The Bloodletting North America tour opened with renowned Dallas brutal death metal act I Am Destruction, recently signed to Unique Leader Records. Despite traffic making my arrival quite late, I was able to catch the latter half of their disgustingly heavy performance. Vocalist and guitarist Stephen Mashburn paved the way for the band as their vicious, in-your-face presence tied perfectly together with the razor sharp riff and blast combo. Despite the intensity and seriousness of the music and it’s subject matter, the entire band could be seen making goofy faces and smiling throughout the windmills and nasty riff-faces; a refreshing sight in the brutal DM side of metal.
From the Vagina
Propagated by Abnormality
Following next was Canadian melodic deathcore group Angelmaker. Despite having just lost his apartment to a fire earlier this month, guitarist Matt Perrin was still performing with the band and looked quite thrilled to be doing so, a feat not for the weak hearted that made my respect for the band multiply. I truthfully don’t have much of a background with the band so their performance was hard to describe; they seem to weave between multiple styles and structure their songs differently than most which kept me guessing. Regardless of familiarity, the groove and complimentary nature of each member, including the dual vocalists, worked well in their favor and kept the crowd engaged and moving.
The Curse of the Earth
Death metal veterans Pyrexia took to the stage next as it began to rain. Technical issues galore, they continued on through the poor weather as if it were just another show. The performance was pretty straightforward, and the crowd ate it up. Powerful drums, ear piercing vocals, tempo drops and more — the old school death metal act brought it and brought it hard.
Bludgeoned by Deformity
Angels of Gomorrah
Panzer Tank Lobotomy
Path of Disdain
Sermon of Mockery
In tune with the last band, seasoned brutal death metal band Internal Bleeding were next to the soaked stage, with PAs now covered in plastic bags to avoid damage. Brutal and slammy, their music was in the same vein as the previous and those in the pit were more than ready for it. Spawning even more circle pits, the venue stayed moving for the duration, and even others noted how well the crowd seemed to respond from the get go. While some may see bands of this style as over simplified, and “heavy for the sake of heavy”, there seems to be quite a distinction between Internal Bleeding and the others, enough to keep people moving in low temperatures and exposed to harsh weather.
Languish in Despair
Patterns of Force III. Aftermath
Anointed in Servitude
At this point, the evening had been a long and punishing experience even for those not moving or thrashing about. The rain continuously peppered the venue, and the temperatures only continued to drop. For me, though, the show had only just begun. Melodeath gods Arsis (minus guitarist Brandon Ellis, currently on tour with The Black Dahlia Murder) were the last to take the stage due to Decrepit Birth having to drop the show and later the entire tour. I was fortunate enough to have an advance copy of their yet to be released “Visitant”, based around assorted horror stories this time around instead of personal issues / pain typical of previous releases, so my excitement was practially palpable. Even if the setlist didn’t contain much of the new record (though it did feature 2 songs!), I’d been a fan for over a decade and couldn’t wait to finally see the band that inspired so many of the melodeath bands I’d grown up loving as well. To my elation, the set opened with the opener of the new record, titled “Tricking the Gods”. Vocalist and guitarist James Malone let loose a cacophony of technical riffing and vocal chord ripping highs, matching album quality. Weaving between fast paced prolific riffs and slowed power chords backed by wide and hearty vibrato solos provided by fill in Taylor Washington who emulated Brandon’s quite well, the band kept an awe inspiring performance going through the rain and the cold despite it all. Spooky synth changeovers were sprinkled between each new offering to the gods of sick riffs and windmills, matching the tone of the new record and bringing forward the October vibes tenfold. Ending the set with an older fan favorite, Arsis was brought back to the stage by the chanting of those in the crowd. During the encore, maybe a minute or so in, James broke a string and was forced to finish the set with only Taylor on guitars, stating at the end “I don’t have any guitars left to play any more” and thanking the crowd for the enthusiasm.
Tricking the Gods
We Are the Nightmare
Handbook for the Recently Deceased
A Diamond for Disease
Seven Whispers Fell Silent
The Sadistic Motives Behind Bereavement Letters
The Promise of Never
The Face of My Innocence
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