Live Review: Lords of the Land – Glasgow

Live Review: Lords of the Land: Thrashathon - Glasgow
16th September 2023
Featuring: Evil Blood, Thrashist Regime, Sacrificial Burial, Dog Tired, Acid Reign, Xentrix, Slammer, Lawnmower Deth
Words: Jon Wigg

In April 2023, the guys behind the Lords Of The Land announced that their Covid enforced hiatus was over. To return, their first event would be a British thrash-centric day at Audio and Slay in Glasgow in September.

The first announcement was Acid Reign, always a crowd pleaser with a selection of the best of British thrash behind them, both old and new. A great start! But it was the second band in this announcement that peaked a lot of interest - the return of Yorkshire’s Slammer. While their first gig back was supposed to be the cancelled Manorfest, it was great to hear that Paul and Enzo would be bringing their updated lineup back so we can hear their tunes live once again.

Over the next couple of months, the evening lineup at Slay was completed with thrash royalty in Xentrix and Lawnmower Deth. With these four bands, I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say this would be the best British thrash lineup, maybe ever, but certainly since the early 90’s.

While the evening was filled with bands from south of the border, the afternoon lineup was an all Scottish affair, with Evil Blood (originally formed in Croatia), Thrashist Regime, Sacrificial Burial (a late replacement for the excellent Disposable) and Dog Tired packing out the crowd at Audio.

For me one of the highlights of this day was the amount of time given to all the bands. Often at all-dayers, some bands seem rushed due to time constraints, but here, all of the Audio bands were given 45 minutes, while the Slay bands had an hour.

A packed Audio greeted Evil Blood to kick off proceedings and with a good range of tracks from the mid paced Atomic Maniac and Nicholas The Great, to more up tempo songs like Midnight in Sodom and Where Dead Are, they got the crowd warmed up nicely, on a day when the weather in Glasgow was decidedly autumnal.

While Evil Blood are fairly serious in their metal endeavours, Thrashist Regime are a different kettle of fish. This was my first time seeing them live, and hopefully not my last. It’s clear what a good time they have when playing. And with songs like Antarctattack, Soldiers of Fortune and X-COM: Enemy Unknown, their mix of killer riffs and tongue in cheek lyrics went down a storm.

A late replacement, Sacrificial Burial delivered an excellent set of thrash/death metal, with the highlight being the fantastic Firstborn. As a relatively new band with a limited catalogue of 1 EP, their set included covers (Sepultura and Mastadon represented) but with the quality of their original material, we can all look forward to more output from them.

The heavy hitters of the afternoon were always going to be the brilliant Dog Tired. Having witnessed their killer set at the Coalville Metal Invasion earlier in the year, I was really looking forward to seeing them again, and they did not disappoint. With riffs for days, a tight sound and a dynamic stage presence, Dog Tired got the crowd going with mosh pits opening up in the tiny venue. Their older material is excellent, but their latest album, The Red Verse has taken the band to the next level, and this was demonstrated here with the highlights of the set being the title track and Mars. A great way to close out the first half of the day.

Photo Credit: Jon Wigg

A quick walk to Slay and a visit to the merch table grab an event shirt before the Lawnmower Deth boys hit the stage. Now I make no secret that LD are one of my favourite bands, and their Christmas Shows are legendary. Their 2022 album Blunt Cutters has added some real bangers to the live set as well. As the Muppet Theme intro faded from the speakers, they started with Into the Pit which got everyone going early. The set was a great mix of old and new including Spook Perv Happenings In The Snooker Hall, Icky Ficky, the punky I Don’t Want To and of course Egg Sandwich and Watch Out Grandma. Roll on December in Manchester when we can raise our snails once again!

Photo Credit: Jon Wigg

Probably the most anticipated band of the day were Slammer. First time back in what… 32 years or so? With Paul and Enzo filling out the lineup with some excellent musicians, it was great to hear their songs again live. With songs such as Hellbound, Greed and Tenement Zone, chosen from all four of their releases (2 LPs and 2EPs), and large sections of the crowd joining Paul in a sing along, the set was not as polished as the others on display, but bugger me it was fun. There was a genuine warmth in the room towards Slammer and a fitting tribute to original guitarist Milo Zivanovic, who sadly passed in 2020. It was a genuine privilege to see Slammer perform again and here’s hoping this is the first of many gigs.

Photo Credit: Jon Wigg

Xentrix were up next and it’s another amazing set from the foursome. They really are so tight live and with a selection of tracks from both eras of the band blending seamlessly, the crowd was bang up for it from the start. While there had been a decent amount of crowd surfing during Lawnmower Deth and Slammer, it was here when the almost constant stream of bodies started over that barrier and continued into Acid Reign’s set. Starting with Behind the Walls of Treachery from their 2022 release Seven Words, Xentrix blasted through their catalogue including classics such as Questions, For Whose Advantage? And Black Embrace plus newer material in Bury The Pain and Everybody Loves You When You’re Dead. Closer No Compromise left the audience wanting more and sure they had witnessed an amazing set.

Photo Credit: Jon Wigg

Last up were Acid Reign, fronted by human perpetual motion device, Howard Smith. Ever since their return in 2015, AR have gotten better and better, backed up by the amazing album The Age of Entitlement from 2019. New guitarist Matt Smith is an absolute shredder and a great addition to Pete, Cooky and Marc behind the ever youthful H, and the band was on top form. Throwing in a surprise live track, Reflections of Truth, played for the first time since the 80’s, the set is dynamic, fun and heavy. As usual, H moved around the room like a whirling dervish, at one point performing from the top of the bar at the back, and later using the somewhat precarious looking air conditioning unit to balance on the front barrier. Oldies such as Goddess, Creative Restraint and sing-along favourite Humanoia were mixed in with My Peace of Hell, Hardship and Ripped Apart from TAOE. And traditional set finisher Motherly Love ended the night as the crowd joined H in the closing chants.

Photo Credit: Jon Wigg

Eight amazing performances, twi great venues and one memorable comeback left the crowd in no doubt that British thrash is alive and well.

And on a personal note, I would like to also thank the organisers for putting on a great event and also mention the security at both venues. The door staff were patient and friendly, and the staff manning the barrier at Slay were good natured, professional and seemed to understand how a metal crowd worked.

Overall this was a day that will live long in the memory of all that were in attendance, and for me it was well worth the journey up from London.

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