Live report : Obituary Obituary [Death Metal]
Sunday, June 6, 2010 - Emos
, AustinView all concert info
Photographer : Darren Cowan
Old school death metal was the extreme theme in Austin, Texas during the week of June 2nd. Holland’s pioneering force, Pestilence
made its first round through the States in seventeen years. Vital Remains provided tour support that was…well, vital. After barely recovering from this metallic onslaught
, Florida legends Obituary
appeared at the same venue a mere four day later.
show came at a bad time of the week, on a Wednesday, (Obituary
was on an equally bad day, Sunday) but a show of this caliber couldn’t be missed, so Emo’s inside stage packed in the crowd to near capacity. This show held a certain mystique to it. It not only marked the long awaited return of Holland’s hardest band, the show also offered a large bill of talent.
Said talent not only consisted of bands from the same genre such as Vital Remains, but young thrash acts such as Sacrificial Slaughter, Warbringer (who never seems to rest) and Enfold Darkness. Goatwhore were an added bonus. The Louisiana black/death metallers merged their tour with this date. For all purposes, though, this report focuses solely on the performances of Pestilence
, and Vital Remains—three bands whose combined experience adds up to over seventy years of true death metal.
The thrash acts that played earlier in the evening provided a good warm up for Pestilence
, but Vital Remains’ combustive energy lit the crowd on fire two bands before the headliner. Vital’s savage speed, technical brilliance, heartbeat raising dynamics and tough stage presence of Scott Wily resulted in the best response of the night.
New drummer Eddy Hoffman and lead guitarist John Haught seemed seasoned veterans of the band. Tony Lazaro’s brutal axe attack has animated the group for over twenty years, and the set list consisting of material from the group’s last two albums—Dechristianize and Icons of Evil—confirmed his greatness. Vital Remains couldn’t have gotten a better response unless they had played with the vocalist from those two recordings, inverted-cross branded Deicide
growler, Glen Benton. Look for Vital Remains to wreak more havoc on Summer Slaughter 2010.
: Patrick Mameli Please get out of my body
Goatwhore had announced earlier their seeing Pestilence
on tour with Death and Carcass
, which was such a long time ago. The metal culture has changed so much since that epic tour, and as Pestilence
mastermind Patrick Mameli stated to me in an earlier interview, he felt maybe their fans had forgotten about them. That wasn’t the case when they travelled in support of the new Pestilence
album Resurrection Macabre last year, and it wasn’t the case now. The group took the stage in fine form amongst a throng of appreciate fans.
Unless thirty-five-years old, most people weren’t as lucky as Goatwhore, so seeing the group perform was truly a treat. Pestilence
performed a set list comprised of material throughout its career, although primarily from the Consuming Impulses and Resurrection Macabre efforts. The two guitar-playing Patricks (Mameli-vocals and Uterwijk) and crew assailed the crowd with pestilent gems such as “Chemotherapy” from Malleus Maleficarum, “Dehydrated” and its newer sequel, “The Process of Suffocation
” and of course, the timeless classic “Out of Body.”
The progressive leanings of Spheres rarely made an appearance, but bassist Jeroen Paul Thesseling—the bassist on said album—made that element quite obvious playing his six-string, fretless bass like a guitar. Some bass purists in the crowd bemoaned his upright playing style, but playing this instrument in such a technical way, calls for guitar posturing. The other complaint members of the crowd had was Pestilence
playing exclusively through the PA. After their performance, I asked them why they didn’t use amps. Mameli’s response was, “We don’t need amps. We’re fucking Pestilence
: Patrick Mameli Please get out of my body
Although not containing such a loaded bill as the Pestilence
brought a greater wealth of material to Emo's. These purveyors of gory imagery have sold more records on a more consistent basis than their Dutch counter part, so Emos directed the ravenous horde to the larger stage outside. This crowd filled to about 75% capacity, an impressive task considering how many people (numbers not available) can squeeze into this covered outdoor stage.
Once there, a hot and sweaty crowd (Obituary
later joked of bringing Florida’s humidity with them to Texas) took in a long set list that included material from the various periods of the band’s existence. Starting with the band’s latest recording Darkest Day, Obituary
delivered a punch to the Obdula Oblonga with classic cuts such as “The End Complete,” “Final Thoughts,” “Back from the Dead” and “Chopped in Half.”
Donald Tardy played a killer drum solo consisting of double bass and rolls that gradually changed in tempo. Soon guitar ripper extraordinaire Ralph Santolla (Deicide
, Iced Earth
) took the stage for his solo. Obituary
treated their fans with the cult
classic “Slowly We Rot” as an encore.
Including guitar tech Joe Cincotta of Full Force Recording Studios (Suffocation
brought along a crew that perfectly conveyed their live sound. They are one of the few bands that sound as good on stage as they do in the studio. Even after twenty-plus years of throat-shredding vocals, front man John Tardy did not need studio enhancements to maintain his trademark, wicked snarl.
Choosing between these two shows may have proven impossible (that is why I went to both). Pestilence
’s long hiatus surely enticed fans to come witness their act, as did the great bill that night. Obituary
’s legendary name in itself is enough to bring legions of concertgoers. Their excellent production and long set list was the highlight of this show. In the end (complete), it was a toss up for who made the better concert.