Man, Saint Vitus Bar, the home of countless great shows and endless good times. At this point of my life Saint Vitus has become a sort of lodestone for my existence. No matter how much I might try to stay away I can't help but to keep coming back, in love with the venue, the sound and the people. There's a lot to dig, and it's only accentuated when you have three solid bands in the form of Homewrecker, Oathbreaker and Iron Reagan. The headliner, Skeletonwitch, I unfortunately had to miss, but that doesn't detract from the packed house and heavy grooves that defined the soiree.
I hadn't seen Homewrecker in over a year, but I still remember their ferocious attack. Matt Izzi is a veritable beast on stage, almost transforming as he lets the power of the music wash over him. Homewrecker is the sort of metal band who can't help but to stun you - who show you a fucked up and magical side to themselves that leaves you trying to come to terms with what you just saw. As they slowly transition to death metal their live performances seem to get even wilder, with every crushing chord and devastating breakdown reflecting a lifetime of bitterness and despair. Homewrecker come out of the gate and tell it like it is, presenting a bold new future for their genre.
While I've definitely listened to Oathbreaker in the past it had been a while since I was exposed to them and their unique brand of post rock fused with hardcore is a pleasure to watch come together on stage. They understand the power of extreme music, but balance that with what can be wonderfully delicate vocals. Their use of juxtaposition, not just in their music but also their live presentation is delicious and shows you just how good this band is. Oathbreaker are a logical extension on the world renown Belgian hardcore scene, taking the sound to a place that has an eerie beauty and an otherworldly magic.
Finally the hour was nigh for Iron Reagan - a band I've seen what feels like a million times but am still desperately in love with. There was a dinosaur in the mosh pit who stage dived on the first song and it seemed to only get crazier from there. There is a sort of gleeful violence to Iron Reagan's music - they totally understand what they are going for and deliver on a magical level. It's impossible not to have a good time at an Iron Reagan show because everyone on stage is clearly having the time of their lives. Iron Reagan understand the fundamental power of thrash metal and hardcore, and at this point I think I like them more than Municipal Waste.
I had to run then, off to a harsh noise show in a church. Yet the time I spent at Saint Vitus will surely prove to be memorable. It's rare that you get to see three such solid bands who represent so much of what makes the hardcore and metal scene great in 2016. It was a perfectly curated lineup for an evening that would leave us all smiling. Stage diving, thrashing and worshipping the fallen gods of a time forgot Saint Vitus guided us into our Halloweekend with reckless abandon. Sure this might not work for everyone, but it certainly works for us.
Find the bands on Facebook!
Iron Reagan: https://www.facebook.com/IRONREAGAN/?fref=ts