Once inside, I was soon glad I was a little late. The first band was on stage and I never did learn their name. Which is fortunate for them, because they really sucked with a vengeance. A bunch of high school kids playing a random mess of cliches touching on nu-metal, metalcore and Nickelback type stuff. They didn't fit the show at all and vanished without a trace once their set had concluded. I'm pretty sure that exposure to Waco Jesus and Cardiac Arrest would have melted them into a puddle.
In from Chicago was Severed, who stepped in when Anal Blast dropped off the bill (perhaps they had a previous engagement with the proctologist). This is the second band of Cardiac Arrest guitarist Tom K. Apparently Tom is not content with being in just one kick-ass death metal band. A three-man outfit, Severed cleared the cobwebs from the crowd's head with a ripping set of ultra-fast American death metal. Names like Malevolent Creation and Diabolic sprung to mind while listening to this, but there's also some sludgy slower riffs that Chicago bands such as Cianide and Usurper seem to specialize in. Tom handled the vocals himself, no mean feat as he was also the sole guitarist. The sound quality wasn't the best, but Severed laid the smack down real well and set the table for the following bands.
A little less than a year ago, Faded Embrace made their live debut in the very same venue, opening for Jungle Rot. Since
I'd heard of Chicago's Cardiac Arrest but had never seen them before tonight. All I got to say is...somebody pick my balls up from the floor, they're probably still rolling around Rock Hollow along with my head! This band is glorious crude death metal in the purest old school vintage. They could give a shit about being technical but instead blast out with morbid feeling and catchy but brutal riffs. These dudes unleashed the most furious moshpits of the evening and never let up for a second. The best thing about Cardiac Arrest is the inclusion of tons of slower. doomier moshparts. Again, you think of that "Chicago Sound" of Cianide, Lair of the Minotaur and Usurper. But they also bombarded the crowd with total blur blastbeats of cyclonic proportions. Their vocalist Adam is a true oldschool metal dog and he was a great frontman who felt like your best metal buddy from high school. Plus he can shred! Tom K from Severed is also in Cardiac Arrest but was content to merely jam furiously on guitar and cut loose with backing death screams.
I'd like to put a shout out for Randall Mikkelson and the other members of the ILDM, who work so hard to bring these brutal shows to our metal-starved area. These guys are dedicated to the cause and Randall is one of the nicest guys around. Not just in the metal scene, but period. They've had good success with the Rock Hollow shows and I hope they continue in the future.
Waco Jesus is very likely the most revolting death metal band in America. And I'm sure they're content with that. Even a tasteless freak like me gags on seeing their grotesquely scatological albums covers. Gross...juvenile...misogynistic...I really think Waco Jesus subject matter and presentation are damaging to death metal.
But as far as being a live act goes, these perverts are very good indeed. Without a doubt they were the most accomplished and tightest musicians of the night, grinding out tune after tune of hyperspeed technical death metal. This is true
Their performance brought another evening of hard-hitting metal at Rock Hollow Gun Club to a close. I look forward to the next "hunting expedition"!
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