Satan Makes Long-Awaited Visit To San Francisco

Review by Avinash Mittur
[Photos by Raymond Ahner] 

October 25th 2014, Elbo Room, San Francisco CA: A few months ago, I wrote a few pieces on a San Francisco concert series called Lucifer’s Hammer. It was a weekly event that featured rare and legendary touring acts supported by the best locals in town. Though the weekly shows came to an end, Lucifer’s Hammer lived on. On October 25th 2014, the Hammer struck once again. Last Saturday night, everyone at the Elbo Room had been waiting for what felt like forever. In my case, “forever” was only about three months. For a select few, “forever” was thirty years. We were waiting for Satan, the mighty New Wave of British Heavy Metal band that never received their due back in the day. Two years ago, the band released their outstanding comeback record, ‘Life Sentence’, but only now have they decided to hit North America in support of it. Last Saturday, Satan made their maiden voyage up the West Coast to the Elbo Room in San Francisco and with the help of some damn great support, brought the Bay Area to its knees. Continue reading

Neurosis Quakes The Regency In San Francisco

Review by Avinash Mittur, photos by Raymond Ahner

December 29th 2013, The Regency Ballroom, San Francisco CA: 2013 has been a landmark year for the Bay Area heavy metal live show. This year, the place has seen an astounding number of one-of-a-kind events in just about every style of the music. The likes of Orchid, Brocas Helm, Death Angel and Exodus leveled their venues with special hometown shows, while touring acts like Bolt Thrower and Clutch played houses packed wall-to-wall with rabid and enthusiastic fans. That being said, 2013 ended with an experience that music enthusiasts can always count on being incredible: a local show from the godfathers of the Bay Area underground heavy metal, Neurosis. Thanks to an outstanding bill, an exceptional audience and awe-inspiring performances, this night made for one of the finest metal concerts of the year and a perfect demonstration of just how great Bay Area heavy metal can potentially be. Continue reading

Ovvl Brings Down House In Concord

By Avinash Mittur

August 25th 2013, The Greenhouse, Concord CA: As the years go by, I seem to find myself in increasingly random places to see shows. On Sunday night I dropped by a small house in Concord, CA to attend a truly special heavy rock concert. Though I’ve been to shows in all sorts of places and settings, this was my first house show, a glimpse of the Bay Area’s underground music community. The show was one stop on an extensive West Coast tour for Oakland’s Ovvl, who brought Portland, OR’s Crag Dweller along for some of the dates. This concert was certainly unlike any I’ve ever seen or attended- it’s also probably the most intimate and personal show I’ve ever been a part of. Continue reading

Slough Feg Raises Hell In Oakland

By Avinash Mittur

July 5th 2013, Eli’s Mile High Club, Oakland CA: ”True metal” is a somewhat vague phrase, so I’ll let Urban Dictionary define it: “True metal- Metal that stays true to the original tenets of the genre. Metal that is about integrity and not getting your music video on MTV or Fuse. Metal that is about staying true to yourself and not following whatever is popular at the moment. Metal that is about the music and not the money. Metal that the makers have put effort and time into, not little effort righteous preaching and teen angst. Metal that you mosh to, not fight invisible ninjas to. Metal that stands the test of time because true metal will never die.” By this definition, Eli’s Mile High Club in Oakland was host to a night of the truest of heavy metal music. San Francisco’s Slough Feg and Midnight Chaser joined forces with Portland, OR’s Spellcaster for a couple hours of heavy metal music in the old school tradition. No growls, no blast beats, and perhaps most importantly, no invisible ninjas.

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Saturday Night In San Francisco: An Evening Of High Energy Heavy Metal

By Avinash Mittur

June 22nd 2013, Thee Parkside, San Francisco CA: Once every now and again, you see a show that truly embodies a local sound and community to their fullest extents. On Saturday June 22nd, such a show happened. The location was Thee Parkside Bar & Grill in San Francisco, and the music was classic heavy metal, with its loving fans gathered en masse. For a mere $8, these jolly metalheads got to see three outstanding hometown acts: Hell Fire, My Victim and Midnight Chaser. More than any other show in recent memory, this one genuinely did justice to the spirit of Bay Area old school heavy metal. Flowing drinks, big smiles, loud riffs and a sense of togetherness that I haven’t felt in ages all coalesced into one of the most fun nights I have ever had in this weird city.  Continue reading

Bolt Thrower Conquers Pomona After Long Absence

By Avinash Mittur
[Live photos by Vince Edwards]

May 25th 2013, The Glass House, Pomona CA: It’s been over twenty long years since Bolt Thrower last stormed across America. Unless one has been lucky enough to attend Maryland Deathfest over the last few years, American metalheads have had to live without live Bolt Thrower for far too long. Sure, Bolt Thrower basically have a spotless discography to treat our ears, but that has made the wait all the more agonizing. Luckily, Southern California was finally offered the chance to see these guys once more. The location was the Glass House in Pomona, and it proved to be the perfect battleground for the carnage that would ensue. With more than able assistance from fellow death metal legends Benediction and Autopsy, this show proved to be an utterly flawless night of classic death metal- a show that has forever raised the bar for live extreme music.  Continue reading