I headed over to DC Heavy Metal's 4th Anniversary Party after a meeting in Edgewater, and got there just in time to see the headliner, science fiction themed thrash band Vektor. (But I like to tag everyone for future reference - "I coulda seen those guys, but...") And I'm sure glad I made the effort - it was worth the long night and the frantic change of clothes at a friend's house, and a great start to a three night streak of concerts.
I wouldn't call myself a giant thrash fan, but I definitely appreciate a good thrash show for the intense aggressive energy that the band and the audience put out - and Vektor was one of the best thrash shows I've seen. They started off with a pensive quiet melody that reminded me of old Metallica, then launched into thundering thrash riffs that sounded
great on Fillmore's superb sound system. Immediately a good sized pit broke out, and even with fries in hand it was impossible not to headbang to the earthshaking riffs. The wall of sounded subsided a bit for a great solo. Vektor's thrash has a fair bit of melody, and the science fiction themes and spacey moments also give it a unique flavor. The lighting - battle stations red, deep space blue, mystical white - also helped create the sf mood. And the singer brought the 80's into the house with his cloud of curly hair, cut into bangs in the front, and his tank top and tight jeans. (I can't see skinny jeans on guys and not think of 80's thrash metal.) My favorite song was probably the third or fourth song, "Hunger for Violence." It started off sounding like battleships pulverizing each other, or giant war machines marching over the earth - and then it got really crazy, like the mecha pilots had been knocked off their proverbial horses and were locked in melee combat.
Metal Chris uploaded a video of "Hunger for Violence." If you crank the volume to 11 you can get some idea of how it sounded!
Toward the end of the set, they had a slow, spacey segment that evoked the reaches of the deep ocean - or deep space - with its extended, wavering notes. The lighting, with its myriad beams of light, and even the sound as they picked up the pace again reminded me of Alcest! Too weird! They ended with a final thundering segment that set the crowd churning one last time. Especially since I just found out that they're not from around here, but from Tempe Arizona, I'm so glad I made it out to see these guys - a new addition to my list of top "local" bands!