Venue: Le National
Other bands playing: Endast, Impending Doom
As if there were not too many bands on this tour, the local promoter had added a local one called Endast to the line-up. I already had seen the twice previously and I was getting tired of seeing them, so I decided to arrive a bit late to the early show (door opened at 4 pm and Endast played at 5 pm). When I got in the National, they were starting their last song, "Black Cloud". They play some kind of unoriginal and generic groovy metalcore, but at least they've got a good stage presence. For the third time, I was not impressed, so I decided to take a look to Dying Fetus's merch instead of watching the band play. As on the Summer Slaughter Tour this summer, the New York death metal masters' shirt designs were disappointing: none of them was representative of the band's aesthetics. They looked like deathcore band merch, so I chose to pass once more.
The first good band of the evening was Wretched, and american melodic/technical death metal band. They were heavy, they were intense and they had epic melodic parts. I noticed that the two new songs they played (the second and third ones) were much better than the older ones, which makes me look forward to the new record, Son of Perdition
. Their singer looked like he was drunk or high, but he had good energy and he kept interacting with the crowd. I didn't know them before they announced this tour, so they were a cool discovery.
Then, for the next band, Impending Doom, me and some of my friends decided to go out for a few pizza slices, because the hunger was getting annoying. We went to a place right beside the venue and it was delicious, they had pizzas with italian sausage pieces on them; epic. When I came back in, one of the shittiest deathcore bands was playing its two last songs. They were painful to listen to: their music consisted only of chugging and groovy/djenty parts and it wasn't even enjoyable. Thus, the singer kept preaching about christianity before the breakdowns, for example yelling "there is only one god and he is Jesus". Pathetic. This leads me to the content of their lyrics, which was a pretty good source of laughter for me in the past few days. It seems like they want to have a crusade to kill all the pagans and atheists. Isn't the christian message one of peace and love?
After a short, efficient stage change-up, things started to get serious, especially for my younger brother who came with me to the concert. He has been listening to 3 Inches of Blood for many years and they're probably his favourite band ever. It was his second time seeing them (third for me) and he was pretty stoked. He bought a t-shirt and the new record in a beautiful digipak format (it is made to look like an old book and the gold writings on the cover are shiny) with the booklet signed by the band members. As always, they gave an excellent performance. It was really heavy and Cam Pipes' voice was spot on. I have also noticed that Justin Hagberg's backing vocals are improving drastically: his screams are becoming more definite and less similar to generic grunts. The new songs sounded great live, specially "Metal Woman", and witnessing the epic "God of the Cold White Silence" live for the first time was a great experience. Plus, I have a special mention to give to Shane Clark for his supreme badassness and his Nihilist t-shirt.
The next band, Job for a Cowboy, was one of the two bands I was the most looking forward to see in this show. When I had seen them with Whitechapel a few years ago, I was a bit disappointed, because their performance lacked power, but it was not the case this time. They started with "Entombment of a Machine" up to the part with the girl scream, which was done by the crowd, then bursted straight into the blistering "Embedded". The new line-up was surprisingly precise, tight and energetic, and Jonny Davy had an incredible, crazy stage presence. The two new songs they played were brutal and the older ones were exquisite ("Regurgitated Disinformation" is one of my favourite death metal songs ever). They also got a much better crowd reaction than the last time I had seen them, though I will never understand the 2-3 hardcore dancers swinging their arms to pure death metal with nearly no hardcore influence. Just like what I was hoping for, JFAC were the second best band of the night.
Job for a Cowboy could have outplayed many bands, but having Dying Fetus in a line-up just isn't fair for the others. They're probalby the most fun live band on earth. I've always been astonished by how only three guys could deliver such a powerful performance without cranking the volume of their instruments too loud (they were actually less loud than most of the bands on the bill). As soon as they started the first riff to "Your Treachery Will Die With You", the floor just exploded into a war zone. The pits were enormous and there were some of the most violent I've been in. I've got hit in the face about five times and my lower lip was bleeding at the end of their set, I fell on the ground twice and at some point, my neck got squeezed between the shoulders of two slammers (it was indeed very painful). However, in a Dying Fetus show, you get so many adrenaline rushes that the pain doesn't last very long. I can't decide if they were better than on Summer Slaughter last summer, but they gave a hell of a show. The new songs slayed: "From Womb to Waste" started with a few groovy slam parts and then finished with brutal blasting parts, and "Invert the Idols" was shorter and more intense. The highlights of the set for me was "Killing on Adrenaline" (DAT BREAKDOWN
) and the huge circle pits in "One Shot, One Kill".
When they finished playing, I was exhausted from all the moshing and headbanging, so I went upstairs and sat in the back for The Faceless. They gave a good show: their complex songs were perfectly executed and their new frontman has more energy than their previous one (and he has a better voice too in my opinion). Also, the new song surprised me. It started with a long atmospheric, Opeth-y (but with a more freaky, alien feel), part with clean vocals by Michael Keene and then bursted into pure tech-death frenzy, sometimes cut by wierd keyboard melodies (similar to the interlude in "Legion of the Serpent", my favourite song of theirs), and it finished with a heavy/groovy repeated riff (or breakdown if you want). I didn't like the other song they had released ("The Eidolon Reality") that much, but this one really made me want to listen to their next album. They concluded the set with the "XenoChrist", frustrating many of their fans who had come only to see them, because of the shortness of their set (they certainly did not play 40 minutes like they were scheduled to). Not playing "The Ancient Covenant" is just wierd, but I think it's because their new guitarist didn't have enough time to learn it correctly.
When DevilDriver went on stage, about half of the crowd had left. The problem with that band is that they always tour with band that are more worshiped than themselves and/or of completely different genres (for example, with Suffocation in 2010, and with Emmure and Despised Icon in 2009). Nonetheless, they were one of my favourite bands when I was in high school and I still know all of their songs by heart, so seeing them again was fun. What I found interesting is that they switched their setlist a bit: hearing "Horn of Betrayal", "Burning Sermon" and "The Fury of Our Maker's Hand" was great. The crowd seemed to enjoy them very much too: there were many circle and ordinary pits and tons of stage diving. I was still tired so I saved my energy and only went in the pits for the two final songs. For "Meet the Wretched", there was a wall of death that turned into a circle pit. It probably has been said many times before, but Dez Fafara is an outstanding frontman. He knows how to make a crowd move and, if you know the lyrics, he keeps singing them with you. His attitude creates a very warm atmosphere in the crowd. I didn't know what to expect, but they ended the long concert on a high note. The length of their set was perfect: it was satisfying while not being too long (at the end, everyone was getting tired).
EDIT: Damn, that review's long, sorry guys
Repeat? The End Is Near
3 Inches of Blood
God of the Cold White Silence
Battles and Brotherhood
The Goatriders Horde
Job for a Cowboy
Entombment of a Machine/Embedded
Unfurling a Darkened Gospel
Your Treachery Will Die With You
From Womb to Waste
Invert the Idols
One Shot, One Kill
Praise the Lord (Opium of the Masses)
Killing on Adrenaline
Kill Your Mother / Rape Your Dog
Sons of Belial
Legion of the Serpent
End of the Line
Horn of Betrayal
The Fury of Our Maker's Hand
Dead to Rights
Pray for Villains
Clouds Over California
Fate Stepped In
I Could Care Less
Head On to Heartache (Let them Rot)
Not All Who Wander Are Lost
Meet the Wretched