Last weekend, Warbringer whirled through The Shredder in Boise, Idaho with Exmortus, and they decimated! This show was a very special one for me. Not only did I get to interact with and see one of my favorite bands of all time, every local outfit that played is composed of members whom I know well and care for deeply. Kurgan Hypothesis ripped the show open, followed by death metal trio Embryocide, and the mighty Krystos. I am proud of each and every one of them. They increasingly set the tone of the night set after set after… you get the idea, they were badass!
When Exmortus started their set, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was absolutely stunned by the musicianship that on display before me. Well half-stunned. Half of their lineup was being filled by Warbringer members Carlos Cruz (drummer) and Chase Becker (guitarist), and I knew how killer they were, but I was completely blown away by frontman Jadran “Conan” Gonzalez. It was really cool to see how well they were all able to work together and pump out a ridiculously brutal set. I think the coolest part had to be their cover of Boston’s “Foreplay”!
I heard a few people who were mixing around after the set say that Exmortus is allegedly coming back to Boise during a spring/summer tour. If so, I would say you would be in remiss if you missed them!
With that, brings us to Warbringer.If I could describe them to someone who is unfamiliar with them, each of their albums is a high-speed chase from hell, for lack of a better phrase. Their dynamic is furious and keeps you on your toes. Now, imagine that in a very small area and at face-melting volume. Those elements fused together to create pure high octane adrenaline. The mosh pit was bigger than I had ever seen at the Shredder, and the bands weren’t doing anything to put out the fire. They continued to douse the crowd in heavy metal gasoline and flame.
As I said before, Warbringer is one of my favorite bands of all time. Getting to hear some of my favorite songs from them in such an intimate setting was an amazing experience.
I have to attribute a lot of this to John Kevill. I have to admit, my inner fangirl came out quite a bit that night. He has had an inadvertent hand in the molding of myself as a vocalist. I got the opportunity to growl at the end of “Combat Shock,” and during the second “Shellfire” chorus we both made finger guns to each other’s heads and shouted the words together in each other’s faces; “a lost generation dies by gunshot to the head!”
They played their newest effort, Woe to the Vanquished in its entirety. The history nerd in me loves the influence of historical events. In this case, ‘Woe to the Vanquished’, or ‘Vae Victus’ in Latin refers to the sacking of Rome by the Gauls and Brennus at the end of the 300’s BC, but I digress.
After Warbringer’s set they hung around the bar, bullshitting with anyone who wanted to listen, which was really cool to see. I had the opportunity to talk to John for a bit and learned of his shared love for Bathory’s Hammerheart, and talked history, video games, the works.
All in all, this show was an experience that I won’t soon forget, and I hope you have a similar one if you get the opportunity. This mini tour cycle will end just before the holidays, so make sure to keep your eyes and ears out for their whereabouts at the beginning of the year!
All photos © 2017 Katarzyna Cepek Photography