Thrashed to Death at the Wiltern: This thrash metal tour was dubbed the Klash of the Titans, a nod to the old Clash of the Titans tours that featured Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax. In this case, the tour featured the magnificent duo of Kreator and Sepultura, plus Bay Area thrash pioneers Death Angel. Spirit World opened but, sorry guys, we didn’t make it to the Wiltern venue Downtown in time to see them.
We’ll start with the headliners and work backwards. We have to be honest — we don’t always have a good read on which metal bands are still hugely popular in Los Angeles. A tour with Kreator headlining sold out the Wiltern. Later this year, fellow German metal band Halloween play the YouTube Arena. And yet the likes of Overkill, Testament and Exodus play relatively smaller venues such as the House of Blues. Possessed and Vio-Lence are still playing the Whisky.
Kreator do deserve their enthusiastic fanbase though. Since 1982 they’ve been frontrunners in a German thrash scene that also included Sodom and Destruction. That “Teutonic” metal was always gloriously overblown, epic and anthemic, and all of that grandiosity was on display at the Wiltern. Their mascot, the Violent Mind, hovered over everything at the back of the stage; what was once a disembodied head is now a muscular demon, contemplating everything before him like a metal version of The Thinker.
The setlist was spot on. Crowd faves such as “Flag of Hate” sit alongside the title track from last year’s Hate Über Alles perfectly. The likes of “Enemy of God” and “Satan is Real” leave nothing to the imagination. Kreator ask the question, how much metal is too much metal? The answer is, we’re still trying to find out.
By now, enough has been said about the fact that the current lineup of Brazilian thrash titans Sepultura is far from the original lineup. The good news is that Max and Iggor Cavalera still tour Seps sets. But Sepultura 2023 is still a heavy beast.
At the Wiltern, they offered classic such as “Propaganda” and “Territory” alongside newer material. The closing quad-punch of “Refuse/Resist,” “Arise,” “Ratamahatta,” and “Roots” was magnificent, as was the resulting circle pit.
Before that, Death Angel blasted through a crowd-pleasing set of old school trash goodies, representing the Bay Area, thrash metal ground zero, with aplomb. The likes of “Lord of Hate” and “Thrown to the Wolves” were lapped top by a voracious L.A. crowd.
Thrash, it seems, is still super-popular in these parts.
Thrashed to Death at the Wiltern: For more info, visit kreator-terrorzone.de.
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