Summer Slaughter 2010 - 7/18/10 House Of Blues LA
Summer Slaughter 2010. Sunday, July 18th at the House of Blues in Los Angeles, California
Posted Aug 22, 2010, by Litany.
Lineup - Decapitated (Headliners), The Faceless, All Shall Perish, The Red Chord, Veil of Maya, Cephalic Carnage, Decrepit Birth, Carnivex, Animals as Leaders, Vital Remains
Summer Slaughter: not the summer heat that we currently have mind you, but the wonderful metal assault festival that we are fortunate enough to have every year. Various metal bands join this yearly gathering, ranging from the more popular bands as The Faceless, Decrepit Birth, Vital Remains, Cephalic Carnage, Veil of Maya, All Shall Perish, and the legendary return of Death Metal technicians Decapitated, to new-coming bands such as Carnivex and Animal As Leaders.
Fortunately as well, the number of bands on this yearly tour usually range from 8 to 10. $25 for 10 bands? Can't beat it.
Waiting in line at the House of Blues on Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles, California, I'm 3rd in line as the line slowly gets bigger and bigger. Right outside the line towards the venue are all of the merch tables being set up by the tour crew and band members alike. 4:45 P.M. shows up and we are all being led to the door. I rush to the very front of the stage right at the rail and await.
First on stage was Vital Remains: death metal legends since the late 80's. Their 2004 album, Dechristianize, broke the barrier of their populartiy (mainly because Glen Benton of Deicide was their vocalist at that time) and brought some amazing death metal to us. Right as their set started, the infamous "Where is Your God Now? intro began, with all of the band members raising the horns. "Dechristianize" opens their set and the tour. Brutal blastbeats and blistering guitars raged through the set. And though they haven't toured very recently, the crowd definitely knew who they were.
One of their core band members Dave Suzuki (virtuoso guitar player for the band for QUITE some time) was no longer in the band, but their new lead guitarist did just fine. Their set consisted of only 3 songs, as the tour has many bands and their songs are rather long. Nonetheless, they did a fantastic job opening.
1. Where is your God Now? (Intro)
3. Devoured Elysium
4. Hammer Down the Nails
Animal As Leaders were next and this band was an important lesson to me: NEVER assume. With their band name and a lot of the metalcore kids going crazy for them next, I expected them to sound fairly generic. Boy was I wrong....Instrumental jazz-metal music with AMAZING guitar playing. Their lead guitarist played a style similar to the legendary virtuoso Joe Satriani. Their rhythm guitarist should also be getting credit for his playing too. The drummer incorporated a fun jazz style to his playing and the music soared through the PA systems with most in the crowd very impressed by it. Didn't catch their set but they played 3 songs. Will definitely give this band the credit they deserve.
Carnivex was next. My friend showed me a song a few years ago and while heavy, they just don't do it for me. They play a metalcore style, although as stated earlier, I'll give them credit for being pretty heavy with it. Carnivex, to me, is an okay attempt at death metal with some decent riffs and vocals trapped in a mediocre metalcore body. I did expect the crowd to like them a little more than I witnessed, but again, not particularly my thing.
One of the highlights of the tour and one of the bands I was here for: Decrepit Birth. Finding a completely new style within their music for the past few years, Decrepit Birth play a solid melodic but brutal, technical death metal style. Solid lead guitar work in the vein of Chuck Schuldiner, the death metal god of the band Death, can't hurt the band either. Everyone in the crowd was rowdy as they were setting up. "The Living Doorway" opened their set along with a huge response from the crowd as well. They played three songs off the new album "Polarity" (Incredible album, a must hear!) and two off their more brutal first album, "And Time Begins". As usual, an incredible performance.
2. The Living Doorway
3. The Resonance
5. Prelude to the Apocalyspe
7. The Infestation
Cephalic Carnage then took over with their fusion of brutality, jazz craziness, times changes and loads of weed talk really shined. They're a very technical death metal band with lots of influence in jazz. Excellent musicianship with lots of energy on the stage. Great response from the crowd and from seeing them at the Summer Slaughter 2007, they gave one HELL of a performance tonight. They ended the set with their most favorite (and my personal favorite) song "Lucid Interval." Great band, even better than expected performance tonight.
Veil of Maya was next on the bill and normally I'm not a fan of metalcore, however I've always liked Veil of Maya. Unlike many of their peers, Veil of Maya has only one guitarist, but he is quite the talented player. He basically plays two guitars with only one live. Looping effects for one part then plays the next, complicated scales and really moving passages. Their breakdowns are very Meshugga based (Very rhythmic, not monotonous) which I find okay. So far of the night they received the biggest response from the crowd; particularly from the metalcore based crowd. However the death metal fans seemed to enjoy them. One of the few metalcore bands I enjoy and they gave a solid performance tonight.
The Red Chord took the stage and as others mentioned to me after the show, their set wasn't anything spectacular. They're a very fast and dissonant (more of a gloomy, harsh and evil tone within the music) band with lots of time changes and some slow breakdowns along the way. But their performance just didn't impress. The crowd enjoyed them but nothing spectacular it seemed.
All Shall Perish followed and as with Veil of Maya, received a great crowd response and poured it all out there. Their first album Hate Malice Revenge is fairly solid, and their riffs are pretty good. The vocals are pretty impressive too. While I don't find them amazing, they're very good live and worked great with the crowd.
Right after All Shall Perish was leaving, cheers and chants for The Faceless were already starting. They've truly made a name for themselves with their blend of technical death metal. I've met some of the members on numerous occasions and they're really humble people. HUGE crowd response and mosh pit to welcome The Faceless. They played most of the set off their newest album Planetary Duality. Songs such as "Xenochrist", "The Ancient Covenant" and "Coldly Calculated Design" were present. Great on stage with the muscianship always impressive by them, especially from their rhythm guitarist Steve Jones. They ended their set with a fan favorite "An Autopsy" off their first album Akeldama and the mosh pit and crowd surfing was nuts. As always, a great set and performance by The Faceless.
1. Shape Shifters
2. Coldly Calculated Design
3. Sons of Belial
4. The Ancient Covenant
6. Planetary Duality I: Hideous Revelation
7. Planetary Duality II: A Prophecies Fruition
8. An Autopsy
Anxiously awaiting, the crowd and myself were going crazy chanting "Decapitated" and their late drummer Vitek as the set-up was going. Decapitated playing again was something very special. In 2007, the band was traveling through Gomel, near the Russian border when their tour bus collided with a truck containing wood. Vitek and the singer Covan sustained severe head injuries. After an attempted surgery, it failed and Vitek died. Covan, to this day, is still recovering from the accident. Not only was Vitek the band member of the main songwriter, founded and guitarist Vogg, it was also his brother. After years of thinking, reflecting, and for a short stint a live session member for Vader, Vogg decided to bring the band back. After 3 years with a new bassist, drummer and vocalist, Vogg brought Decapitated back to life.
The crowd went absolutely insane when they took the stage. Although Vogg had minor difficulties with his guitar sound, it was fixed only 20 seconds or so after they started playing. Right into "A Poem about an Old Prison Man", the crowd went ballistic, showing off some brutal mosh pitting and crowd surfing to show appreciation. After playing several songs right off their last record, Organic Hallucinosis, they went right into the album that landmarked their name, Winds of Creation. The vocalist shouted to us, "Ready for something old?" The crowd went NUTS as they played the title track to that album. At only 15-18 years old, they recorded Winds of Creation. With their amazing musicianship and brutality displayed tonight, we were all in awe of this wonderful upbringing. They ended their set with one of their more popular songs, "Spheres of Madness". The most positive response of the night with a ridiculous amount of moshing and chaos. This was my 5th Decapitated show and it was a bombardment of brutality and excellence. While I do enjoy their last album, playing off their first two albums more would have been even better. But considering EVERYTHING the band has been going through, it's just an honor that they're playing at all.
1. A Poem About an Old Prison Man
2. Day 69
3. Post (?) Organic
4. Visual Delusion
5. Invisible Control
6. Winds of Creation
8. Mother War
9. Spheres of Madness
Right after the set ended, Vogg thanked the crowd and threw his pick at me. However it fell down the rail and as I was asking the security staff to reach it for me, someone else told him, "Can you get my pick?!" Oh well. He threw the pick at me so that's all that matters haha.
All in all, it was a solid tour package. Amazing bands and bands that aren't to my liking but I do know others will find their styles to be more their fitting. Summer Slaughter 2010 was a wonderful mix of brutal, catchy and solid metal music, metalcore or death metal.