Asher Media Relations Presents – New Music Spotlight: Hollow (Blackened Death), Norilsk (Doom), Mutank (Thrash)


Band Bio:

Hollow brings their unique blend of Symphonic Black Metal and classic Death Metal together so flawlessly in their recent release of Mordrake.  Hailing from Montreal, QC this four-piece is the soul definition of what the North American underground scene should sound like. Their unique look and high energy performances have permitted them to partake in events such as Heavy MTL as well as being the supporting act for Beyond Creation, Suffocation, 1349, Keep of Kalessin, Augury, and so many more. So do yourself a favor go pick up Hollow’s first Full Length album, Mordrake, over on iTunes or from the bands Bandcamp Page, it does not disappoint!

R.I.Y.L: Dimmu Borgir, Emperor, Cradle of Filth, Behemoth, Skeletonwitch


Band Lineup:

Jeff “Mott” Macdermott – Vocals
Eddy “Snow” Levitsky – Bass
Dave “Cadaver” Gagné – Guitar
Blake “Blaac” Lemieux - Drums


Hollow – Mordrake

1. Lament Configuration (5:02)
2. Cryptic Howling (4:13)
3. A New Life (5:32)
4. Landscape (4:47)
5. Iscariot (4:29)
6. Sunriser (4:21)
7. Vlad (3:23)
8. Anomie (3:59)
9. Snow (6:54)
10. Birth (4:45)
11. Hate (4:50)
12. Death (4:51)

Total Length: (52:53)






Band Bio:

Tired of the same old generic Metal that is coming out today? Needing something fresh and Thrashy along the likes of Havok, Metallica, Exodus, or Municipal Waste? I give you just that, presenting Mutank, coming all the way from Montreal, QC. This quartet formed when three Newfoundlanders crossed paths in the Canadian “Heavy Metal Capital” with Ahmed Saad from the Middle East. Upon months of hard work they finally were able to piece together their debut album M.E.C.H. Metal (or Middle East Coast Heavy Metal), as the drummer hails from the Middle East and the rest from the east coast of Canada.

M.E.C.H. Metal has a real old school thrash feel to it with the electric chainsaw riffs, machine-gun double bass and the “Gang Chants” throughout. There’s not much more you could possibly ask for. Check out the debut album from Mutank available on their Bandcamp page or Audio Cassette!! Yes, I said Audio Cassette, they seem to be making a comeback along with Vinyl. . only problem is you cant find a Cassette player as easily as a record player :-/. This is a definite party album, so crank it up and get drunk!!


R.I.Y.L:  D.R.I., Suicidal Tendencies (Old school), Megadeth, Metallica, Faith No More, Motorhead, Pantera, Slayer, Anthrax, Overkill, Exodus


Band Lineup:

Stephen Reynolds – Vocals and Bass
Steven Breen – Rhythm Guitar and backing vocals
Ahmed Saad – Drums
Liam Hinchey – Lead Guitar
Mutank –  M.E.C.H. Metal

1. M.E.C.H Metal (2:04)
2. MUTANK (4:03)
3. Minions (3:49)
4. W.A.R. (1:57)
5. Heavy Hand of The Doomsday Clock (3:38)
6. No Spoils, No Mercy (2:48)
7. Corporate Child (2:35)
8. Thrashback In Time (4:02)
Total Time: 25:00







Band Bio:

Naming themselves after Siberia’s northern most city, Norilsk is a two-piece Doom Metal band from Gatineau, QC that draws inspirations and  themes from Northern identity, isolation, and world demise. Combining that old school sludge/doom sound with a more modern progression, the”Japetus” EP will take you deep into the northern realm of solitude.  The EP features 2 new tracks as well as a dreary version of Voivod’s “Negatron”. This cover is only available upon purchase of the album. However, check out the other two tracks now on their Bandcamp!


R.I.Y.L. - Morne, (early) My Dying Bride, (early) Anathema, Saturnus, Isis


Band Lineup:

Nicolas Miquelon – Bass, Guitar, and Vocals
Nick Richer – Drums and back up vocals


Norilsk – Japetus

1 – Japetus (08:14)
2 – Negatron (05:43)
3 – Potsdam Glo (05:43)

EP Length: 19:41

NEW Releases – July 22, 2014 – Fallujah, King of Asgard, Overkill, Within the Ruins


Fallujah – The Flesh Prevails (Unique Leader Records)

In the rough and tumble death metal scene, the “progressive” label has recently been placed on anything and everything that has an extra few time changes and guitar solos in between the next outburst of double bass blast beats. On their latest effort, Fallujah have taken this label and stretched it out to explore the outer limits. In 2011, just after their full-length debut The Harvest Wombs came out, a friend of mine  introduced me to them, describing them as a “death metal version of Cynic.” Listen to The Flesh Prevails, and let the atmospheric tones and progressive bridges take you on a journey through the evolution of modern technical death metal as we know it.

 KingofAsgardKing of Asgard – Karg (Metal Blade Records)

Not much comes out of Sweden that disappoints. King of Asgard‘s new album Karg is no different. A solid mix of progressive doom and viking metal offers a refreshing take on the warriors of Norse mythology.


Overkill_-_White_Devil_ArmoryOverkill – White Devil Armory  (Nuclear Blast Records)

Some more good ol’ school thrash metal from Overkill. Chug a PBR, head-bang in a windmill motion, repeat. You know the drill.


WtR-PhenomenaWithin the Ruins – Phenomena (E1 Music)

The much-anticipated follow-up release to last year’s Elite.  Beautifully mixed and mastered aggression fuses chugga-chugga riffs with “wiiindly-widdily-wiiiiindly” wanking guitar notes to create a nice 11-song collection of technical madness.  Within the Ruins have delivered the perfect album to mow the lawn to. Grab your noise-canceling headphones and cut that shit down with some poly-rhythmic groove!

Throwback Thursday Concert Review: Cynic’s “Re-traced, Re-focused Tour” (Chicago, IL)


Decibel Magazine’s Hall of Fame Tour

CYNIC w/ Intronaut & Dysrythmia

July 31, 2010

The Bottom Lounge in Chicago, IL

May of 2010 marked the announcement of one of the most anticipated shows of the summer: a Cynic headlining tour. But this was more than just your run-of-the-mill headlining tour. Getting to hear their whole classic album Focus in it’s entirety as well as hang out with the band via the VIP package sold on the band’s website is what hailed it as one of the most intimate, epic shows of all time.

We left St. Louis around 11:30AM the day of the show, a little later than expected, but made good time until we got into the suburbs and the city limits of Chicago. Once we hit the traffic it took us an extra hour and a half to get to the venue. Nevertheless we got to the venue around 6pm and proceeded to the line for those with the VIP package. Paul, Sean, Tymon, and Robin came out to the bar area and hung out for about an hour to mingle with the fans. Two guys in our caravan – Fernando & John – had scheduled a guitar lesson with Tymon and had hoped to get it in before the meet & greet, but instead we ended up going back to the backstage area for about 45 minutes before the first band went on and hung out while they got their lesson.

The first band of the night was Dysrhythmia, a progressive-instrumental four-piece from Queens, New York. I had listened to them a little bit leading up to the show and I checked out a few songs from their performance. They have a eclectic sound of comparable to Explosions in the Sky and Isis. They played 4 or 5 songs, but because I wasn’t too familiar with them I don’t have a setlist.

Next up was Los Angeles jazzy, poly-rhythmic metal quartet Intronaut. I was really digging the material that I listened to before the show, and was not disappointed by their live show. They have a fresh sound along the ranks of bands like Mastodon, Baroness, and The Sword. My absolute favorite part of the set was during the last song, “Any Port”, in which one of the guitar players picked up a pair of drumsticks and proceeded to play an extra set of floor toms that were set up next to the main kit in vain of Soulfly’s typical interludes. Very tight live band overall. Cheers to them.


The Literal Black Cloud



Cavernous Den of Shame

Any Port

Finally… the band we’d all been waiting for. This was my 2nd time seeing Cynic, as I had caught them during the spring of 2010 in Louisville, KY with BTBAM, Devin Townsend Project, & Scale the Summit. Needless to say I was excited to see them play a nice long headlining set. They wasted little time in between songs and the set seemed to guy by ridiculously fast. The visuals for their set were exceptional. They had 2 round projection screens on either side of the stage on which they displayed images on, while their huge banner hung behind Sean and his drum kit. They also had sweet lasers that were sync’ed up with the music, especially during songs like I’m But a Wave to… and Cosmos. It was cool to hear the original version of Integral with Paul singing over the acoustic guitar before hearing the original version to close out the set. Each song listed below includes a link to the video taken at The Bottom Lounge.

Veil of Maya

Celestial Voyage

The Eagle Nature


I’m But a Wave to…

Uroboric Forms


How Could I

Integral (Acoustic from Re-Traced)

Nunc Fluens

The Space For This

Evolutionary Sleeper

The Unknown Guest

Wheels Within Wheels

Adam’s Murmur


Integral Birth (Original)

If you’re bummed out about not getting to see Cynic on this tour, Damnation’s own videographer Mackenzie Barrow recorded the entire set (with Cynic’s approval) in 720p and has posted it on YouTube at this location.


Cheers! \m/

Band Interview: Psychostick with Matt Albers

An intimate evening with Psychostick
Interviewer: Matt Albers
Location: Psychostick’s van outside Fubar (St. Louis, MO)


Metal fans are no strangers to bands that stick to a theme, persona, or shtick that goes beyond the music. The stage presence of shock-rock bands is often unforgettable, and many European bands are known for styles ranging from the epic and serious, like the Vikings of Amon Amarth, to the fun and nonsensical, like the pirates of Alestorm and Swashbuckle. But when a band takes on a theme that incorporates lightheartedness or humor, AND become successful at it, it can take on a life of its own.

Metal and rock are traditionally often seen as taking a serious subject in life and turning it into accessible music. When a band goes against that grain, they tend to stand out. Groups like GWAR, Primus, or even System Of A Down have made names for themselves on grand scales with their use of either blatant or tongue-in-cheek comedy. But that same vein can extend down from the grandiose to the humble, hard-working stiff, such as the chaps in Psychostick.

Originally formed in Tempe, AZ in 2000, it was safe to say that Psychostick stood out from their metal peers. The average internet user would probably recognize their popular song “Beer!” which has also received radio airplay, but the band has always had much more to offer. Their unique brand of dumb, silly musical styling from the mind of the nerdy, goofy, and introverted is quick to draw a like-minded audience, and has been doing so since their 2003 debut, We Couldn’t Think Of A Title.

After several more releases, extensive touring, guest spots on festivals include The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, and a strong internet and social media presence providing a direct outlet to their fans, Psychostick show no signs of slowing down their wacky progress in music and entertainment. I recently caught up with a few members of the band at the venue Fubar while on tour with Dog Fashion Disco and The Bunny The Bear to discuss topics included – but not limited to – food, alcohol, touring, crowdfunding, serious nonsense, and dangerous birds.

Welcome back to St. Louis, MO once again! It’s always great to have you hear, and I have to say that it’s weird to see you at a venue other than Pop’s in Sauget, IL.

Josh “The J” Key (guitars, vocals): It’s weird for us, too. Because Pop’s has kind of been like our home base [in St. Louis], but this Fubar place seems all right; we’ll play here and see how it goes.

Psychostick seems to stop here pretty frequently (several times a year), how do you feel about our fair city? How does it compare to other areas you play, or even you’ve lived (since I know you’re based in Chicago now)?

The shows themselves are awesome, but I do have to say that The City Museum, is one of the coolest places on the planet Earth. I went to [it] there, like, a year or two ago and I’ve been telling everybody about it. Especially if they have kids, you know, it’s like, “YOU NEED TO GO!! It’s like the ULTIMATE playground! They’ve got PLANES, they’ve got this big wire thing that you can climb around, and they have this cave, and they have a ten-foot slide…” I never even made it to the roof; I don’t even know what’s on the roof, I saw the bus hanging off the side, it was like, sweet!

Anyone who’s heard your 2009 album Sandwich or really anything else can figure out that you’re “foodies.” What are some of your favorite foods to try when you travel and how does St. Louis stack up to any competition?

When I think of St. Louis, I think of the fried [toasted] ravioli, that’s what comes to mind… Food-wise, Cajun food in Louisiana is like, GOOOOAAAWWWWDDUH! [translation: Cajun food = God]

Rob “Rawrb” Kersey (lead vocals): I love Cajun food too, but I would have to… Southwest, Mexican food. Midwest, you’ve got deep-dish pizza. You go east, bagels… Wherever you go, it’s all regional and every time we hit a region, we make our stops. We won’t play a show, unless we make our stops, it’s that bad.

Any favorite? If you had to pick just one type of food?

No, that’s not fair. Too many dude, it’s so good. I don’t want to pick a favorite, because I want ALL of it (laughs).

You’re on a tour now with a reunited Dog Fashion Disco and The Bunny The Bear; making three bands that seem fairly similar but actually have drastic differences in your sound. I know we’re toward the end of this tour right now, but how has it been so far? How did you feel going into this compared to previous tours you’ve done with other bands (Nashville Pussy/Green Jello, Mushroomhead, American Head Charge, and even ironically Polkadot Cadaver – a Dog Fashion Disco side project)?

This tour is probably my favorite one that we’ve done, ever. It’s been a hectic tour… it feels like two months of craziness crammed into a month. That’s an exaggeration, yes; it’s been high strong, but very fun. It’s probably the most successful one we’ve done. Every night it’s just lots of people, everybody’s receptive, the fan bases of both bands are conducive. The Bunny The Bear has more of a current sound, they tune really low and everything, and it mixes well surprisingly. I wasn’t sure at first, but then it made sense when you see all three bands play together.

I feel like Dog Fashion, they bring in like, a bit of an older crowd, and The Bunny The Bear have a younger following, and we’re somewhere in the middle, and it all brings in a bit of everybody, but everybody’s there to have fun. So it’s just a good audience, overall.

Speaking of your sound, Psychostick has now been around for over a decade. What are the challenges (if any) in being a comedic metal band? How do you balance the songwriting, structure, musicianship, and lyrical content, as well as anything else you bring to your band (stage presence, costumes, internet videos, etc.)?

The biggest challenge as a comedy band is to actually be taken seriously in any capacity.

It’s very easy to get pigeonholed doing what we do. It’s like, “Oh, they’re just f*cking around.” No, we really do want to do this, we put a lot of effort and love and time and, put our heart and soul, blood, sweat and tears into being… this. You know, we MEAN to. We could have taken a very easier path, we CHOSE this path, you know? (Laughs)

This path built more of a foundation for us, I think. It’ll hold rather than be flakey and be like, “Oh, I don’t like them anymore because they’re not current.” …Like a comedian takes his career very seriously; like if you went up to Jerry Seinfeld or Louis C.K., I mean they take it seriously, that’s they’re livelihood. We’re the same way, but just in metal. And the whole metal world is usually like, “Rrrraaaarrggghhhh,” very serious, pain and darkness and all that stuff.

And that seriousness in metal could also be interpreted as very silly.

It could; I mean, we heard a comedic aspect in the really high-energy, distorted guitars when we were young. We giggle at that stuff sometimes, even though “they” don’t want you to giggle at them.

I heard Dethklok in death metal long before Dethklok was a thing. This was a long time ago, I remember hearing death metal and going, “…Am I the only one that finds this awesome but funny at the same time?” Obviously he doesn’t sound like that, he doesn’t go through the drive-thru and say (in a guttural growl), “YES! I’D LIKE A COMBO NUMBER TWO! WITH NO ONIONS!” You know, they’re not going to do that.

There was something funny about that whole world. Josh saw it first… He put on something like Crimson Thorn.

It was a Christian death metal band! I’ll never forget the lyric that KILLED me, it was like, “BEING SAVED! IN THE BLOOD OF CHRIST JESUS!” Hearing those words done in death metal is still today one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard; I remember driving and nearly wrecked (laughs).

You’ve had a successful crowdfunding campaign recently. How do you feel about crowdfunding (now that it’s commonplace, not just in music but just about everything) and what are your plans with its success?

Crowdfunding, to me, there’s a lot of advantages to it. First of all, there’s getting some money to fund whatever. Second is a little P.R., get some publicity especially if you hit your goal or exceed your goal, that makes you look, you know, less crappy, I guess. But the biggest thing is… my takeaway from crowdfunding is that I think you shouldn’t overuse it. I don’t want to do it again, to be honest. I mean, we’re still fulfilling parts of it, because we just got crazy with the studio and everything. I think crowdfunding is a great, useful tool, but you should use it as a last resort. I wouldn’t jump into it right off the bat.

I’m definitely seeing this thing where, like, more and more people are, “Oh! I’ve got this idea for an album or something, I’m going to go and crowdfund it!” Then they [only] get $15 in donations because there’s so many people doing that. So hopefully society doesn’t get burnt out on it because there’s so many people running campaigns. That’s one of my fears for it; it’s a great thing, but if there’s too many people doing campaigns, there’s not going to be enough people to donate and people start feel like they’re being spammed.

We did do crowdfunding BEFORE IndieGoGo…

Yeah! “373 Thank Yous” (on the Sandwich album).

We did that because it was just one of those things like, “Well, our fans want us to put out a new album, maybe they could ‘pay it forward’ a little bit and help us out.” It worked really well, we were able to get that album out obviously and do everything we could.

That was years before crowdfunding was even a term. So yeah, we were doing it BEFORE it was cool!!

So then what you’re saying is, you’re not only a comedic metal band, but you’re also hipsters?

Goddamn right (laughs). Metal hipsters!

*At this point, Alex “Shmalex” Dontre (drums) arrives after a short meal to help conclude the interview*

What can people expect from the future of Psychostick, or should we just expect the unexpected at this point? What has Psychostick NOT done yet that you would like to do at some point in your career?

We have a recording studio now, and we live in the same city as our video guy. So, you know, look out (laughs). “Reading Rainbow” (recent cover)? That’s nothing; you’re all in trouble with what we’re going to be unleashing. Getting overseas is a major goal for us right now, especially the U.K., Europe, and Australia; we’ve had fans over there asking us to play there for YEARS.

I had a friend study abroad in Ireland, and people there were jealous of her that she had seen Psychostick several times.

I’d love to play Ireland… I want some Guinness from the source man! Guinness from the SOURCE!!

I could die happy. If we go to Ireland and I just died, like my head exploded… I’d be cool with that, totally fine with that.

Hopefully we’ll see you guys on some big festival like Wacken, Sonisphere, or Download.

We did recently just get a new booking agent that has international connections, so that’s realistic.

…Alex, any words from you?

Alex “Shmalex” Dontre (drums): Yeah, I hate ducks.


(Laughter) Why do you hate ducks??

They’re scary, they’re terrifying. We’ve documented this in song form, you’re going to hear that tonight.

…See, I always thought geese were- no, swans! Swans are scarier to me! Are the ducks, like, kind of the kingpins of the waterfowl world?

You don’t think they’re that bad but they are, man.

See, I’m anti-penguin; I worked at the zoo, they’re evil, they’re psychotic. (Laughter) I am NOT making this up! I can go into GRAPHIC detail of the sh*t I’ve seen from penguins, man.

Penguins are a**holes?

No, penguins are MANIACS! …OK, before I derail this interview any further, anything else you want St. Louis and any areas beyond to know about Psychostick? …Besides “look out.”

Go to our YouTube page and subscribe, because we have a lot more of that coming along… And uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhh yep.

We’ve just got a lot coming, even we don’t know what it is yet. There’s a lot about to happen. So… gots to get paid, man. (Laughter)


Make sure to stay up to date with Damnation Magazine for more updates from Psychostick and catch them on tour with One-Eyed Doll and Wild Throne this August thru September!

And don’t forget to check out Damnation Magazine’s photo album of Psychostick during their show at Fubar, taken by our very own Nick Licata!

Asher Media Relations Presents: New Music Showcase – Protokult (Folk), ExPAIN (Thrash), and Unbeing (Instrumental)


Band Bio:

A good dose of folk metal never hurt anyone. Hailing from Eastern Europe (now living in Toronto, ON) is a five-piece outfit set to rock North America with tunes about, well, beer of course! How can you listen to folk metal and not feel like chugging a horn full of mead? Watch some live videos on YouTube and you’ll find beautiful wenches in corsets pouring beer and mead from said horns into mouths of lucky fans. So, set out on the journey of Protokult‘s new album and conquer the mountains and forests of your imagination as you discover instruments you’ve probably never heard of (I know I haven’t), such as a psaltery, zhaleika and sopilka. You’ll be glad you did.


R.I.Y.L.: Arkona, Windir, Nightwish, Turisas, Skyforger

Band Lineup:

Martin Drozd – Vocals, guitars, darbuka, jaw harp, synthesizer
Ekaterina – Soprano and traditional vocals, recorders, psaltery, zhaleika & sopilka.
Dawid Slowiak – Bass, group chants
Jeremy Jackson (Vodnik) – Guitars, group chants
Mike Matveev – Drums

Protokult – No Beer In Heaven

1. Get Me A Beer! (3:04)
2. Heaven Cast Me Out (4:04)
3. My Father’s Word (5:49)
4. Flight of The Winged Hussar (5:52)
5. Sol Intention (4:39)
6. Edge of Time (5:28)
7. Sanctuaries (2:04)
8. Desert Scourge (4:31)
9. Gorale (4:15)
10. Summer’s Ode (6:07)
11. Razbival Okovi Perun (1:26)
12. Water of Life (8:46)

Total Length: (56:12)

Hidden Tracks:
13. Brotokult (3:03)
14. We Smoke The Ganga (3:33)



Band Bio:

There are times in our lives when serious shit happens that can bring us down to near our breaking point. There are many ways to handle adversity and obstacles that threaten to take over our lives. Music is often be the most effective tool in finding the bright light in a dark situation. Expain’s debut album “Just the Tip” reminds us that releasing emotions through music should be as much fun as it is therapeutic. Nothing sets the new wave of old school thrash apart from the crowd of genres better than riff-tastic party metal. In Vancouver’s five-piece group EXPAIN you’ll find a perfect blend of thrash and progression that seamlessly bridge the gap between the neck-breaking pace of the riffs and drums. Just as the title of track 9 commands, headbang your head off!

R.I.Y.L. Thrash/Death/Punk, Black Dahlia Murder, Revocation, Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth, Municipal Waste

Band Lineup:

Daniel BrandVocals
Pat PeeveGuitar
Eric MorrisonGuitar
Nikko WhitworthBass
Ryan IdrisDrums

Expain – Just The Tip

1. Bacchus (1:05)
2. Aggressions Progression (3:40)
3. Phoenix Writhing (3:19)
4. The King (5:04)
5. Don’t Worry The Worst Is Yet To Come (3:33)
6. Idol Worship (5:23)
7. Allegiance To Pain (2:18)
8. Manatee (4:58)
9. Headbang Your Head Off (2:31)
10. A.T.M. (3:44)
11. Eating A Beating Heart (4:57)

Total Length: 40:37



Band Bio:

With the surging interest and appreciation for musicianship in progressive instrumental music in today’s metal scene, more and more bands are following in the footsteps of popular groups such as Scale the Summit and Animals As Leaders, often combining their metal roots with jazzy guitar chords to create what is now known as jazz-fusion. While Unbeing may not completely fit the jazz-fusion criteria, they are certainly making a case for themselves alongside the current groups in the spotlight.

R.I.Y.L.: Scale The Summit, Animals As Leaders, Pelican, Neurosis, Dream Theater, Tesseract

Band Lineup:

Martin LabelleKeyboard
Jean-Philippe BédardDrums
Alexandre D’AmourBass
Sherif El-MaghrabyGuitar

Unbeing – Raptus

1. Rapture (3:05)
2. Batterie Faible (6:27)
3. Tetris Rufus (4:29)
4. 2nd Cup (5:55)

Total Length: 19:58


All album art, track listings, band lineups, and supplemental information are courtesy of Asher Media Relations. The band bios in this article were written by Damnation Magazine. Check out to discover more new music, interviews and promotions.

Throwback Thursday Concert Review: Decibel Defiance Tour 2010 (Milwaukee, WI)


Decibel Defiance Tour ft. Suffocation w/ The Faceless, Through the Eyes of the Dead, Decrepit Birth, & Fleshgod Apocalypse
The Rave/Eagles Club in Milwaukee, WI
October 25th, 2010

Traveling from St. Louis to Milwaukee, we headed out around 10 AM on the 25th of October in anticipation another brutal metal tour put together by Decibel Magazine (i.e. the Vader/Malevolent Creation tour a few years back). We left earlier than usual because you never know what to expect when traveling on I-55 and I-39 through Illinois. Luckily, we made excellent time and actually got to the venue at about 4:30 PM – an hour and a half before doors and 2½ hours before the show was slated to begin. Nevertheless, we chilled outside the club for a bit and soon saw Bill Robinson, the front man of Decrepit Birth, playing hacky-sack with a fellow metal head who had ventured to the venue early. We joined in for a bit and discussed the production quality of the new release, Polarity, in comparison to the older records that weren’t mixed as well as they could’ve been. He agreed that he wished they sounded better, but what lacks on their recordings is negated by their live performances.

After waiting for what seemed like days, the doors finally opened and the eager metal heads were led into the dungeon that is the bottom venue of the Rave/Eagles Club. This was where I saw the Children of Bodom, Amon Amarth and Gojira tour in the winter of 2004. It definitely brought back great memories of that epic adventure through ice and snow to get to Milwaukee. As the start of the show crept closer, Nick and I (Steve) snagged a spot towards the front of the crowd to watch Fleshgod Apocalypse. This was one of the main bands we had driven to see on the show and they did not disappoint. They came out in orchestra conductor suits with dirt and blood on them as if they just crawled out from under six feet of soil.

In Honour Of Reason
Sophistic Demise
Embodied Deception
Blinded By Fear
Thru Our Scars
Requiem In Si Minor


The only complaint I have is that they did not play the heavy drum/guitar intro to In Honour of Reason. Other than that they were killer. They seem to be growing a following because the show that we saw was only halfway through the tour and they were already running low on the different sizes of shirts (seen above).

Next up was Decrepit Birth. I’d seen them a number of times on Summer Slaughter as well as the Faceless’ Planetary Duality Tour that came through Rockstar Nightclub. The performance they put on this time was phenomenal. The sound and the atmosphere made for a hell of a performance. Bill was doing his typical rocking out during the solos and fills. Everything sounded dead on. They’ve definitely grown on me, especially with their new album.

Prelude to the Apocalypse
The Resonance
The Infestation
Diminishing Between Worlds

Next up was a band I hadn’t seen in 5 or 6 years, since the original screamer was still in the band. Much like Decrepit Birth, Through the Eyes of the Dead put on a hell of a show as well. They did not, however, play Two Inches From A Main Artery. I was yelling “Two Inches!” between every song until the singer shot it down. Bummer. It was a solid set nonetheless.

As Good as Dead
No Haven
Perpetual Defilement
Pull the Trigger
Failure in the Flesh

The Faceless was up next and you could tell a lot of kids were there to see them. Performance-wise, they weren’t as tight this time as they usually are. They had a few timing issues, such as when they broke into Planetary Duality to start the set. Nevertheless, they looked like they were having a blast and the new song sounded brutal from what I was able to make out, as I was in the second row at the center of the stage. Their set was:

Planetary Duality I (Hideous Revelation)
Planetary Duality II (A Prophecies Fruition)
Coldly Calculated Design
The Eidolon Reality *NEW*
An Autopsy
The Ancient Covenant

The heavy-hitting metallers from New York took the stage after a short break between sets. The pits were insane as Suffocation’s front man Frank Mullen tried to keep the crowd awake and paying attention with his blast beat hand motions and his cryptic banter in between songs. Once again they blew me away. I had seen them a few years back on the Fear Factory tour with Hypocrisy and Decapitated when they were direct support and they stole the show. It was awesome finally seeing them headline a tour.

Liege of Inveracity
Suspended in Tribulation
Thrones of Blood
Cataclysmic Purification
Entrails of You
Pierced From Within
Funeral Inception
Blood Oath
Effigy of the Forgotten
Torn Into Enthrallment
Infecting the Crypts

All in all the show was great. Every band on the bill is worth watching and listening to without hesitation. Check back for updates on future tours here at Damnation!

Cheers! \m/

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Throwback Thursday Concert Review: An Evening w/ AMON AMARTH (Lawrence, KS))


An Evening w/ AMON AMARTH – The Surtur Rising World Tour
April 16, 2011 @ 9p.m.
Granada Theater in Lawrence, KS

“Road Warriors” could’ve easily been the name of this headlining tour by Viking metal legends Amon Amarth, as the dates where spread few and far between. When I heard they were playing two sets and coming somewhere relatively close to St. Louis, there was no question that I should request a few days off work and plan a trip accordingly. Coincidently, many metal heads from around the Midwest had the same idea. Between eating at Jimmy Johns down the street and standing in line waiting for doors to open, I met folks from Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Missouri that had taken time out of their busy lives to drive up to Lawrence on a beautiful Saturday afternoon and witness a rare evening full of Amon Amarth.

I left St. Louis around 3:30p.m. that afternoon, as I was trying to decide whether or not to go at the last minute because I was going to have to travel by myself due to unforeseen circumstances. The drive couldn’t have gone smoother thanks to the clear, sunny conditions in the Midwest. I arrived in Lawrence around 7:45p.m., found a place to park, and hung out at Jimmy Johns to feed my hunger before the real feast began. The doors opened promptly at 8p.m. and Amon Amarth was set to go on at 9p.m., so I hopped in line around 8:30p.m. to find quite a large gathering of metal heads ready for battle in black shirts with long hair and ZZ-Top beards. As I got inside I immediately went up to the pit area in front of stage to await the carnage that was about to ensue.

Amon Amarth hit the stage shortly after their scheduled time and blasted into the first track off Surtur Rising, which they were set to play in its entirety. As the Viking brethren took the stage, the crowd exploded with applause and cheers that seemed to take the band by surprise. It seemed like every single person attending the show were there for the same reason; to celebrate the existence heavy metal. And celebrate we did. Watching them play the entire new album was sort of like Amon Amarth opening up for… well… themselves! It was an awesome way to start a long brutal show, and the crowd was definitely pleased. As they finished the album, they announced they were taking a short break, only to return to rip our faces off.

As the pit cleared out a bit after their first set – it was very hot and sweaty already so most people went to cool off to get drinks – I secured an even better spot to the right of the stage in the pit. Finally the lights went out, the intro music came on, and the crowd again packed in together, ready to tear the place apart. And as the fast and heavy beginning of their first song Twilight of the Thunder Gods kicked in, they did just that. The intensity of the band as well as the crowd during the second set seemed tenfold in comparison to the first set as everyone was belting out the lyrics to their favorite songs. Here is their complete setlist for the night:

War of the Gods
Töck’s Taunt – Loke’s Treachery Part II
Destroyer of the Universe
Slaves of Fear
Live Without Regrets
The Last Stand of Frej
For Victory or Death
Wrath of the Norsemen
A Beast I Am
Doom Over Dead Man


Twilight of the Thunder God
Masters of War
Live for the Kill
With Oden on Our Side
Guardians of Asgaard
Varyags of Miklagaard
Thousand Years of Oppression
Without Fear > Victorious March > Gods of War Arise > Death in Fire *non-stop medley)
Cry of the Blackbirds
Runes To My Memory
The Pursuit of Vikings

I hadn’t seen Amon Amarth since their first U.S. tour back in 2004 with Children of Bodom and Gojira, so I was very excited to hear them play songs from Twilight of the Thunder Gods – in addition to Surtur Rising of course. They had quite a bit of variety, ranging all the way to back their early days. They had some pretty cool merch, including a flag for $15 and various tour shirts and hoodies ranging from $20-$40. The most memorable parts of the night by far were singing “Happy Birthday” to their bassist, Ted, and screaming the entire chorus of Pursuit of Vikings along with the sold out crowd around me as Johan encouraged us.

I know I might say this often, but if this show comes anywhere close to you, do yourself a favor as a metal head to attend. I’ve been to so many shows that are a mix between hardcore and metal that it was great to remember what a true metal show is all about. Until next time, HAIL AAAASAAATOOOOORRRR!!!! =D


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