We arrived at around 6:00 PM, so we missed all of the local bands, as well as Blackguard and After the Burial. I had read lots of good stuff about Blackguard on this site and others, so I was a bit disappointed about missing them - but c'est la vie. Beneath the Massacre started their set just a few minutes after we got there, but I was too hungry and too disinterested in BtM to care. I wolfed down a "burgar", (according to the handwritten sign on the wall by the food table, apparently that's what I ate
), and after that I was ready to rock out with my cock out (proverbially speaking).
I did listen to BtM while eating, but it just isn't my thing. All those breakdowns just get a bit same-sounding to me. If you like deathcore, more power to you. It's not all bad, I just don't that excited about it (with one exception from this show which I will talk about later
The first band I really got into was Origin
(second time seeing them). Their set was:
Staring From The Abyss
Wrath of Vishnu
The Origin guys were really cool. Jeremy Turner (guitar, vocals) and Mike Flores (bass, vocals) took turns running their merch table, and both were friendly and outgoing. Their set was tight as fuck, and of course brutal as hell. Great bunch of guys.
Next up was Born of Osiris. They were mildly interesting to look at, if for no other reason than they are a sextet - two guitars, bass, keyboards, vocals and drums - all on one stage. Lots of movement and jumping around. But they were essentially a deathcore / metalcore band, so in accordance with my comments above, I passed for the most part.
Next up was Dying Fetus
(my first time seeing them). Here is their set:
Your Treachery Will Die With You
One Shot, One Kill
Priase The Lord (Opium Of The Masses)
These guys crushed live. They were tight and brutal, and the crowd really got into them as mentioned in several other posts. I talked to their bass player, Sean Beasley, toward the end of the night, and he was personable and cool (and confirmed the set list you see above). Brutal band, that DF.
Next up was Winds of Plague
. All I knew about these guys (and chick) was that the video for "The Impaler" seemed to fit the image I had of many of their fans as "wiggercore", what with all the basketball jerseys and backwards baseball caps and such. I also knew they were (are) a deathcore band (with keyboards), so I wasn't very interested. However, my brother and I did wander over toward the viewing area at the back of the venue after they had already played a few songs, and I have to say their stage presence was pretty good. This sucked me in a bit, and I started to listen with a bit more attention. The breakdowns were abundant, that's for sure, but they were heavy as hell and that wasn't a bad thing. The theatrics were laid on quite a bit, too, but again that wasn't necessarily bad either. Anybody who claims to like metal but can't stand theatrics (at least to some extent) is probably either not being honest or doesn't realize what they are talking about. Anyway, speaking of theatrics, the finishing blow was their final song, in which the keyboard player Kristen Randall grabbed a mic and started stalking around the stage with Johnny Plague screaming some pretty blistering vocals. Nicely done (and man, is she fairly hot
). In the end, I have to admit that I was entertained by this band - and that's saying a lot, because I went into this thing thinking I would be least interested in WoP than in any band there. I don't know their set, for obvious reasons (namely, being a complete non-fan up until last night).
Next up was Darkest Hour
, who I have to admit I know almost nothing about, but based on what I have heard I was stoked to see them. Their set was:
Sound The Surrender
No God (new)
With A Thousand Words To Say But One
These guys were great. They reminded me of a band such as Unearth, who are clearly somewhat metalcore, but who also seem to have deep roots in more classic death metal as well. They definitely were riff-heavy, and also very loud. They brought a ton of energy to the show, and several times their two guitar players mounted some riser boxes or monitors or whatever and did a couple of guitar runs similar to the way Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing made so famous years ago. Bottom line: Darkest Hour did not disappoint in the least. They bring it bigtime in their live show, and I liked them a great deal.
After this, the sub-headliner for the night, Ensiferum
took the stage (in kilts, no less!). Their set was:
Hero In A Dream
One More Magic Potion
Deathbringer From The Sky
Token Of Time
Ensiferum is, without a doubt, folk metal. I don't normally get into this genre very much, but I have to say that Ensiferum is definitely an entertaining band to listen to from time to time, and they certainly do a very good job live. The crowd loved them. Their songs were old-fashioned sounding (like something from a movie with lots of swords and dragons in it), and entertaining. These guys (and girl, on keyboards) do get pretty thrashy, too - there was actually a bit of moshing happening from time to time (although I didn't think it was exactly fitting in a few cases, but hey - mosh if ya wanna mosh, I guess
After the folk metal festival had left the building, it was finally time for the mighty Necrophagist
to take the helm. Unfortunately, by this time, many of the scene kids had either lost interest or left because of curfews. Granted, by the time Necrophagist finally took the stage, it was almost 11:00 PM, but I was still a little disappointed that there were probably only a few hundred people left in the venue. At least the ones who remained made their fair share of noise (as best they could), but I certainly hope the Necrophagist guys didn't leave town thinking Cleveland has no love for them (because we do!!!
Anyway, the minute Muhammed walked on stage, the crowd (what was left of us) went nuts, and he and the boys got right down to business immediately, launching full steam into "Epitaph". Their set was as follows:
Foul Body Autopsy
The Stillborn One
Only Ash Remains
Dawn and Demise (new)
Ignominious And Pale
Fermented Offal Discharge
This was my first time seeing Necrophagist live. I have been a fan for a couple of years, but was unable to make one of their shows until yesterday. I have to admit, I didn't know how their unique brand of highly technical death metal would translate to the stage - I've heard people actually say they suck live, and to some extent I thought there might be a shred of truth to it. Those people should be pimp-slapped, and then sent to bed without dinner. Then, just after they stop crying and fall asleep, they should be ripped from their beds and forced to watch while their teddy bears are burned right in front of them. Then they should be taken outside and beaten to within an inch of their lives. After that, they should be stretched out on a rack to await the hungry crows which will hopefully begin to peck out their eyes. Just as the day dawns, they should be stretched until their limbs snap, and are eventually torn off. Then, just before they lose consciousness, the executioner should whisper into their ears:
"Necrophagist does NOT
suck live. Or ever. It is YOU who sucks."
Then, the merciful gunshot to the head which they do not deserve, but hey, I'm a nice guy.
In other words, Necrophagist tore shit up. They were phenomenal. In my brother's words, it was just like hearing them on the album, but loud as fuck (and of course you get to watch them play, to boot). Yeah, Necrophagist crushes live. So much for those stupid rumors perpetrated by contentious pricks who just like to be contrarian because they think it makes them look smart. They are probably the same girls who left some time after Winds of Plague.
So overall, the fest was awesome. Lots of good memories. I got some (what I hope are sweet) photos and a video or two of the Necrophagist set. Unfortunately, neither Suffocation nor Decrepit Birth were present for this date, but Necrophagist alone was worth the twenty-five bucks. Everything else was just icing on the cake.