Oathbreaker @ The Meatlocker

MONTCLAIR, NJ—Seeing Oathbreaker perform in the U.S. at a local, smaller venue, was something I’d been looking forward to ever since I got into the band, which was not too long ago. I sat at a Starbucks (which I hate to admit, but I didn’t buy their coffee so it’s okay) finding myself yet again in a place of utter anticipation. It was fairly hot outside and I knew that it would be even hotter down in the treacherous basement of The Meatlocker; However, not this, nor anything else, was going to stop me from seeing Oathbreaker throw down all the way from Belgium.

I got to the venue early and found that, as usual, there weren’t too many people around. I was wondering how the sound quality was going to be and how large and rowdy of a crowd I would experience. Naturally, I expected this show to be raw and dirty, given its location and the style of music. At the same rate, sometimes in life, the unknown aspects of anticipating a show is what makes the experience all the more better.

After finishing up my interview with some of their band members, it wasn’t too much longer until the time came for them to play. Everybody was scattered all throughout the place until the band had finished setting up their equipment and began feeding off of the noise coming out of their amps.

Oathbreaker started their set with a feel that was nothing short of heavy, and immediately it seemed as though every person at The Meatlocker quickly rushed over to where they were performing. The music was just as heavy and warming to the ears as it sounded on their record, which was a very comforting feeling. Drummer Ivo seemed to be hitting the skins with all of his might while guitarist, Nick, and bassist, Gilles, were shredding together in unison. The whole performance was immaculate.

If there was one complaint to be made, it would have to be that it was damn near impossible to have a mosh pit considering how small the place was and that the front was crowded with two or three morons throwing their fists and legs around like they were trying to pick a fight with an invisible man. Luckily, for the rest of us sensible metal and hardcore fans, the music was so vibrant that simply moving our heads and clapping our hands after each track was plenty enough. For me, the hit of the night was when Oathbreaker played “Glimpse Of The Unseen.” This song had an aura of evil to it with its slow nature and higher-pitched guitar riffs, reminiscent of a satanic ritual.

The show was amazing but left me very sad in that these guys were from a place so far away. I was lucky to be able to see such great musicians doing what they do best in a place that was so close to home. To my knowledge, this was a very small tour for Oathbreaker, but a successful one at that. These guys deserve much more credit and recognition then they get, for they truly are amazing. I know that seeing them when they come around again is an oath I surely will not break.