For fans of: Megadeth, Metallica, Havok
Left to right: Toryin Schadlich, Dylan Westendorp, David Sprague, Brenden Malycky
What do you get when you take the blunt force of a fist, the sharp edge of a razor, and wrap it all in an ammo belt? You get Calgary thrash metal warriors Hazzerd. Complete with the growl of 1990 Megadeth, and the breakneck pace of late ‘80s Metallica, Hazzerd delivers merciless heavy metal to a scene typically fixated on garage-rock and indie bands.
Hazzerd was conceived in 2012 by drummer/lead vocalist Dylan Westendorp and guitarist Brendan Malycky through the Calgary musicians’ Tinder: Kijiji. A response to Malycky’s ad was the catalyst to the eruption of a hard-tailed thrash machine called Hazzerd, with the completed lineup of David Sprague on bass and Toryin Schadlich on lead guitar. The band’s mission on stage is simple: create as much fun as possible for the crowd, and for the band as well. Hazzerd’s latest album release show on January 24th at Dickens carried this flag like no other, having been packed wall-to-wall with rowdy metalheads.
Shed any preconceptions of what you would think about many thrash metal dudes‒Hazzerd have far more to sing about than guzzling cheap beer. The band’s latest album “Delirium” was, in Westendorp’s words, “inspired by the insanity that goes on within society lately.” The band tackles polemical conversations on everything from religious extremism, to the overreliance on smart technology. While one can agree or disagree with the stance the band takes on these issues, one thing is universally agreed upon: these dudes can really play.
Dylan Westendorp creates a thunderous assault behind the drum kit, which is all the more impressive considering he is also responsible for the chainsaw blade vocals that cut through the songs like a back road serial killer. Guitarist Brenden Malycky keeps the blade humming, with riffs that buzz and slice through your ears like Leatherface himself. Lead guitarist Toryin Schadlich leaves the ground to the others, and takes his assault to the sky with his jet fueled guitar acrobatics. Exploding through the air like fighter jets, Schadlich shoots lightning speed shredding and expert melodicism across the horizons like Ozzy Osbourne landmarks Randy Rhoads and Jake E. Lee. David Sprague’s bass playing not only serves as the thunder to Toryin’s lightning, but his backing vocals bring a solid brick punch to an already sonic Bastille of a sound.
“The album from a musical standpoint takes inspiration from all corners of metal, not just thrash. We have elements of speed metal, NWOBHM, and melodic metal,” says Westendorp. “Think Megadeth, mixed with Metallica, sprinkle some Judas Priest & Iron Maiden on there, and add a little bit of Anthrax to the top, and walah! Hazzerd.” Hazzerd have been working themselves to the bone booking tour dates accross the United States and Canada, but given the current state of public health, the travelling show will be on hold for the time being. So what are 4 rowdy thrashers going to be doing in the meantime? “Writing album 3!”