EXODUS – Waltzes Through Dayton

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“Remember, heavy metal forever!” Steve “Zetro” Souza yelled to the packed venue on Saturday September 13 as a piranha filled sea of fists and screaming voices rejoiced.  The Oddbody’s crowd appreciated their metal history, celebrating the set with a nearly show-long pit, honoring classics to the newest headbangers.  The bay area forefathers delivered, bringing a hot, sweaty, gnarly show with Zetro’s vocals screeching and frantic guitar solos screaming.

Gary Holt’s presence was felt in spirit as they bashed out 14 songs covering the leather and denim clad gamut from Bonded to Blood In.

Dayton’s local scene warmed up ligaments starting with the heavy jamming groove of 7 levels crushing self-esteem out of the gate with the mean smile of No Use.  Originals went to dark places and deep guarded thoughts, hidden away for a reason.  They covered, arguably one of the most metal, country swinging guitar slingers in the man in black on Folsom Prison Blues.  The music crawled, slow, creeping haggard with the sanity depleting lunge of Dreams of the Insane as all rational thought left the lyrics.  

The ladies and gents of Secret Circle Society stepped in front of an all metal crowd, mingling well with ears trained for speed and thrash.  Known for retro rock, aimed a few decades back when hippies protested, inhabiting a sound radiating pre- ‘80s with a splash of ‘90s alternative.  The sarcastic ego-trip kiss of Special smacked around faces and ears.  Vocalist Mystie Rose roared with the best of them, flashing a wild-eyed dagger glare with vampiric intent with chains and cuffs at waist she knew how to use.  Tales of personal relationships gone bad washed down with bitter pills and rejuvenation made for the sets best stories including Concrete Blonde’s sharp toothed stamp of approval.

Forces of Nature could be considered a tangled and mangled mosh pit mix of all things , Slayer and The Big Four.  The updated lineup debuted new guitarist Jester Silence and recent edition, drummer Tommy Guns.  Silence slammed into his first Forces show playing like a caged MMA fighter, letting his fingers and strings crack ears and pound heads.  The set was short but carried crowd favorites and familiar speaker rattlers as audience and guitar necks took a beating.  They riffed, banging out their interpretation of what the media feeds us, fueling social media and public opinion on TV.  Rotten Tooth bit down hard, bleeding lyrics as Devices headbanging pulse screamed goodbye.

Cincinnati’s Trials By Faith  brought a unique mix of genre splitting sporting cowboy hats and King Diamond shirts.  The fast aggression of Another Crusher blended punk, metal, powerful clean high vocals and southern spirit with the range of vocalist Stan the Man.  If the day comes when Ripper Owens fronts Jackyl, then Trials are ahead of their time.  Hints of Texas Hippie Coalition festered and fried on Eye for an Eye revving with clashing styles they made work.  The beginning of Souls of Passion carried a uniquely bizarre resemblance to Blondie’s Call Me quickly changing to power chords and metal shrieks.  Quantum Leap ended with humor, dueling vocals and a high soloed salute to knights, dragons and steel.

Dayton’s answer to the decade of indulgence 80 Proof came out for their last stand on the Oddbody’s stage playing a set of originals with an ode to Eddie and the boys.  The band that spouted out ‘80s metal and everything large and grandiose spent their final night playing music of their own.  It’s Over definitely fit the occasion unless fans can persuade them to keep the ‘80s alive.  If this was it, it was a great run.  They ended the show with a tribute to ancient Egypt and the Powerslave.

Front stage resembled a soon to be crushed cacophony of sweaty, smelly humanity pressed against the barricade ready to wreck necks.

Loud and hoarse voices roared as lights went out and hands, horns and phones went up for the intro as The Ballad of Leonard and Charles began.  It was time to worship, thrash style.  The crowd split as guitars hit and Zetro’s screech filled the venue on the opening Exhibit.  The floor opened as the stomping pit crew brotherhood pounded the floor with power drill force for an hour plus Lesson in Violence.

It may have been their first time in Dayton as they’d pillaged Bogarts a few times in the past, going across the street to do laundry.  That night it was Dayton’s turn to waltz it up.

Like a Deranged mind the classics were yanked out of the closet by the bloody, broken, decayed neck like a Gein decorative corpse.  The live high speed blender of humanity reacted adding generously to the bruised Body Harvest, unleashing the classic blood-thirst on Piranha.  Zetro covered Rob Dukes era Atrocities giving them his own touch of venom and evil.

The band dedicated War Is My Shepherd to the man who loved all things war, Lemmy Kilmister.  Without him there would be no Metallica, Slayer or , Zetro said with solace.

They gave Dayton the Toxic treatment they’d waited for, leaving all in the pit soaked, dehydrated, and staggering with a hard breathing euphoric smile and collective ears ringing.

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