17 dates through the UK and Ireland and 13 more across Europe have the fans of EXODUS limbering up those neck muscles in eager anticipation of a brutal slaying at every show. An EXODUS delivery is not for the faint hearted as there will always be much wailing and gnashing of teeth, and, jostling for position in an unruly mosh pit. Pit stop number 5 on the Tour sees the monsters of thrash hit Belfast with the latest sizzling sensation, LOST SOCIETY who weren’t content with just warming up the crowd, but were hell bent on absolutely scorching the stage to the point where paint was blistering off the boards.
LOST SOCIETY attacked the Belfast Limelight stage like their young lives depended on it. Practically chomping at the bit to get going, they pile on a show that keeps the action at a breakneck, high octane level throughout. Front man and guitarist Samy Elbanna with teeth gritted and head down, launched into heavy riffing as soon as he reached front and centre. When they delivered ‘I am the antidote’, the first single from their third and astounding new album ‘Braindead’, this very infectious young band that hail from Finland had Belfast baying for more than blood. Samy has the personality of a rock star, interacting often with screams of “are you having a good time? We are!” which the crowd thoroughly relished.
LOST SOCIETY has the kind of crackling, kinetic energy that only comes from a band that is as confident and enthusiastic as they are, and sure why not? Not only have they three albums out and been signed up to Nuclear Blast, have played in Japan twice, but they have a rock solid and loyal fan base which will have increased after tonight. Touring with the greats like OVERKILL, DESTRUCTION etc and now their idols EXODUS can only mean there is just one way to go for this innovative band, and that’s up. Although a pure bred thrash band, they also showed diversity and intelligence in their song writing, with slower, more melodic songs, as well as 90 miles per hour thrashers like ‘Kill’ that sent the crowd crazy. The unmistakable talent these young guys displayed tonight was heart warming and reassuring for the future of thrash.
Samy Elbana (vocals and guitar) Arttu Lesonen (guitar) Mirko Lehtinen (bass) Ossi Paananen (drums) commanded the stage with a confidence and conviction that provoked onlookers who didn’t know this band to ask, “who the hell are these guys?” and others, “when are they coming back?” A whirlwind romance has commenced with new and adoring Northern Irish fans. LOST SOCIETY are now where METALICA and EXODUS where 30 years ago, so mark my words, this is the best new thing to grow from the flames of thrash, and you would be an idiot not to recognise such a talent, go see a show and you to will agree.
EXODUS; probably thee most influential thrash band of our era and as a consequence the magnificence of this band goes unparalleled. Belfast was given a refined, very up close and classic tutorial on the art of delivering thrash! A lesson in violence indeed, of how to execute brutal material for over an hour that can only be compared to having your tongue nailed to the table every morning at breakfast. A band of this calibre is expected to deliver without question, and this is exactly what they did; riveting the very first riff firmly into the foreheads of a Manic-Monday night thrash thirsty crowd, after a fastidious warm up from support act LOST SOCIETYin a jam packed venue.
Steve ‘Zetro’ Souza (the face of Exodus, for me anyway) grinning from ear to ear looked firmly at home back where he belongs and (as he put it in an earlier interview with yours truly) his “3rd tour of duty”, led the rest of the pack in the crowd pleasing ‘Black 13’ swiftly followed by ‘Blood In Blood Out’. The furious shredding continued and the crowd rose to the occasion with the quickest formation of a mosh pit that I’ve ever witnessed! ‘Deranged’ and ‘Body Harvest” almost broke into a riot as the stage diving, walls of death, chanting and screeching at Souza had the very foundations of the Limelight struggling to stay beneath the feet of the steady, stomping mass. There was just no stopping EXODUS. They came to destroy and destroy they did with no mercy as they smashed the thrash in ‘A Lesson In Violence’ with a true road warrior conviction. Missing Gary Holt (who had a prior engagement with SLAYER) didn’t dampen any enthusiasm either.
Trusted oldies and new beauties rolled off the stage relentlessly cracking a few skulls throughout! It was absolutely wonderful to stand back and watch an enthused crowd sing along word for word to firm favourite ‘The Toxic Waltz’ and every other song for that matter; well the people that weren’t hell bent on the destruction of the venue at least, which was well noted by a very happy faced Souza. Lee Altus lay comfortably behind his guitar delivering impeccable solos like it was just another family afternoon teatime.
This is one gig that will be hard to top, and I have absolutely no doubt about that. EXODUS, started a story three decades ago that has many more chapters waiting to be added to the book. This band is royalty in thrash in more ways than one in my opinion. The music speaks for itself but the men behind the music are gentlemen and talented beyond belief, and may they reign supreme for many more years, innovating and inspiring young bands like LOSTSOCIETY to get out there and continue to entertain us in the name of metal.
Words by Brenda
Photos by Mark Mc Grogan
Set list EXODUS:
BLOOD IN BLOOD OUT
AND THEN THERE WERE NONE
CHILDREN OF A WORTHLESS GOD
SALT THE WOUND
A LESSON IN VIOLENCE
WAR IS MY SHEPHERD
BONDED BY BLOOD
THE TOXIC WALTZ
STRIKE OF THE BEAST