Crowbar, Battlecross, Lord Dying, Terrifier, Bog, Without Mercy at Rickshaw Theatre

Wednesday 24th, June 2015 / 12:45
By Heath Fenton
Crowbar at Rickshaw Theatre. Photo: Tiina Liimu

Crowbar at Rickshaw Theatre.
Photo: Tiina Liimu

June 10, 2015

VANCOUVER — A six-band bill is more like a small festival rather than a gig, and what was peculiar is that it was still light outside by the time the second-to-last band came on. Welcome to summer. I thought I’d arrived early enough to see the whole show, but instead I walked into second band, Bog, as they crippled the rafters with their wall of noisy sludge. Terrifier simply slayed with their arena-worthy thrash metal gallop. I was very impressed by both locals.

Lord Dying was up next. This Portland band was new to me and became a welcome surprise with some raw stoner stuff straight from the gutter and very punishing. Michigan’s Battlecross was a nice treat too. The vocalist provided stage banter between every song; it came across as annoying, insulting and cocky. But when he finally did shut up and Battlecross got down to business, they definitely put their music where their vocalist’s mouth was. They seemed like assholes but played like champs. It was pure high end and driving harsh metal in the vein of Lamb of God or Skeletonwitch.

It was a rather subdued with a scant crowd by the time the intimidating silhouettes of Crowbar took the stage. Guitarist-vocalist and main man Kirk Windstein let us all know it too. At one point he bellowed, “I’m 50, I’m bald, and I am sweating my balls off up here.” The purveyors of doom-laden metal wasted no time getting down to matters as they busted out instant classics “Burn Your World”, “Planets Collide,” and “All I Had (I Gave).” It was their 1­-2-­3 punch. What they may lack in stage presence, they make up with sheer power. When Windstein strikes one of his deep prodding chords and opens his mouth, it’s like a giant fist comes out and throttles the atmosphere. At that point, they chugged forth, tight and on the button. The loudest response came when they busted out their almost-unrecognizable cover of Led Zeppelin’s “No Quarter.” With 10 albums to their credit, there was substantial repertoire to choose from. They stuck to their older, tried and true material, especially concentrating on their legendary self-titled 1992 record.

Windstein had to practically threaten the crowd before an encore was performed. In the end it seemed that Windstein was angry. But it was hard to tell, because Windstein always seems angry.

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