Deicide has always kept the darkness in play for the Metal scene and after the stunning “The Stench Of Redemption” would release “Till Death Do Us Part” on their fans. A brief touring run found them returning to New York City with Vital Remains as direct support and local openers Martyrd from Queens making an appearance for this stop. While this was a holiday weekend that was loaded with good eats and good company, I could hardly think of a better way to close it out then with a display of Extreme Death Metal like this. To learn more about our experiences this evening just click the bands logo to be taken to the article on the main PiercingMetal.com site.
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Opener: Vital Remains, Martyrd, Regain The Heart Condemned
Label: Century Media Records
New York City does not often get an appearance from the legendary Death Metal band Deicide and according to my recollection, the last time that the band played here was in late 2006 making it just over two years since they crushed our regions fans with their unique brand of blasphemy. This show at B.B. King’s was the final stop on a very short U.S. Tour and they would bring along Vital Remains for the gigs and give us local openers Martyrd and Regan The Heart Condemned for good measure. With four bands on the bill it would start off rather early and as result I was finding myself missing the obviously short set by RTHC. I would have been interesting in hearing what they were all about but it was not in the cards for me to do tonight. Maybe next time. There was a healthy crowd in place when I did arrive and here is how the night progressed should you have missed out on the Metal mayhem.
Martyrd: These guys had already started by the time that I walked into the venue but based on how long they still had to go I was pretty sure that I had only missed at best one or two numbers. I am notoriously bad with their song titles but I had to say that tonight the lads were over the top impressive. They were very into it, and what mattered most was the fact that the crowd was digging into them as well. Let’s face it, the crowd at a Deicide show is a lot different from a Sonata Arctica one and it was great to experience their brand of Thrash Metal being flung the horns and starting some small circle pits. Lead singer Aaron was really engaging the crowd while lead guitarist Mike Andreas was shredding up a storm. I was also finding myself playing air drum blast beats while their skin basher was doing his thing and felt that this might actually be the best that I had ever experienced them. With the amount of new and young blood Thrash Metal bands being signed to major labels (Mantic Ritual, Black Tide, Warbringer), can success be far behind for the New York based Martyrd? Let’s hope not, and should you be hitting any more Metal shows this summer do yourself a favor and see if they were on the bill. You will probably enjoy them as much as I have. They were set to open for Metal Church at this same venue which would have been exciting but at the time of the articles writing the press release about Metal Church breaking up was circulated around the Net. Oh well, there will be other chances I am sure. Vital Remains was coming on next.
Vital Remains: While I liked a lot of what I heard from Vital Remains, I have to say that I never followed their career all that much and based on this I was interested in seeing how they would be received here in NYC this evening. Many Metal fans find fascination in the group’s material based on the work that Deicide’s own Glen Benton had done with them and the album “Dechristianize” was considered somewhat of a “must have” release for the genre. It was this album that led many of the fans assembled here this evening to believe that Benton would be coming out to sing a couple of numbers with the group. This would not happen and all material would be sung by Scott Wily who really was showcasing some Death Metal talent tonight. He was also sporting some serious spiked gauntlets that brought the spirit of the music to bigger life but the downside would be the fact that they were performing as a four piece and were down a guitar player. Everything was being handled by Tony Lazaro and there was no Dave Suzuki to be found anywhere and yet I was not exactly sure whether he was part of the lineup anymore. Eric Sagardia who had been working on guitar with the band in the live shows was also not around either so one had to give credit to the band for making the best of it and not disappointing their fans by canceling the appearance. The drumming was excellent care of Tim Yeung who is a fantastic player and impressing everyone with fills and lightning fast footwork. There were no songs from “Dechristianize” since the band played such an abbreviated set but despite this they had gone over well, and showed their fans that adversity does not often get in the way of a Metal band but instead fuels the fire all the more. I felt that the bands material was in good hands with Wily singing it so I hope he has a proper time in this role. Now it was time for Deicide…..
Deicide: Based on the space of time since Deicide had last been here, one would be correct in assuming that this would bring out the Metal legions in support of the Death Metal giant. The last show was in support of “The Stench Of Redemption” and since then they had released “Till Death Do Us Part”, both for Earache Records who the band moved to after leaving Roadrunner Records. Over the years I have been more of the casual fan of what they do more than some of the diehards around me this evening but while they are classified as American Death Metal, I always admitted that I found it strange that they were not more thought of as Black Metal. This comes from all of the Anti-Christian and Satanic themes that are going on over the course of their material. They would hit the stage like a force of nature and I expected this and with no photo pit to block them from the stage, Benton and company were right in the faces of their fans which I am sure was being met with approval. The drumming of Steve Asheim was really exemplary tonight and of course when you are one of the more influential bashers for a whole genre one should expect this to be the case. The guitar wizardry was of course handled by Jack Owen who has been in the group for a couple of years, but joining them for this brief tour would be Kevin Quiron as opposed to Ralph Santolla who is currently working with Obituary and keeping busy on the road with them. I had to say that I enjoyed this new player in the band as he was very good as well. It turns out that he is also a member of Order Of Ennead, which is a band that was formed by drummer Asheim. For the duration of the show Benton was his sinister self and growled his point across with venomous intent. I wouldn’t realize this until after the show, but while a couple of tunes came from “The Stench Of Redemption”, not one single tune was done from the bands latest release “Till Death Do Us Part”. Having seen bands focus on their new material over the past year I had to say that this move surprised me just a little. The upside of this very clear omission would be the bands being able to focus on their older and more venerated material. Benton would speak briefly before most of the numbers and shouting out what was coming and needless to say this was a crushingly heavy night that the audience was flipping out for. There was a fair amount of moshing going on but I didn’t notice a lot of crowd surfing from where I stood. My guess is that any of this that I missed was quickly dispatched by the waiting security folks.
One of the main things that I caught Benton saying was how it was nice to have a good crowd and a good response after Philadelphia. The band had played there the previous night and based on his comment my guess is that it was not a very good show for them based on any number of variables. He said “fuck Philly” and everyone cheered. “Homage To Satan” and “Kill The Christians” delivered the bands message in full and began to lead the show into its closing number which Benton said was a tune that they normally close the shows with. He said that they had to get back to Florida to start working on that new album for Century Media Records. Before the show began I had heard that they left Earache but I was unsure about where they went to until he disclosed the information. From this point they would do “Sacrificial Suicide” and leave the stage much to the disappointment of the fans who clearly would have not minded a few more numbers. The tune was more like a finale as opposed to an encore since the band did not return for any additional numbers after it. In the end it was still a fourteen song set list that I felt was good for the price.
The groups were mingling around the venue shortly after and talking to those fans that had remained. I am interested in seeing what comes of the new relationship with Century Media and also am curious to seeing what happens with Vital Remains. There was a lot of heavy stuff being thrown at us tonight and the crowd was ravenous for it. Those who missed out based on the holiday weekend definitely missed a good one.
I would have to say
Vital Remains Set List:
1. Icons Of Evil
3. Devoured Elisium
4. Savior To None Failure For All
5. Hammer Down The Nails
Deicide Set list:
2. Dead By Dawn
3. Once Upon The Cross
4. Scars Of The Crucifix
6. When Satan Rules This World
7. Serpents Of The Light
8. Bastards Of Christ
9. They Are The Children Of The Underworld
10. Holy Deception
11. Oblivious To Evil
12. Homage For Satan
13. Kill The Christians
14. Sacrificial Suicide – finale