Monday, June 23, 2014

Septicflesh / Fleshgod Apocalypse / Morta/ Seraph / Gloom @ Empire 6/22/2014

I went to see FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE and some others (Septicflesh) ($20) at Empire. I saw tons of friends- Matt Rice, SCOTT, Steve Miller, Ethan and Greek girl, Ariel y su mujer, Annie, Nathan, Antonio, Dorothy, Kris, Bridget, Eric, Daniel G, Sean, Jason, Danielle T, Metal Chris, Matt C, Renae, Dale, Danny and Slee, Marie and Rolland, and maybe even a couple more!

As I was trying to park I noticed the parking lot strangely full.  As I got in, I saw that there were about 350 people at the high point there. For a Sunday night, this was a ridiculously well attended show! And for a niche death metal like this, too!  I also saw the set times and noticed that only 2 of the original 4 bands were going to be playing, with a ton of locals.

As you can tell, a long night

The tour was supposed to be Septicflesh, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Hour of Penance, Necronomicon. Before the tour, Hour of Penance had visa issues and Black Crown Initiate was supposed to replace them. They were nowhere to be found on this date. So that takes us down to 3. Necronomicon's bus apparently broke down, according the Empire staff. Now we're at 2. Looking at the set times, there was a spot for "Septicflesh soundcheck" which seemed very strange.  So apparently we we told (later) that Septicflesh had their gear lost/confiscated by the TSA and that they would be using equipment lent by other bands (!). So basically Septicflesh was probably in danger of not even playing. Talk about first stop of the tour disasters.

 Check out how many bands were listed

From SepticFlesh's bookface page:
"Us/Canada tour kicks off in few hours in Empire Club - Spriengfield.
Fighting against all odds we managed not to cancel tonight's show.
Unfortunately our equipment ,costumes, stage designs never made it to the US ground on time due to Air Company failure.
Despite this we are here and we are going to do our best."

I think March to Victory were on when I entered, and among dealing with the many people, the information that the lineup was rather different and several more bands were still to play, and checking out the merch, I really didn't get a chance to take them in.  My last count before leaving was 11 bands listed. 10 of them actually played, according to the set times list.  8 of those were local bands. This reminded me of the old Jaxx days where there would be a TON of openers.  Now I didn't hear anyone before the last of March to Victory, but the word was that the couple deathcore openers were not too impressive. I can't agree or disagree, not having heard them.  But I do know that with this many bands, people who got there (perhaps too) early certainly got their money's worth, in regards to number of bands.  I love live music obviously, but 10 bands where a number of them are some random locals on a Sunday night is a bit much.

Merchgod Apocalypse

Merch wise, Fleshgod had a ton of shirts ($20), their latest CD ($15), and something else.  Septicflesh also had a bunch of shirts, same price points I think, but I didn't see a CD.  The other locals had some setup, but I didn't really get a chance to peruse too much.  I think Gloom's EP was not out on CD just yet, but they did have shirts. I know Morta and Seraph had shirts and CDs.

Bill and the Glooms were good

Newcomers from DC Gloom were the first band I fully caught, and they had a short set, but played their entire EP and one song not on it ("1%..."). I thought they were pretty good, and they seemed to have a cult following, with some vocal people in the middle.  They started out kind of muddy, but as their set went on, I think they got a bit tighter.  Their drummer sounded good throughout. Their last one def sounded the best IMO. Their frontman Bill had some pretty good energy, and I'm not sure if its good or bad that they kind of reminded me a little bit of Deafheaven. One member had a Jurassic Park shirt.  I think there is potential here, and def not bad for their (I think) debut.

Seraph from Richmond VA, was next, and they certainly sounded more energetic than Gloom, they had a different type of energy, a more in your face death core (something more like Dying Fetus crossed with Fit for an Autopsy).  So that was pretty attention holding. I really didn't think their songs were anything distinctive, but they all sounded heavy and energetic, and certainly got the pits going!  They sounded the best out of Gloom, Morta, and Seraph. Their sound was a bit more meditated and even slower, but that seemed to be easier to digest than the doomier Gloom or more frenzied Morta.

Morta had a lot of energy, those whippersnappers

Morta, from somewhere in VA, looked like they were all rather young and certainly had the energy of youngsters. They  had 3 rock moves going on at one point- jumping, headbanging, and guitar swinging (3 different members doing each). Their lead singer kind of annoyed me with his track suit, but the crowd seemed to be into them, and the pits continued.  They were some sort of frantic and thrashier death metal.  I didn't really get into them, but thought they had decent energy. Morta def had supporters, because I saw more than a few people with their shirts on (I'd never heard of them before).  I think many people, including me, thought the drummer was particularly good. 

People were ape over apocalypse

Then there was apparently an hour before Fleshgod Apocalypse, which was partially spent with a soundcheck for Septicflesh.  That was kind of annoying.  I forgot to ask the few friends who were there EARLY if the soundcheck was better than some bands they saw.

Such Metal, Much blast beats

The technical symphonic death metal Fleshgod Apocalypse, all the way from Italy was the main draw for me.  These guys dress up in some sort of corpse paint, tattered tuxedos, and have some opera singer do backing vocals. Typically their wall of sounds crushing and amazing, but this night was a disappointment.  Last time I saw them at Baltimore Sound Stage, they sounded quite great, but the mix was a mess this night.  Everything seemed too loud, their wall of sound was just too thick!  You couldn't hear the piano or the opera singer until the drums and bass stopped, and then they were a treat, but once they started up, everything was a bit of a mess.  I switched my vantage point fromt he left side of the stage to the back near the bar and things were a bit better, but still too muddled. I was very disappointed, but the crowd was certainly digging it, moshing and pumping their fists along. Apparently they may have been able to distinguish the songs?  I think if the sound was turned down a bit or mixed properly, I'd have enjoyed it 5x more.  Looking at their advertized set time, they got to play longer (yuuusss), but that meant Septicflesh may have played less? If anyone has the setlists, would be appreciated to clear up my spotty notes + destroyed ears.

I also thought it was interesting how most of the band had long hair, beards, and it was not possible for me to distinguish the guitar players from each other. The pianist was pretty hard to see on the side of the stage

Apparently most of my Septicflesh pics are blurry. Here's the barebones look

Greek symphonic death metalers SepticFlesh was up next on the first night of their tour. They have a new album "Titan," that they are touring on.  I'd never seen these guys, and only had heard a couple songs, so I was not really sure what to expect except something in the vein of Fleshgod and Dimmu Borgir.  I was pleasantly surprised, because the mix sounded great for them. Perhaps their slower, more deliberate, but no less heavy, songs helped me distinguish sounds and enjoy them more.  Whatever the case, despite not having their gear, costumes, stage set, they really stole the show. I was fully expecting to love FGA and then whatever else was also OK would just be extra.  The crowd was a bit thinner now, but they were no less devoted, tho a bit less vocal. A few times to 'sing along' were kind of met with not that many takers.  There was a wall of death during one of the later songs, however.  It looked a bit brutal from my overwatch position.  They also made me think "hey is this really a headline set if its less than an hour?"  Fleshgod played an hour and they played 50 minutes, so it seemed more of a co-headline this night. They may get a pass because they pulled it together and still rocked the house with all the shit they caught during the day.

I found it silly that I was thinking the frontman Spiros Antoniou for Septicflesh reminded me of Mr Lacuna Coil (Andrea Ferro)

Overall, it was an unexpectedly busy and noneventful night at the same time. It was nice to see old friends, some new friends, and hear some new bands.  I hope they iron out the kinks, because this was a kind of rough night for the touring bands. 

Gloom (7:11-7:32)
  • Intro
  • Entity
  • Irontongue
  • Chromosexual
  • Erotema
  • unrequited
  • 1% Empty
Seraph (7:45- 8:03)
  • ?
  • Whitney Houston Bathtub Extravaganza
  • ? lies
  • ?
Morta (8:18- 8:37)
  • ?
  • ?
  • ?
  • ? chain?
  • ?
  • ? BITCH
Fleshgod Apocalypse (9:37- 10:36)
  • ?
  • Minotaur (The Wrath of Poseidon)
  • The Deceit
  • As Tyrants Fall
  • ?(best friend becomes enemy? prodigy?the Betrayal?)
  • ?(sea sounds intro.. walking and clean piano)
  • Pathfinder
  • ?Orchestral, book
  • The Violation
  • The Forsaking

  • The Vampire from Nazareth
  • Communion
  • Order of Dracul
  • A Great Mass of Death
  • Unbeliever
  • Prototype
  • Lovecraft's Death
  • Persepolis
  • Anubis
  • Five-Pointed Star