrist/Reject Emotions/Release from Agony
Life without Sense
Intro/Thrash till Death
Mad Butcher
Intro/Total Disaster
Bestial Invasion

Violent Revolution / Live Kreation

Kreator originally formed a year behind Destruction in 1984 in Essen, Germany. Originally billed as Tormentor they were huge fans of Metallica’s “Kill ‘em All (1983) and were one of the few, yet pioneering, thrash outfits emerging from the death metal scene. Along with Sodom, Destruction, and Bathory they redefined metal with rapid-fire drumming and chainsaw guitars. Led by vocalist/guitarist Mille Petroza, they were also one of the few proto-death metal bands willing to experiment with the form or add any elements of individuality or subtlety.

Tonight they wanted to set a permanent mark in the annals of Portland metal history. As the clock ticked close to midnight Petroza growled into the mic the opening verse of “Violent Revolution” immediately followed by original drummer Ventor and the two newest members Christian Giesler and Sami Yli-Sirniö in a cavalcade of intense volume. Touring behind the album of the same name gave the quartet the opportunity to indulge in “Reconquering the Throne” and later “All Of The Same Blood” amidst a set of greatest hits.

With Kreator, usually the best songs on the album were also the record’s title. So the songs were fairly predictable. This years “Live Kreator”(SPV) disc was organized in a similar fashion – tonight was the live execution of 16 years in the biz. Extreme Aggression (1989) had a good showing with “Betrayer” and the title track. Both Pleasure To Kill (1986) and Endless Pain (1985) showcased three and two songs respectfully. That meant that one third of the set was from the first two albums.

Oddly Endorama (1999) and Cause for Conflict (1995) were completely ignored while Outcast (1997) yielded only “Phobia.” What sets Kreator apart from some of the other death metal bands are their intricate arrangements amid fierce and at times brutally heavy song structure. It was staggering to see them pull it off live. Some of the more progressive movements and textures were found in “Renewal” and “Terrible Certainty.”

The crowd was frothing at the mouth when the band ripped into “Flag of Hate” shortly followed by “Tormentor” – but Kreator fed off the energy. “Under the Guillotine” closed the night. The sonic carnage was unyielding and when the band went silent the ringing could still be heard well into the next day.

Kreator set list:

Violent Revolution - Violent Revolution (2001)
Reconquering the Throne - Violent Revolution (2001)
Extreme Aggression - Extreme Aggression (1989)
People of the LieComa of Souls (1990)
PhobiaOutcast (1997)
All Of The Same Blood - Violent Revolution (2001)
Pleasure to Kill - Pleasure to Kill (1986)
RenewalRenewal (1992)
Terrible Certainty - Terrible Certainty (1988)
Riot of Violence - Pleasure to Kill (1986)
Betrayer - Extreme Aggression (1989)
Terror Zone - Coma of Souls (1990)
Flag of Hate - Endless Pain (1985)
TormentorEndless Pain (1985)
Under the Guillotine - Pleasure to Kill (1986)