Part One Of

“The Weekend Of Noise”

With the lovely weather on Saturday I decided to join friends at a pub in Norwich. It’s quite a way to go, it took two and a half hours to get there I think although the traffic along the M11 was pretty slow all the way. Why Norwich? Well, it’s not for nostalgia’s sake. I’m pretty certain the last time I was there was in 1989 for an afternoon while I attended cadet camp at RAF Swanton Morley. I remember seeing the cathedral and then having a pizza in a restaurant on a hill with some other cadets. I think Swanton Morley wasn’t really set up for an influx of eighty cadets and we felt starved!

I travelled to Norwich to attend THRASHERSAURUS at the Brickmakers pub somewhere in the Anglian city. I just followed the Sat Nav, I didn’t really know where I was going, although I had checked out parking and the local area using Google Maps, that seems the sensible thing to do.

It seems quite obvious to me but Thrashersaurus is a thrash metal festival for local bands and a few more well known ones on the UK scene. I could only be there for the Saturday and Xentrix were headlining. They are a band I have known about for about 25 years and I even own some of their stuff!

So, I kept notes as the day progressed and now I present them to you. They aren’t comprehensive but they give a flavour of what I thought. The venue was better than I had expected. The two stages were a good size and the clientele were your pretty standard metal heads; all there for a good time and pretty friendly.

Uridium – pretty good, well structured metal songs, like a faster Saxon.

Uridium - Thrashersaurus
Uridium – Thrashersaurus

Crawlblind – on the main stage. Shouty metal/thrash. Whatever.

Crawlblind - Thrashersaurus
Crawlblind – Thrashersaurus

Clownsmasheverything – on the B2 stage. Not thrash. Seemed like fast late 80s rock to me. 10 seconds of really heavy riff that was great.

Vendetta – main stage. Shouty but not growly. A band of short fat men. Reasonably good. Singer running up and down in front of stage.

Cryptic Shift – B2 stage. The fuck!? Experimental wank. Walked out.

Soulborn – main stage. Shouty vocals. Ok. Some good riffs. Only on guitarist. Some off-beat cymbal action. Nice one. Singer forgot his guitar apparently.

Psython – B2. Wailing vocals. Speed metal. From Rotherham?

Killer Hurts – Main Stage. Less technical than Testament but that style. Very 80s style thrash. Ok for what it is. Song : Blunt Force Trauma: Hilarious.

Lifer – B2. From South Wales apparently. Down tuned guitars very heavy slow riffs. Song: Words Of The Wise. Best so far.

Shrapnel – main stage. After a brief sit down went and saw last 20 mins. Quality fast thrash. Early Metallica sounds, but not quite as good and possibly 30 years too late.

Shrapnel - Thrashersaurus
Shrapnel – Thrashersaurus

Dinner time.

Reprisal – B2. Fast. Heavy noise. Not that impressive.

Incinery – main stage. Bit shit. Snare drum sounded really bad. Too much constant drumming, not enough variation. Sat down.

Forgotten Remains – B2 from Chesterfield apparently. Shouty growly vocals, no idea what he’s saying. Fast and loud, no real subtlety to it! Played The Trooper last, speeded up.

Xentrix – main stage. What I’ve been waiting for. Tight, thrash metal. Very well executed.

Xentrix - Thrashersaurus
Xentrix – Thrashersaurus

All this finished at 23:15 and after some goodbyes I had to drive back to Kent to ensure I could take part in the second part of The Weekend Of Noise”.

The Collection – Anthrax

Look, this is a collection of the best songs by Anthrax. If you like Anthrax then this should be brilliant. I can now confirm that it is.

All the songs on this album are great. It’s pretty hard to choose the songs I should highlight. I’ve already mentioned “Anti-Social” in a previous review so I can skip that. There’s something special about the music produced by bands at the start of a new movement. It really does affect how you think and move. Anthrax were, and still are, one of the big four, so the recognition amongst metal fans is great. It’s a shame that only Metallica have really penetrated the main market, but then they had to sell out to do so.

My favourites are:

  • Armed and Dangerous
  • Bring The Noise
  • Make Me Laugh
  • Got The Time

If you don’t know anything by Anthrax then get this. It’s a great introduction although I think the songs sound better in their original homes on the proper albums in the chain of songs and time where they were put [Not sure if that scans well, I’ll re-write if it’s poor].

The American Way – Sacred Reich

This is a thrash album. During the mid to late eighties there were a number of bands who changed the sound of metal. Metallica and the rest of the big four are considered the trailblazers. I found Sacred Reich while on holiday in Saint-Jean-de-Monts during 1990. One day while walking in the town we found a market and one of the stalls was selling music cassettes.

I bought this album purely on the front cover and it being surrounded by other bands to whom I listened. After a few listens on the car stereo and possibly a Walkman the album really grew on me. I think I recognise it as brilliance now. I love all the songs, even 31 Flavors! Recently I downloaded a digital version and it’s now on my iPhone. I find this album particularly calming and often its mood matches mine perfectly. There might only be eight songs but they are all good.

Given that this album was released in 1990 I consider the political messages of the song Crimes Against Humanity rather prescient. The song is about humans polluting the Earth and although this was a major concern in the 80s it is more of a concern now with anthropocentric global climate change affecting our planet! Sacred Reich aren’t the only band to criticise human pollution, Testament and Metallica have also written songs much to the same effect.