GSA Writer Contest, Entry #1: Five Bands You Have To See Live By Thomas Crocker

Guest Column

Today, we kick off our second annual writer’s contest, with one of three entries we’ve dubbed worthy enough for publication and consideration by you, our readers.

We launched the contest last year because we are getting resumes all the time from people seeking employ with GunShyAssassin. Well, no one gets paid here, so we figured we’d just host another contest for aspiring writers who wanted exposure. Guys like Sean Harris, last year’s winner. The response to the contest — while not nearly as impressive as last year — was decent.

We’ve narrowed the field down quite a bit, and will be running one entry a day. Then, on Friday, we’ll ask readers to vote on the best entry in this year’s contest, which will weigh heavily in our final decision. First up is a lad named Thomas Crocker

We all dream of seeing that one band, that band who’s lyrics you know by heart — that one band that you idolized as a kid. You cut out photos of them, you bought the same gear as them, you even probably attempted to style your hair like them on a few lonesome nights.

That band for me is Morbid Angel. This is the first band you need to see live. Yes, their last album did suck. Yes, when they played Maryland Deathfest, the band’s set was cut short leaving 5,000 angry fans wondering, “Where the slime went?”

But brothers and sisters let me tell you that despite the band’s recent shortcomings, Morbid Angel still kicks ass live. Many of you hopefully realize that Morbid Angel will always be a relevant band due to their mammoth influence on our precious genre. BUT, It is worth seeing them live solely because of Trey Azagthoth.

Any metalhead will quickly realize how unique Trey’s artistry is. His quick whammy bar infused solos put Kerry King to shame, combining brutality and technicality into his licks Trey will make you pick up the man next to you and have you throw him across the pit without saying a word. He commands the audience with a unique presence. He is the witch-doctor and his guitar is his voodoo doll. Even if he never releases another Death Metal record, one should still go out and pay respects to the king of Death Metal.

You will never see a Death Metal band live that is more seasoned, more precise than Morbid Angel. Hail Morbid! Hail Azagthoth!

You also need to see Darkthrone, with or without the everybody’s favorite bearded drummer.

The very utterance of the name makes the heads of posers roll and the mouths of promoters water. Every club owner, festival organizer, or manager wants to be the one to list a band that features “Nocturno Culto.” Getting even a song or two from one of these elusive Norwegians will make tickets fly and with good reason.

All of us have been guilty of hitting repeat at least a dozen times on the YouTube footage of Nocturno Culto live with Satyricon. All of us want to be in that audience screaming along to “Under a Funeral Moon” and “The Hordes of Nebulah.” Being given the chance to see even a fraction of this cult band live is a true (or trve) privilege that should not be taken with a grain of salt. If your lucky enough to have Nocturno Culto in your area then please take advantage of this opportunity. It will be a gig that you will tell your grandchildren about.

Alas, Celtic Frost is long gone and everyone’s hopes of seeing the black-beanie-donning Warrior ever again were snuffed out for awhile. That was the case until Tom G. Warrior formed his new band, Triptykon. This crushing doom four-piece takes up where the Monotheist album left off. I had the honor of seeing these guys (and gal!) live in Baltimore back in 2010. The slow-paced music of Triptykon put the entire audience into a trance reminiscent of the workers in the film White Zombie.

My mind seemed to leave my body as I stared blankly in front of me. I allowed the music to take me to another place. I have never been to a gig that transported me like Triptykon did. If you buy tickets to see this band then be ready to be sent to a dark, hellish place that you have never been to before. And if you get lucky, like I did, you will get some Celtic Frosting at the end of it.

That’s right kids! Emperor is back and badder than ever! This time though, the legendary Norwegians will bring their controversial drummer Faust back out with them.

I’ve heard a lot of grumblings amongst the metal masses, many people are skeptical of Faust’s abilities. Worry not my brothers and sisters! If you have not listened to Blood Tsunami then do yourself a favor and get on that. You will be sucked into a whirlwind of masterful drumming that Faust will surely unleash when he is live with Emperor.

This is a band that really speaks for itself, go on YouTube, watch the videos, and then you will understand. INNO A BANANA!

All of you granola crunchers out there maybe aware of a group from Oregon that goes by the name of Agalloch. For those who do not know, Agalloch is a black metal band that utilizes atmosphere in both their albums and their live performances.

They are a band that gives the listener everything she/he could ever ask for. Beautiful riffs, brutal vocals, and choruses that will turn any drab club into a mead hall. Their live performances are something special, In one night Agalloch will bring forth trance-like states, ruckus sing-alongs, and vast amounts of headbanging.

P.S. Agalloch is best paired with your favorite Microbrew and good friends.

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