“Slammin’” would be an accurate description of this year’s Carnival of Death tour featuring INTERNAL BLEEDING, PYREXIA, JUNGLE ROT, KATAKLYSM, and the almighty SUFFOCATION! The interesting back story to this tour is that Guy Marchais (SUFFOCATION) used to be in INTERNAL BLEEDING and PYREXIA;Doug Bohn (PYREXIA) was with SUFFOCATION; and Keith DeVito (INTERNAL BLEEDING) was withPYREXIA and SUFFOCATION! Don’t forget that INTERNAL BLEEDING and PYREXIA have been hailed (or dismissed) as SUFFOCATION clones in the past!
INTERNAL BLEEDING opened the show and finally returned back to Southern California! Vocalist Keith DeVito has injected a death metal/hardcore style to the groove/slam act. The band showcased a few crushing tracks from the new album, Imperium, and the older fans were treated to classics such as “Anointed in Servitude.” I.B. warmed the crowd up with their short but sweet set – they were like a delicious appetizer, with SUFFOCATION being the main course!
A throng of old school fanatics (myself included) were anticipating PYREXIA to hit the stage. Drummer Doug Bohn, who played on SUFFOCATION’s masterpiece Pierced From Within, now crushed the skins for PYREXIA. The crowd got a tasty treat when Keith DeVito, who sang on PYREXIA’s System of the Animal, performed the controversial track, “Confrontation” with the band. The pinnacle of the set, of course, was hearing the crushing slam riffs of “Inhumanity” and “Sermon of Mockery” from their debut album.
JUNGLE ROT had a tough task to keep the energy of the crowd up, but the pit indicated that the fans seemed to enjoy the ultra-groovy mid-paced heavy riffage. While JUNGLE ROT doesn’t play anything new or crazy, they never fail in their delivery with their no-nonsense death metal groove attack!
KATAKLYSM, the beast once known as the “Northern Hyperblast,” has changed their style a bit to a more groove/start-stop type of band, but they still played to the crowd’s delight. Their set was quite a diverse one and spanned their lengthy career, with old classics such as “The Awakener,” to a few tracks off the new album, such as “If I Was God…I’d Burn It All” and “Fire.”
SUFFOCATION finally greeted the raucous crowd, but to some slight confusion and disappointment. Unfortunately, vocalist Frank Mullen has a limited amount of days he can take off from his regular day job, so he is unable to do some of the tours. If you have been a long time SUFFOCATION fan, this is not new news, as DECREPIT BIRTH‘s Bill Robinson, DYING FETUS’ John Gallagher, and even INTERNAL BLEEDING’s Keith DeVito have filled in before. This time SUFFOCATION went with an interesting choice, as DISGORGE drummer, Ricky Myers, has stepped in to do the vocals on this tour.
Beginning with “Thrones of Blood,” the thundering bass, technical blasts/beats of Kevin Talley (also a surprise on this tour to some), and amazing riffs whipped this Tuesday night crowd into a frenzy. Brutal classics like “Catatonia,” “Effigy of the Forgotten,” and “Liege of Inveracity” all sounded tight and sick as ever. Frank was sorely missed, however, as Ricky’s vocals sounded forced, and while talking in between songs, he sounded like he was losing his voice. Frank’s signature hand chop and hilarious stage banter was missed as well, but again, these were tough shoes to fill. Ricky did an admirable job, but out of a scene of so many great death metal growlers, it was in interesting choice to hire him for this tour. Nevertheless, SUFFOCATION gave 110%, and before you knew it, “Infecting the Crypts” closed out the seemingly short set, and the Carnival of Death tour stop for Los Angeles had concluded. We haven’t seen a great package like this in a while, so if this tour has not made it to your town yet, be sure to check it out!