Crushing The Deceiver (Live Review)

It’s been a little over a year since I made the trek to sin city Nevada to catch Crushing the Deceiver on the Hasten Revelation Tour. Great place for a bunch of Christian bands to share the gospel, that’s for sure. This was to be the last concert I’d attend for a year due to covid. While things are just now starting to open back up for the music industry the guys in CTD decided to get a jump start on things by staging a live stream event in their hometown of Clovis CA on May 2nd, 2021, and I was blessed to get an official invite from the main man himself Grant Mohler. This was very special as only a few of his friends were extended this offer. The beauty of this event for me was that it turned out to be multifaceted. Besides the concert portion, I was able to meet a half-sister that I’d never met before and meet up with some dear friends who I hadn’t seen in a couple of years, namely Christian Sullivan (Editor of The Metal Onslaught) and his wife Danelle. Christian had just permanently relocated to the states. 

Our weekend excursion began Saturday night when we rolled into town and met up with Grant, Christian and Danelle for dinner. The following morning, we went to church and met the pastor who turned out to be a former member of the punk band Dogwood if anyone remembers them. He actually came to the pulpit with AC/DC’s “Back in Black” as his theme music. Pretty funny! After the service we were all surprised that there was a bat flying around the sanctuary. I suppose it knew that the church was on the verge of becoming an arena for some rather brutal heavy metal in the evening to come. After grabbing lunch with my sister, my wife and I headed back to the church and found it to be looking not very church like and more akin to a live concert venue. 

First off, anyone who missed the live stream event, it was recorded for a future live album and Blu-ray release. Let me say that the band pulled out all the stops for this one. Monster sound, over the top lighting effects and a stage that was so huge, I really got the feeling the guys didn’t know what to do with themselves in the space that they had to move around in. There were multiple camera angles utilized and three giant screens that had lyrics and graphics galore. It’s not very often that a band from this particular genre gets to do an event of this magnitude. Maybe Slayer? I dunno, but it was epic. With a screen in front of the band that gave the allotted time they had to conduct the show a countdown, including each song, this event was brought to a science in its execution. 

When the guys finally took to the stage the atmosphere was kinda strange. This not being a real live show and only a few people attending in the arena, there were no cheers and the band quietly walked out and began an assault of the aural senses that made me appreciate live music like never before, even if it wasn’t quite up to the atmosphere I’m used to. Needless to say, It had been far too long. After about two songs, Grant asked everyone how they were doing. Finally, some clapping and cheers. Those watching the live stream were blowing up the comments with praise and jokes about Grants hair. A few had some issues with sound and what not but where I was it was blaring loud, and you could hear everything! Kudos to the sound engineer for such a great mix. Grant utilized his space probably the best although trying to get decent stills of a man who doesn’t hold still proved to be a tad difficult. The lighting on the front of the guys was not very good and their faces were in shadow most of the time. The lighting rods spread across the stage were cool though. There was a segment where the band mellowed out and Grant just sat on the stage. Not to worry there was plenty more thrashin, headbanging and guttural growls yet to take place. The guys did play a couple of new tunes off their forthcoming sophomore album as well as fan favorites from their debut. The highlight of course was the song “Crushing the Deceiver” off the album Crushing the Deceiver by the band Crushing the Deceiver or however Grant puts it. The other guys were all stellar performers as well. Great to see Johnny has grown his hair out and let it fly in all his headbanging glory. Carl didn’t move much but was solid in his delivery and Trent was an absolute beast on drums. 

The guys played for nearly an hour although it seemed to move pretty fast it didn’t quite feel like they had been up there for that length of time. This type of performance is a big deal for a little Christian thrash/death metal band from Clovis CA. The last time we saw something of this caliber come from that neck of the woods was from Fresno’s legendary CrucifiedCTD are doing great things to keep the scene alive in their community and this event proves it. After the show we hung out for a bit before locating some food and heading back to our hotel for the night. What a great weekend!  

-Priest