I got to the venue right after Conducting from the Grave finished their set. The first band I heard was Annotations of an Autopsy, and as much as I really tried to be open-minded, I just thought they were awful. I admit there is very little - if any - deathcore that I like, and AOAA isn't changing my mind anytime soon. Just sayin'.
Then Misery Index took the stage. As much as I really don't like these guys on paper (and trust me, I really don't know why) - they have impressed me both times I have seen them. I guess it's just time to suck it up and say it. I think I might like Misery Index. Their set was loud and fast, and got the crowd - including yours truly - moving. What else can one ask for? My best shot at their setlist is as follows:
We Never Come in Peace (I think?)
The Great Depression
??? (something really fast - which I liked, but I didn't catch the name)
Heirs to Thievery
(the last four songs were announced, as was TGD, so I'm sure those are correct)
Then Arsis took the stage. I had hoped to see them on tour with Carcass a little over a year ago, and they never showed. Then I had hoped to see them in Chicago last winter when I saw Exodus and Arch Enemy, and thanks to fucking Chicago traffic I only caught the last song of their set (which rocked). Finally, tonight was the night. I was going to see Arsis play live!
All I can say is, these cats are awesome. There are a ton of technical death metal
bands out there, but there are very few bands that I would actually label as technical thrash
. Maybe Skeletonwitch. Maybe
Warbringer. DEFINITELY ARSIS.
Holy shit, these guys are good, and they have a damn good time while they are up there on stage, too. It was really great to finally catch them live. Their set was:
Return (partial, I think)
Forced to Rock
A March for the Sick
A Diamond for Disease
We Are the Nightmare
The Sadistic Motives Behind Bereavement Letters
The Promise of Never
The Face of My Innocence
...and now for the part of the gig report that is sure to get B-Rad's stomach heaving, but Mankvill's two horns way up - Dying Fetus. My first time seeing them was last year at Summer Slaughter, and even though they played a relatively short set, I was impressed. I get what some of the haters say about the vocals being hard to get used to, but to this criticism I would offer two things:
1. Both Sean Beasley and John Gallagher perform vocals for this band, and in fairly equal amounts. John's are a bit muddy, and not as good, but Sean's are fairly clear, and much better.
2. These guys really remind me of Nile at times (more on that later), and the almighty Nile has some vocals which are just as muddy and growl-y and unclear as Dying Fetus. Are the two bands' sounds really all that different? Think about it.
Anyway, Dying Fetus tore the place a new asshole. Seriously. Last year's set at Summer Slaughter was impressive, but a full-length headlining set from these behemoths was almost as much as I could take. I mean, holy fucking shit. Riff much? I was markedly grinning several times during the set, as I spelled out words like "riffalicious" and "riff-mongous" and "rifftastic" on the screen of my Blackberry and showed them to my brother, at which we both laughed. Sweet Satan, was their set heavy (and fun). Here is what they played:
Praise the Lord (Opium of the Masses)
Your Treachery Will Die with You
Epidemic of Hate
Conceived into Enslavement
Your Blood is My Wine
Killing on Adrenaline
One Shot, One Kill
Ethos of Coercion
(Encore, which was played without the band leaving the stage...)
Pissing in the Mainstream
Kill Your Mother, Rape Your Dog
All in all, these guys are just about as heavy as the inimitable Cannibal Corpse, and their lyrics are certainly similar. I think Dying Fetus might be a little faster, too. Either way, if you like brutal death metal, these guys deliver that in spades. No doubt about it. There might only be three of them up there on stage, but they sound just as heavy as five-pieces like Cannibal Corpse or Nile any day of the week. Great set.
So all in all, it was a pretty damn decent show, despite the deathcore openers. I learned that:
Misery Index is actually good, whether I like it or not.
Arsis is every bit as awesome as I had hoped / expected them to be.
Dying Fetus will most definitely crush your skull and smoke your brain.