Our roving reporter was unfortunately sick for this gig… but Debs from ‘Detoxen’ and ‘The London Metal Coalition’ stepped in to capture this banger of a review for us, and photog/Videographer Rich Crooks kindly gave us permission to use the stills.. legends both!!Editors Note
10th Dec 2022 – Halberd / Thrasherwolf / Secreum / Fracture Point
Now that my memory has started to come back from the absolutely glorious chaos of the 10th December, I can put into words what transpired at what I am happy to report was one of the best shows I have seen put on this year. The show was to celebrate the release of “Thrashbestos”, the latest EP from down and dirty London thrashers Halberd, and across the night they had curated what promised to be an amazing night at what is arguably my favourite venue (so far), The Black Heart.
Kicking off the night with Fracture Point, these lads seemed determined to set things off with a bang. As a crowd formed front of stage, the band kicked the party off in style with “Possession”, bouncing through a pleasing blend of different thrash elements and keeping the crowd hyped early on. Starting off a line-up as impressive as this is often a daunting task but these guys took it all in stride. Having not seen the band before, I can definitely say I look forward to seeing them again!
After a short break to grab a pint of Hells at the bar, I ran back to the front to watch Secreum, a band whose members boast an incredible and diverse musical skill set. What grabs me with this band is how effortlessly they play through rhythmically demanding songs while keeping the show lively and exciting. A lesser band would struggle with what I call the “pedalboard stare” but Secreum know how to get the crowd going and have polished every song to perfection. If you’ve seen them before, you probably won’t have heard their mid-set banger “Metamorphosis”, a new song to add to their set, but you will very likely have heard the brilliant guest vocals from Charlotte Jones. Finishing with “Behind the Mirror” gets the crowd moving, brings the heavy, and leaves everybody ready for more.
Thrasherwolf up next and this is a young band who have been making a name for themselves with a very busy touring schedule and when they take to the stage, it’s not hard to see how they’ve become so popular. Kicking off with fan favourite “A Thousand Eyes”, these guys are disciples of the old school, bringing you that fun thrash sound that gives your neck muscles a solid workout. Dan is clearly a frontman who enjoys his job in the band and really wants you to know about it, which is so important for cultivating a solid rapport with a crowd. They round off their set with (my personal fave) “The Vortex”, leaving the Black Heart suitably sweaty for the main event.
Having seen Halberd many times over the years, and in a variety of different states (both myself and the band), tonight feels a little bit more special. Thrashbestos is an EP that you feel aims to show you how the band has grown since they first came onto the scene. It’s an EP that makes you want more – more music, more chaos, and at least one more beer. One of my comments on the EP recently was it makes you want to join in, and lo and behold, two songs in and already the crowd knows what to do – and the EP only got released that day! “Killionaire” is destined to be one of those songs you’ll hear at a show and instantly hear the entire audience screaming along with it, it’s pure thrash show Viagra for the audience. I think part of what’s deceptive with the band is their stage presence feels befitting of a band that’s been doing this for decades. Casey bounces around the stage in full control of the audience, and it is an audience who are more than ready to receive the bounty of thrash on offer. It’s difficult to describe the whole set as by the end the entire scene looked like a Renaissance painting set to the sound of really good bloody thrash, but if I ever see the haunted face of the masks they made of their guitarist, it will be a second too soon. Obviously the set ends with “Thrashbestos” (the song) and rightly so the band is demanded back for an encore by
an audience baying for blood (or beer, I had also been drinking and it was getting hard to tell). After they finished all I remember was people in the crowd commenting about how “that is how thrash is supposed to be”, grinning madly and sweating profusely.
A good show takes a couple of days to process, and this took me a week. Halberd promised me a party to remember, and I would heartily recommend you all turn up for their next show, whenever that is! All in all the bands were well selected to represent exactly what Thrasbestos stands for – fast, loud, aggressive metal performed by some of the best underground bands to a bunch of sweaty, drunk thrash fans.
Exactly the way it should be.