Sunday, April 21, 2024

Chemicide inflict mass destruction upon Manchester

Costa Rica’s Chemicide brought their thrash metal sound to the Star and Garter in Manchester, accompanied by the relentless energy of Must Kill and Reaper.

Must Kill took to the stage and were quick out of the blocks with an explosive sound about them. In many cases, it takes time for energy levels to build at gigs where things begin gradually with support bands before peaking by the time the headliners come on. However, they came out playing like they owned the place, where animals fight to prove who leads the pack. The aggression of the blast beats, screams, lightning-fast riffs and insane solos marked a strong presence of a band who were in no mood to mess around. 

At this rate, it was beginning to sound like no one was going to topple them. Even with the Star and Garter being a 100-capacity venue, the amps were turned up to deafening levels where the ceiling and windows looked like they would break at any moment. Despite all the intensity though, the ending was somewhat anticlimactic as the set went from fast to slow which took away some of the vibe but it was still a solid performance from them.

Next up was Reaper who took a creative approach by mixing traditional heavy metal with thrash. It was more melodic and formed a nice contrast that gave some breathing space for the audience at the right time. That didn’t stop the fans though from enjoying themselves as the energy levels got even higher as the night went on. Frontman Daniel Moran’s cheerful mood and sense of humour built a good rapport with the crowd which is always a pleasant sight. Just like the previous act, they stormed through their set with lovely harmonies and melodies, technical solos and authoritative beats. Some people were even doing the macarena dance which added to the fun.

When the time did come for Chemicide to perform, it didn’t take them too long to rubber stamp their authority. It was a band with a rebellious attitude on a mission to cause chaos in numbers. When sharks smell blood in the water, they pounce and that’s what these guys did by calling out all the injustices and atrocities committed by the human race while also manifesting their anger through wild drumming, nonstop shredding and shouted vocals, echoing the cries of a furious population wanting to take down their oppressors.

By this point, fans had fire running through their veins and wanted more. Although it’s 2023, it felt like being in the 80s every time a drastic tempo change hit only to suddenly speed up again which is a major characteristic of thrash or crossover thrash from those days. 

All of Chemicide’s set was at least 200+ bpm blast beats so sore necks would be a headbangers nightmare the following day. Luis’ technique with 16th notes on the hi-hats and ride was crystal clear. Sustaining that style for a long period of time without stiffening is an incredibly difficult task but he made that look effortless. There was a huge sense of anticipation whenever a song started slow before taking off like the anxious wait during silence between jump scares in films. Lead singer and guitarist Frankie’s gigantic presence above everyone was enough to send shivers down one’s spine as his dominant posture was very similar to the cover of their album Inequality where the ones with power stood taller than the oppressed. Both him and Sebastián’s (guitarist) violent riffs and solos were so contagious that one couldn’t resist the temptation to bring out their air guitar while going on endless shredding frenzies.

From setting off mini pits to fans jumping off speaker stands, it was a passionate performance by the Costa Rican thrashers who didn’t come quietly to English soil as after all, it wouldn’t be an extreme metal gig without some form of havoc.

With thrash in desperate need of a revival like many other metal subgenres, bands from around the world such as Chemicide from Costa Rica and those supporting that evening have made a huge effort to make it sound fresh with that same old-school touch. Thankfully, it’s paid off and the new wave has ensured that the subgenre won’t go away anytime soon. 

Pedro Felippe
Pedro Felippe
Metalhead since the stone age. Always bash the crap out of my drum kit and am an avid gig goer. I massively identify myself within the metal community as the sense of belonging is unrivalled.

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