A host of some of the best metal bands in Michigan gather to celebrate a fellow metalhead’s birthday at Dave’s Birthday Thrash Bash at the Diesel Concert Lounge.
Dave’s Birthday Thrash Bash
Heavy metal fans are diverse, hardworking, and friendly people. Sure, we can all look a bit scary with our black t-shirts sporting a demon vomiting flames or a battle vest covered in band logos resembling the sprawling root system of a tree deep within the dark forests of Norway. Yet once you strip away the extreme imagery and the aggressive music, you’ll find friendly people who are passionate about all kinds of music (not just metal). There is also a strong sense of belonging and caring for those who share our passion for the music.
I rattle on about this metal community because I attended a birthday celebration for Dave Beckerich at the Diesel Concert Lounge in Chesterfield. Dave’s Birthday Thrash Bash enlisted some of Michigan’s best metal bands to put on a metal fest which not only celebrates his birthday, but the metal community as a whole. This show was a gathering of metal fans who fervently support the Michigan metal scene. The goal of the evening was to enjoy metal music and have a great time. That objective was easily achieved.
Pounding the lounge side stage into submission with the first blast of music at Dave’s Birthday Thrash Bash was Iron Belly. Their point-blank riffs were delivered with maximal force to everyone’s delight. Iron Belly’s assault included tunes from their High Horse EP such as “50. Cal” and “High Horse”. Their music is bone-crushingly heavy with a Helmet meets High On Fire vibe.
The music keeps going on the theater stage with the louder than life thrash of Kilbury Unit. They mix metal with a stage show to give their set some extra spice. As Davis (drums) and Fox (bass) are laying down the law, Boris shreds until you think his fingers will bleed. The master of ceremonies, Rea Kilbury growls and gestures to the audience with maniacal glee. Kilbury Unit hauls the birthday boy Dave on stage for a mock beheading and resurrection. This led to other disciples of metal coming up to the stage to be anointed in blood; metal theatrics at their finest.
Keeping the roots of Detroit hardcore alive is the viper’s bite of Blacktooth Militia. Savage and raw, the band leaned in hard with burly riffs accented with groove at Dave’s Birthday Thrash Bash. The shared punk and metal attitude of defiance came through strong with Blacktooth Militia. Their music gave no quarter and no quarter was expected. Hellbent and full of rage, Blacktooth Militia put everything they have on the stage.
Channeling the darkness with exquisite melodic death is Asylence. Their monstrous riffs stoked the primeval mind with images of orgiastic devastation. Asylence clearly struck a nerve with the crowd as everyone was compelled to give their full attention to the theater stage as the band waged a sonic war. It would have been easy to listen to these guys all night as I love melodic death metal and Asylence are crushing.
Sins of Hate
I must say I was floored when I rounded the corner into the lounge stage and saw that Sins of Hate is just two guys (Joe Raney – guitars and Stephen Williams – drums). You would not have guessed this based on sound alone. Sins of Hate blasted the doors of the Diesel at Dave’s Birthday Thrash Bash. Their sound reminded me of Chaos A.D. era Sepultura. A thunderous mix of ass kicking drums combined with ripsaw guitars.
It has been quite a while since I’ve been able to catch Dragsaw live and they did not disappoint. They fired up the crowd with thick and meaty grooves cultivated for extreme blunt force trauma. As usual, Dragsaw were having as much fun as the audience while playing a great set of hostile jams. Rumor has it that the band is working on recording new music, so keep your ears open.
Blue of Neptune
Crafting an amalgam of progressive and metalcore was Blue of Neptune. Like their name, the music of Blue of Neptune is quite interesting. Technical riffs and intricate rhythms create soundscapes which demand your attention. The violently visceral vocals gave their set its emotional quotient. This young band is quite talented and have a bright future ahead of them.
Just like Poseidon slamming down his trident, Dagon shook the earth with terrific metal force at Dave’s Birthday Thrash Bash. The twin guitar attack of Chris Sharrock and Kris Finison was matched with the equally fierce rhythm and vocals of Randy Ladiski (bass) and Jordan Batterbee (drums). I may have seen a few shark fins darting about in the theater as Dagon sank their teeth into tunes from their latest album Back to the Sea. They also indulged fans with a bit of ocean metal from the fantastic Terraphobic album. I can still taste the cold steel kissed with the salt of the sea that only Dagon can provide.
No matter how many times I hear the blackened death of Throne, I can’t get enough. Their set delivered a merciless sonic attack. A blast furnace of metal featuring furious guitar and bass awash in a stunning blitz of drums. I imagine the sensation of hurtling down a wormhole where time and space are smashed and all you are left with is blinding fear. Everyone in the audience was captivated with the show put on by Throne. If you missed this set, then go get their debut EP Altar of the Dying now.
Bringing Dave’s Birthday Thrash Bash to a triumphant close is Hate Unbound. The band treated the hearty survivors of this epic metal event with a shattering display of technical death. Hate Unbound have been hitting the studio working on new material which they showcased prominently in their set. The new music still delivers high intensity technical chaos; however, it achieves a monumental level of bludgeoning might. While the crowd had dwindled by the end of Hate Unbound’s set, they were vocal and enthusiastic.
A very happy birthday to Dave and thanks to you and your friends for putting together Dave’s Birthday Thrash Bash at the Diesel Concert Lounge. It was great to spend time with the Michigan metal community and celebrate with a great night of live and loud music. We have a ton more pictures of all the bands in the gallery.
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