Artist: Fear Factory
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Opener: Suffocation, Hypocrisy, Decapitated
Label: Calvin Records
“The Machines At War” Tour was the listing for this particular event and to be honest it seemed like an appropriate name for a show that would combine the force of Industrial Metal masters Fear Factory along with supreme Death Metal’s Suffocation, Prog-Death’s Hypocrisy and Technical Extremists Decapitated. If you were looking for a show that would stop your heart from beating – only to kick it back into operation then this was the show to attend. The venue would be B.B. King Blues Club once again which is par for the course as far as the bigger Metal shows have been going this year however this time around something was drastically different. On almost every wall were signs that warned against moshing and believe me folks they were serious about enforcing it this evening. Here are some comments on all the bands that performed this evening.
Decapitated: Probably few bands deliver the goods in Technical Death Metal like the guys in Decapitated. This Earache Records group literally attacks their equipment and displays skills that one often finds in bands like the mighty Cryptopsy when it comes to technical chops. The only down side to their appearance was the limited amount of people who were inside the venue at the time that they went on. Maybe just over a hundred or two of the kids for their set, and truly this is a band that can get you pumped up for a show. I will enjoy the chance to see them perform a longer set, in front of more Metal hungry maniacs soon. Do not miss them if you find them on the bill as they are worth arriving a little early. Their latest release is “Organic Hallucinosis”.
Set List: A Poem About an Old Prison Man, Day 69, Three-Dimensional Defect, Nihility (Anti-Human Manifesto), Post(?) Organic, Mother War, Spheres of Madness
Hypocrisy: Ahhhh Mr. Tagtgren where do you find the time to sleep with all the things that you do? Between producing some of Metal’s most popular forces, to running a studio and recording with Pain and Hypocrisy, I am just not a believer that you know the word rest. Hypocrisy is a truly incredible Metal band for they have moved simply from Death Metal a while ago and show this on releases such as “Virus” and “The Arrival”. Tonight their set would be a lot of material from those albums and the band still features the mighty Horgh (Emperor) on the drums. Hypocrisy is intense on stage as well, and yet you will find Tagtgren to be a very personable and accommodating guy who walks about the venue after his set meeting the fans and finding old friends in Metal while he is in town. He is never slow to chitchat or pose for a couple of pictures with his supporters and that is worth it to everyone’s benefit. Every time I see Hypocrisy, I am disappointed to learn they are so early on the bill as this is one group that is headlining power most certain. Of course, it cant hurt them at all to bring their Metal style to the crowds that they have been performing for and as far as I can see, no one is every disappointed.
Set List: Fractured Millennium, Adjusting the Sun, Eraser, Osculum Obscenum, Roswell 47, War-Path, The Final Chapter, Let the Knife Do the Talking
Suffocation: Long Island’s own Masters of Death Metal are truly like no other band you can experience and as a result are super intense in the live situation. Add this fact to their performing in their hometown and the result is the Metal equivalent of a Tsunami. I have to admit to being a little behind the times in support of them but to be honest the few shows that I have experienced have been absolute Death fests with bodies normally flying all over the place from every possible angle. However, tonight would be a different story based on my bringing up the no moshing signs. Whatever happened seems to have ruined it for a larger public as the management was enforcing it, and tossing people out of not only the pit but also the venue itself. Honestly, B.B. King’s is not your optimum mosh setting anyways, but there are folks that like to do it and when Suffocation started playing their new material, off the self-titled release “Suffocation” such as “Bind Torture Kill” or “Abomination Reborn” it was practically impossible to find yourself standing still. It is a downer of a rule but in the end no one should get hurt by going to a Metal show and that was probably what got it in place. As far as this band is concerned, Frank Mullen their lead singer is insane and just knows how to get you going during the show while drummer Mike Smith makes you feel as though your breath is going to stop based on the incredible amount of blistering drums going on. This might have been a Fear Factory headlining spot, but it was clear to everyone present that Suffocation had as much support from the audience tonight. Frank was also very personable during the set and everything he said was met with a great audience response. I will enjoy seeing this band again, that much I know. The rest of Suffocation is Terrance Hobbs (guitar), Guy Marchais (guitar) and Derek Boyer (bass). If you are looking for a band that defines US Death Metal, then you need look no further than Suffocation.
Set List: Thrones of Blood, Abomination Reborn, Infecting the Crypts, Pierced from Within, Bind Torture Kill, Habitual Infamy, Funeral Inception, Catatonia, Liege of Inveracity
Fear Factory: Having seen Fear Factory on a number of occasions over the past year made this show a whole lot of fun for me as each instance has offered a different vibe. In a little over a year, we have covered the band when they were just on the eve of releasing “Transgression”, making a main stage appearance at the first Gigantour’s. They killed on this show, and then performed a private showcase for some industry people where I was lucky to attend and moved on to another headlining tour. Whew, this is one busy group of Metal heads. You can expect no less of Fear Factory, who are still supporting “Transgression” and now also a compilation release from their former label Roadrunner Records. The band has always delivered the goods when it came to Industrial Fused Metal, and amidst a stage mostly decorated with amps, they just exploded tonight. I had not seen them in this small a venue in some time and the way they had the barrier set up, lead singer Burton C. Bell was able to sing right up in your face. As you can see in the photos we got that night he would do just that, much to the audiences delight. Behind the drums, Ray Herrera was a technical jackhammer as he pounded song after song while Christian Olde Wolbers delivered his axe wizardry. Holding it all down would be bassist Byron Stroud, also of Strapping Young Lad. I have to say the band sounded in top form against all the times that I have seen them, and of course their set list mixed it up a little more than usual. This gave the audience in attendance a wider variety and not the repetition you find some bands doing from show to show.
By my estimation, everyone in attendance tonight was not left wanting any money back but they might have expected more in the way of encores. After seeing all these bands who could blame them for being saddened at the end of it all.
1. Crash Test
4. Self Immolation
5. Scape Goat
9. Edge Crusher
11. Moment Of Impact
12. Slave Labor
13. Cyber Waste
14. Linch Pin