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Electric Ballroom, Camden, London, England

November 24th, 1986

Piggy (Voivod)
Pic: R. Hould

This was the big one; the first of what will, hopefully, be many more Shades promoted thrash gigs. Several hundred rabid mosh dogs had given the two fingered salute to Bon Jovi and Queensrÿche playing Hammersmith the same night and had gathered to pay homage to three master blaster thrash acts. Let battle commence.

The English Dogs delivered a set of original “Techno Mosh” (to me they just sound like an above average metal band with a hardcore singer). They were okay, but the set was just too long and ultimately became boring. Having said that, they sounded far, far better than on the rather lacklustre Where Legend Began album, aided by an excellent sound, so if they can put this kind of “balls out, kick ass” performance on their next record then they should start getting somewhere.

Now Voivod are not exactly a band who’ve enjoyed a good deal of attention in these pages – even Dave Constable found their debut album, War And Pain, less than enjoyable when he reviewed it many an issue ago (fuckin’ glam wimp or what?!!) – but it has to be said that the Canadians produced a devastating performance that I’ll certainly remember witnessing for a long time to come! They hit the stage to a torrent of gob from the crowd, foaming at the mouth for a chance to thrash. And thrash they did; Voivod’s music (?!) encouraging many a young oik onto the stage and then dive head first back into the near suicidal fray. Highlight of the set (ie the only one anybody can remember) was a rousing version of ‘Fuck Off And Die’. Whether this was the only track they played is open to debate, although rumour suggests they may have done ‘Blower’ and ‘Voivod’ amongst it all somewhere!

And then came Possessed! These boys were probably the main reason many people attended this Dave Constable organized bash – including me. Possessed hit the stage at 200mph and didn’t stop running. Taking all the best stuff from their two albums, Seven Churches, and the recently released Beyond The Gates, the San Franciscan four-piece blitzed a trail of aural devastation that hadn’t been seen since Slayer hit town last year. Messrs. Torrao, LaLonde, Sus and Becerra made mincemeat out of the PA and though I detected several fuck-ups (duff notes etc) it tasted damn good to me. We got ‘Seven Churches’, ‘Seance’, ‘Satan’s Curse’ and all the best Possessed stuff, and although I thought Voivod’s performance was slightly better, Possessed matched them inch for inch, nail for nail, in the intense stakes and as the pace hotted up so did the thrashin’. There was some incredible stage diving goin’ on. Wild man, wild, ha!

Possessed (l-r): Mike Torrao, Jeff Becerra and Larry LaLonde

I’m sure that everyone who attended this event will agree with me when I say that it was fuckin’ brilliant, and I’m certainly glad I witnessed it rather than a bunch of toss over at the Hammersmith Odeon (how much are you paying Desmond Child for hits Jonny?!). With the promise of more gigs like this to come (who mentioned Kreator and Destruction, Dave?!) the future of thrashers looks good. Keep it that way kids. Behave and you’ll mosh your little hearts out, okay?!

Dave Reynolds

Review taken from Metal Forces, Issue 21 (1986)