Havok and Toxic Holocaust at the Canal Club

Havok performing at the Canal Club in Richmond, VA on 07.31.2023. Photo Credit: Robert Escue

Richmond, VA. – Denver, Colorado’s Havok‘s first US tour in four years brings the thrash to Richmond with co-headliners Portland, Oregon’s thrash masters Toxic Holocaust, tour support from Dallas, Texas death metal band I Am, Kansas City’s progressive thrashers Hammerhedd with local support from Richmond’s thrashers Murdersome.

Added just a few days before the show, Murdersome got a unique opportunity to open for one of the best tour packages for thrash metal fans of 2023 and play material from their full length album, Carnal Death, released on June 13th of this year. Playing the majority of that album during their set, Murdersome showed the crowd how powerful they are in a live setting. For us longtime fans we knew what was coming, and the band made believers out of those who were not familiar with them. And, this was only the beginning of the night. 


Murdersome SETLIST

Carnal Death
Housing the Wretched
Revel in Darkness
Smoke and Mirrors
Night’s Edge
Ghosts of the Lesser Known
Face to Forget
No Way Out

Researching Hammerhedd, I had no idea that they have been a band since 2012 who have been playing since they were adolescents. I knew they were young when I saw them onstage, but I didn’t think they were that young. Listening to them I could definitely hear the groove metal part, but not so much the thrash. Hammerhedd’s sound is definitely unique and one of my friends compared them to Gojira. Their set consisted of songs from their two full length albums, Grand Currents and Nonetheless. The crowd loved them and wanted to hear more.


Hammerhedd SETLIST


As opposed to Hammerhedd, I Am sounded a lot more like thrash metal than death metal or at least to me they did. Lead singer Andrew Hileman engaged the crowd to mosh and headbang while the band played a blistering set covering their two latest full length albums, Hard 2 Kill and Eternal Steel. If you like your death metal fast, you’ll love I Am!!!



The Primal Wave
Manic Cure
Vicious Instinct
Peel Back the Skin
The Iron Gate
Hard 2 Kill
Eternal Steel

It has been more than eleven years since the last time I have seen Toxic Holocaust live, the last time being in March of 2012 when they played the Jewish Mother Hilltop (now Elevation 27) with The Casualties. Most of us are aware that Toxic Holocaust was a one man band with Joel Grind playing all of the instruments, but it came as a surprise when it was discovered that he is playing bass instead of guitar, and that the guitar duties have been taken over by Rob Gray. Joel made a good choice with Rob and played a classic Toxic Holocaust set with most of our favorite songs. It was great to throw down with them again!!!

Toxic Holocaust SETLIST


Acid Fuzz
I Am Disease
War Is Hell
Wild Dogs
In the Name of Science
Nuke the Cross
Reaper’s Grave
Death Brings Death
Hell On Earth
The Lord of the Wasteland

The last time I saw Havok live was when they opened for the Killthrax Tour (Anthrax and Killswitch Engage) in 2018. For many, this was one of the most anticipated shows of 2023 and the guys couldn’t wait to bring it to us. Dave Sanchez told us how pissed off he was when they released their fifth full length album, V, May 1st, 2020 and couldn’t tour for two years because of the pandemic. The band channeled that energy and exploded onstage, as they played a set of many of our favorites from the last four albums V, Conformicide, Unnatural Selection and ended the night with the title track of Time Is Up. Things got pretty crazy as everyone tried to crowd surf their way to the front and spend a few seconds with the band, which made for some interesting moments in the front row. At the end of the night, it was great to see all the bands perform live and incredible to see Havok blow it up again in a small venue. Do not sleep on this tour package, if you get the chance to see it live, don’t blow it off!!!!!



Point of No Return
Fear Campaign
Hang ‘Em High
Prepare for Attack
Intention to Deceive
Phantom Force
From the Cradle to the Grave
Covering Fire
Give Me Liberty…or Give Me Death
Time Is Up

The tour runs through August 11th with the last stop being The Royal Grove in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Show Date: 7.31.2023