It was a beautiful, balmy Sunday night in Deep Ellum and I was feeling good. Why? Because I was going to see HATCHET and CELLADOR live at The Boiler Room, another place I truly love. The beer is always ice cold and the staff is very cool. Plus, I really like the intimacy of the joint. When I arrived I was greeted by singer/guitarist Julz Ramos of HATCHET and we made our way over to the bar where my friend Brian was waiting. We had a round or two and lamented over the fact that our dear friends in DIAMOND PLATE couldn’t be there due to RV issues (Hope you get rollin’ soon, guys!). I then recounted my crazy snake story from two nights earlier after which we went to go check out CELLADOR.
I had heard the name but never had a chance to hear the music until earlier that morning (Thank you, Spotify!). Whoa…SERIOUS Power Metal. Well, count me in!! To say this band is tighter than my Uncle Irving’s wallet would be the understatement of the century. Equal parts, speed, harmony, power, and fury, this band is a force to be reckoned with. James Pickett (bass, backing vocals) not only laid down the thickest of foundations, but he was known to let out a banshee wail or two during the set. And while this was going on, Nick McCallister (drums) was busy pounding the skins into submission at about 100 mph. Rigorously manning the synth with precision was Diego Valadez which only served to add another dimension to this already impressive wall of sound.
And then, holy shit, the duo of Caleb Delaet (guitar) and Chris Petersen (guitar/vocals) just could not be stopped! Between Chris’s moving from his piercing falsetto to his mid-range with ease and the fact that these two seemed to have an endless supply of riffs, runs, and solos in them I was pretty floored. I hereby dub these two Shredasaurus Rex!! Again, I wasn’t familiar with song titles yet, but I’m telling you now, go see CELLADOR. Guarantee you’ll come away a big fan, and it’s great to see Power Metal coming from THIS side of the Atlantic for a change.
Which brings me to HATCHET. My good friend Caitlin from The End Records (Hi, Bestie!) turned me onto these guys back in September of last year. Dawn of the End immediately got on heavy rotation in my house and what was even better was they were coming here with EXMORTUS a short time later. Long story short I got very, very sick and was unable to attend. So this night was my shot at redemption!
The band wasted no time getting down to business with the intro from Dawn of the End “After the Dark” which led right into “Silenced By Death” one of the best songs in the band’s catalog. It was served up with renewed vigor on The Boiler Room stage on this night, though. Drummer Eli Lucas set the pace and bassist Devin Reiche brought thunder while standing still for nary a second. It took me awhile but I finally snapped a decent picture of him! Julz and Clark Webb put on a clinic showing how to play pure, blistering thrash metal guitar as riff after riff just rolled over those in attendance with some screaming solos as well. “Fall From Grace” was up next, followed by title track “Dawn of the End” one of my two favorites. This one is about a step slower, but no less menacing.
A trio of heavy hitters followed in “Signals of Infection”, “Sinister Thoughts”, and “Vanishing Point”, some of the faithful getting a circle pit going as we all rocked out to the sounds of HATCHET. For me though, the other highlight was them closing with “Awaiting Evil” from the album of the same name AFTER they said goodnight and AFTER yours truly started the chant of “ONE MORE! ONE MORE!” This is my other favorite song from the band and hearing Julz sing it live just took it to another level. I would love for them to go back and re-record it that way, it was killer! After the show I had another beer with Julz and members of both bands signed CDs for Mini-Amps, and some nice guy in the crowd gave me one of Eli’s sticks to take home to him as well. All the members of CELLADOR and HATCHET couldn’t have been nicer and while there wasn’t a huge crowd, those of us who were there got the balls rocked off us and made a ton of noise to show our appreciation.
As of this writing HATCHET is scheduled to play Dallas again on June 13 and I hope CELLADOR comes back soon, too. I especially hope the guys in DIAMOND PLATE get their RV fixed (you can help by donating HERE!) so they can get out there and kick some asses like I know they can. Catch this tour in your city, guys; it’s a blast!