Decibel Magazine assembled one of the best complete touring lineups I’ve seen in recent memory. This year’s version of the annual tour consisted of up and coming death grinders NOISEM, technical death metal masters GORGUTS, melodic death metal giants THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, and gore obsessed British legends CARCASS. It was a night jam packed with incredible performances at The Trocadero Theatre in Philadelphia. In this article, I will feature NOISEM, GORGUTS, and THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER. Stay tuned for CARCASS, as they earned their own feature with their massive set.
Local openers, DIE CHOKING, kicked off the night with a swift set, celebrating the release of their new EP. I highly recommend that anyone interested enough to read this article checks them out immediately. The grind trio brought the pain and started the night off with a bang. Shortly after, Baltimore natives NOISEM took the stage. The young men blasted into their set like they were shot out of a cannon and the fans in attendance started what would be a consistent mosh pit all night. I have been fortunate enough to witness the quintet before and they were even better this time around! Vocalist Tyler Carnes stepped off of the stage into the area in front of the crowd barrier after the band played four songs. He spent the remainder of their set there, screaming his face off and pacing the width of the crowd. For the fans in the front rows, they definitely got up close and personal with NOISEM. The band plays with great speed and they beat you down non-stop for their entire set. Make note, these are the future faces of grind supremacy. If you aren’t a believer, go see their live performance. They will completely kick your ass.
Up next, GORGUTS took the stage. Luc Lemay and company opened their set with “Le Toit du Monde,” the lead track from 2013’s critically acclaimed record, Colored Sands. When the epic song came to a close, the crowd exploded with applause as the quartet forged right into “An Ocean of Wisdom.” They constantly shifted their focus with the complexity of the band’s songs, going from moments of balls out moshing to standing in awe watching the limitlessly talented band showcase their abilities. Tracks three and four from Colored Sands followed with only a brief stop for Luc to greet the crowd. “Forgotten Arrows” and the title track of their most recent release sounded superb. As many times as I have listened to Colored Sands in this exact order, the live experience of it was truly second to none. With a quick swap of guitars, Luc informed us that the end of their set had been reached and they were closing out the night with the title track from 1998’s Obscura. Seeing them finish with one of my all-time favorite GORGUTS tracks was the cherry on top of a perfect set. If you haven’t experienced the band live within the last year, you need to drop what you’re doing this instant and find out when they are coming to your town. An absolute must see for 2014 and beyond.
I want to take a moment and say that the stage crew for this tour was ON POINT! They got bands on and off the stage and sound checked incredibly fast. I felt like I hardly had breaks between bands. Kudos to the men and women behind the scenes, you did a great job! Within what seemed like two minutes, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER’s stage banner sporting the Everblack cover art was raised and the band was ready to begin. They kicked off their nine song set with one of my favorite TBDM tunes, “In Hell is Where She Waits for Me.” This was my fifth time seeing the melodic death metal five piece and it was just as excellent as the previous shows. If you’ve ever seen the band live, you know that their onstage banter is damn near as good as their musical performance. Vocalist Trevor Strnad and guitarist Brian Eschbach are always talented at making the crowd laugh when they aren’t making everyone bang their heads and go completely nuts.
After playing two songs from Everblack and two songs from Ritual, a pre-recorded track of apes screaming played throughout The Troc. I knew immediately it was time for one of my favorite songs, “Statuory Ape.” The crowd really went nuts for this one and I could hear them all screaming along with Trevor during various parts. The crowd was slayed by more old material through the night as they played “Everything Went Black” and “What A Horrible Night to Have A Curse” from Nocturnal. “Phantom Limb Masturbation” was sandwiched between the two Nocturnal tunes, and they brought the night to a close with “I Will Return” off of the Deflorate record.
TBDM gave their fans a solid dose of recent and older material that Saturday night in Philly. They had a great amount of expectation to live up to following the three excellent bands before them. But, you know what? They fucking crushed it like they always do! They didn’t miss a note and gave all of us 100% of their unique experience that night. There’s a reason these guys have been around for so long; they get better with each record and continually up the ante with their live performances. I always feel as if their shows are part performance and part hanging out with five of my friends that play music. They don’t come off as more important than any one person in the crowd and truly make their experience feel like we are all just partying together. I say it every time I get done watching them, but I really can’t wait for the next time I can see them.
(Stay tuned for Part II featuring CARCASS!!)
LIVE REVIEW BY ERIC THE BULL
LIVE PHOTOS FROM MIKE SIEVILA PHOTOGRAPHY