One of the tours A&GS loves to cover most is The Summer Slaughter Tour!! Since the 2014 edition we haven’t missed a year attendance-wise. This incarnation featured none other than SOREPTION, ENTHEOS, TERROR UNIVERSAL, and ALLEGAEON. I don’t care if you were putting on nothing but polka bands after them, count me in!! All four of these groups came, saw, and conquered, and it was one helluva Sunday afternoon at Theater of the Living Arts for me.
Let’s start with SOREPTION, shall we? Touring as a three-piece due to those dreaded visa issues, the band came out swinging from the very first note. They only had a short, four-song set but they certainly made every minute count. New album Monument of the End (out now, Sumerian Records) was represented by “King of Undisputed Nonsense”, with “Deterioration of Minds” and “March of the Tyrants” coming from the Deterioration of Minds album, DUH! “Engineering the Void” was definitely a set highlight for me. This makes the second time I’ve seen SOREPTION, and I hope they do another U.S. run now that the record is out.
Next up was ENTHEOS. Up to this point I considered myself a casual fan. I was NOT prepared for how mind-blowing they would be live! Vocalist Chaney Crabb is a fucking demon on the mic, and she has killer stage presence, banging her head and getting the crowd into it from note one. And her massive gutturals had me standing in open-mouthed shock more than once. Holy shit, if you’ve never seen them, remedy that with a quickness!
Song-wise the group stuck solely to latest record Dark Future, released in late 2017. With a one-two punch of “Black Static (I)” and “White Noise (II)” the fans wasted no time getting a circle pit going. The intensity with which the band played was palpable and contagious, and you could see them feeding off of the crowd. It was a great dynamic of push and pull. Not surprisingly when they were done, there was a mad dash of fans to their merch table the likes of which I’ve not seen in quite some time.
TERROR UNIVERSAL is a band I gave a cursory listen to last year but never took the time to really sit with. Man alive, did they make a believer out of me on this day. On the earlier subject of intensity, these guys have it in spades. They attack the stage and never let up. I had to go back and re-listen to their latest record Make Them Bleed, and I was a thousand times more into it after seeing them live. Hey, it’s never too late to discover a great band, amiright? All told, PLAGUE (vocals), MASSACRE (drums), THRAX (guitars), and DIABOLUS (bass) gave the fans a great show. And I’m quite sure they made some new ones here in Philly.
Finally, ALLEGAEON was up. I’ve been a fan/friend of these guys since the first time I interviewed them in 2013 and they are without question one of THE best bands in all of Death Metal. THAT is not open for discussion; it is simply unassailable fact. The circle pit was at its most feverish during their set, and I must have seen the same fan wearing an “All Hail Science” shirt crowd surf to the front at least four times. This was also my first time seeing them with vocalist Riley McShane and he was fucking fantastic.
The band played a variety of tracks from their albums, but the absolute highlight was “1.618” from 2014’s Elements of the Infinite. I can’t tell you how many playlists I have this one on, and live….just WOW! Greg Burgess and Michael Stancel are an AMAHHHZING guitar duo and the way they play should make you go back to your room and practice. Ahhh, why bother? You couldn’t touch these two with 10 more years of lessons behind you. Regrettably we have no photos of their show, but if you saw them on this tour, you already know how insane it was.
And that’s it. Another Summer Slaughter Tour has come and gone. As always, it was one of the best shows of the summer, and I can’t wait for next year’s run. Hopefully you made it out to one of the dates because it was an excellent, very diverse line-up. I know that might have thrown some people, but here at the TLA in Philly we had a great crowd who was into each and every band as far as I could see. Till next year, everyone!!
LIVE IMAGES: ANNIE ATLASMAN PHOTOGRAPHY
LIVE WORDS: THE MAESTRO