An evening of legends playing different types of Heavy Metal at KK’s Steel Mill saw Crowbar with their take on Sludge Metal, some good old Thrash Metal from Sacred Reich and, of course, the heavy vibe of Sepultura.
Crowbar – Sacred Reich – Sepultura
KK’s Steel Mill – 4 November 2022
Words and Photography: Andy Shaw
The evening started with Crowbar and the New Orleans-based bands Sludge Metal playing a set of very old and very new. Kicking off with two tracks from their first Album, Crowbar, released in 1993, High Rate Extinction and Conquering. Kirk Windstein’s guitar has lost none of his grit, and he had definitely not lost his voice which wasps crisp as ever throughout.
I Feel The Burning Sun followed, then their first new song Bleeding From Every Hole, from their latest album, Zero And Below.
Stretched across the KK’s stage, Tommy Buckley, drums, Matt Brunson, lead guitar and Shane Wesley, bass, were a pounding, guitar-screeching accompaniment to their amazing set. To Build A Mountain, from their third album Sonic Excess In The Purest Form, followed before the awesome The Cemetery Angels, which was slow and sludgy, and you could feel the floor rumbling. This was brilliant.
“We play all around the world and are blessed to be here, y’all,” Windstein declared. Finishing their set with three songs from way back, All I Had (I Gave), Planets Collide, and Like Broken Glass, was a great opening to the evening. Long may Crowbar keep producing such intense and wonderful music.
Thrash Metal Legends Sacred Reich from Phoenix, Arizona, followed. Their set was a real combination of old and new, with a heavy leaning towards their latest album, Awakening, and, from the early ’90s, The American Way and Independent.
Opening with Divide & Conquer from Awakening, then it’s old, new and old with The American Way, Manifest Reality and Who’s To Blame. Phil Rind, bass and vocals, is such an unlikely-looking frontman, but after years of perfecting his art, his voice hits the spot every time.
KK’s crowd love this, and Rind says he can’t believe the crowd’s intensity. Two more new tracks follow, Killing Machine and the title track Awakening. Wiley Arnett, lead guitar, Dave McClain, drums and Joey Radziwill, rhythm guitar, kept the speed and precision.
Independent, Salvation, Death Squad and Surf Nicaragua closed the Sacred Reich set. It was an absolute honour to have been able to see these guys in full flow.
Time for Sepultura and a wow moment. I cannot understate how powerful, impactful and incredible it is to witness Sepultura live. Derrick Green has to be one of, if not the best, frontmen in the Heavy Metal scene at the moment. He cuts a huge imposing figure and backs it up with an archetypal rock performance.
Before a note sounds, the crowd are whipping themselves into a frenzy. Sepultura would play plenty from their incredible latest album Quadra. Isolation fired up, and we are off and running.
Bassist Paulo Jr. kept himself pretty much to himself on the huge KK’s stage, but Andreas Kisser, lead guitar, is the perfect foil for Green. We went back in time for Territory from Chaos A.D. Two more new songs, Means To An End and Capital Enslavement, sound as Sepulturaesque as each other.
Drummer Eloy Casagrande is an incredible presence, with a majority of songs starting with a drum beat. The lights highlight this before the songs continue. His inspiring tribal drum beats are a massive part of the DNA of this band.
The stunning new song Guardians Of Earth follows beautifully started with acoustic guitar before a tribal drumbeat drives into the song. Utterly brilliant.
“Good evening, Wolverhampton,” Green says. “It’s beautiful to be here with a new album. It’s old and new, but we’re thankful for us being together.” Sepultura break into Last Time. “Put your fists up in the air,” Green demands.
“You guys still with us?” Green asks. “We’re gonna play some history of Sepultura. This is from the Roots album. This is Cut-Throat.” Dead Embryonic Cells is next, followed by a beautiful rendition of Machine Messiah, showing a subtler side to their playing.
“We are gonna do some B-side shit that we don’t normally play,” Green says before Sepultura roll into This is Infected Voice. Agony of Defeat, the last song of the evening from Quadra, really shows what a stunning piece of work their new album is, both studio and live.
Booming drums signal the start of Refuse/Resist from Chaos A.D. with the crowd responding with an “oi, oi”.
“Is this Friday night?” Green asks. “Let’s have a Friday night attitude,” and are straight into Arise to finish the set before leaving the stage. The crowd demanded more, and Sepultura obliged by delivering a double from the Roots album to finish – Ratamahatta and, of course, Roots Bloody Roots.
A phenomenal performance from a band that needs to be seen, and I was very lucky to have been there.