Empire Escorts, Await Rescue, Actor|Observer, Leave by Six

Highlight: The night’s progression from thrash rock to thrash metal to thrash punk.

Thrash can manifest itself on stage in many ways. Empire Escorts (pictured) did it at Church in the most classic form, headbanging and hair flying, opening the night with ear-numbing rustic vocals and bass lines that held their own. The four-piece from Jersey knocked the wind out of the crowd with “Electric Whiskey,” tight percussion and dirty metal rock, just before locals Await Rescue thrashed in their set with red-in-the-neck throat screams by singer Johnny Cutulle in the dark beauty of rock ballads at high speed. Frantic use of cymbals and Zen indie riffs played into syncopated slash guitar, making their time on stage the most romantic of the night.

Even during Actor|Observer’s soundcheck, the venue filled with heartbreaking chords that set the backdrop for this Allston, MA-based hardcore thrash. With plenty of reverb and feedback, the band set a pace-change with rhythm guitars ripping out 32nd-note riffs and three-singer screams, shifting the night towards the punk-end of thrash as Leave By Six took the stage. This last-minute addition to the lineup took their thrash to the hardcore end of pop punk as the earnest Boston-based group’s “No Glory for the Underdog” pounded the amps. Heavy picking and chord progressions that pulled at your heartstrings circled around decentralized vocals for a disorienting moment in the set. It was a late Wednesday night, but Church’s lineup took the crowd through an unwaveringly relentless show of thrash. Whether it came through heavy metal or hardcore punk, thrash is about gorgeously violent movement and energy that took the venue hostage for more than four blood-pumping hours.

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Where: Church – Boston, MA

When: May 30, 2012







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