Rigor Mortis, Gammacide, Devilfist and Demonseed are all the musical ingredients the supergroup Texas Metal Alliance needed to create Warbeast, a legendary Texas thrash metal super supergroup. Adding just a dash of "no bullshit metal onslaught" by local acts Protest and The Black Moriah, Warbeast sent fans into a mosh-filled frenzy on Saturday night at The Boiler Room in Dallas.
Located just off Elm Street, The Boiler Room offers the perfect place to evoke the gods of metal. Daily drink specials, a powerful sound system and an intimate setting that allows pulse-driving metal to reverberate long after the guitars quit playing are just some of the reasons this historic venue was named the Observer's best rock bar in 2011.
Paying homage to some of metal's lost giants - Jeff Hanneman (Slayer), Dimebag Darrell (Pantera) and Mike Scaccia (Ministry/Rigor Mortis), Warbeast treated fans to an intimate concert that transcended a typical Dallas metal show as local metal legends Bruce Corbitt, Scott Shelby and Casey Orr walked among fans, sharing whiskey and banging their heads in support of local music.
Black t-shirts embroidered with various bands and blue denim jeans jackets were the evening's attire for most of the outlaws, sending my memories spiraling back to the late '80s when Metallica dominated the metal charts and Dave Mustaine of Megadeth changed guitarists more often than Madonna reinvented herself.
The opening acts inspired fans to slam into each other, forming pseudo mosh pits in front of the small stage. Songs entitled "Corruption" and Fueled" by Protest and "Casket Prospects" and "Exile of Avalon" by The Black Moriah thundered from the speakers, and bodies literally hit the floor when Warbeast's lead guitarist Scott Shelby entered the mosh pit. Shelby pushed, shoved and roared as if he were transforming into Gnmange, a werewolf who shreds the guitar and women in leather. (See official "Blood Moon" trailer.)
Since the release of their first album Krush the Enemy in 2010, Warbeast has been touring nonstop across America and Europe. In 2012, the Texas thrashers took time off to record their second album Destroy, which hit shelves on April 2. Under the guidance of former Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo, the Texas thrashers imbue their new album with creativity, enthusiasm and passion, something sorely lacking in this over-saturated genre.
Playing mostly songs from their new album, Warbeast pulverized fans with a chemistry that only Texas musicians can share. The band opened with "Egotistical Bastards," a song lead singer Bruce Corbitt dedicated to his former Rigor Mortis band mate Mike Scaccia. Guitarists Shelby and Bobby Tillotson Jr. take the complexity of their shredding to another level of thrashdom. "Blood Moon" offered a glimpse of the band's storytelling mastery as the werewolf Gnmange's story unfolded on stage. "Birth of a Psycho" was Corbitt's song of the evening, inspiring one of the most violent mosh pits to erupt in the middle of the crowd.
The combination of Shelby and Tilloston's guitar skills, Corbitt's old-school lyrics and the thundering rhythm of bassist Casey Orr and drummer Joey Gonzalez offered fans a rare glimpse into an era when thrash metal reigned supreme without having to steal a mad doctor's modified DeLorean to make the trip through time.
Be sure to check out Warbeast's Mike Scaccia birthday/tribute show with Goatwhore, the Scaccianators and Hammer Witch and Rotting Corpse at Trees on June 14.