Metal Empire Showcase – gig review – Pt. 3 Vermithrax

November 5, 2016 – Marietta, GA – The 120 Tavern

Continuing the evening at 120 Tavern was Vermithrax from Pittsburgh. Now the evening was really starting. The second great band I have seen from the city of steel this month (remember Homicide Black?), I think I need to make a trip one day.

This band reminds me of Annihilator, and when I mentioned this to the vocalist, he said this is what they are aiming for, to bring back the good old days of thrash. Goal reached. Very nice guitar playing, this band finally had me rocking. Headbanging starting in the audience. Awesome!

Vermithrax are Croy on vocals, Scott Hagz and Sean “Hairy” Valentine on guitars, Tom Donaldson on bass and J.R. Jameson on drums. They were kind enough to give me a copy of their latest EP, see review below. Find them on Facebook, Twitter @VermithraxMetal as well as Bandcamp and Reverbnation. Definitely check this band out, they are awesome. I know I need to see them again.

The EP

The 5-song Debut EP is just called Vermithrax, Vol.1. And it is a kick in the ass get your head banging rocking piece of gold. You can download it for free online as far as I know, go get it, really, do it.

Extinction Event: The song starts the EP with a beating heart before the instruments set in, hitting you like a baseball bat in the forehead. bass, drums and guitar are on track, reminds me of the good ole days. After almost two minutes Croy’s raw singing talent sets in. This IS some good old school thrash, if you are my generation you will like this band. Good headbanging riffs, solid guitars and the typical bass drum rhythm.

Architect of Fear: This track starts with a bell before guitars set in. It starts a little slower until thirty seconds in it picks up the tempo. You can very clearly hear the bass here, Tom must be hammering that thing. When Croy starts to sing we are back to the slower beat. Reminds me a bit of Savatage back in the days. The tempo continuously changes, slower, faster, slower, etc. Very nice, very hard. The drums definitely have you stomping your foot and two guitars surely make a difference.

Submersus: Track 2 goes straight into track 3 and keeps you going with some bad ass guitar riffs. This one really turns the speed up, the double bass drum is needed. After about three minutes it slows down and the band changes the beat. Yes, this is how good thrash used to be played. The bands showed their instrumental talent by changing it up. And this band knows what they are doing. Love the guitar playing on this one, this one has to be my favorite song off the EP.

The Summoning: Monks singing and rain in the background (I heard the rain two tracks ago too) before guitars set in. There is the double bass drum again. Awesome about this band is that one can hear each instrument very clearly, they don’t drown each other out. And again, they are a lot like Annihilator back when thrash started. And Croy sounds like Halford when he is screaming the lyrics, wow.

Final Feast: Battle horn, guitars, bass. This song hammers. And the whole way that guitar is blasting. Croy has shown various pitches in his voice on this EP, too bad I didn’t hear that at the show much. Good mosh pit song this one. “Come right in, make yourself at home.” 4 out of 5.

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