Summer Slaughter 2017: The Black Dahlia Murder - 10th Anniversary of "Nocturnal"
Dying Fetus, The Faceless, Oceano, Slaughter to Prevail, Origin, Rings Of Saturn, Betraying The Martyrs, Lorna Shore, Wall Of The Fallen, The Panoramic
1902 Blake St.
Denver, CO, 80208
This event is all ages
The Black Dahlia Murder
The problem of dropping a record as career-defining as 2013's Everblack is that the bar is set so high following it up is a galling task. That The Black Dahlia Murder's response to such a challenge comes in the form of the devastating Abysmal serves to once again demonstrate why they are considered one of the most vital bands in contemporary death metal. "Once the record started to come together we knew it was going to be something special," states vocalist Trevor Strnad. "It's more urgent, it has more dynamics, it's a more emotive record, and it has a more raw, angry sound to it. It's still million mile-per-hour death metal, but when you invest so much thought and emotion into what you're creating you end up with a record that does stand out, and we can hold our heads up high and say yeah, this is our best work."
Since 2001, the Michigan quintet have focused their efforts on writing music that embraces all the finest qualities of melodic death metal yet does not shackle them, giving them room to constantly evolve and grow as musicians. With Abysmal the band have once again progressed while retaining the signature sound that has won them their devoted legion of fans, and making it clear that their best is not in their past. "I still love Everblack and everything we achieved when touring it, and in fact going into that record we faced a massive challenge in following up Ritual (2011), which had also been huge for us. Having two records in a row connect with fans in such a way was amazing, but definitely piled on the pressure going into this new one, because we don't want to let them down, and we don't want to let ourselves down. But we learned a lot in making those two records, and we brought that into Abysmal. We know we can take people's heads off playing super fast, but that doesn't always give listeners something to really chew on. We've learned to focus on creating some drama, interesting dynamics, and most importantly really investing time in thinking about how different parts of songs will make you feel." While crushingly violent, Abysmal is certainly a long way from being a two-dimensional blast-fest. Often evoking potent melancholy or icy unease, tragedy and apocalyptic gloom also insinuate into the songs alongside the all-out fury, for make no mistake, while this record boasts a variety of dark and atmospheric moods the band have perhaps never sounded so downright pissed. The likes of "Re-Faced" and "Threat Level Number Three" are purpose built to incite chaos, and some of the fastest material the band has ever unleashed explodes from the likes of opener "Receipt", "Asylum", and the haunting title track. This can largely be credited to drummer Alan Cassidy, who joined the band in 2013. "With both Alan and Max (Lavelle, bass) new to the band there was a lot of speculation ahead of dropping Everblack, and though we knew we had a great record it was nice to prove the naysayers wrong. This time out Alan was really able to stamp his identity on the record, and yeah, there was a point where Brian (Eschbach, guitar) said level with me dude: just how fast can you go? And Alan unleashed this thing and we were like okay, let's go faster than we've ever gone then!" Strnad laughs. "But it's not just that, he's injected so much style into everything. He writes really interesting fills, and he cares about having variety and really speaking with what he's doing, and he was involved with the song writing more than any other drummer has been in a long time." Strnad is just as keen to sing the praises of Lavelle, who also made a more substantial contribution to the record than he did to its predecessor. "We look back on every record and say we need more bass, and Max is a really prevalent part of things live, so we wanted to have that come across more, and he totally nailed it. It's definitely a dirtier bass sound than we've ever had too, which sounds more wild, more live, and adds to the punch." Guitarists Eschbach and Ryan Knight bring a cavalcade of riffs to the table, upping the stakes in technicality, melody, and sheer blunt force trauma, letting intoxicating flavors of black metal and NWOBHM creep into the vicious assault, and Knight's soloing is at a point where Strnad believes his name should rightfully be thrown in amongst the genre's most prominent shredders. "With every album we allow a bit more time for him to solo and just totally own it, and when he nails it he's really at that Megadeth Rust In Peace level. I do think he deserves to be spoken about in the circles of great metal guitar players. Marty Friedman should buy Ryan a beer, I think, and I genuinely don't see that as something really out of the ballpark."
Of course, Strnad's own contributions are a vital aspect of every TBDM album, and he once again delivers, both in regards to his lyrics and caustic vocals. While his lyrical inspiration remains primarily rooted in horror and the macabre, on Abysmal the theme of hell is prominent, whether it be a literal hell, figurative, or personal one. "Stygiophobic", for instance, which is a slower, crunchy, doom-inflected dirge, sees him focusing on those who are irrationally afraid of hell. "These people spend their every waking moment thinking of going to hell, and every time they go to sleep they see all their friends burning in hell, and this obsession has become a debilitating psychological condition, which is awful, and interesting." Alongside this, on the scathing "Threat Level Number Three" Strnad goes inside the mind of a "recidivist rapist molester, who has been chemically castrated, focusing on his internal dialogue as he's trying to reenter society." He explores more fantastic subjects, such as the cruelty and violence of Vlad The Impaler - the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula - in the more melancholic "Vlad, Son Of The Dragon", and he also reflects on issues that have affected him more personally, allowing himself some form of catharsis, most notably on "Receipt" and the title track. However, while despair, isolation, and thoughts of suicide haunt these songs, on burly closer "That Cannot Die Which Eternally Is Dead" he pushes the band's perseverance in the faces of those who might consider counting them out. "What I'm saying in that song is that we can't be stopped by normal means. No matter what kind of challenge or roadblock we face we'll just keep coming, and I think by now our fans know that."
In tracking the record, the band re-enlisted producer Mark Lewis (Cannibal Corpse, Whitechapel) and former bass player Ryan Williams, who also helped engineer Everblack, their intent to get away from the overt sonic sterility affecting far too many contemporary metal albums. This is a prominent factor in why the record sounds as angry as it does, the band focusing on capturing a raw, live sound that doesn't always strive for absolute perfection. "We wanted a sound that would show we're actually human beings, and not just computers playing death metal. We were not going to resample the drums, sound-replace or quantize anything. We didn't want to have the exact same drum sound as every single freaking band seems to have right now, and that's why essentially going backwards was going forwards for us. The guys have the chops to do it, so it's not like we need to lean on Pro-Tools to make an album, and I think it's the most energetic thing we've done since the very first record, Unhallowed (2003), which had a similar live feel." As always, artwork was of great importance in expressing the band's vision, and this time they turned to Russian artist Daemorph, who is known for his work in the brutal death metal community. "Again, I was a little unsure quite how we would follow up Everblack, because the artwork Nicholas Keller did was incredible. But we told Daemorph we wanted something that really looked like hell, and he went above and beyond. The first time I saw it I was like yep, that's hell, and I know I definitely don't want to go there!"
At this stage in the game, with typically modest aspirations, Strnad is more interested in maintaining their longevity than shifting records, and if the band never gets any bigger than they are right now he will "die happy a hundred times over". However, this does not mean there is anything even vaguely resembling an end in sight. "We're still young at heart and I feel like the evolution of the band still has a long way to go. I don't see a ceiling on what we can do, and there will be no end. It's just going to be a constant ongoing fight to make better music and be a better band, and it's always going to be time to kick ass."
Self-reliance and musical integrity are the two principles to which DYING FETUS have always lived by. Formed in 1991, during the height of the death metal explosion, DYING FETUS have matured into one of the premiere extreme death metal/grindcore acts to emerge from the massive global metal underground. The band is recognized worldwide as a prime example of songwriting perfection, combining an innovative mix of technical virtuosity and catchy song structures to create the ultimate blend of death metal, hardcore and grind.
In 1995, DYING FETUS self-released, promoted and distributed their first album, 'Infatuation With Malevolence.' In support of the album, the band toured the Eastern U.S., including a high-profile performance at the CMJ Music Convention at New York's Lincoln Center. DYING FETUS also represented death metal as a genre on a panel at the convention.
In 1996, DYING FETUS' second album, 'Purification Through Violence' was released simultaneously in America on Pulverized Records and in Europe on Diehard Music Worldwide. The band immediately embarked on their first full North American tour, hitting 25 cities with Canada's KATAKLYSM and Florida's MONSTROSITY. The response to the band's unreal live show was astounding and the DYING FETUS name began to take residence in the minds of metal heads everywhere.
1998 saw the release of DYING FETUS' third album, 'Killing on Adrenaline' on both Germany's Morbid Records and in the U.S. through the band's own label, Blunt Force Records. DYING FETUS embarked on unprecedented 52-date North American/European tour, hitting 12 countries in the process- from Denmark to Spain and Belgium to Poland. The band performed at dozens of festivals, including co-headlining shows on the Morbid Metalfest, as well as the Superbowl of Hardcore. During this time, DYING FETUS continued to make a name for themselves, appearing in national and international magazines, placing tracks on dozens of compilation CDs, and consistently doing radio and internet promotional activities. All on their own accord.
In 1999, DYING FETUS reissued the out of print 'Infatuation with Malevolence' CD (their 93-94 demo collection) with extra tracks via their own label, Blunt Force Records. The new version contained three live songs recorded on the 1998 European tour, as well as one demo track not included on the previous edition of the disc.
Looking to expand their scope even further, DYING FETUS signed to Relapse Records in early 2000 and immediately hit the road for a U.S. tour with DESTRUCTION and KATAKLYSM. The band re-issued their 'Grotesque Impalement' EP, a collection of old material and covers before completing work on their first Relapse album 'Destroy The Opposition'. A musical mugging aimed at corporate "rock," 'Destroy The Opposition' was a brutal response to the everyday stress and pressures of reality in today's age, providing a natural outlet for the alienation and frustration that such a pathetically consumer-oriented and greed-dominated society creates. The record was an immediate success and the band hit the road, touring internationally in support of the album for the next 16 months. In 2012, the album went on to receive Decibel Magazine's prestigious Hall of Fame honor.
After almost three years DYING FETUS returned with 'Stop At Nothing' in 2003. Symbolically representative of the greater alliance of anti-mainstream death metal/grindcore/hardcore-punk scenes, DYING FETUS stand in direct opposition to what is considered "normal" in the overwhelmingly conformist American musical arena. The band quickly hit the road in support of Stop At Nothing completing numerous North American and European headlining tours as well as delivering stand-out performances at international metal festivals.
Since then, Dying Fetus has been on a path toward supremacy, destroying everything in their path while attracting more loyal followers with every step. 2007 saw the release of War of Attrition, which found the band touring with CANNIBAL CORPSE and label-mates NECROPHAGIST. This release was followed by Descend Into Depravity, the 2009 masterpiece which led to numerous headlining tours in North America and abroad, including the band's first ever appearances in China and Southeast Asia.
On June 19th 2012, the band took their biggest leap yet, with their earth-shattering album Reign Supreme. Long-term fans rejoiced at the band's consistency and critics lauded the band's unparalleled musicianship, with Heavymetal.about.com raving that "Dying Fetus are at the top of their game with this record, which is sure to thrill old fans and gain them even more new ones." Dying Fetus will be touring behind Reign Supreme nonstop. Having already completed a full U.S. tour with Six Feet Under and being a featured act on the 2nd Annual Metalliance Tour, as well as a headlining European tour in the fall with JOB FOR A COWBOY and REVOCATION. Almost twenty years into their career, Dying Fetus shows no signs of slowing down or softening up. With Reign Supreme, arguably their heaviest release yet, it is clear why the band has been hailed as "one of the most dominating forces in death metal," and why they were booked to play the UK's infamous Download Festival almost purely on a fan campaign via Facebook and Twitter. Anything less than total supremacy is simply not an option for this band.
The Faceless are a technical metal band from the Los Angeles area who have formed to astonish their live audiences with dizzying guitar work, lightning fast drumming and unmatched brutality. Formed by guitarist Michael Keene and bassist Brandon Giffin, the band quickly found the perfect mix of dedicated musicians to complete the line up.
Drummer Brett Batdorf having played a brief stint with Himsa and long time drummer of the acclaimed Los Angeles death metal band Tchildres complimented the group perfectly and was added to the line up soon after. The combination of blistering guitar work, complex and fast-paced rhythms, offset by haunting keyboards and brutal vocals from singer Jeff Ventimiglia set The Faceless in a class with the metal legends who have come before to change metal forever. The Faceless have developed a large following from their dead accurate live performance and the online success of 3 songs recorded and produced by guitarist Michael Keene. The band has already become a buzz in the metal scene drawing up to 300 kids at local shows. The Faceless is quickly rising to the top in a sea of mediocrity to claim their place in metal virtuosity.
In the past year The Faceless have been lucky enough to share the stage with such talented acts as: Cephalic Carnage, Vital Remains, Impaled, Through the Eyes of the Dead, Animosity, Ed Gein, The Number 12 Looks Like You, Into The Moat, Reflux, On Broken Wings, From A Second Story Window, Ion Dissonance, Crematorium, Phobia, Light This City, Neuraxis, Job For A Cowboy, Intronaut, Anal blast, All Shall Perish, Winter Solstice, Radiation 4, The Red Death, Embrace The End, Psyopus, Deadsoil, Glass Casket, and many others.
Conceived in 2006, this talented young band comprises of former members of several Chicago metal outfits, and together are rapidly becoming one of the standouts of the Chicago extreme metal scene. Describing themselves as one of the angriest bands on Earth, OCEANO channel this through their music, creating in the process some of the heaviest, most guttural and all-out brutal music to be found anywhere. Having already completed numerous successful tours playing with the likes of Hatebreed and Suffocation, OCEANO are constantly growing in popularity and with a record deal under their belts, are now ready to spread their path of destruction far and wide, and will be soon levelling a town near you."
Slaughter to Prevail
Deathcore band featuring members from Russia and the United Kingdom.
For 20 years, Origin has engaged a full-blown sensory assault of tight, taut, and technical death metal amplified by flashes of grindcore and groove. However, 2017’s Unparalleled Universe [Nuclear Blast] sees the quartet—Paul Ryan [guitar, vocals], John Longstreth [drums], Mike Flores [bass, vocals], and Jason Keyser [vocals]—strengthens that blueprint with a handful of surprises…
“It feels like an Origin album, but it’s unparalleled to what you might expect if you haven’t heard us for 10 or 15 years,” says Ryan. “To me, it’s a true reflection of ourselves. I compare it to an action movie. Our earlier material is filled with action from beginning to end. Now, the idea is to add a little more depth and dynamics. You could say there are some twists in the plot musically.”
The band began compiling ideas for what would become Unparalleled Universe while touring in support of their 2014 sixth offering, Omnipresent. Along the way, the record snatched their highest position on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart, bowing in the Top 10. Meanwhile, it garnered acclaim from No Clean Singing and Metalsucks, building on a string of accolades that includes Ryan landing on Decibel’s “Top 20 Death Metal Guitarists of All-Time” list during 2008’s Antithesis, as well as that album’s finite amassing 1.6 million YouTube views, and successful tours with everyone from Hate Eternal and Cryptopsy to Decapitated and Candiria over the years. They’ve also shined on the Summer Slaughter Tour in 2009 & 2014. On the road with Belphegor last year, the members debuted a skeleton of the first single “Accident and Error” in front of packed crowds.
“We would ask the audience to give us title ideas, but we could never discern what they were actually saying” laughs Ryan. “Riffs typically start on tour, and I keep them in my back pocket. That’s the way it is.”
During January 2017, Ryan headed to Chapman Studios in Kansas City, KS to record alongside longtime collaborator and engineer Rob Rebeck [Tech N9ne]. In under a month, they emerged with the ten songs comprising Unparalleled Universe and an expanded sonic palette. “Invariance Under Transformation” tempers a trudging, doom-y groove with a dark hiss and brutal stomp and the dynamic “Cascading Failures and Diminishing Returns” bludgeons and burns, while “Accident And Error” barrels ahead on a double bass air raid with smart bomb precise sweeping arpeggios.
“There are different parts,” he goes on. “The slower moments feature a couple of classic circle pit speed metal riffs like on ‘Accident and Error.’ Then, ‘Invariance Under Transformation’ is the slowest tempo we’ve ever done. It’s new territory. As musicians, we all appreciate various things, and we’re trying to bring out unpredictable moods. We wanted to stir the pot a little.”
The opener “Infinitesimal To The Infinite” gallops forward on a steamrolling rush of riffage as Keyser’s screams take hold. “It retains the original Origin feel,” adds Ryan. “We try to come out of the gate like that.”
Rounding out Unparalleled Universe, the group heads south of the border via a murderous and malevolent cover of Brujeria’s “Revolución.”
“One of Brujeria’s albums always gets played on just about every tour we’re on,” he goes on. “The song meant something at the time right now—especially with everything going on politically. We put a lot of effort in to get the pronunciation right. It came out well for a bunch of gringos!”
Ultimately, Unparalleled Universe begins another era for Origin. “In the end, we’re still writing death metal songs, but we’re adding new dimensions,” he leaves off. “We’re still Origin.”
Rings Of Saturn
Rings of Saturn is an American deathcore band from the Bay Area, California. The band was formed in 2009 and was originally just a studio project, however, after gaining a wide popularity and signing to Unique Leader Records, the band formed a full line-up and became a full-time touring band. Rings of Saturn's music features a highly technical style, heavily influenced by themes of alien life and outer space. They have released three full-length albums, with their latest, Lugal Ki En, released in 2014 and peaking at 126 on the American Billboard 200 chart.
Betraying The Martyrs
Band from Paris, France
A four piece metal band reigning from the beautiful state of New Jersey.
Wall Of The Fallen
Wall of the Fallen was formed by Tyler Kosec and Emilio Lujan in Rifle, Colorado in 2008. After a few different members they ultimately ended up with the current line up featuring Matt Renner (vox/rhythm guitar), Berto Alatriste (bass), Tyler Kosec (drums), and Emilio Lujan (lead guitar). Their dream is to become a well known metal band around the world and bring pride to their small hometown of Rifle.
The Panoramic are a hardcore/emo band from Fort Collins, CO.
$32.00 - $35.00
Summit Music Hall
Sat, August 19
Tue, August 22
Wed, August 23
Fri, August 25
Tue, August 29