TRAITOR - Thrash St. Pat's In Philly

March 19, 2024, a month ago

By Mark Gromen

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Normally don't venture out on St. Patrick's Day, Cinco de Mayo, New Year's Eve or the night before Thanksgiving, as it invites too many "amateurs," the calendar telling them to go out, get rowdy and have some fun. Metalheads don't need that pretense. Most, if not all, the folks who turned out would probably have been here on any other, no-descript Sunday night. 

For me, the prospect of catching up with Traitor, prior to the release of their (forthcoming) sophomore effort (rumored to be heavier, yet more technical) was a small pot of Leprechaun gold. Said disc is still being recorded (scheduled again for release via First Blood Family Records, but probably not until next year).

Under their double-daggers-in-the-eye-sockets-of-a-skull backdrop, the four piece took to the small, but newly renovated Kung Fu Necktie stage. The venue (beer selection for any budget!) had fittingly, been pumping out a steady diet of Thin Lizzy (It was St. Patrick's Day, after all) between bands, even if "Emerald" never got aired. Throughout Traitor's speed metal frenzy, the twin guitar interplay, between Greg Lundmark (who doubles on vocals) and Brian Mikus (who moonlights, running sound for Midnight) shines through.

Don't know if the duo planned it, or not, but both were sporting Mercyful Fate t-shirts! Newer material (since the Last Hope For The Wretched CD), like "Sentience & Steel" and "Plight Of Duality" (both up early in the set) showcase where Traitor is headed. The Civil War anthem "Antietam" blazes by. Mikus is the most active of the group, thrashing about and moving around the stage. Red lit "Zed", a tale of zombie domination, has some tasty twin leads. Good stuff!

Plans are afoot to replicate last year's tour with Witchhaven, albeit this time around, out west. Watch for dates in your area. In the meantime, if you've not checked out Last Hope For The Wretched, do yourself a favor and get acquainted with one of the domestic acts that can go toe-to-toe with the Europeans.

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