Abstruktor makes their return to the Riff House Pub in Chesapeake for an evening of thrash metal with local support provided by Rotten, The Pestilence Choir and Possessor.

To most people, this was just another Thursday night metal show, except this one put two Hampton Roads thrash metal powerhouses on the same stage for the first time, Possessor and The Pestilence Choir.

Possessor arose from the ashes of a band called Axe Bitch. With Robbie Rainey on lead vocals, Michael Martin and Kevin Chappell handling lead and rhythm guitars, Chris Soblonte on drums and several bass players before the addition of Gage Shanahan from the defunct thrash metal band Straight Jacket.

Possessor is primarily influenced by classic thrash bands such as Nasty Savage, Exumer, Razor, Agent Steel and Slayer. They combine classic thrash metal with a slightly modern spin while paying tribute to those classic bands with sometimes outrageous stage behavior. Possessor has an album and an EP in under their belt, “City Built With Skulls” and “Make Them Eat Metal” respectively.

On the road, they have supported thrash metal bands Vindicator, Lich King and most recently Viking and have played events including Warriors of Metal and Metal Assault.

The Pestilence Choir formed in 2005 started as a five-piece band with Chad Novynka on vocals, Brendan O’Neil and Curtis Mathers on guitars, Taylor Vertrees on bass and Alex hero on drums. Influenced heavily by Black Sabbath and early Metallica, they added their own twist to heavy and thrash metal. With Chad’s screaming vocals and the band’s relentless thrash assault, The Pestilence Choir became a band that people wanted to see live.

They have released two albums, “Drinking For Blood” in 2009 and “Gravity Hits” in 2012. When Chad left the band to attend college Brendan took over the duties as lead vocalist as well as guitarist. They have supported Arsis, Darkest Hour, Hammer Fight and Psychosomatic on the road.

Rotten started the night off with a short set of their mix of thrash and death metal.

The Pestilence Choir took the stage and immediately established themselves as the band to beat by playing most of “Gravity Hits” at a breakneck pace with the band only stopping for Brendan to announce what the next song they would play and to identify themselves to the crowd. For many in the crowd, seeing The Pestilence Choir is a treat since they do not play very often.

Not to be outdone, the Boston, Massachusetts-based thrashers Abstruktor played a ferocious set of songs off of their full length “Judgement Of Terror” and introduced the crowd to some material they have been working on while on the road. The crowd rewarded Abstruktor by opening up the pit and serious headbanging.

Possessor, another band that does not play very often closed out the evening playing a brutal set that included “Death Race … Forever” and their classic “Hammer and Nails”.

For the people who managed to make it out on a Thursday night, they got to see something that does not happen very often. A show where each band plays a bit better than the band before it.

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The Pestilence Choir
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