Havok, Warbringer and Gorod at the Underworld, London - live review
Venue: Underworld, London
The Gospel - live
It’s worth remembering that, for all of the success of The Big 4, thrash was never meant to be played in stadiums. Tonight’s sticky-floored confines provide the perfect setting to the old-school thrills this music still delivers. Although GOROD  and their proficient tech-death seem like an odd opener, it’s doubly confusing as the band’s smiley demeanour is totally at odds with their music. It takes WARBRINGER  to light the touchpaper. The Los Angeles quintet revel in delivering every absurd cliché in the thrash handbook, but you can’t argue with the wailing, screeching likes of Remain Violent. On current form, with latest album Conformicide already wounding necks worldwide, HAVOK  might just be the premier live band in thrash. Tight like a boa constrictor and vicious as a viper, they, and the circlepitting punters, decimate this venue. Whether it’s classics like DOA or new tracks like set highlight Hang ’Em High, Havok never miss a beat. Even though they stick rigidly to thrash’s blueprint, there’s enough personality in their playing for them to feel vital today.