SUFFOCATION, INTERNAL BLEEDING, PYREXIA, JUNGLE ROT, KATAKLYSM @ The Whisky (10/21/14)

“Slammin’” would be an accurate description of this year’s Carnival of Death tour featuring INTERNAL BLEEDINGPYREXIAJUNGLE ROTKATAKLYSM, 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!

PYREXIA
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!

kataklysmKATAKLYSM, 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 RobinsonDYING 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.

suffocationBeginning 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!

DEICIDE, BROKEN HOPE, DISGORGE, NECRONOMICON @ The Whisky, Hollywood, CA (10/20/13)

The No Salvation Tour had made its way to Los Angeles, and by the looks of things outside the world famous Whisky A Go-Go, it would be a packed house inside.  There were tons of fans lined up outside the venue, but since the show was sold out, they had no choice but to stand outside and hang out all night!

The opening act for this brutal tour package was NECRONOMICON, but alas, they did not play, as their RV broke down and sadly, did not get to the venue in time to perform.  The crowd grew restless, and wanted some brutality…

After a few miscues with their intro, San Diego’s DISGORGE proved why they are still one of the most extreme and violent acts out there.  The band plowed directly into “Atonement” with new vocalist Angel Ochoa up to par with legendary ex-DISGORGE vocalist Matti Way.  The crowd started up the pit, and the band fed off the swirling hair and circle pit nicely, delivering the most ferocious, extreme, and ultra low guttural death metal possible.  They went through their “hits” such as “Womb Full of Scabs,” “She Lay Gutted,” and “Cranial Impalement” just to name a few.  The crowd gave them an excellent response, and this tour should definitely take the band to the next level in terms of gaining more fan base and support.

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CARCASS @ The Troubadour (9/28/13 & 9/29/13)

Carcass

An improbable reunion, followed by an improbably killer new album (Surgical Steel), followed by a still improbable small-venue mini-tour, CARCASS have found a second wind in their lengthy career to deliver more than just a “reunion” jaunt. With two nights at The Troubadour in West Hollywood on September 28th and 29th, CARCASS paid a visit to the very venue that came to be their “last” Los Angeles show (1994) before their extended period of inactivity.
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BLACK SABBATH @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Irvine, California (08/28/13)

Three quarters of the original SABBATH line-up returned to their old stomping grounds of Orange County, California last night.  I underestimated how many of the devoted would turn out for a show on a Wednesday night as it was nearly a sell out with people making the pilgrimage from near and far.

Black Sabbath
As the house lights went down, the sound of the sirens signaled that “War Pigs” would be the night’s opening song.  Even from right outside the amphitheater, the absolute heaviness could be felt.

To nobody’s surprise, the band’s set focused on the first three records, Black Sabbath, Paranoid, and Master of Reality.  While you can’t question the love the masses have for SABBATH, it is a safe assumption that the majority do not spend much time with Vol. 4, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, or Sabotage, and would quickly complain if the band started playing “obscure” tracks such as “The Writ” or “Tomorrow’s Dreams.”  One gem from Vol. 4 did make the set in the form of “Under the Sun.”  They also performed three songs from the solid reunion album, 13.
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BORIS – Two Night Residency @ Echoplex, Los Angeles, CA (5/23/13, 5/24/13)

Boris

Everything BORIS sets out to accomplish is not without a dose of “special”. Such was their recent U.S. tour, half of which were two-night residencies; one night of “All-time Classics,” a set of their heavy rock, non-drone material, and a second night of the exact opposite — a complete performance of their hour-long Flood album, plus experimental/drone selections.
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TURBONEGRO @ El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles, CA (5/25/13)

The Turbojugend were out in full force for the LA stop of TURBONEGRO‘s first proper U.S. tour in support of Sexual Harassment. The late arriving crowd salvaged what would have been a disappointing turn out by TURBONEGRO standards.  So after so many semi-legendary shows throughout the years in LA, what would the band bring with their new vocalist Duke of Nothing AKA Tony Silvestri?  Another awesome, special performance.

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SAINT VITUS, WEEDEATER, SOURVEIN, SPLITH @ Bootleg Theater (10/10/12)

Last night, the superb lineup of SAINT VITUS, WEEDEATER, SOURVEIN, and SPLITH invaded the beautiful Bootleg Theater in Echo Park/Silver Lake adjacent. The rear theater room was opened for the night’s serving of doom — a good thing thanks to it being a larger space and having better sound. The front bar area, meanwhile, made for a fine drinking and socializing area. Few other venues such an optimal set up — smoking patios don’t count.
Unfortunately, by the time I arrived, the reformed SPLITH, which features renowned producer Billy Anderson, and SOURVEIN, who I’ve been wanting to see for some while, had already played.

WEEDEATER‘s set was expectedly pummeling, rattling with loads of low end. Vocalist and bassist Dixie Dave stomped and shook like a crazy man while his raspy bark competed with the thundering low frequencies. Three different drummers took to the kit throughout the set, and MONDO GENERATOR‘s Nick Oliveri was spotted up front entranced by WEEDEATER‘s sludge power.

The heavy got heavier. SAINT VITUS followed, delivering thick riffs in a subdued yet commanding manner. Wino and guitarist Dave Chandler commanded the audience through their long grey hairs and mastery of doom. Heads banged in approval as SAINT VITUS stamped their sound into the Bootleg audience, young and old.

Check out a clip by opeth44 of SAINT VITUS playing “The Troll“…

DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT, KATATONIA, PARADISE LOST, STOLEN BABIES @ El Rey, Los Angeles, CA (09/08/12)

The Epic Kings and Idols Tour hit Los Angeles to a packed house.  Anticipation and enthusiasm were high. The merch booths were selling well as the crowd was littered with brand new shirts, particularly of KATATONIA and the DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT.

LA’s very own STOLEN BABIES were first up with their eccentric brand of heavy music.  Always up for a challenge in front of a straight up metal crowd, the band bashed through their set with all the charisma and energy that they show on their headlining shows.  It’s always cool to see  first time spectators have a bewildered look on their faces as they watch this crazy band that looked like they jumped out of the Beatlejuice movie.  They played a few songs off of their upcoming album, Naught, which sounded right at home with their debut, There Be Squabbles Ahead.  Vocals were a bit low in the mix but still a sweet performance.


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IRON MAIDEN @ Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre, Irvine, CA (8/9/12)

In metal, there are so many great live bands but few deliver the kind of religious experience that IRON MAIDEN regularly delivers. The Maiden England World Tour hit Southern California last night with the band reprising the 1988 Seventh Son of a Seventh Son tour, complete with the stage set up and setlist modeled after that tour.

The enthusiasm, anticipation, and sheer positive energy at Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre was just so special. And when the band finally took the stage with “Moonchild,” the place exploded. The roar of the crowd was deafening. MAIDEN didn’t waste much time in between songs as they kept going into song after song. “The Evil that Men Do” and “The Prisoner” followed quickly afterwards. For MAIDEN purists, the removal of “Still Life” and “Infinite Dreams” may have been a disappointment. However, the band replaced these songs with the underrated “Afraid to Shoot Strangers” and the favorite “Fear of the Dark.” Also, it should be noted that the setlist is mostly based on the Seventh Son of a Seventh Son tour rather than being a facsimile.

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GRAVEYARD, RADIO MOSCOW, THE SHRINE @ Bootleg Theater (1/28/12)

GRAVEYARD‘s sold out show with RADIO MOSCOW, and THE SHRINE at Bootleg Bar in Los Angeles this past Saturday was no doubt the hottest ticket in town. The buzz was huge and rightfully so–their latest album, Hisingen Blues, is an honest-to-goodness, quality serving of 70s rock ‘n roll that has garnered much acclaim.

So while word rippled through the internet that the show had sold out, the venue subsequently moved the show into the larger (and better sounding) theater room in the back of Bootleg Bar. A limited number of tickets were then released with an additional unguaranteed chance for tickets at the door. Upon arrival, the line for fans waiting to purchase tickets was at least 40 people deep with THE SHRINE already loudly blasting away inside. It turns out that everyone who showed up without pre-sale tickets was fortunately able to get in. Continue reading