Blistering metal at Three Links
One word that doesn’t spring to mind when thinking of metal acts Valient Thorr, Gypsyhawk, and Ramming Speed is “mellow.” And yet, the show featuring these bands at Three Links in Deep Ellum on Thursday, June 27, started out as precisely that. Whether it was due to the oppressive heat outside, or the house music featuring such metal favorites as Michael Bublé, there was a distinctly mellow vibe while waiting for the show to start.
Unfortunately, this lethargy seemed to get the better of the opening act, Tyrannosorceress. The lead singer seemed as though he may have spent too much time in the heat; he didn’t look well. The rest of the band did their best to try to pick up some speed, but overall the energy just seemed lacking.
Fortunately, there was a second opener, apparently added to the bill at the last second. Steel Bearing Hand had no problems with energy whatsoever. Thrashing through their set with blinding speed, they set the tone for the remainder of the evening. You can find an EP of their work, free of charge, at their Bandcamp site, including a fantastic cover of Motorhead’s “The Hammer.”
Leading off the touring bands, Ramming Speed picked up right where Steel Bearing Hand left off. If anything, the band seemed to be having way too much fun, given the doom and oppression of the death metal lyrics. The jovial mood can be forgiven, though, as they are celebrating the release of their new album through Prosthetic Records, “Doomed to Destroy, Destined to Die.” Their thrash metal/grindcore sound is worth a listen, and they are definitely a band to see live.
Next to take the stage was Gypsyhawk. One look at these guys (and the fringed leather jacket), and you feel like you’re seeing a metal band from the 70s. Once they start playing, you know that’s not a bad thing. The classic rock feel is combined with a modern metal sensibility, and they had no trouble keeping up with the preceding thrash bands. And just in case you weren’t already getting the throwback idea, Gypsyhawk tossed in a cover of Boston’s “Peace of Mind.” If you weren’t craving a beer or six by the end of this set, you weren’t paying attention.
Wrapping up the evening was Valient Thorr. If you haven’t seen these guys, they are a bit difficult to classify. “Party metal” is probably the best description. One part rock, one part revival, one part alien encounter, it all combines into a good time. Who knew that visitors from Venus were such fans of Pac-Man? The show provided rock and roll, words of inspiration, and a bit of undulating about on the floor with the fans. These guys are also riding the wave of a new album release, “Our Own Masters” on Volcom Entertainment.
After Valient Thorr’s encore, they called the audience up to the stage for a group photo (above). The enthusiasm evident in the photo shows that the mellow start to the evening couldn’t keep these bands, or their fans, down.
Steel Bearing Hand