Full photo galleries of all the bands at the bottom of the blog.
What is it about the smell of beer, smoke and sweat that just adds something to the ambience of a show? It carries that authentic vibe you want when experiencing a metal or punk show. That bit of grime and grit that compliments the music just right. Few locations in this city still carry that vibe but the basement space in Cattivo has just that right feel and was the perfect spot for Rivers of Nihil, Alterbeast, Inferi and Reaping Asmodeia to put on a tech death clinic.
Local metallers Feast on the Fallen and Everyone Hates Everything brought the riffs to get the crowd riled up. Feast on the Fallen seem like a band with something to prove. Their set was high energy and loaded with groovy, tight breakdowns. Everyone Hates Everything took the stage with their own brand thrashy death metal. EHE is a band I’ve seen a few times now, who seems to get tighter and more comfortable on stage each time. With an album scheduled to come out in the next couple months, I’m sure you’ll be seeing a lot more of these guys in the future.
As if Muhammed Suiçmez snapped his fingers and said “Let there be tech…”, Reaping Asmodeia stormed the stage, bathed in alien blue light ready to destroy the earth. An air tight 3 piece with a sound heavier than any band without a bassist should be capable of, left my mind blown. The band’s frantic set was highlighted by the maniac performance by frontman Steven Lane. A true madman on stage in the best way possible. If you aren’t familiar with Reaping Asmodeia, like I wasn’t, go check out Impuritize and join the Reaper Crew.
Inferi ripped Cattivo down to the ground with a set that may have been the best of the night. Vocalist Sam Schneider controlled the crowd with a horned fist like an orchestra conductor; inciting circle pits at will and guiding fans through 30 minutes of blistering, technical bliss. Full disclosure, I am a big fan of Malcolm Pugh’s guitar work. The dude is a relentless shred machine and he did not disappoint live. Precise and ferocious, it was a treat to watch the man at work.
Why did I sleep on Alterbeast? I’m going to blame Sega and being perpetually annoyed as a kid by Altered Beast. A game with a cool premise that sucked. Well I’m happy to report that I’m wide awake now and Alterbeast F’n rule! Their sound is like a chimera important death metal. Part At The Gates with some Misery Index and Suffocation, topped off with a sprinkling of tech. In other words, mean AF. Their performance was relentless and the crowd responded in kind leaving broken bodies and spilled beer in their wake.
I’ve been lucky enough to see Rivers of Nihil on each album touring cycle. Each time, as with each record, this band seems to evolve. Over 3 albums I’ve witnessed this band change from a fairly straight forward progressive death metal band into something much more complex and interesting. Brutal heaviness is often surrounded by airy beauty and thoughtful composition, that takes the listener on a journey and the band’s performance was no different.
Jake Dieffenbach commands the audience masterfully through violence and sing alongs. While the crowd was quick to offer their bodies up to the band in chaotic mosh pits they seemed to be equally as engrossed during the more ethereal passages driven on by Adam Biggs and Jared Klein who make holding together a complex rhythm section appear effortless. Special mention riff lords Brody Uttley and Jon Topore who played on in defiance of guitar tech related issues that hampered the start of their set to deliver the goods to a crowd who no doubt showed up for shred. Despite the technical glitches early on, the band put on a great show, which I’ve come to expect from them.