So last Sunday, the 16th of September 2012, the Philadelphia based thrash band Vektor was finishing up their tour with an afternoon matinee show at the RAS Hall in Washington DC. People often mistakenly call the venue an Ethiopian restaurant however it is actually Jamaican, or more specifically, Rastafarian. Their religion believes that former Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie was the second coming of Christ and that is why his image was plastered all over the interior. Anyways, there was a good turn out even though the early show was competing with the Redskins game. Luckily they had some TV’s over the bar that showed the game. The music began with a Chicago based grind band called Worn Out that I didn’t hear but from outside of the venue. They seemed a bit out of place for this show’s line up. The next band up was Midnight Eye, a great local metal band that really started the riff fest that the rest of this show would be. The band’s frontman/guitarist, Simon, is a friend of mine and he set up this show, along with many others around the area. If you want to keep up with the awesome DIY metal shows he puts on you can join his Metal Squad Party Force group on Facebook (here) to be sure you get invited to them all. I don’t have photos of Midnight Eye from Sunday because I hung out at the bar to watch the Skins game while Midnight Eye played and I’ve shot them several times before anyways. However you can see older photos I’ve shot of them here. They were good and it looks like they’re starting to get a more consistent line up now. After they played the Richmond based Battlemaster slayed the place with their Dungeons & Dragons themed thrash metal. Their songs were about things like displacer beasts and cursed boots of perpetual dancing which might have been a bit too nerdy for most in attendance to understand (however I did play some 2nd Edition AD&D back in the day and I got most of their references I think). Regardless of their lyrical content the band can really shred and they were really fun to watch play. You may recognize their vocalist, Andy Horn, as being the recently departed original frontman of another Richmond band, Cannabis Corpse. You could tell he was having fun up there and it was a good show for the band’s first time in DC in about 5 years. Battlemaster’s set was a good lead in for the final band of the evening, Vektor.
I’d never seen Vektor live before and while they are coming to Empire in late October, they’ll be playing a shorter set I’m sure since they will have three bigger bands playing after them (more info on that show here). So that meant the chance to catch them do a full headlining set was a don’t miss opportunity. The band’s main man, David DiSanto, looks like Morbid Angel‘s Trey Azagthoth circa 1990. He was even wearing a cut off Morbid Saint shirt! He also had various metal parts and what seemed like a grate and a circuit board on his guitar which totally fit with the band’s futuristic lyrical imagery. Did I mention they totally killed the place? Vektor has some awesome riffs and the shred factor was off the scale at this show. I like their recorded music but hearing it live just added another whole level of energy and excitement to the songs. They didn’t have a set list for the show so after a few songs they just took requests from people in the audience for what to play next, a sure fire way to please any crowd. I really can’t say enough about how good they were live, just total face melting thrash! If you’re into thrash metal and you missed this show then you fucked up big time. However there’s another great thrash show happening this weekend: The area’s wildest live thrash band, Warchild, will be chugging beers and thrashing people’s faces off Saturday the 22nd at DC9. You can get more info on that show here or give the band a listen here (I recommend the song Every Position, that song rules!). It’s great to see such quality bands playing the area so be sure to get out to some of these great metal shows and support the scene you’re a part of!