THE BAY STRIKES BACK – Testament, Exodus and Death Angel live review, 7th March 2020.

Birmingham legend Dave Cain, when he isn’t hammering the bass strings in Rotunda, having a hangover at the airport, or encouraging you to drink so much your eyes go in different directions, takes a break from his luddite narrowboat restoration lifestyle to give us a glimpse into his encyclopaedic knowledge of thrash, with this, his review of the recent Testament, Exodus and Death Angel tour…get your battle jackets ready!


Never mind the Big Four, here’s the Bigger Three. Billed as The Bay Strikes Back, Coronervirus was not going to stop legions of thrashers descending on Manchester Academy to see, apparently for the first time ever, a line up such as this – from the old, grey and filthy to the young and unmoved, there were patch work cut offs as far as the eye could see.

Death Angel were up first kicking off with the title track of their most recent long player ‘Humanicide’. The band did a fantastic job of warming up the crowd terrorising them with songs old and new from ‘Mistress Of Pain’ to ‘The Moth’ and ending in a guitar frenzy of ‘The Ultra Violence’ and ‘Thrown To The Wolves’. Singer Mark Osegueda didn’t seem to know what day it was as he thanked the crowd for coming out on a Sunday to support Thrash Metal, but that’s touring for you.

“Please welcome back to the Exodus stage Mr Gary Holt” yelled Steve ‘Zetro’ Souza. And did he look pleased to be back as he headbanged his way through a classic Exodus set. Newer tracks such as ‘Body Harvest’ and ‘Blood In, Blood Out’ were belted out with furiously alongside oldies like ‘Bonded By Blood’, ‘The Toxic Waltz’ and ‘Strike Of The Beast’.

What can you say about Testament? They’re legendary. I’ve been into this band since I was on the edge of seventeen and I’m the wrong side of forty now. They just make it look easy. Not surprisingly really as they sport some of the best musicians in the business among their ranks. Brand new songs ‘Children Of The Next Level’ (which I thought had a Thin Lizzy vibe to it) and ‘Night Of The Witch’ stand strong alongside classics like ‘The New Order’, ‘The Preacher’, ‘Into The Pit’ and ‘Disciples Of The Watch’.

They shred through their set with precision and a perfect sound leaving the crowd breathless. Long may they serve Metalkind.

Review by David Cain.

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