Chuck Schuldiner Project

Monday, January 5, 2015

Skull Fist, Elm Street, Night Demon, FraXurE and Widow at Webster Hall in NYC

I have a freakish dedication to this music, and I'm not sure why, but nights like last night make it all worth it. After a two hour car ride up to New York City from Philly with a couple of friends to go hang out with Elm Street it was time for a show to be remembered. Though I was hanging out within the venue before the show, as soon as the doors opened it seemed like something from a movie. The group of young fans seemed pulled straight out of the 80s, all super dedicated to the music and stoked and passionate about all the bands to come.

Widow were the first act to hit the stage, having come all the way from North Carolina for a one off. They were a lot of fun to watch, and they clearly had fun on stage. A three piece who often relied on only bass and drum parts they had flashy solos and all sorts of headbanging madness accentuating the magic of what they were doing. It's been far too long since I've seen a heavy metal band like this, and the tinges of Motorhead linked up with bits of death metal and other genres helped to make their set memorable and fun. They proved to be a great start to a night that would reek of heavy metal madness.

The next band to storm the stage were FraXurE featuring a hyper talented baby faced guitarist and a frontman who could pretty much be his father. All kidding aside, these guys were extremely tight, especially considering both how technical there music was and that this was only their third gig ever. They know how to rip it up though and they have the potential to go far. It's rare that you have a heavy metal band with this much attitude and fun. Their covers of Sentinel and the Evil that Men Do cemented them in my memory and left me begging for more. With a little luck I can book them in Philly in the near future!

I had been hoping to see Night Demon (And unfortunately I missed them at a previous show because i was 21+) and they were everything I had hoped for and more. Not a lot of heavy metal bands really flaunt the NWOBHM influence these days and it was really fun to watch these guys. They were fun to headbang along too and the high speed solos along with the bands great stage presence proved to me that they are set to be legends in their own lifetimes. They stomp it out and leave the listener in awe. A band who understand that the pleasure is to play, I predict good things happening soon for these California rockers!

Now, I was supposed to Elm Street the first time they played in Paris, however on that occasion I was unfortunately... otherwise occupied partying with Warbringer. Now I'm disappointed that I missed them, if only because Ben, the bands singer and rhythm guitarist is possibly the best frontman in metal right now. His passion for the music is insane and he left the whole crowd moshing. After diving into the pit and celebrating his drummers birthday (Marking "Twenty five heavy metal years") I couldn't help but think that this is what bands like Metallica must have been like back in the day. Insanely dedicated and unable to stop thrashing.

Finally it was time for Skull Fist, the band whose motto was "Get Fisted" I wasn't sure what to expect from these guys, but I've heard extremely good things about their new record Chasing the Dream (Which as a matter of fact I am currently listening too) They not only play some high powered speed metal, they look like a speed metal band with short bangs and tight jeans. Yet don't think these guys are a retro act, some of their techniques and madness is only 2015 material. The highlight of the set came when the bands lead guitarist hopped onto the shoulders of the frontman for the final song, prompting piggybacking in the pit. These guys know how to have fun live, and they may very well be the defining American speed metal act of the 2010's.

As the night came to a close I was tired and broken. Yet also victorious. I had scored a few good interviews, a kick ass stage dive during Night Demons set, and a few scars in the pit. Perhaps more importantly I met a whole bunch of cool cats who I hope become close friends. The New York City scene right now is extremely exciting and seems to be ready to explode. If you have the means, move their now, because if nothing else, last night proved to me that this city is above all else a true heavy metal hub!

Find the bands on Facebook!

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