Finally Grave would be returning to the states with the full force of extremely rotten death metal. In 2008 they did a small string of shows around Maryland Deathfest and in 2006 they toured with Dismember, however the west coast leg of the tour fell apart due to financial issues. I haven't been able to find any information on tours prior to the canceled one, so I'm not sure how long it has actually been since they last visited California. I would venture to say it has been quite a while though. Aside from it being a rare opportunity to see Grave, this tour promised to be particularly special, due to the celebration their debut album's 20th anniversary. As expected, it was.
I arrived at Chain Reaction about an hour after the doors opened and met up with vegantopher at the box office. We hung out for a while before I headed inside to catch Pathology. I've been a fan of them since their second album, so it's been interesting to see their rise in popularity, considering how few brutal death metal bands actually break through. Victory Records has been working hard on marketing them, advertising their albums on popular metal sites and setting them up with numerous tours in the past year, which has given them a lot of exposure. This would be my first time seeing them, and although I was looking forward to it, I was disappointed when I read that they would have a fill-in vocalist. He did a decent job, but I would have liked to see Jonathan Huber up there, as I enjoy his vocals much more. The set focused around their newer material, which I was fine with, even though I do enjoy the first two albums. They put on a good performance, but I'm hoping next time around Jonathan will be able to go on tour with them.
Next up was Blood Red Throne, and honestly I didn't know much about them other than that they were a death metal band from Norway. The vocalist sounded too monotone to me and I didn't like their guitar tone, but there were some good riffs in the songs. The real force behind the band was the drummer, and he was a monster. His blast beats and double bass were both incredibly fast and spot on.
After Blood Red Throne finished up vegantopher and I ran into srm90 and we talked a little bit. None of us had seen the elusive Sepultura69, but apparently he was there, somewhere. By this time it was getting a little late, and I was worried Grave's set might be cut. They came on stage 11:05 to a hilarious intro and went into "Deformed". They continued through the album and it was absolutely incredible. The band sounded great, and although the crowd was small, there were some pits. Hearing the songs "Into the Grave" and "Extremely Rotten Flesh" were some unforgettable moments. It was as if we were back in the early '90s, and I really couldn't have asked for anything more than that. The show ran 30 minutes past the curfew, so unfortunately they had to cut "Now and Forever" and "Soulless", but it was not a big deal after witnessing a death metal classic played in full. I had an awesome time at the show and hearing Into the Grave
is an experience I will always remember.
- In Love
- For Your God
- Obscure Infinity
- Hating Life
- Into the Grave
- Extremely Rotten Flesh
- Day of Mourning
- Banished to Live
- You'll Never See...
Also, Blood Red Throne and Pathology played the same sets as the other dates, as far as I could tell. Anyway, it was great to hang out with vegantopher and meet srm90. It's too bad Sepultura69 was hiding though.