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!
Next up was the band Dressed For A Funeral, and they were interesting to watch. There sound was like Mudvayne mixed with Suicide Silence with some sweep picking from the 7 string shredder. The band was alright, the music was good but the musicians weren’t doing much movement, at all. Especially the bass player…he even had his hair tied back. Let your hair down and headbang man!!! The guitarist was barely moving but he was rocking that sweet 7 string Agile guitar, that thing was a beauty. The vocalist looked like he was strung out on something and had an upside down crucifix painted on his forehead and some paint around his eyes. I loved his outfit, sleeve less button up shirt, revolver tie with some shorts and nike shoes. His performance was fun to watch though and his abilities to scream and sing were damn good. The final song was really good when he was rocking back and forth on the ground doing his part, gently singing into the mic. Then slowly rising and screaming into the mic, headbanging furiously. He made up for how tame the rest of the band was. The crowd response was dull and that was even frustrating me, I can imagine how they felt.
After them was In The Shadow, a band I’ve enjoyed for years yet haven’t seen in over 2 years. Well it was safe to say that they haven’t lost their touch. The songs, movement, emotion and ability to rock the stage was in full force and as strong as ever. Jason’s vocals are still powerful and his screams even seemed to improve! His high end registered “Chino Moreno” screams are so fucking good. Not to mention not only can he scream and rock the show, he can sing and hold a note pretty well. Riffing away was Ryan Garnett on his sexy ESP F-series, holding it down and keeping things nice and heavy. His ability to perform on the clean channel was enjoyable as well. Mark Bradstreet performed his bass duties as well as I remembered it from the past, moving back n forth, jumping around and just looking like he is enjoying himself while playing. I would too, In The Shadow plays some damn good music and they all get down and have fun. Oh and these guys covered Deftones “Passenger” and did a damn good job on that, Maynard’s part can’t even be done by Moreno live and Jason hit the notes dead on.
Next up was Kansas City’s answer to black metal: Night Creation. Their set was dark, brooding and evil. They are the perfect black metal outfit for the local scene because what they do is real and they are damn good at it. They blend everything that is right with modern black metal and traditional black metal. Vocalist/keyboardist Drako does a phenomenal job on both the keys and vocal duties. Keeping things truly cult, having a mic stand with a pentagram on it and a candle on each side of the keyboard, this truly adds to the ambiance of their set. Guitar player Alex was truly amazing on the axe and I found myself just staring at him performing. He executes everything flawlessly and he makes it look so easy. Holding down the thunderous bass work was Juan Pablo and his style is simple yet effective. His tone added power to the set and drummer Ivan did an amazing job even giving the circumstances. His equipment kept failing, the triggers kept coming undone and one of his cymbals kept falling from the elbow joint that holds it up. Even with these problems, Ivan still performed incredibly well and brings it all together, making Night Creation a powerful act here in Kansas City.
Headlining the act was Tammuz, and it was their first night performing. Not only was this their first night performing, vocalist Jesse Balmer was going to pierce his back and be suspended. Yeah, fucking nuts. Well there is very little information on these guys online. No page, no site, no music, no nothing. They are literally brand new. They only performed 4 songs but considering the circumstances, it was enough, and frankly…it still kicked ass. Tammuz is a 5 piece death metal band that consists of primal vocalist Jesse Balmer, two amazing guitar players, a bass player and a talented drummer. These guys played some pretty gnarly technical death metal and it was impressive as fuck. I wasn’t prepared for the amount of shred these two gentlemen were going to pull out. Rhythm section was tight as hell and violently heavy. They tore through their first two songs with severe brutality, then once that was over with, Jesse prepared to get torn through. After a heartfelt full speech, he laid down on the stage floor and the piercing team began to work. Right before this was going to happen I was hoping the band would play some music during the surgery. I was right and they played some of the most ominous sounding shit while Balmer got pierced and hung. While suspended, the band played their final song and Jesse was lifted and pushed back and forth, swinging from just the flesh on his back.
The monstrous vocals surged through Jesse as he rocked back and forth, helpless yet still strong and screaming. Every once in awhile you could hear the pain in his voice but it just made it even more real. I don’t know if it was show or actual pain, but one time Jesse dropped the mic and swung motionless for about 5 seconds, just before coming to and someone handing him the mic again so he could continue. It seemed like an eternity but after maybe 5 minutes he was let down and the medics made sure he was ok. The band continued to play some heavy shit and the crowd swarmed Jesse and gave massive applause and approval. The crowd loved it: there were looks of horror, looks of anguish and looks of “fuck yeah! METAL!!!!” but all in all this was one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen from a new band. Even without the stage show, the band was respectable and the music was terrific!