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By Michael Warner, Houston Contributor
Sunday, May 17, 2015 @ 10:27 AM

At Walters, Downtown Houston

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I was really looking forward to this show, even before I found out that I was going to be covering it. ARTILLERY is a band that I never thought I would have the chance to see, and Walters is my favorite venue in Houston for shows. Again, as with the last Houston show I covered (NAPALM DEATH and VOIVOD), the promoter, Luis Carlos, was a personal friend of mine, so it was also a good way to show him my support for what he does. But, unlike the last show reviews I have done, I was actually able to get to the venue right on time so that I could do coverage for every band.

The first band went on pretty early (around 6:30 pm) because this show was on Wednesday night, and had six bands including the local act. The first band, Houston locals CREMATOR, started things off on a high note. Before this show, I had seen several flyers around town for events they were playing, but for whatever reason, I never got the chance to actually be able to see them live and check them out. The band was a pretty solid heavy metal/power-thrash group. Their music was complex, and their singer was great. They also included two IRON MAIDEN covers in their set near the end. They were a good local band to choose as a support act for this tour, and I will go see them again whenever they play here.

Next up, was the first of the touring acts, DAHLMERS REALM. Right before they played, the vocalist called out my photographer and told him he liked his HOMEWRECKER shirt. This band was the odd-man out for this night. Their music had a more modern sound (think modern hardcore) compared to everyone else that was going to be playing that night. It was an odd fit for the tour package, but the band was tight-knit on stage (they were absolutely, perfectly in-sync with each other), and had good presence. Their drummer was REALLY good, and beat the hell out of the drums the entire time that they played. They seemed to be having a lot of fun doing it too. (Side note; I got the chance to talk to their vocalist in between some of the other acts, and he is a really nice guy.)

POTENTIAL THREAT SF was awesome. I personally thought this band was the best of the touring openers that played this night. Their music reminded me in some parts of early METALLICA, some parts D-BEAT, and some parts had a crossover sound that reminded me of groups like Houstonís own D.R.I. They were a very original, unique band, and they were loud, fast and aggressive. Really great stuff overall. The crowd that was there really liked them a lot.

Unfortunately, up to this point, the crowd for these bands was not very big. It could have been the early start time, or the always hectic Houston traffic (and this venue is right near downtown and next to a University of Houston location). But, as the next band started up, near the end of their set, the majority of the nightís crowd started to finally show up.

VX36 was, again, a different band from the previous groups before them. Aside from being a 3 piece, the group also had a more groovy sound than the other bands before them, particularly when it came to the vocals. Still, the band was certainly a thrash act, and certainly fast. While they werenít as unique and uncompromising in speed as the previous group, they were a good, heavy band, and their singer/guitarist was very talented and had good stage presence.

When STRIKER was getting ready to play, the majority of the crowd had finally shown up. And this young band (I am assuming this, they looked young, and so someone commenting can correct me if I am wrong) was great. A modern approach on heavy metal and power metal to a smaller extent, they were incredibly talented. The crowd who was there watching them really liked them a lot. Fast, yet melodic, the band ripped through their set to constant applause from everyone who was there. The guitarists were the most prominent part of the group, and I hope that in the future, they can build upon their already impressive skills and really make a name for themselves. Which is likely, since after this tour, I am certain we will be seeing this band on the road again.

None of these acts could hold a candle to how incredible ARTILLERY was going to be. Words canít even describe how awesome they were. They were just absolutely INCREDIBLE. I could even go as far as saying that of all of the bands I have seen since I started going to shows, ARTILLERY is one of the best I have ever seen live, especially for thrash. The crowd was obviously into it as much as I was. They were singing to most of the songs and moshing for most of the set. Even when there were some very brief technical difficulties at one part of the set, the drummer was able to improve a ridiculous drum solo on the spot while the guitarist was fixing whatever needed to be done with his amp. Being able to see this band was going to be awesome either way, but I had no idea they were going to sound as good as they did.

I want to thank KNAC.COM for, once again, hooking me up to cover a killer show. And I want to thank my photographer Brandon Williams for taking some really good pictures for this coverage.

Check out some photos from this show!
All Photos By Brandon Williams

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