Battlecross delivered metal to a festive audience at the 2nd Annual Battlecross Christmas show at the Token Lounge.
Battlecross has appeared on the Trespass America, Rockstar Mayhem and Metallica Orion festivals as well as touring internationally, they have established a name for themselves in the metal community. Their 2013 release War of Will has been cited by several reviews as being one of the best metal albums in the 2013. At the end of 2014 the band took on the Winter Warriors Tour, which paid tribute to the men and women in the armed forces along each stop.
This tour brought them to The Token Lounge for their 2nd Annual Battlecross Christmas show. This venue is the foundation for the band, a homecoming for friends and family who turned out to the sold out venue. VIP tickets had a chance to dine with the bands, enjoy special merchandise and listen to their sound check in a low-key setting. Regular ticketed fans were given gift bags at the door. Battlecross is always humbled by their fanbase and gives back to their following everywhere they go.
First on stage was Midland, MI based stoner doom duo, Beast In The Field. Drummer Jamie Jahr and guitarist Jordan Pries have a fundamental ear catching sound. Though they had to cut their speakers back by half, their sound continued to fill the venue. This band has a huge turn out when they play around the state. Their closing performance on the National Rock Review stage at 2014’s Dirt Fest is still one of the most talked about performances.
Christian metal band War Of Ages from Erie, PA are on the bill for The Winter Warriors Tour. Their latest album Supreme Chaos is seeing it’s success on the metal charts. Singer Leroy Hamp amped the crowd in to a furious pit, backed by guitarists Steve Brown, Jack Daniels, bassist T.J. Alford, and Alex Hamp on drums, this band showed no mercy in their 30-minute set. The fans in attendance were quick to embrace their music and and the energy was well received.
Wretched from North Carolina, no strangers to the touring scene with a successful run on the Rockstar Mayhem tour this past year. The melodic thrash metal band blends the best of European and American metal. Their recent album Cannibal released in June of 2014 was engineered, mixed, and mastered by the band, leaving Victory Records no choice but to sign them in 2008. The dual guitar solos built on a foundation of thrash metal beats, creates a unique sound truly refreshing to hear live in this day of industry processed bands.
Shortly before midnight, Battlecross took to the stage. The floor area in front of the stage was tight, someone had driven from Cleveland, Ohio to celebrate with them on this special night. Vocalist Kyle “Gumby” Gunther got the adrenaline pumping through the crowd with a “Hoooooooooooooooome!” as the band launched into the first song of their 60-minute set.
Fists pumped hard, hair and sweat flew and a whirlpool of bodies formed a pit consuming the floor of the club. Drummer Alex Bent was a new recruitment, and original members Tony Asta (guitar), Hiran Deraniyagala (guitar) and Don Slater (bass)Â left everything they had on the stage. This was a special night, not only being home but also celebrating the holiday metal style.
Closing out with a brutal cover of Slayer’s “War Ensemble,” Gumby summed up the tour by announcing after seven months on the road he was, “going home to shit Christmas all over his house.” to the cheering crowd at the end of the show.
Detroit, MI based Hard Edge Radio broadcasted live throughout the night with on spot interviews with the bands. Howie Herula of Hard Edge Radio, also took to the stage between sets to give out prizes for Battlecross trivia. The merchandise booth was stocked with special merchandise, including several styles of Battlecross Christmas themed sweaters and other accessories. This was a tribute show for the fans, for the ages. It doesn’t get better than a big show packed in to a small venue.