Immolation @ The Studio at Webster Hall (7/28/2010)

Logo - Immolation

Artist: Immolation
Venue: The Studio (New York, NY)
Opener: Arsis & Disma
Date: 7/28/2010
Label: Nuclear Blast Records

This was proving to be a weird if not interesting month of Metal and Hard Rock for me as a keeper of the scene on the internet page for I had not been able to take part in the crushing shows held by Iron Maiden, Rush and Faith No More even though all had visited our fair city. Outside of these I had been very busy supporting much of the true “what’s hot in Metal” side by taking part in the Soilwork, Fear Factory and Charred Walls Of The Damned shows and tonight would continue the process by being on point as New York’s own Immolation touched ground below the caverns of Webster Hall in the venue called The Studio. Out in Brooklyn it seemed as though Steven Adler, formerly of Guns ‘N Roses, would be doing a gig with his band but when you added the fact that Arsis would be supporting the Immolation guys, this was a no brainer for me. My friends and I started our night off early at a bar we love called Duke’s over on 19th Street and while a slightly further distance than we would have liked, there is no better place to start the fun for shows in this immediate area. We headed inside just in time to catch the openers Disma and here is how the night went down.

Disma: Disma is a Death Metal band from out in New Jersey and its lineup is formed from members of the bands Incantation, Funebrarum and Evoken if I remember what my friends told me. Admittedly I had never followed any of these three bands so I was curious as to what a combination of its members would sound like. They had already hit the stage by the time we got ourselves into the venue and the vibe was super heavy and delivered intensely. It wasn’t bad at all and lead singer Craig Pillard growled at the Metal subjects in front of him as he preached the bands dark message. I was not sure if the band had any material recorded for purchase but did learn that night that they are now signed to Profound Lore Records which should be a great home for their sound. I would see them again and look forward to a release on this label. Now it was Arsis’ turn to show us what they got.

Arsis: The band Arsis had really been through a lot over the last couple of years with more lineup shifts than the Allman Brothers it would seem but one thing and perhaps the most important factor, is that founder/lead guitarist Jim Malone is always in place. It’s his vision and hence his baby and while we all find our own favorite members in the groups despite changes, as long as the main man behind the enterprise is there we are in good hands. That being said the band had welcomed back bassist Noah Martin not too long ago and it was great to have him back since he is such a rocking bassist and also their original drummer Mike Van Dyne was back on the skins. Rounding out the lineup would be guitarist Nick Cordle who appears to be a good compliment to Malone in the live sense. The bands latest effort is called “Starve For The Devil” and we heard some of this when the band opened up for Arch Enemy earlier in the year. Tonight theirs would be a longer set and hence a lot of other tunes to be represented. They hit the stage with great energy and while Jim needs to be rather stationary since he is also singing, this did not stop Martin from performing acrobatics on his bass and finding Nick doing the same. The set list for the band would be interesting as it would not focus as much on the new release as one expected it to. Instead they would touch upon their previous effort of “We Are The Nightmare” by doing two tracks from it and also going further back into Arsis’ history by delivering some material from “A Celebration Of Guilt” and “A Diamond For Disease”. Oddly enough they would not do anything from “United In Regret” which surprised me since they seemed to be visiting every other release they had and that made this a very comprehensive gig in terms of Arsis own musical history. It was the kind of set that if you liked how they did things, would find you going home to order these albums via the conventional legal means. Arsis moves quickly in the live sense so their part of the night was over on the quick. Highlights for me came via “We Are The Nightmare” and “Forced To Rock”, the latter tune actually has a fun video so look for that one on YouTube. After the gig the band was available at their merchandise table to meet fans and pose for pictures. That was great to see and I look forward to catching Arsis in action again soon. I hope that chance comes before the years end.

Immolation: Even though the band hails from Yonkers, NY I have not see Immolation as much as I would have liked to and that’s a shame since it is such an awesome band for the Death Metal genre. It’s been over twenty years since they first came into existence and they always know how to deliver. Tonight’s show was an interesting one because not only were they celebrating their latest album on Nuclear Blast Records entitled “Majesty And Decay”, but this was a “one off” show that would serve as a warm up for their pending tour with Vader. For that tour the mighty Vader would be direct support for Immolation but I don’t think many would complain about that based on the overall importance of the band for the scene. Immolation would hit the stage at around 10pm or so and it was insanity once they did. Having never been to The Studio before I was not sure what to expect its walls to hold for me and my group of friends and while it is not super sized, it is large enough to fit a couple of hundred people and this particular gig was so reasonably priced it managed to draw a lot of curious as well as diehard fans into the room. It was safe to say that this show had sold out before Immolation took to the stage.

Given the fact that the band was using this as a warm-up show for their headlining set list, one could almost expect that they would just be using this as a dress rehearsal but what we would get would be far from this as singer/bassist Ross Dolan assaulted his instrument and flailed his floor length hair with abandon. It’s both fascinating and fun to see just how into it he gets during a show, and he is not the only one keeping ones eyes peeled on the performance. Guitarist Bob Vigni has a technique that I am not really sure I know how to describe because while he is a technical player in terms of his melodies he does not just stand there and work them out but instead rips at the strings and twists and turns making his very performance a workout. If you are a student of guitar and seek to learn how he does his tricks during a live set I wish you luck since the guitar is seldom in the same visual space for long. You would be better served looking for tablature. With the bands new album already out there was some healthy attention paid to it with about five tunes. They had sixteen songs listed on their stage posted set list which I was able to see and barring some intro pieces I felt that five numbers is more than enough from a new body of work to deliver. That leaves a good portion of the night to do some older and viewed as classic material which their fans would likely be annoyed if was left out.

Ross would speak to the crowd at a couple of different points throughout the just over an hour set and when he spoke it was to thanks all of those friends who had stuck by the band since the beginning. Having seen the group before and hearing similar dialogue from him, you can tell that this is not rehearsed at all and more along the lines of what he really feels as a working musician. The remainder of the set list was scattered across a number of the bands earlier works and they did manage to get in several albums own title tracks by way of “Unholy Cult”, “Harnessing Ruin” and “Dawn Of Possession”. All in all this was a great night from beginning to end and for the price of about $14 USD you could not go wrong. The fans had money for merchandise and an extra beer if they did such things and in the end this was one hotter than hell summer night and we were not even at the weekend yet. I am sure that this tour with Vader as their support would be a great one but it didn’t look like I would be attending. I would however be preparing myself for this weekend’s Michael Schenker Group appearance which would let me indulge my Guitar God needs.

Arsis Set List
1. Return
2. Forced to Rock
3. March for the Sick
4. A Diamond for Disease
5. Ten of Swords
6. We are the Nightmare
7. Sightless Wisdom
8. Sadistic Promises Behind Bereavement Letters
9. The Promise of Never
10. The Face of my Innocence

Immolation Set List:
1. Intro 2
2. The Purge
3. Unholy Cult
4. Den Of Thieves
5. Majesty And Decay
6. Swarm Of Terror
7. Burial Ground
8. Glorious Epoch
9. World Agony
10. Father, You’re Not A Father
11. Intro 2
12. A Thunderous Consequence
13. Dawn Of Possession
14. Power And Shame
15. Harnessing Ruin
16. Passion Kill

Immolation had some really cool shirts and other merchandise available for sale at the gig.  I snared myself one of the new designs with the new album cover since it was so foreboding.  The band was also at their booth before and after the show to sign stuff and to take photos.  They are always interested in their fans and really awesome dudes to meet.

The Immolation Merchandise

I’ve been fortunate enough to talk to the Immolation guys over the last couple of years and they are definitely awesome Brethren In Metal.  Here’s a shot of Bob, Ross, Pete and I just before the band took to the stage.  They were amused at how both Peter and I were sporting bald (almost) domes and gave kudos when they learned it was done for the Children’s Cancer Charity – St. Baldricks.

Immolation's Bob, Ken P., Immolation's Ross, Pete M.

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One thought on “Immolation @ The Studio at Webster Hall (7/28/2010)”

  1. What an awesome little show this was! I love seeing bigger bands like Immolation still do these small shows since we only get to see them with big tour packages usually.

    As for the bands, all 3 were top notch! That was my 1st time hearing of Disma, who I’ve just gotten to see again a few weeks ago in Texas. They’re evolving quickly as a band and I think we might be seeing a lot more of them in the coming years.

    Arsis were much better this night then the last time I had seen then (I believe it was opening for Arch Enemy in Nokia?). Maybe they are finally finding a good mix of band members. I’ve always enjoyed them on CD, and they were really cool guys to chit chat with during the show as well. One of those bands that you continually root for them to do well.

    What more can be said about Immolation though? For a “warm up” show, they were absolutely spot on and looked like they were having a blast doing it. It was their hometown show so they had many friends in the crowd. They surely could’ve just gone through the motions and collected their pay check but Immolation has never been a band to do that – absolutely killer live!

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