Venue: House of Blues
Bands: Black Dahlia Murder, Darkest Hour, 6 Feet Under, Dying Fetus, Powerglove, Oceano, As Blood Runs Black, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Within the Ruins
Source: Me (with set credits also due to BrutalDescent)
First of all, many of the setlists were the same as past dates, so LOOK AT BRUTALDESCENT'S REVIEW
for the sets. If the set was different, I posted it. I'll do a band-by-band breakdown of the night.
1.) WITHIN THE RUINS
I managed to walk in just in time just in time to catch the opening of their set. My impressions: kind of forgettable. Not bad, necessarily, but they're the epitome of technicality and breakdowns with out substance or writing catchy parts. A couple idiots tried slamming to them. Not a lot of people were into them. Eh. Whatever. I kind of like "Controller", but that's it. AND GODDAMN I HATE THEIR GAUGES. So sick of seeing that shit on people.
2.) FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE
Man, these guys were great! I still think they're a little "generic death metal" with too much tremelo picking/blast beats for my taste, but it sounded awesome live. It took a little bit for the crowd to warm up, but some great pits ended up happening. They also look badass; I love their image. I feel like they'd be a great opener for Behemoth sometime.
3.) AS BLOOD RUNS BLACK
In Dying Days
Beneath the Surface
My Fears Have Become Phobias
Tired from moshing to Fleshgod, I grabbed a hot dog and went upstairs to sit in the nice padded seats. Now, I hadn't really listened to ABRB since 2006-7, and I remember them being a different band. I think they must have switched out everybody, since I did not recognize one member from their old videos! They didn't get the best reaction ever from the crowd, and the guys looked fairly normal. If they really want to be popular in the deathcore scene, they need to get sick gauges, ink up their whole bodies, get haircuts, wear tight pants, and play slower breakdowns.
Honestly, they weren't bad. Pretty generic. I find them to be cookie-cutter deathcore: all their songs seem to be written from the same mold. The singer let the crowd decide if they wanted "My Fears" or "Hester Prynne" to be the last song. I kind of like "My Fears"; that was the only song that stood out to me.
Break time! I left the main venue before they even started to play. Checked out all the merch, and bought a pretty cool "Ritual" shirt from Black Dahlia for only $15!
Walked back to my car to store it, sat down and listened to some music and drank some bottles of water. Came back when Oceano had like, a song and a half left. Not only do I not like their music, but the guys in the band are complete dicks! The singer kept yelling at the crowd, telling people to mosh and get violent. At one point he said, "I want everyfuckingbody here to grab the fucking throat of the person next to them and hurt them! Fuck someone up! Get violent!" Of course, almost nobody does that, and he yells out at us, "What the fuck are you doing? Fucking pussies!"
Metal Kombat for the Mortal Man
Power, Wisdom, Courage (Zelda)
Gotta Catch 'Em All
Got up front for the Glove, and they were pretty solid! A nice lighthearted break from the dicks in Oceano. The reception for them was pretty awesome, with lots of moshing and circle pits in all of their songs. They played a pretty long set, too. Yeah, its a gimmick. But I don't mind it, being a huge gamer myself.
6.) DYING FETUS
Holy. Shit. SO GOOD. I was up front for the beginning of their set, and honestly, I was a little bored just watching the band, since they just kind of stand there and do their thing. Then I realized, this isn't fucking Dream Theater I'm watching... this band was made for moshing. And I think most everybody on the floor knew that too.
Great pits throughout their whole set. Probably the second best pits of the night, behind Dahlia. "Kill Your Mother..." was the craziest, of course. And during that pseudo-breakdown halfway through the song, I did this crazy running-and-vaulting-off-the-back-of-a-dude-into-an-epic-flying-crowdsurf. Completely awesome.
7.) SIX FEET UNDER
I grabbed another hot dog and sat back for Chris Barnes and the gang. Honestly... they were verrrrrrrrrrry underwhelming to me. Chris is just such a bland, lifeless frontman. He didn't say anything to the crowd, and when he wasn't screaming, he turned away from the crowd and just kind of stood there, like it was the last thing he wanted to do.
Crowd reaction was very bland, also. Almost no moshing until "Hammer Smashed Face". It was kind of cool seeing Rob and Matt from Chimaira playing with them, since I'm a huge Chimaira fan. Not a huge fan of their death metal as a whole, either. Got bored.
8.) DARKEST HOUR
I secured a pretty good spot on the floor in the middle, in the very back by the sound guy (which isn't far back at all since in the Cleveland House of Blues, the actual pit area is tiny). As a band, I thought Darkest Hour were great live! I almost find their style of melodeath to be relaxing to listen to. Very spot on. Unfortunately, the crowd reaction wasn't so great. For the first couple, John kept calling out to everyone to circle pit, and literally no one moved.
A little mosh broke out during Savor the Kill, then before the Sadist Nation, John pleaded with the crowd to please go crazy during the song. Fortunately, most everyone did, with a very awesome pit opening up. It was off-and on from there, but near the end the crowd got really into them. Solid performance, overall.
Yeah, I would probably be the only one bummed about that here.
Honestly, it wasn't too big of a deal since I already saw them put on a great headliner back in February. Their drummer was too sick to even stand up, so the rest of the band came out and apologized to the crowd. They knocked all their merch down to 1/2 off for everyone there as an apology. I got no interest in any Whitechapel merch, but I appreciated that they were trying to do something for the fans. I really felt bad for them, since you could tell they wanted to play and there were definitely people there who wanted to see them. Sucks all around.
9.) THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER
A Shrine To Madness
Everything Went Black
A Vulgar Picture
Malenchantments of the Necrosphere
Carbonized in Cruciform
What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse
I Will Return
Blood In The Ink
Unhallowed -> Funeral Thirst
Two words: fucking incredible. Everybody was obviously saving up their pent energy for this band. They had some of the best and most consistent moshes I've ever seen. Lots of crowdsurfers, too, especially during their old ones, "What a Horrible Night", and "Deathmask Divine".
The singer from Within the Ruins was out there moshing and going crazy with us all for the whole Dahlia set, which I thought was pretty cool. He seemed like a nice guy. Musically, Black Dahlia was perfect. Trevor sounded amazing with his screams. Ryan ripped each solo spot-on. Shannon killed the drums. It was just a very fun
performance. Everybody was loving it. Everyone was fist pumping pretty much the entire time. Trevor actually pointed me out in the back because I was doing the dual-fist-pump thing that he does all the time very intensely.
And while I'm there, let me just say that Trevor Strnad is one of the best front men to a band I've seen. He runs around the stage and point out everyone, fist pumps almost constantly, and always has a smile on his face. He also does this hilarious thing all the time where he goes into a very graceful, almost conductor like pirouette.
He's very expressive. They were the perfect headliner to Summer Slaughter. The tour could use better support bands, of course, but I can't think of anyone else that would put on a crazier headlining slot.
Within the Ruins:________5/10
As Blood Runs Black:_____6.5/10
Six Feet Under:__________5/10
Black Dahlia Murder:______9.5/10
Thanks for reading my review! I got a sick Black Dahlia "Ritual" shirt for only $15 (they didn't have any of those tour shirts available), and a Darkest Hour camo trucker hat for $10.
Despite all the worries I had about Summer Slaughter leading up for the months before this, it ended up being a lot of fun. I'm still a little worried for its direction, since there were a decent amount of flat-brimmed deathcore kids there, but as long as they have bands with the caliber of Black Dahlia headlining, it'll be awesome.
P.S.: I caught some pretty good videos of Dahlia right behind the pit!
A Vulgar Picture