Black Dahlia Murder @ Fillmore at Irving Plaza (6/26/2008): Summer Slaughter 2008

Logo - Black Dahlia Murder

Artist: Black Dahlia Murder
Venue: Fillmore NY (New York, NY)
Opener: Kataklysm, Vader, Cryptopsy, The Faceless, Despised Icon, Aborted, Born Of Osiris, Psycroptic, & Whitechapel
Date: 6/26/2008
Label: Metal Blade Records

I have to admit that when they announced that this year’s edition of Ozzfest was only going to be a single performance and that the show would be nowhere near my geographic location that I hardly felt the slightest amount of disappointment in my Metal heart. Yes, Metallica would be one of the event’s headliners but the larger part of the lineup assembled for it came off as a big ho hum to me and there were just too many other amazing tour packages to be excited about for me to worry about getting over to Ozzfest. The summer of 2008 launched with the first ever Paganfest USA and this event delivered four outstanding bands who had never been on our shores before and then we had Progressive Nation continuing the greatness with Dream Theater and Opeth. The lineup for the Summer Slaughter tour only stood to prove that we were going to get a righteous dose of head banging Metal for a really affordable price and the all day affair would take place inside the Fillmore NY. There would be a total of ten bands on this bill and while many are known to the larger fan bases across the world there were a number of up and coming acts that one should pay mind to. The headliner for the gig would be Black Dahlia Murder and immediate powerhouse support would be coming from Kataklysm, Vader and Cryptopsy. The earlier start-off acts would come by way of Whitechapel, Psycroptic, The Aborted, Despised Icon, The Faceless and Born Of Osiris. Ten bands are a lot to absorb and get the point across about so I chose to briefly lineout some of the performance highlights as I am sure that each of these talented groups will be on other bills where a longer set can be enjoyed. Here is what happened in case you missed out, and shame on you if you did.

Whitechapel: Formerly on Candlelight Records and now a new signing to Metal Blade Records, this young band from Tennessee really got the place moving as soon as they hit the stage. This was a great thing to see happening considering we were dealing with the time of the day being around 4:30pm. The only downside was that the place only had about 100 of the Metal faithful inside at this point. The guys were very into it on the stage and come off tight in the live sense. Their debut album was going to be coming out in a few weeks and is called “This Is Exile” and based on their sound from the show I am sure this is something that the legions in Metal’s fan base will eat up. There is a lot of blended sound with their tunes and the guys while a Death Metal band at heart manage to mix in a lot of Melodic elements and some Core attitude. Truly a band to watch a little more closely as time goes forward and I am sure that Metal Blade Records is going to be a great home for them. The band would only play for thirty minutes which was not that long for the casual observer to get more than a quick taste of them.

whitechapel, whitechapel concert photos, summer slaughter 2008
Whitechapel by Ken Pierce (2008)

Psycroptic: With Psycroptic coming up next I found myself ready to enjoy the second in a run of bands that I had no real experience in, so based on that I was rather excited. The band hails from Tasmania, Australia and are a far cry from the likes of their countryman AC/DC and instead up te levels of brutality by being a little more Metalcore. Having no background in them was ok because they had a pretty solid vibe to their mayhem, and I’m sure that when their Nuclear Blast Records debu hits that the fans of this type of stuff will eat it up. When the Psycrptic set ended I noticed that a few more bodies were circling about on the floor. That wasnt bad as we were just passed 5:30pm, and we still had a long way to go.

psycroptic, psycroptic concert photos, summer slaughter 2008
Psycroptic by Ken Pierce (2008)

Born Of Osiris: Born Of Osiris are another one of those groups that seem to be made up of very young players and I have to say that I am finding myself impressed with his trend. While young in terms of age they delivered tunes wih chops that made them seem much older. With bands like Hackneyed, Black Tide and Warbringer leading this youthful charge into Metal glory I am thinking that the future of Metal is in good hands. The guys in the band were also quite into it and much so was the singer that he gave himself a bloody nose. Despite this he kept on singing and fortunately none of the stuff hit the folks in the crowd.

born of osiris, born of osiris concert photos, summer slaughter 2008
Born Of Osiris by Ken Pierce (2008)

The Aborted: Straight out of Belgium and delivering the Metal via Century Media Records came The Aborted and they were tearing it up from the second they hit the boards. All of these groups were playing thirty minute sets so there was not a lot of time for any stage banter or crowd interaction. The Aborted were the next in line to have a new album coming out and theirs was called “Strychnine”. They played some tracks off it but with thisshort set a trip to themens room or back bar would fin you missing a good portion of what everyone was doing. The band was off before I knew it and now it was time for Despised Icon to give it a go.

aborted, aborted concert photos, summer slaughter 2008
Aborted by Ken Pierce (2008)

Despised Icon: When the guys in Despised Icon hit the stage I was immediately intrigued based on their having two lead singers in the lineup. Fronting the band are Alexandre Erian and Steve Marois and both of them supply the guttural growls during the set. Musically the band is Deathcore and since we just had a couple of bands doing that before them I was finding myself slightly disinterested in their set. They were bringing to the public their new bass player Max Levelle from the band Goratory and still in support of their 2007 release “The Ills Of Modern Man”. This can be found on Century Media Records and while I was finding a bit of fatigue in the similarity of sound I realized that I needed to absorb these guys a little deeper.

despised icon, despised icon concert photos, summer slaughter 2008
Despised Icon by Ken Pierce (2008)

The Faceless: The Faceless were another group who seemed to be good at what they were doing but with them being another Deathcore meets Metalcore outfit I really couldn’t pay attention to much of what they were doing because I was shot from the previous five bands. This was now proving to be the downside of the show because we were being hit by some really brutal levels of talented young bands tonight but too many of them sounded somewhat alike and as result were starting to bleed into one another as opposed to standing out and making me say “ah yes, this is really impressive”. I felt bad because I am really open when it comes to the shows and I always stress that the audience take the time to see the openers since you never know what greatness you might be witnessing. I did give the guys credit for being what appeared to be the more Progressive of the whole first up batch of bands, and offering up a different variation on the patterns of their material. There were lots of time signature changes and up and down tempos that pulled you in and pushed you out. However, the really short sets and consistency of vibe was wearing thin on me this evening and while I would have liked to absorb a little more of these guys it was not to be because they were done quickly. Now was time for the main attraction bands and luckily for everyone in the Fillmore, Cryptopsy was next on the bill.

the faceless, the faceless concert photos, summer slaughter 2008
The Faceless by Ken Pierce (2008)

Cryptopsy: While meaning no offense to any of the opening or first up acts performing tonight, when the set from Cryptopsy began you knew that we were finally onto the heavy hitter portion of the night. All of the bands had been using the same backline tonight and that means sharing the amps and drum kit, but those who know about Flo Mounier driving the mayhem in the drum chair for Cryptopsy, knew full well that a simple five piece double kick set was not ample enough for his level of player. The kit had a massive amount of cymbals and what seemed to be a few more drums added to the mix and they were good to go. The band was supporting their newest release “The Unspoken King”, and this finds a modified lineup of the band that many had been following. Gone was Lord Worm on vocals, being replaced by Matt McGachy and while the new release featured keyboard from Maggie Durand, the keyboardist was very simply gone from the lineup and not even mentioned. Cryptopsy is intense live and they were pulling out all the stops with the few songs that they delivered and unfortunately they were also relegated to the thirty minute set time. To me this was a travesty and it seemed as though it took longer for Flo to set up his kit than the band actually played. Vader was next and judging by the number of their t-shirts in the audience this was one of the bands that the majority of the people had come to see. I really felt that Cryptopsy should have been given a little more time with their performance because this is a band that we regularly find in the headlining spot and not fourth from the top. I was convinced that we would get our Metal fill when Vader came out and the Polish juggernaut was hitting the stage next.

cryptopsy, cryptopsy concert photos, summer slaughter 2008
Cryptopsy by Ken Pierce (2008)

Vader: Continuing the super power assault, Poland’s Vader came up next and if any of you have ever seen them before you don’t need a reminder from me about it being absolute carnage on the dance floor during one of their sets. The crowd was at its largest during the Vader songs and everyone in the place was into it and then the unexpected happened – they were done. Yes, it didn’t seem like more than four songs had been played by the band before they were dismantling their gear and needless to say the followers who had attended the event with the sole purpose of catching them were pissed off very much. I was not sure why the band didn’t even play the thirty minutes but I was hopeful that they would return to us for a full headlining set soon because this was just incredible.

vader, vader concert photos, summer slaughter 2008
Vader by Ken Pierce (2008)

Kataklysm: Kataklysm is another one of the Nuclear Blast Records roster of artists and based on their place in the night’s setup were ready to show that they are heavy hitter status without question. For this tour they were the direct support for BDM and this made sense with their latest album “Prevail” being met with such a positive response. The band would get a longer set than any of the ones who preceded them and while they would focus some of their attention on material from “Previal”, they would also add in some choice selections from their earlier albums. I had to say that I was enjoying them more tonight than I had before when the band opened up for Dimmu Borgir. The band is led by Mauricio Iacono who is an imposing dude on the stage and he was really driving the point home with the songs this evening. The band was incredibly tight and the new stuff sounds excellent in the live sense. They gave us about 45-50 minutes of their unique brand of Thrash and Death Metal combined and had the crowd insane and fortunately for them some of the Vader fans chose to remain even though they had been greatly annoyed by that super short set. Kataklysm will be doing a headlining tour at the end of the summer with Dying Fetus and Eluvietie so if you like what they do be sure to hit that one when it comes to your town.

kataklysm, kataklysm concert photos, summer slaughter 2008
Kataklysm by Ken Pierce (2008)

Black Dahlia Murder: It was only a few months ago that the Black Dahlia Murder headlined the illustrious B.B. King Blues Club with direct support from the UK’s Napalm Death so I was a little curious about how they were headlining this tour as well, as opposed to switching the lineup just a little to maybe have Vader or Kataklysm be the main band, but of course this is just a little bit of personal preference speaking after seeing eight bands in one long assed day. The BDM are always a fun time live because they are so animated on the stage and into what they are doing. Lead singer Trevor Strnad is all over the place and really does a great job of riling the crowd up and bassist Bart seemed to be performing in an arm cast, talk about dedication to the Metal. As the main act of the night, The Black Dahlia Murder had the longest set of them all and by my watch seemed to perform for well over an hour. As much as I enjoy them, I think that I prefer a shorter set from them as opposed to a longer one and this is because of a common groove that their material has. It’s good of course and works very well in the live sense, but one or two songs less would not have bothered me. The guys were still in support of their latest album “Nocturnal” and it is something that you should look into if you have not already picked up a copy and even with the new release up for grabs the band covered a lot of ground in terms of their set list this evening.

black dahlia murder concert photos, black dahlia murder, summer slaughter 2008
Black Dahlia Murder by Ken Pierce (2008)

Looking back on the event as a whole I had to say that I had a number of critiques about it and these were based on a lot of different areas. The first one had to be that there were too many bands to absorb to enjoy properly, and while some festivals are indeed longer, the chance to “get into” a band doesn’t often happen when they are playing for only thirty minutes. This show started a little after 4pm, and when Black Dahlia Murder came on it was after 10:30, so do the math on the time hanging around to see everyone. The other downside was the short set times, as I feel cutting the roster by two or three bands would have given a little bit longer set time to the main acts and that would have worked out better. To imagine Cryptopsy and Vader performing for only thirty minutes was unbelievable but it did indeed happen. Many came for Vader and Cryptopsy alone and were very disappointed at having paid decent money for such a short time in the venue. In the shows defense, this ticket was very reasonable in terms of price. The other issue was the heat in the venue, as the room temperature was over 90 degrees at times. This was not fun to be inside on a hot summer day and find the venue as hot as or at least more humid than the outside world. Venues risk the audience health and temperament by not having it livable for lack of a better term. While I enjoyed myself at this show and would gladly see the follow up festival, I did leave a spent man and was more exhausted from this one than I was at the recent Pagan Fest. Let’s hope that they realized that there was a little too much with this one and that a future go round needs a couple of modifications before it gets unleashed on the Metal legions.

Full Whitechapel Photo Gallery:
Full Psycroptic Photo Gallery:
Full Born Of Osiris Photo Gallery:
Full Aborted Photo Gallery:
Full Despised Icon Photo Gallery:
Full The Faceless Photo Gallery:
Full Cryptopsy Photo Gallery:
Full Vader Photo Gallery:
Full Kataklysm Photo Gallery:
Full Black Dahlia Murder Photo Gallery:

Black Dahlia Murder Set list:
1. Elder
2. Worship
3. Castle
4. Vulgar
5. Flies Ape
6. Everything Black
7. Closed Casket
8. Blackest
9. Breakfast
10. Mongo
11. Nocturnal
12. Funeral
13. Miasma
14. Deathmask

A massive Metal undertaking like this was bound to be following strict time slots and we can see that lined out in the next graphic.  It was pretty close to accurate barring one or two issues.

Tonight's Metal Menu

Drummer Flo Mounier (Cryptopsy) is one of the top skin bashers in Metal’s legions, we caught him warming up on some practice pads just before he was set to go on and keep fans jaws dropped open with his technical expertise.

Cryptopsy's Flo Mounier Warms Up

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