One of the biggest death metal shows of the year hit the tiniest possible venue in Kansas City, MO. The Riot Room hosted the “Despise the World” tour with Suffocation, Exhumed, Jungle Rot, Rings of Saturn, Adimiron and Troglodyte. I walked into the venue right as Troglodyte began their song “No Beast So Fierce” and it was the perfect way to begin the night. Was The Riot Room going to be able to handle all of this metal in one night? Well, continue reading to find out.
Hate Eternal jumped on the Fear Factory tour and Kansas City, MO was their first night of the tour. J.J. explained “If I fuck up, don’t hold it against me.” Joking aside, this was their first stop of the tour for them and they absolutely destroyed The Riot Room. The maximum occupancy of 240 was at maximum tonight and Hate Eternal fed them all the only dose of death metal we would hear for the night. A weird combo having Hate Eternal open for Fear Factory, yet this went really well as the crowd moshed and thrashed about.
If you happen to live in the Kansas City metro area, you’ve might have heard of In The Shadow already. They are a straight up metal band with heavy and melodic riffing, screams as well as singing and pummeling bass guitars and drums to make you headbang pretty damn hard. Everytime I see them I just enjoy myself and drink a few PBR’s. It’s my little tradition. They were one of the opening acts for Orgy and they brought true metal to the stage that night. It was fun and each and every time I see these guys they just get better and better. A very tight playing group, In The Shadow seem to be exactly what Kansas City needs at this moment.
So it’s a nice and cool Saturday night in Merriam, KS and I’ve only seen local bands jam here at The Aftershock(No moshing? Seriously?). So to see 90′s mega rockers Orgy headline a show here surprised me. They been on this tour this time around with Davey Suicide and Vampires Everywhere! tearing up smaller bars/venues all over the US. Well I didn’t know what to expect. I wanted to cover the show and see something different from the usual metal show I go to. Also, I wanted to take my lovely wife to see a band she’s loved since Candyass was released. Orgy came with lights, fog and a good sound, they still play tight and get the crowd going just like it was 1998 all over again. Was I out of my element/comfort zone? Yes. Did I manage to enjoy myself and dig the show? You betcha!
No this is not a joke. I’m a father and a husband. I can’t just go to every metal show in town. It’s time to start hitting up the kid friendly shows that start swinging by the Kansas City, MO area. My wife picked up some tickets for the Wednesday night grand opening to Disney On Ice at the Spring Center! I honestly was nervous, this was my first time seeing anything “on ice” and well….I’m a big metal guy. I have no business in these places. Long hair, black shirts (even my button up ones) and facial hair….I was definitely out of my element. But when my family and I got settled down and the show began, we all had a blast!
Headlining for their 20th anniversary tour with a two hour long set, Nile came to the pretty small venue known as The Firebird. They have played bars all the way to Wacken sized festivals, so I’m sure they didn’t mind the small amount of heads that came that night. I mean it was a Sunday night on St. Patties Day, it was an awkward night to have people come see your show. However, the die hard fans showed up and we all had a great time. I mean I drove 4 hours just to go see them play and I had work the next day! What was your excuse for missing the show?
My name is Remi and I am a 43 years old metal fan from QC, Canada. I have been involved in the scene for close to 30 years, I did various labels, I still run PRC MUSIC (www.prcmusic.com – Negativa, Beyond Creation, Stalwart, Gorelust amongst a few others) and I started a record store called PROFUSION in 2003 which I sold in late 2011… I live for this music. It is in my veins. I will try to give you an idea of the day to day life on the first BARGE TO HELL as a metal fan, not a journalist, which I am not and have no pretention to be. I actually have no idea how to really do this… I sell music and distribute music, that is what I do best, so please bear with me if my article is not up to par with anything you will read in TERRORIZER or DECIBEL!
Can’t actually say how and why but we finally managed to survive this trip and made it back home safe… Why “Survive” you may ask? There were no tsunamis or plane crashes or titanic-like catastrophes… But how can you think going to such an event with some of the best bands on earth, surrounded by friends, bars and drunken metal heads, and not get into the mood and shit faced? This is actually the best fucking festival I had the chance to experience, and for numerous reasons, and I am already getting anxious for BARGE TO HELL 2… I will be there, and you should too. Hell, we should go together.
Yes, the grind gods from San Diegore came back to the Midwest and killed a couple of crowds on their way to the East Coast to begin their real tour with Six Feet Under. Lucky for us, Cattle Decapitation stopped by Kansas City on one of these nights and chose to be direct support for Gwar at The Beaumont Club. One of my favorite bands playing at one of my favorite venues, a deadly combination. Their set was shorter than ever since they were added on the bill late. However, this did not stop them from absolutely blowing our heads off within only 30 minutes. They came, they conquered and they killed it.
Topeka Expocentre – October 4th, 2012……a show that has been in the making since the late 90′s. Two major acts that blew up 15+ years ago come together on a tour to scare the bejesus out of you and rock your world. Both rockers have been in the game a very long time and it’s good to report that after 2 decades (nearly 3) of heavy touring, sex, drugs and rock and roll…..Manson & Zombie can entertain the pants off of you and put on one hell of a great show!!! My wife and I cruised 70 miles on a Thursday night to go see this wonder take place. We both left with smiles on our faces and satisfied with both sets. Each artist performed incredibly well and their theatrics is something you MUST see before they call it quits.
Sun is out, people are pouring in, the parking lot is filled with random cars blaring all different types of music and people are pre-gaming with their own blend of toxicology before having to fork over 9 bucks for a beer. It must be the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival here at Sandstone!!!! Well it’s called Cricket Wireless now but we all know it as Sandstone Amphitheater. Things were about to get heavy here in the Midwest and we were taking the day off of work to enjoy it. The main entrance at Sandstone is always a long distance from the action on stage but there are many a merch booth and tents to grab your attention on the way over to the Jager stage and Sumerian Stage. There were tons of accessory tents filled with pipes, wrist guards, necklaces, shirts and even posters. Once you were past that and into the rear parking lot however, that’s where the fun and music was. This is where the headbanging took place, this is where the metal was for the afternoon.
The Riot Room hosted an event on July 14th, 2012 that featured the first show for Tammuz, a ton of local favorites, a charity fundraiser for Cleft Awareness and a unique closing act that had the entire place standing in awe. It was one of the most unique local shows I’ve ever seen. I got to see some long time favorites and got to meet some new and interesting people. The show had the bands POPULATION NOT & The Studio Patrick Hart, AWAKEN THE GIANT, PLAGUE OF SINAI, BLEEDING THE HEAVENS, DRESSED FOR A FUNERAL, IN THE SHADOW, NIGHT CREATION and the debut for the new death metal act TAMMUZ.
I arrived late unfortunately so I missed a couple of the opening acts. I got there just before Bleeding The Heavens took stage. Their set was pretty good. Their approach to death metal is heavy, groovin and definitely brutal. The samples they used weren’t cheesy, the vocals were nice and heavy, both of the fretboard warriors played well and precise and the drums were good as well. The crowd response was pretty damn good. I’ve never heard of these guys before tonight and I’m highly interested in hearing more. They were great!
The Granada Theater….May 18th 2012….Lawrence, KS…..The final night of this ultra heavy tour makes it’s way to the middle of the U.S. I enter right as Battlecross is setting up the stage for their set. Apparently I missed the two opening acts (One of them being Troglodyte, god damn it) and I found out Decrepit Birth wasn’t going to make it. Which I was fine with because that meant I was going to enjoy Aborted and Cattle Decapitation sooner than I thought! Battlecross set up their instruments and suddenly just began playing with no light dimming or weird intro. They broke straight into “Push, Pull, Destroy” and I wanted to headbang so bad (I was working photo) and the crowd loved it. Battlecross again sounded amazing and they ripped through their set. Playing favorites such as “Man of Stone“, “Breaking You” and “Kaleb“. They had a great time playing and they were down to party as well as play some kick ass music. Battlecross‘ modern thrash style blended with a little bit of death metal is so good and they were definitely a pleasure to see again. With energy this massive and looking like they are having a blast, it was a good start to my night.
Next up was Rings of Saturn, a deathcore meets technical death metal kind of band whom I’ve never really listened to before this show. Their roster included 2 lead guitarists rocking 7 strings each with no bass guitar….however even without the monster thunder of a bass guitarist they still impressed the shit out of me. When I say technical death metal I mean TECHNICAL DEATH METAL. It was awesome because after all of the crazy fretwork they bust out a balls to the wall breakdown and it’s more respectable due to the fact these cats can shred like motherfuckers. Rings of Saturn are great and I’m now a fan of their music. I’m glad they were on the bill because they brought something different to the table, of course it was a technical death grind tour but their sound and style is different from the rest of the bands.
After Rings of Saturn raped our faces clean off, Aborted took the stage and played a set I wasn’t ready for. I’ve seen some live performances from them online before but NOTHING compares to seeing them live in person. They flat killed it and their setlist was fucking gnarly. Calling their set “heavy” or “brutal” just isn’t good enough. Their energy while playing this magnificent death/grind is god like. Sound was killer, so clear and so loud. I feel so privileged to have seen Aborted, they put on such a great show. Sven’s vocals were fucking dead on with how they sound on the albums. So god damn good.
Next up was Cattle Decapitation and honestly I’m even more glad Decrepit Birth couldn’t make it because I think Cattle would have had a short set. It took them awhile to get set up with PA systems not working and Derek’s cord to his amp not working correctly. However, once all was set up the band took off with new material from their latest album. Their set was mostly new material and it sounded so damn good live. Travis’ vocals have never sounded better and Josh, David & Derek performed with fierce intensity. David’s drum work is out of this world. His blasts, double bass and stamina is unmatched. Josh’s riffs and crazy leads are always fun to witness live. Derek dominated that beautiful 5 string bass guitar and his sound was clear and ominous. This was the best performance I’ve seen from them, ever. The guys put on one hell of a show and the fact their set was mostly new songs (Only 2 songs were older) made it even more special because I fucking love the new album. I think the only songs they DIDN’T perform from the new album was “Gristle Licker” and “Do Not Resuscitate”. Cattle Decapitation stole the show in my opinion.
However, the bulk of the building was ready for the headliner. The technical death metal gods from right down the road…..ORIGIN. I’m not heavy into this band and I’ve never seen them live so I didn’t know what to expect. Well, to say the least….pure fucking chaos. Their set was the loudest (of course) and both Paul and Mike’s hands were all over the place…while performing vocals. They put the “tech” in technical death metal for sure. I’ve never seen such furious fretwork before. Not only that, John’s drumming was fierce as fuck. Merciless blasting, killing it behind that drum kit. Oh and to top it off, Jason was a maniac on vocals. Doing his duties perfectly…but not only that. He was the director of chaos. He formed 2 walls of death (In a tiny area nonetheless), a few circle pits, requested headbanging, told everyone to move and made people crowd surf. He wanted movement, no doubt about it. He wanted a good time! Jason would even grab peoples hands and pull them onstage. It was fun watching all of the people stage dive. One guy did the most wussy ass dive, just curled and fell lightly and Jason called him out on it: “Really?!” Origin blew the fucking doors off of the building and they did a phenomenal job. I’ve never seen such intensity in a live performance before. Sure I’ve seen headbanging and movement….but Jason and the guys were over the top and impressive. I loved it and so did the entire crowd. Non stop moshing ensued and hardly anyone stood still. So much brutality during the last song “Portal” that a chick was knocked out cold, while the band didn’t stop playing (as if nothing happened), Jason made DAMN sure that the crowd formed a circle around her until help arrived. It wasn’t until AFTER the song was over though that a medic showed up to check on her.
This was the show that I was waiting for. Each band performed very well and the energy was amazing. This show will be hard to top. Occupation Domination 2012 was a complete success. Thank you to all of the bands that played and thank you to all of the guys I spoke to. Every single member in Battlecross is genuinely nice and awesome people. Thank you Josh Elmore for not shooing me away when I stopped you, thank you Derek Engemann for bullshitting with me while setting up your equipment (Monolithic Merchandise ftw!), thank you Sven (Aborted) for the merch and talking with me and hope to see you all again soon. Great show!!! \w/
Photography and Review by Thomas Mergel
At the beautiful Uptown Theater here in Kansas City, MO on May 16th, 2012…..one of the most important artists from the 90′s came to show he still has something to say and can still put on a mean performance. The crowd was well drugged up with the poisons of their choice, mine was a few Crown & Cokes, and anticipation built while the crew finish setting up the stage and doing a quick last minute stage check. The lights dimmed and the crowd went nuts. A track from “Smells Like Children” began playing and it was the introduction the band used to cut straight into a new song from their latest album. The band was on fire and the sound and lighting was a sight to behold!
The performance and sound coming from the stage was quite intense for these aging 90′s rockers. Manson himself sounded great throughout the entire set. His stage presence was his usual “don’t give a fuck” attitude and messed with Twiggy and his bassist Fred Sablan. There was a lot of walking back and forth, leaning into the crowd (Even jumping down to floor level once) and doing erotic poses every once in awhile. Manson’s arsenal of random stage tricks, hats and microphones were fun to watch. Manson used a massive flashlight thing and found the disco ball hanging in the center of the venue and made it light up in there quite a bit. He also used this fog machine hose thing and messed with the people up front with it. Manson’s accessories included a disco helmet, multiple hats and even a pink feather boa which he used during “The Dope Show”. His in between song banter was mainly an excuse to use the word “fuck” as much as he could. One of the coolest accessories though were his two mics he had, one of them being a dagger with a mic attached to it and the other being a brass knuckle microphone. That was just great. Manson even played guitar on the song “Pistol Whipped” and finished the song with him playing some chords with his microphone stand.
The band played flawlessly, Twiggy (Who is now on lead guitar duties) blazed through each song without a problem. Sounding great in the process. Fred’s sexy bass playing made every single panty wet and Jason’s porn rhythms on the drum kit added to the orgy of sound. Their production and being so tight nit made the show a success! I’ve seen Manson twice prior to this and this was the best they’ve sounded by far. The new songs were good but the older songs were great! I’m sure they (Twiggy and Manson for sure) have played these songs hundreds/thousands of times before but they still have an energy about them as if they are playing them for the first time. The only blunder I witnessed was Manson got ahead of himself during the song “Irresponsible Hate Anthem” and began the chorus when it wasn’t time to yet, he immediately caught himself though and it was almost unnoticeable. Other than that the show went flawlessly, and that’s just being nit picky.
The set was a good blend of newer songs off of the album he dropped a couple of weeks ago and his older hits, mainly off of Antichrist Superstar. The crowd was calm while Manson played newer songs like “No Reflection” and “Slo-Mo-Tion” but went crazy during “Disposable Teens”, “Irresponsible Hate Anthem” and “Personal Jesus”. They especially went crazy when Manson’s crew put up the podium and Manson climbed up it and performed the song “Antichrist Superstar.” Of course other favorites were performed but I wish a couple of songs would have been switched out for some better ones. The gets what the crowd wants though, I’m sure “The Dope Show” and “Sweet Dreams” are a staple in his set and no “if’s”, “and’s” or “but’s”….those will get played no matter what. While the first 10 songs were a pretty good mix of songs, I feel it was the last 5 songs that made it end incredibly strong. They chose some great tunes to play to close the show with.
The show was great, even from way in the back where I was. The Uptown Theater was the perfect place for Manson to perform and I hope on the next tour he comes back through. I had a great time and from the looks of all of the people that attended that night, they did as well. It’s safe to say after 20+ years of performing and making music, Marilyn Manson still has that passion and fire in his gut and it shows on stage. Bravo!!! I highly recommend seeing them if they are hitting a town near you.
Hey, Cruel World
The Love Song
The Dope Show
Rock Is Dead
Irresponsible Hate Anthem
Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of These)
The Beautiful People
Lawrence, KS almost caught fire with the presence of Watain & Behemoth in the area. I’m surprised a certain group of zealous douche lords didn’t come and try to ruin everyone’s fun. I arrived later than expected and the show started sooner than expected as well…I stepped into the venue, bought a Behemoth shirt and The Devil’s Blood had just finished up their last song of their set. Next up was the black metal band from Sweden known as WATAIN. I have never seen them before and I have only seen one video of them performing live, so I had some knowledge of what to expect but what happened on stage was better than I had anticipated. I know that this was their first show on the tour since their VISA’s were giving them troubles…so they were good and pissed off to perform for us on this night.
Watain’s stage was dark with a satanic red glow and it stayed this way throughout the entire set. The ambiance of the lighting and the stage decor alone was enough to scare you. Then you have these monsters come out and begin the metal onslaught. Their presence was terrifying, intimidating and overwhelming. Their sound was loud, clear and absolutely massive. They truly tested out the amps at The Granada with the song “Stellarvore”. Watain won me over and I gained a massive amount of respect and appreciation for the band after viewing their majestic performance. Their sound was so good, one of the best sounding shows I’ve ever experienced!
March 16th, Beaumont Club, Kansas City, MO….the crowd has already gone nuts several times for the opening bands and now they await patiently for the main event, the headliner….Whitechapel. Set up takes awhile and the stage opens up big for the 6 monsters from Knoxville, Tennessee, allowing them to perform and move about without bumping into one another. Lights are set up, tones are checked and the lights go out. The fog machine spews obnoxious amounts of steam into the faces of the crowd and dimly a blue light barely illuminates the stage and the 5 gents up front walk towards the end of the stage and Ben Harclerode sits down at his kit. The beginning of Section 8 begins to play and then slams into it hard just like how the song is done on the EP. The Recorruptour has come and now the main event is owning the crowd, forcing them to headbang, scream and mosh like crazy.
The sound was loud, terrifyingly loud and very very clear. Their stage was mostly blackened with very little lighting at first. Then the spooky lights would come on every once in awhile covering the stage and band with red, blue and green colors. There were also a ton of strobe light action happening on the faster parts of songs as well, sometimes the colored lights joining in on the strobe fest. It was a sight to behold, one second you can barely see the band, next thing you are being bombarded with flashing lights and evil sounding music. It was intense and the experience was a damn good one, the best I’ve ever seen from Whitechapel.
Erik, J.J. and Jade set up and the two front men turn their backs to us and check their tuning (I’m guessing), making sure everything is ready for what is about to happen. The main lights dim and the stage is illuminated with a dark blue color. Erik gets the guitar to scream a little and he and J.J. turn around to begin the sudden slaughter. The sheer brutality and immense sound that comes from the band from here on out was absolutely amazing. This was my first time seeing Hate Eternal live and It was far more satisfying that I had hoped for.
The sound was absolutely breathtaking and true to how the albums sound. Jade’s drumming was impeccable and the performance on J.J.’s and Erik’s fretboard was very impressive. J.J.’s work on that bass guitar was mind blowing and he is incredibly over looked when it comes to talented bass guitarists and even vocals. I managed to talk to both Erik and J.J. briefly and it’s awesome how two genuinely nice guys can growl and scream and play such savage music. They play their music with intensity and precision, the band’s sound throughout the entire set was very tight and just massive. Not one note was fucked up (from what I could hear, I was headbanging quite a bit) and these guys play with a fierce fire in their hearts and it truly shows on stage.
Battlecross came to Kansas City and filled in for 2 bands that couldn’t finish the tour, they received a call late one night and packed their shit and left. Fuckin rock n roll! That’s metal as hell and not only did they do their part and come and finish the tour like a bunch of bad asses, they started off with Kansas City, MO. Lucky us because Battlecross came and kicked our fucking chests in. I don’t think any of us were ready for them. I’ve heard a song by them once and that was it so the band popped my cherry live and in person. Their sense of “bring it the fuck on”, metal riffing and most importantly, headbanging and rocking the fuck out, made the set entirely too much fun.
Their sound was impeccable, the lighting wasn’t spectacular or anything remotely special at all but they didn’t need anything more than just their amps and talent because that’s their main focus. They came and just ripped through their entire set so fast, playing song after song and leaving hardly anytime for anyone to catch a breather. Their sound is so good, guitars and bass were audible, drums were clear and vocals could have slightly been turned up but I was also standing right in front of the lead guitars amp, so that may have affected my hearing a bit.
Feb. 29th, 2012 – The Beaumont Club – Gornography just left the stage and we all go about our business and wait for the next band to come out. Luckily, from one good band to the next, Troglodyte is coming up to kick our asses and drag us back to the swamp! Kansas City death metal titans Troglodyte waste no time and they get set up and go. In traditional Trog fashion, they just start ripping their fretboards up and the double bass and blasts from the kit are welcomed by the crowd. We liked what we heard, we liked what we saw. The lights stayed green, just how they prefer. The music was loud and crisp. The screams/growls & grunts were terrifying. Troglodyte was out to get you.
Troglodyte ripped through their set with intensity. They began, raped, then left us all dead in a ditch. I was outside between bands so I missed the main intro but walked in right when they started their first song “Bring Me the Head Of Bigfoot“. Right then, there was no turning back. Just to simply put it, nothing but barbaric attacks and infectious grooves happening on stage. Guitars and bass sounded good, vocals were clear and monstrous and the drums were severe trauma to the body. The only thing that was a little lack luster on stage was the singer, he seemed either tired or uninterested. He wasn’t going insane like I’ve seen before. Kinda just walking back n forth and going through the motions. Usually this motherfucker is jumping around, headbanging and going absolutely ape shit.
Feb 29th, 2012 at The Beaumont Club here in Kansas City, MO. Gornography technically wasn’t the first band to take the stage but they damn sure were the first band to get shit going. Gornography is a technical death metal band who are actually local and personally to me they are easily the top 3 metal acts in the Kansas City, MO area. This was my first time ever seeing the band perform live however, all previous enjoyment of the band has been through audio only.
Gornography kicked off their set with the song “Visions of Gore“, which is one of the first songs I heard from the band. The sound was loud, thick and heavy. From where I was standing, dead center and up front, I could hear the vocals pretty clearly, bass guitar was barely audible and guitars were a little faint. Drums were as clear as day though as Chris Wilson pounded on the kit faster than anyone in the entire Midwest. The lighting wasn’t anything particularly special because it’s an opening technical death grind band, they do not need gimmicks, weird lighting and bullshit like that. Gornography just comes out, fucks your face and leaves. The way I like it.
October 16th, 2011…Chimaira takes the stage in front of a small crowd at The Beaumont Club. The crowd is the smallest I’ve ever seen at any venue, but that doesn’t stop the band nor does it make the energy in the room feel weaker. The crowd was pumped and ready for the band to take the stage. Once they took the stage, they fucking brought it. Sound, lights, presence…all was as it should be. Anytime I’ve seen Chimaira they have always brought it 100%.
The sound was powerful and loud. Everything was clear and precise. The lighting was phenomenal and was really flashy at times. Sometimes the lights would calm the fuck down and just sit idol. During the guitar solo’s, the spotlight would hit Rob Arnold and it was pretty epic. He is so good at what he does.
The setlist was fucking pro. It was 17 songs long! It’s been years since I’ve seen them perform a headlining set and it was well worth the wait. They played tons of new stuff and it sounded great. Of course with all of the new tunes, they had to throw in some classics like Severed and Power Trip.
Each band member was amazing. Matt never fudged a riff, Rob never missed a note, Mark’s voice sounded better than ever. Stage presence was great as well. The members of Chimaira got into it and were all over the stage. Sean Z did well with the back up vocals and hammering down the electronic ambiance that Chimaira has. Emil was very much into the music and held down the bass guitar duties like a pro. Drumming was done very well by Mr. Austin D’Amond. The stage always had energy and intensity happening, even between songs I never calmed down.
Even with the crowd being incredibly small, they were energetic and moshing. Screaming back the words and enjoying themselves. It was cool to see less than 100 people have such a good time and really get into it.
I was impressed and blown away, again. This was my….5th or 6th time seeing Chimaira. They never let me down! They always put on a good show. They have never left me disappointed and I am always satisfied with their performance. Well done. Through all of the line up changes and everything, they still continue to kick ass.
Turns out, Rob and Matt are leaving Chimaira later this year. I’m thankful to have seen these two with Chimaira one last time. Also, I happened to score a pick, an interview and a photo with Rob so that means so much more now than ever.
The Age of Hell
Losing My Mind
Destroy and Dominate
The Disappearing Sun
Year of the Snake
Born in Blood
The Venom Inside
Secrets of the Dead