Apr 112010

“Doin’ It Live ‘Til We’re Dead” appears to be the motto of The Dillinger Escape Plan for 2010. They passed through Seattle and stopped for a show at El Corazon on the night of April 10, with support from Darkest Hour, Animals As Leaders, and local favorites 7 Horns 7 Eyes. Two of your three NCS Co-Authors were on hand for the fun, and we file this report. In a word, the show was just amazing from start to finish. And for a change, we got some decent photos. You can see a lot more of them at the end of the write-up.


We last saw this local quintet (featuring two pairs of brothers) on January 26 as support for the Metal As Art tour. We hadn’t seen or heard them before that show, but they made a huge impression. We wrote then: “‘Epic” is an overused word in our community, but it truly suits the music that 7H7E delivers. The music is atmospheric but technical . . . It’s some mesmerizing shit!”

And it was more of the same last night: Complex, mid-tempo rhythms, sweeping melodies, a mix of growly and high-pitched vocals, tight instrumental interludes — and their own light show, with the fog machine pumping out the smoke. This is some mighty tasty progressive/death-metal fusion. And based on some mid-set comments from the stage, it appears we will finally have a debut album in the next couple of months. An awesome way to start the night!

(lots more after the jump . . .)


Tosin Abasi is a god. He takes the form of a mere mortal in order to pass through our world without arousing shock and awe — except when he takes the stage to play 8-string guitar. Then, the disguise falls away and he is revealed in all his awesome glory.

His 2009 debut album of instrumental metal under the Animals As Leaders name was one of our absolute favorites, and here we named “Tempting Time” one of the most infectious extreme metal songs of 2009. Goes without saying that catching the chance to see Abasi and his band play in the flesh was one of the main draws for this show, as far as we were concerned.

And oh man, was it ever ridiculously good! We squeezed in close to his side of the stage and just soaked it in. Few guitarists playing in this genre have Abasi’s skill, and it was enormously cool to see that he sounds just as good on stage as he does in the studio. In his hands, the three guitars he played were an extension of his body and mind, and the band’s set was essentially a showcase for one long series of mind-bending solos set within some truly infectious instrumental songs.

Abasi has also lined up a drummer and second guitarist that are capable not only of keeping up with him, but of shining brightly in the light of their own impressive talent: Navene Koperweis (Animosity, The Faceless) on drums, and second guitarist Javier Reyes. We could have listened to this threesome all night. A transcendent experience, and one that elicited a boisterously appreciate crowd response.


We’ve lost count of how many times we’ve seen Darkest Hour live — because we make it a point to see them whenever they’re in the Pacific Northwest. Why do we do that? Because their live shows kick all kinds of ass. And this one was no exception.

While the packed house just sort of watched in rapt, slack-jawed amazement at Animals As Leaders, Darkest Hour got the place worked up to a fever pitch with its distinctive combination of hardcore and gigawatt metal.

The band has time and again proved its talent in writing songs that incorporate infectious grooves and melodies into an intense, fast-paced attack. And their performance of those songs has always been a vivid, high-energy experience. They’ve taken no steps backward since the departure of guitarist Kris Norris. Mike “Lonestar” Carrigan has filled those shoes abundantly, and of course John Henry proved himself all over again to be one of the most energy-intensive frontmen in the business.


This was the first time we had seen DEP in the flesh, and I get it now. This is one extremely talented collection of musicians who somehow are able to play technically intricate metal while bouncing off the walls and ceiling as if it were the last hour of their lives.

Vocalist Greg Puciato is the maniac-in-chief, but Ben Weinman, Jeff Tuttle, and Liam Wilson give him a run for his money — and unlike him, they have to play some serious math-metal riffs and rhythms at the same time as they’re careening around the stage. It’s a sight to behold.

There’s plenty of clean singing on the band’s new album, Option Paralysis (which I’m really digging), but not much was in evidence last night. Instead, Puciato was in full, no-holds-barred, screamo mode, and it was electrifying.

The mayhem paused on occasion for some beautiful, complex instrumental passages that meshed well with what Animals As Leaders did earlier in the evening, but those interludes were fleeting, and always gave way to more jolting intensity in short order. These dudes bull-whipped the densely packed crowd into a frenzy and gave them their money’s worth and more.

What a night! Ass-kicking awesomeness from start to finish!

And now, for your viewing pleasure, more of our photos from the show:





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