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(Live Review) CENTURY + SUPPORT - Reggie's, Chicago (3/17/23)


Review by: Mark McQueen


The Metal bus rolls on to stop number three and bands 10-13 of the year as tonight, The Beard and Little Johnny review Swedish heavy metal act Century, along with Stress Angel, Wraith and Force.


Anticipating a tough slog through Chicago traffic on a St. Patrick’s Day Friday, your intrepid reviewers left early and arrived a couple of hours before showtime. So, after a mile and a half (life in your hands) trek across Chicago traffic, we arrived at Lo Rez brewery. They have a reputation as having some of the best Belgian beers in the city.


The Beard sampled the Lime Wire, the X-mas Dub, and the Coconut Quadcore. Johnny enjoyed the Deamon and the Party guy. (Seems appropriate). Lo-Rez Brewery is a nice place with friendly service, and we will be back to try more of their selections in the future. For now, though it’s a trek back to Reggie’s. Johnny is hungry and it’s 50 cent wing night. A little food to get us both right for rock.


FORCE

Force is from Milwaukee. (What? Are all the Chicago bands busy tonight?) Anyway, they were average thrash metal. Vocals were too screamy for my tastes, and the singer looked like Triple H (if he stopped taking steroids). Johnny was mildly interested. Calling them a 74/100.


WRAITH

From Indiana with touches of black, speed, thrash, and punk metal. Kind of like the kid that wants every flavor of ice cream. The Beard's opinion is speed metal wins. They had clean vocals though, (which I always enjoy), and best of all Johnny got to mosh as circle pits were abundant during their set.


Actually, Wraith are pretty damn good. Their sound is in the vein of, (and for fans of), Bewitcher or Bat. Mosh pits were intense. Johnny crashed right over a table. Little dude bounced right back up though. He’s like a rubber ball. The Beard would have needed EMT’s.


I’m calling Wraith an 85/100. Johnny was a big fan as well and we did visit their merch booth to show our appreciation by buying a t-shirt.




STRESS ANGEL

Next up were Stress Angel. Black death metal touring behind their Bursting Churches release. Drink some water Johnny, it ain’t gonna get any slower up there.


Singer, (who was also the drummer so points for that), had that very gravelly Lemmy from Motorhead voice, but their guitar sound was definitely 90’s era black metal. Although not my personal taste, they were pretty melodic for black death metal.


Well, it finally happened, a flying body from the mosh pit sailed into my seat at full speed. The Beard is proud to say he did maintain a grip on his beer (although the can was severely misshapen after the crash). As is the deal at metal shows, the dude got up, asked if I was all right, when I responded in the affirmative, he shot me the horns then dove back in the pit. Close confines metal reviewing, it can be hazardous.


Mishap aside, I can go a solid 83/100 for Stress Angel. Johnny liked them a little less than Wraith. “Heavier but slower” he said.


CENTURY

Headliner Century of Sweden were inspired by the same 80’s metal The Beard was, namely Iron Maiden, Mercyful Fate etc. They present as the NWOBHM sound. Classic metal, clean vocals with the occasional high-pitched wail. Their sound screams the classic era of metal, although you can dial it all down a couple notches from the bands they’re emulating.


After so much moshing, this was back to pure classic headbanging. Century gave a solid set with little wasted motion. Some guitar riffs were very close to Maiden. Really close. Like, Steve Harris could sue close. I don’t know though, all metal sounds like something, I just think some stuff was played very similar.


The Beard is calling it a very good set though, and awarding 88/100 .


Johnny had gotten a bit tired and was actually ready to get loaded up for the trip home. Maybe I need to walk him before every show. Little dude will probably sleep all the way home.


The next ride of the Metal Bus will see our dynamic duo headed to Houston for the giant three-day Hells Hero’s festival. Those days will certainly test our stamina.


Until we rock again, remember you can read all The Beard & Little Johnny reviews right here on the Mighty Decibel, and you can see all our videos and live concert footage on TikTok by searching the beard0728 or #thebeardandlittlejohnny.


Until next time, this is the Beard and Little Johnny saying “Horns Up”





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