Photos by Chris Besaw
Review by Mike Kohli and Chris Besaw
Metal fans aren’t often treated to a lineup like this in Central New York. The Pure Filth Fest made it happen at Sharkey’s in Liverpool Saturday night.
Headlined by the band many see as the progenitors of thrash metal, Exodus, the rest of the lineup contained a whos-who of thrash legends and a surprise Metal Hall of Fame induction for Canadian prog-thrash icons, Voivod.
Things are starting to finally heat up in central New York and last Saturday at Sharkeys Bar & Grill in Liverpool was the perfect kick-off to the season. Pure Filth Fest 2022 brought its killer lineup of thrash and metal to legions of fans who came out to party, drink, and just mosh to some incredible bands.
Pure Filth Fest 2022 featured some of the best bands in thrash and hardcore, consisting of Year of the Cobra, Savage Existence, Bewitcher, Extinction A.D., Carnivore A.D., Integrity, Voivod, Municipal Waste, and Exodus, and provided a line up sure to excite fans of all ages.
Kicking off the day’s event was Year of the Cobra which regretfully I didn’t make out in time to see but from talking with fans they put on a hell of a set. Other bands who helped get the crowd going were Savage Existence who I admit was a pretty great band seeing for the first time along with the dark and sinister Bewitcher. Let’s not forget Extinction A.D. whipped up the pit with their heavy crushing blend of hardcore and metal.
Things got kicking into high gear when the mighty Carnivore A.D. took the stage with their blend of Brooklyn-based tongue-in-cheek metal and sarcasm. Carnivore A.D., for those who remember, was the late Peter Steele’s band before forming Type O Negative. Fronted by Baron Miscuraca and backed up by original members Louie Beato and Joe Branciforte the trio played an incredible mix of classic Carnivore songs including such favorites as “Predator,” and “God Is Dead.” It was great to hear these songs live and at first, I was skeptical as to how it would sound with Baron stepping in for the late Peter Steele but I admit he did a fantastic job and was glad I got to see this incarnation of the band.
Next up was the legendary Cleveland hardcore band Integrity. Integrity is a band I have followed since their beginnings and despite its variating lineup over the years lead singer Dwid Hellion and company has consistently put on incredible and intense shows and last Saturday at Pure Filth Fest was no exception.
From the moment the band took the stage to the last ringing notes, Integrity played a killer set for the masses including an eclectic set from their immense catalog. Some songs that stood out were such classics as “Hollow,” “Taste My Sin,” and one of my personal favorites “All Death is Mine.”
The band ended their blistering set with their take on the classic Misfits track “Hybrid Moments.” Who couldn’t appreciate that? Again, if you haven’t seen Integrity live definitely get out there and see them, they are on tour with Municipal Waste and Bewitcher until the end of June.
Taking the stage next was the mighty Canadian legends, Voivod. I haven’t seen Voivod since the early 2000’s but was excited to finally see Snake, Away, Chewie and Rocky back in action and playing in our town again. If it wasn’t enough to see these amazing performers playing, mid-set they were inducted into the Heavy Metal Hall of Fame, what an honor. Snake and company powered through an incredible career-spanning set including such highlights as the new song “Synchro Anarchy,” “Planet Eaters,” their spot-on cover of Pink Floyd’s 1967 psychedelic classic “Astronomy Domine,” and “Voivod” to which the fans went nuts for.
What would Pure Filth Fest be without a band that likes to party hard, and that band is Municipal Waste. With songs such as “You’re Cut Off,” “Headbanger Face Rip,” “Wave of Death,” and their ultimate anthem “Born to Party,” how could anyone not jump into the pit and thrash around to these heavy and fun thrash metal favorites. They are a band I enjoy seeing and if you have not seen them I encourage you to do so if you get the chance, a hugely fun live band.
Finally, after a long day of thrashing, head banging and high-fiving, the night’s headliner was ready to take the stage, the mighty Exodus. Exodus has been melting faces and banging heads for nearly over 40 years since forming in 1979. It’s no question as to why either. With their blend of classic Bay Area thrash and incredibly talented lineup, they have definitely earned the title of legends.
Lead singer Steve Souza backed up by Tom Hunting (drums), Lee Altus (guitars), Jack Gibson (bass), and Gary Holt (guitars) provided the perfect soundtrack to a full day of great music and moshing at Sharkeys. Between cranking out heavy as hell tunes, Steve Souza took time to thank the crowd for coming out and supporting not heavy metal but Exodus over the years, you can tell he truly appreciates his fans! The band played a nice and heavy mix of songs from their amazing career with such classics as “A Lesson in Violence,” “Piranha,” and the song that got the crowd from the front of the venue to the back crowd surfing and moshing, “The Toxic Waltz.”
After an intense and blistering set, the band thanked the fans for coming out and made their way off stage. Overall, Pure Filth Fest was an amazing day of music, comradery, food and just a great way to kick off summer in Upstate New York. I’m looking forward to hopefully this festival returning to our area yearly but time will tell.