Four months is a long time to go without taking in a show. I can’t remember the last time I had such a dry spell. But lo and behold that mercifully came to an end on February 9 when I was fortunate enough to attend SOULFLY’S gig at Reverb in Reading, PA (one of my favorite venues, DUH!). Add KATAKLYSM and INCITE to that bill and you best believe I was all in as soon as this bitch was announced. Chris Minor from Rockview Live took the photos you see before you, and newest A&GS team member Tonia S came along to rock out for the night. I also had a chance to catch up with the beautiful and talented Rachel Cruz, who I playfully dubbed a Unicorn a couple of years ago.
Tonia and I arrived just as INCITE was starting their set. Over the course of seven songs, the band proceeded to rip the crowd a new one as they played tracks from new record Built to Destroy alongside ones from earlier records Oppression and The Slaughter. Vocalist Richie Cavalera was in killer form, and the band behind him truly came to play. Highlights of their performance included opener “Built to Destroy”, “Resistance”, and “Backbone” from the new disc, as well as “Stagnant” and closer “The Slaughter.” I’d really love to see these guys do a full headlining set because I just know they’d tear the roof off of any place they played.
Next up was KATAKLYSM, who truth be told, was my original motivation for wanting to see this show. Mind you, this was before I heard SOULFLY’S new one, but we’ll get into that in a little bit. Meditations is the latest album from KATAKLYSM, and it is one of, if not THE best records they’ve ever done. So the chance to hear some of these tracks live was all I needed for motivation, ya know? Opening with “Narcissist” from the new album, we were off and running, my head banging like crazy, previous neck injury be damned! A pair of tracks from 2015’s Of Ghosts and Gods came next with “The Black Sheep,” followed by “Thy Serpent’s Tongue.”
New song “Guillotine”, which is a fucking banger, was sandwiched between “10 Seconds From the End” and “As I Slither” from 2004’s Serenity In Fire, and the crowd was pretty riled up at this point. Frontman/vocalist Maurizio Iacono made a comment that the band was all dealing with being sick, but it sure as shit didn’t look it from where we were standing. This show was high-energy, and full of intensity from start to finish, so I can only imagine what it would be like when everyone is healthy. “Outsider” closed the set in brutalizing fashion, which only managed to make me want more. Fuck, I really hope KATAKLYSM comes back, and soon!
As I said earlier, SOULFLY released Ritual last year and it was on many a Top Albums list, mine included. To say I was anxious to hear these new tunes live was putting it mildly. Right away the band hit us with “Ritual”, “The Summoning”, and “Under Rapture” from the record. Christ, we were off and running AGAIN!! “Fire” bled into “Porrada” before “The Prophecy” from album of the same name showed up. Max Cavalera, fellow guitarist Marc Rizzo, drummer Zyon Cavalera, and bassist Mike Leon were on absolute fire and there was simply no stopping them.
“Babylon” and “Arise Again” from Dark Ages sounded even better than their studio counterparts, and it was great to see and hear Mike Leon playing on these older tracks. He is a special kind of bassist, plus he’s got a stage presence ten people couldn’t match, so he’s perfect for SOULFLY because they too bring a high-energy set. One more from Ritual with “Dead Behind the Eyes” was next, and then it was time to get “Back to the Primitive”, long one of my favorite songs from these guys. The self-titled debut was represented by “No” before the double whammy closer of “Jumpdafuck Up” and “Eye For An Eye” ripped the place to shreds.
When it was over I felt so fucking good, so ALIVE! Live music therapy is the best therapy, and live heavy metal is the best kind of medicine. Big thanks to Mark Kohl and the entire staff of Reverb for making this such an awesome show, and more big thanks to Charles at Nuclear Blast Records and Natalie over at Adrenaline PR for helping me have one of the best nights I’ve had in years! There are a dozen or so dates left on this tour (check HERE), so wherever you are in the world, you need to catch this line-up. All three bands will blow your doors off, and that’s a fact!!
LIVE IMAGES: ROCKVIEW LIVE
LIVE WORDS: THE MAESTRO