(Live Review) BLADES OF STEEL METAL FEST, NIGHT 1 - Club Garibaldis, Milwaukee (Apr 7/22)


Review by: Mark McQueen


Most reviews will be shorter and more pointed as most of these bands were brand new to me, thus no icon status applies. Slotting, technical foibles, crowd reception, all the other influencers, do apply. Remember, this reviews the set performance, not the band as an entity. If you disagree, to quote The Dude…” well…like…that’s just your opinion, man”.


SQUIDHAMMER

Four piece with a cute blonde front woman that has that “death metal voice,” and frankly if I were married to her and she said, “Do the dishes.” OH, I’M DOING THE FUCKING DISHES! Otherwise semi clear death metal. Decent sound for an opener. Somehow a chick singing semi clean “possessed” vocals is kind of hot. Of course, that might just be my own personal problem to work out in therapy. LOL.

83/100


WOLFTOOTH

Wolftooth is power metal apparently fronted by the ghost of Uncle Jessie from the Dukes of Hazard.

That said, pretty clean vocals and traditional power metal cords. I can see looking for shirts or a CD from them. Not going to replace Manowar, but for this fest not bad at all. Good start so far. Taking off a point for an overly loud bass, though. Too much reverb happening, and it is pulling my attention away from the song. Vocally, I can hear some Demon Eye similarities. That is why it is resonating and both bands are from Indiana.

85/100


BLOODLETTER

Pretty traditional thrash attack. Not bad, but after the first two bands, a little down from them. Not much to say here.

76/100


MOLDER

Molder is death doom. I’m learning to appreciate that style more. The vocals are still indistinguishable from angry wombats, but the mix of slow and frenzied speed attack is kind of a yin/yang thing musically. I actually am finding it more palatable than I ever have before. Must be musically growing as a metalhead.

I can’t believe I’m giving this a 90/100. These guys had energy and dominance. Their cover of the thrash metal classic “Piranha” was a stellar choice. They even did the introduction perfectly. This was good death/doom mixed with old school thrash.

90/100


SKELETAL REMAINS

As I expected, this is a less talented Morbid Angel-kind-of-black-death. That is not to say without talent. This LA band has talent. Sick guitar screams, a voice from the volcanic depths, double bass drum torrid tempos. It was all done fine. This particular style is not my personal cup of bloody pus, but I wouldn’t walk away from it either. Hypnotic in a chainsaw-to-the-groin kind of way.

84/100


WHIPLASH

Whiplash is old school thrash. Think Exodus, but faster. The singer is the only original member from the 80’s and now looks and sounds like a non-jacked up Scott Steiner, (wrestling fans will get that reference), but the replacement young bucks on guitar and drums are a couple of dudes who can really play ... and they tear it up at a rapid clip. After multiple bands that frankly could have been singing about putting up sheetrock for all I knew, at least with Whiplash I understand what they are singing about.

Do you understand the words coming out of my mouth? (Thank you Chris Tucker).

86/100


Good first night. Nobody sucked. Some better-than-expected surprises. Eight more bands tomorrow including some thrash metal legends ... and another brewery to visit beforehand.