Soilwork is in the midst of a headlining tour in support of its recent album The Panic Broadcast, and the three perpetrators of NO CLEAN SINGING were in the audience when the tour blew through El Corazon in Seattle on July 27.
The bands on this tour are an interesting mix. No two of them play the same style of metal. We had Soilwork‘s melodic metalcore, Death Angel‘s supercharged thrash, hyper-technical death metal from Augury, Mutiny Within‘s aggressive power metal, Swashbuckle‘s pirate thrash, and melodic death metal from Seattle’s Deathmocracy.
It was also a long night, and those (like us) who were there from start to finish got their money’s worth: Deathmocracy took the stage at about 7 p.m., and Soilwork finished a 90-minute set at 12:30 in the morning. In a nutshell, we got thoroughly deep-fried in a vat of molten metal.
In this post, we’ll give you some brief notes on the performances and a collection of our reliably half-assed photos of each band — after the jump.
We hadn’t seen this Seattle band before, and they had the typical disadvantage of playing to a small early crowd at the beginning of a long night. They played ramped-up melodic death metal and had some decent technical chops. But my favorite song was one that began with a slow, melodic instrumental and then built up to a headbanging romp.
On the downside, the band sounded out-of-step with each other in too many places — not nearly as tight as we’d like. Here are a few shots of their set:
Hell yeah! New Jersey pirate metal in all its glory! These dudes thrashed the hell out of their set (and the crowd), and Admiral Nobeard (the lead vocalist with the big beard) was a fuckin’ hoot with his ‘tween-song banter.
These dudes are definitely all about having fun, and they charged up the crowd with a punk-thrash onslaught that got the pit going without invitation. The phrase “rum, sodomy, and the lash” kept flitting through my head. (If you’re not familiar with the phrase, google it.) Here are your photos:
These dudes are touring machines. This is the third time we’ve seen them in Seattle over about the last 12 months — which is pretty amazing, given that Seattle is way off in the fucking corner of the country — and they always seem to hitch a ride on tours with some pretty awesome veteran bands at the top of the bill.
We’ve had a tough time warming up to them, mainly because of Chris Clancy’s vocals. The rest of the band are a tight, accomplished group of instrumentalists who can really get you moving, and the songs are catchy. But Clancy — who undoubtedly has a great set of pipes — has had troubles hitting his clean notes in a live setting every time we’ve seen him. Too many of them are flat, which is a big distraction, because most of the singing is of the clean variety.
Having heard these songs now for the third time, they’re starting to grow on me, but selfishly, I wish Clancy would pour on more of the harsh vocals, because the dude has got a great paint-blistering howl when he uses it. Photos:
This was the second time we’d seen this Montreal band, and they blew me away again. The songs are extraordinarily intricate, with rapid time-signature shifts and counterpoint rhythms. All the band members play complex lines of their own that must be precisely in sync for this kind of music to work — and they pulled it off flawlessly. Pretty fucking amazing to watch.
Frontman and co-lead guitarist Patrick Loisel is just as seemingly insane as he was the first time we saw Augury. He’s just over 40 and in his day job, he teaches history and science. We sure never had any teachers like this. Here are a few of our Augury pics:
Holeeee shit! I’ve found my new favorite thrash band!
Death Angel has been around a looooong time, though they experienced a 10-year hiatus between 1991 and 2001 and underwent massive line-up changes since the founding in 1982. But the current line-up is just fucking amazing. I’m not sure it’s possible to play faster and still maintain the kind of neck-snapping groove these dudes generate.
They stepped on the accelerator so hard, the temperature went up 20 degrees, paint began to peel, lead melted, the yolk started seeping from eyeballs, and we’re pretty sure some people had spontaneous orgasms. They put an Old Sparky kind of charge into the crowd.
What made this music so convulsively powerful to me, and so interesting, was the band’s use of dynamic tempo changes within songs, even while playing at about 1000 mph. The instrumental work was technically demanding and perfectly executed — and Rob Cavestany’s lead guitar playing was an old-school, heavy-metal dream.
Major props to Mark Osegueda’s vocals, too. The dude has got an amazingly powerful, blistering voice and he’s a real showman in front of a crowd. I was pretty blown away. How ’bout some pics?
This is who we came to see. The first time we saw this band, in this same venue, was a powerful experience that puts a big smile on our faces every time we talk about it — and this set was even better.
Soilwork didn’t begin to play until 11 p.m., but as hot and rung out as we were by that point, we weren’t ready for them to stop an hour and a half later. They served up a greatest-hits version of their discography, along with “Deliverance Is Mine” and “Two Lives Worth of Reckoning” from the new album, and it was a headbanger’s delight.
Speed Strid was absolutely at the top of his game. His cleanly sung choruses were powerful and pitch-perfect, and his rough howls were fucking fierce.
Dirk Verbeuren was a wonder to behold behind the kit. His playing is so controlled, so inventive, and so seemingly effortless, and his drum solo in the middle of “Rejection Role” lit up the crowd like a Roman candle.
But what made this show even better than the last one we saw was the return of that shaven-headed guitar dynamo, Peter Wichers. His technical skills are superb, but there’s no flash-for-the-sake-of-flash. He plays with great feel for the songs and a lot of soul, and his leads and solos make these very catchy songs come even more vibrantly alive.
Very tough to pick a favorite song in this set, but the encore performance of “Stabbing the Drama” was about all that was needed to take a an exhilarated crowd and push them right over the top. Very hot shit.