To a packed Newport Music Hall on Sunday April 6th, the Decibel Magazine Tour slammed into Columbus bringing its youngest screamers Noisem, the growling sands of Tibet from Gorguts, the dark horror themed, violent intentions of the Black Dahlia Murder and the graphic godfathers of gore, grindcore and Surgical Steel, Carcass.
New kids, Noisem delivered an opening set of non-stop, psychopathically cathartic tunes that they couldn’t stop moving to. A sonic noise whiplash ensued with perpetual movement as they cranked out songs from their Agony Defined CD. Their sound is death/thrash metal with an old school Sepultura vibe. Vocalist Tyler played the straight jacket escapee berserker well, thrashing the stage harder with each tune. Vertebrae rattlers Rotten Remains and Split from the Inside Out pummel until they’re down. Tyler leaped off stage taking the cardio dance to the photo pit, getting in the crowds face, frantic in performance possession, trapped in a spiritual shaman war dance, sweating/screaming out his demons with every head-bang and growl.
Gorguts made their Columbus return, in much nicer weather, bringing their set to a mesmerized crowd in awe of Tibet’s heavy history. Starting with the fast-slow mix of pulverizing guitar work/drums and haunting interludes of Le Toit Du Monde, the highest level on the planet is the home to many sights, stories and mysteries. An Ocean of Wisdom wastes no time ramming its guitar neck’s down your throat viciously with no apologies, removing at two minutes, slowing down the tempo before reinsertion. Even in death the 13th Dalai Lama gave clues pointing to his successor. Forgotten Arrows, inspired by the words of Buddhist Monk Matthieu Ricard, makes a melodic death metal tune sound as happy as it can be. Title track Colored Sands aka the wheel of time, gives peace and healing to all things starting with its single, simplistic, alluring but foreboding plucked notes turning up the charged tempo with some addictive body moving chug. The heavy metallic voice of ancient wisdom churned and shredded out of a guitar. They finished with the guitar screeching, wrapped around your neck screaming and squeezing title track from their ground breaking record, Obscura. Beautifully grim guitar notes tapped into your head like an automatic staple gun. Luc Lemay gave a shout out to everyone he saw back in December.
Black Dahlia Murder starts with a signed sealed and delivered screaming sadistic apology/confession of the unknown sadist who took the young starlet, giving her immortality through death becoming a true crime legend. In Hell She Waits for You, with a sawed off torso and some mean karma. We go to commit our own atrocities, feeding the nocturnal beast within as we look up, teeth sharpen, eyes turn to dark scarlet rage and hairs rise up as the Lycan bloodlust takes over, reflecting the glow of the Moonlight Equilibrium. Now, a salty sea’s tale from the Everblack, told by the battle worn, rusted vessel of the damned, hunted by its bloody history. God seemed to be MIA tonight, as our Beloved Absentee searches for a reason for our worship and penitence.
A war torn case of historical Statutory Ape, leaves a world’s dignity destroyed and violated. From the horrors of war, to the horrors of 1980’s comic book adaptations of terror. Meteors bring the green along with beasts in crates and cheating spouses on a day at the beach. Mankind’s karmatic destruction comes with insatiable appetite, a sick and twisted dismembering fetish of pain giving pleasure. What part of you don’t you like? Most of what moves, Phantom Limb Masturbation, climax at separation. What a Horrible Night to be among the cursed walking dead, conjured back to un-life by the dark one, cannibalizing the living, swallowing souls for the grave. I Will Return, from this ice cubed crypt, a cryonically frozen man.
Splatter death metal, gore-grind, pioneers of melodic death metal, whatever toe tag you want to hang they’re the autopsy room’s house band and metal masters of the morgue churning out a gross use of lyrical misconduct and bringing noises out of guitars that bring back the dead. A career made from sick symphonies, necromancy and art collages of death.
The howling guitars of their birth year, 1985 sang out from the autopsy slab as they appeared ready to perform non-anesthetic open heart-work on anyone ready and willing. The spinal-connected hands of peace opened and Buried Dreams began…welcome! It’s been a long time Columbus! Are you ready to rock? When Jeff Walker says it, it’s not a cliché, it means you’re about to get your innards scrambled. Walker’s cheery opening belies the dark macabre manifesto of twisted talent buried inside the devils delivery with humor in a British accent, as dual video screens broadcast the evening’s voyeur visage. They pull out the wrapped plastic (decades before Dexter) and body bags early with Incarnate Solvent Abuse. We got the night’s first taste of the newest tools of the trade with a Congealed Clot of Blood frozen on the Cadaver Pouch Conveyor System, causalities of the blood lust and pink mist. Time to estimate the rotting layers then mass calculate the body stock pile on Carnal Forge.
We take another un-sanitized stab into cold flesh with Surgical Steel on Noncompliance then continue the heart games without emotion on No Love Lost. Walker throws a few bottles of clear liquid embalming fluid from the tap to the crowd. ‘Don’t throw them back or we’ll see you’. We enter the Dark Granulating human churning machine with its Satanic charm and numeral mystery. A three era dose of heavy ether was next starting with a fresh mourning cup of Wake Up and Smell the Carcass with the slow bluesy grind of Edge of Darkness. The frantic beat and guitars crunching bone on This Mortal Coil and the air tight sealed winds of ancient death blow within masking the dead’s ancient whispers as they Reek of Putrefaction trapped in a permanent death/murder montage.
In true British humor, Carcass style, Walker mentions one of their guitarists is legitimately quite ill but he’s a trooper this evening. ‘It’d be cooler if he threw up on stage, it’d have much more appeal.’
It’s, Unfit for Human Consumption; indeed, even for a cannibal’s holocaust or a grave-robber’s Gein. A creepy closed-door craving left off the coroner’s report. Walker joked that anyone who’d never seen them might think all the songs are on the new record, or maybe this one’s from 1987. They crank out the uncomfortable instrumental Genital Grinder then feast on the Pyosisified rotting remains, a meal too vile for even Hannibal to digest.
Walker also mentioned, tongue in cheek, that during their ‘secret recording sessions’ for the comeback Black Dahlia Murder tried to steal their drummer but Jeff put his foot down pointing ‘No no, girlfriend.’
It’s the graveyard dinner bell and the dead are spoiled but ready for the feast. Exhume to Consume is on the menu, way past expiration is how they’ll have you. Captive Bolt Pistol’s a trigger stop to the working mind. Corporal Jigsore Quandary, a mutilated, massacre of human debris, the rotting anatomical puzzle sewn back in piece.
They go ‘a bit’ more commercial as Walker announces some tunes from the Swansong era asking that all doors be closed and locked so no one can run and leave. We Keep on Rotting in the Free World under that bright shining Black Star. Ruptured in Purulence is our final tale of sickness before the crowd pleasing works of art are painted black in magniloquence ending with a taste of the Carneous Cacoffiny.
All images by Mike Ritchie
Black Dahlia Murder Setlist courtesy of Kelli Malella and Max Mobarry of Crucifixation