Saturday, August 10, 2013

Wintersun/ Fleshgod Apocalypse/ Arsis/ Starkill/ Fallen Martyr/ March to Victory @Baltimore Soundstage 8/6/2013

We went to see WINTERSUN and a bunch of killer bands at the Baltimore Soundstage. The venue was supposed to be the Fillmore, Silver Spring- but for some reason was moved to the Soundstage. I don't know why, maybe the advance sales were less than anticipated? We saw a slew of friends there, including Sarah, Marie, Dorothy, Larry n his bro, Ariel y su mujer, Kate, Lindsey, Zach, Crystal, Ethan, Nick, John n German girl, Metal Chris, and I am probably missing someone.

We got there kind of early, to avoid traffic. There was a line out, (doors were at 6), so we lurked around a little, then got in the longer line later.

We got in and checked out the merch and who all we know who was there, and there were already a bunch of people there. Eventually the floor was packed, but the back area was cordoned off. I estimate that there were a few hundred people there.

Wintersun had a ton of merch (check out Metal Chris's pics), Starkill had a bunch of shirts ($25), CD($10)s, and a combo deal ($30 for one of each). Fleshgod Apocalypse had several shirts and THEIR NEW CD ($15).  Arsis, again, had some trouble with merch like at their last show :(- they initially had just their latest CD, but then they had a shirt delivery later. They did have Arsis doughnuts for a little bit, tho. Ended up getting a patch, Starkill combos.  Kate got some merch too!

Original set times were reported to be
STARKILL 755-825pm
ARSIS 845-915pm

March to Victory came on around 6:45, which was about 10 minutes late, and sounded really good. They had about the same setlist as their show w/ the Agonist. They were going to play another Death cover, but they didn't have time. I thought they sounded better than at the Agonist show, but the crowd was pretty dead for them, for whatever reason. I enjoyed their set, but it was a shame that most people didn't seem to be moving.

Fallen Martyr was on 15 mins later than advertized, so this trend would continue, as is common on the first night of the tour. This was the band I was least psyched about (yet I got my tickets thru them...) on this date. I think they played a similar set at the Agonist show, but I can't confirm. The singer had a riser that he stood on and had a costume change (??) midway thru the set. He also kind of carried on at the last song. The crowd was a bit less receptive than at the Agonist show, I'm not sure how well they went over. The guitars sounded pretty great, but the clash with the singer kind of killed them  (again) for me. I will say that I think its good that they are keeping heavy(ish) music alive in this area, but I haven't been able to get into their tunes.

Surprisingly American young epic death metal band Starkill was on next- I know we were pretty pysched to hear these guys live. A solid debut, from out of nowhere- Amon Amarthy ("Immortal Hunt"), Dimmu Borgir sounding, Dethkloky ("Below...") and even Dragonforcey combination really worked for me. Listen to their layers and it evokes a more European mindset, which is why I was confused when I found out they were from the USA. I would have liked to hear "Sword, Spear, Blood, Fire," but hey, you take what you can get. They sounded pretty great, tho the vocals could have been mixed a bit better. I think a lot or most of the crowd weren't familiar with them, but they probably were converted (or I hope so). With such a strong debut album, an this exposure I think they will be going places! One of my favourite sets of the night.

By the time Arsis came on I think I was at least 1 sheet to the wind, so I had to try hard to concentrate on the songs. I watched from the left side of the stage for the most part, and they sounded brutal, but a bit different. Again, the vocals and guitars could have been a bit crisper- but the drums were absolutely killer. They played a lot of new stuff, and had me wondering again how so few people came out to their CD release . These guys are so underrated, so technical. But James Malone IMO should grow out his hair again, so he can be FORCED TO ROCK. Their soundcheck included some Motley Crue, but no Ratt if I recall correctly.

Around this point I didn't recognize the sound getting any louder. I don't think I had earplugs in at all for this show- it just wasn't that loud. I think perhaps it should have been cranked to 11, cause I feel like I was not fully getting crushed by a sonic wave.

Fleshgod Apocalypse (20 minutes late) was on next, and they were way better than they were at Empire with Kataklysm. They sounded way closer to the album. Their mix was actually enjoyable (tho the vocals were unintelligible). I am only a little familiar with their songs, and to the untrained ears their songs are a bit...hard to distinguish from each other (not to say they are bad, which is not the case). They came out to a pretty thunderous applause, with their piano, messy tuxedos, and soprano singer on stage. Grandiose, powerful, and in your face- very metal. They played a couple songs ("Minotaur," Elegy") off of their new album, which was cool. The crowd was pretty receptive, and pretty thick by this time. I definitely would see them at a venue with way better sound than Empire.

We eagerly awaited Wintersun (25 minutes late), and as the sweet strings of "When Time Fades Away" came on, our questions about setlist order were mostly answered. I found myself pretty near the front and center, in a suicidal choice. I looked around and decided one "Sons of Winter and Stars" and I'd be done with the pit. Boy was I right. Somehow I neglected to remember the 13 minute run time of that song. I don't recall exactly how long I was in the pit, but it was enough to make me take a breather outside of the pit... for the rest of the set. The audience was pretty lively and animated. Jari and crew were on fire, and looked like they were lovin' it.  I think, that while gathering my energy, I noticed that the vocals an guitars could have been mixed a bit better. They vocals were a little muddy.My favourite of the entire set was "Death and Healing," hands down. I know we've heard most of these songs before.Hell, looking at the set, the only thing new we got was "The Way of the Fire," and we didn't get "Battle Against Time." Regardless, they sounded great again and definitely worth the wait. As TIME went on, I was wondering if they would in fact play all of both albums and the "new" (well played live in Europe before, but not here), as they were supposed to. Still, worth taking some time off of work and getting up and out there with friends! The sweet sweet melodies enveloped and basically it was "OMG THAT WAS AMAZING JARI JARI JARI THEY HAD FANS BLOWING THIER HAIR OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGG."

Seriously, though- if you are a Wintersun fan, this was one of the best shows of the year. However, as a perpetual hater, I still wonder if a live keyboardist/synth player/etc. would be better than the piped in stuff.  

As we were leaving the Soundstage ran out of parking validations, bu they had some alternative. I think the guy still screwed up the ticket. Also, how much does soundstage  charge for a youngling? I swear I didn't get as many as my maths showed me...

Next Show: Midnight Eye? Dethlehem? GNR cover band? Ted Nugent? The Cult

March to Victory
Fallen Martyr
Some idiot w/Starkill


 Fleshgod Apocalypse I
Random Fleshgod Apocalypse shots
 Fleshgod Apocalypse
Wintersun and ppl
Wintersun far
Wintersun!! close


March to Victory (6:47- 7:06)
  • Deadly Venom
  • Souless
  • Funeral Blizzard Beast
  • Crystal Mountain (Death cover)
  • Consumption

Fallen Martyr (7:25- 7:52)
  • ?

Starkill (8:18- 9:48)
  • New Infernal Rebirth
  • Immortal Hunt
  • Fires of Life
  • Below the Darkest Depths
  • Wash Away the Blood with Rain

Arsis (9:06- 9:33)
  • Handbook for the Recently Deceased
  • A Diamond for Disease
  • Seven Whispers Fell Silent
  • Unwelcome
  • Carve My Cross
  • The Face of My Innocence

Fleshgod Apocalypse (9:57- 10:35)

  • ?
  • Minotaur (Wrath of Poseidon)
  • The Violation
  • The Egoism
  • Elegy
  • ?
  • The Forsaking

Wintersun 11-12:35 ish
  • When Time Fades Away
  • Sons of Winter and Stars
  • Land of Snow and Sorrow
  • Beautiful Death
  • Darkness And Frost
  • Time
  • Death and the Healing
  • Winter Madness
  • Beyond the Dark Sun
  • The Way of the Fire
  • Starchild
Want another (possibly better written) opinion?