Sacred Reich, VIO-LENCE, Hidden Intent @ Enigma Bar, Adelaide 9/3/2023

Do you like your Metal fast, loose and loud? Then chances are you would have been at Enigma Bar on Thursday night where keen ticket holders had been waiting three long years for American Thrash legends VIO-LENCE and Sacred Reich to finally descended upon our city. As Sean Killian of VIO-LENCE proclaimed, there are only three kinds of shows they play; Festivals, big shows with lots of other bands, and “F*cking parties” and this was one hell of a party.

Handling the opening ceremony for this balls out Thrasherfest was none other than South Aussie Pub Thrash Tycoons Hidden Intent (yes Pub Thrash is a subgenre now and they invented it) playing to a room of long time loyal fans donning their merch, these guys are always a hit on their home turf. Speaking of merch, the line for it was almost as packed as the stage while fans eagerly queued to buy their souvenirs for the night and warmed up their necks headbanging to favourite hits A Place of Horror and Prey For Your Death. Hidden Intent delivered their set with precision and energy as usual, setting the gold standard for local bands everywhere and showing our US veteran buddies that Adelaide has some serious talent here.

VIO-LENCE amped things up exponentially during their set, and by the time they started playing Calling in the Coroner the pit was well and truly open for business with crowd surfing and chaos. With new member Adrian Aguilar on drums and Miles Dimitri Baker filling in on guitar, the band sounded incredibly tight as if they have been playing together forever. Killian’s chemistry on stage is incredible and he spent the majority of the set in among the front row, fist pumping and shaking hands with excited fans. He seemed to make a point of making eye contact with every single audience member and consistently signalling for everyone to up the energy.

The room was packed out and the sound amazing and to be honest I had never really appreciated VIO-LENCE personally, I was there for Sacred Reich but the energy of the music, impeccable sound quality and fast paced heart racing beats was intoxicating and has placed them firmly on my rotation. Finishing up with World in a World from their 1990 album Oppressing the Masses VIO-LENCE had thoroughly covered their material spanning their thirty eight year long career and left the audience pumped and sweaty.

Sacred Reich followed and turned down the tempo only slightly for the crowd to catch their breath opening with 1990 classic The American Way then more recent 2019 single Manifest Reality sounding incredibly tight, with bassist Phil Rind delivering exceptional vocals that still hit after decades of playing shows. The best part about their set was the fact that the most enthusiastic audience members where young lads in their 20s who were right up the front singing along to every track and having the time of their lives. It’s always a joy to see another generation embrace the old school and reclaim the genre for themselves proving that these older bands are timeless in their craft.

The crowd went wild for popular emotive metal ballad Who’s to Blame? like the anthem for misfits and thrashers that live for their heavy music and metal head culture, before things got fast and loud again for Death Squad and Surf Nicaragua, Wiley Arnett nailing his guitar solos effortlessly.After countess postponements and uncertainty, this double header Metal party was worth the wait, with an excellent turnout and many happy faces. If you have never experienced a true Thrash Metal show, it really is a sight to behold with more gleeful energy than a Friday morning body attack class and louder than a pack of screaming teenagers at a Bieber concert- all condensed into a tiny little dive bar on Hindley Street. With the anticipated and successful delivery of this show, things have finally come full circle and this little thrasher scene is alive and thriving.

Live Review By Bec Scheucher

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