Summer’s Laughter Pt. 2: Canadian/West Coast Destruction
In the first installment of “Summer’s Laughter 2k14”, we saw fellow lifelover, Moshoff, in Phillthydelphia viewing Morbid Angel, Dying Fetus, Decrepit Birth, and yeah, yeah, a bunch of good bands. Meanwhile, me and the rest of the lepers of the PNW were getting all pissy because there were no dates announced in Seattle. Sure enough, the organizers of Summer Slaughter posted on their facebook that there would be a “Canadian Slaughter”, which was basically a watered down version of the regular bill, but with dates in the PNW and the Faceless headlining. Intrigued, I checked out the rest of the bands, which included Rings of Saturn, Black Crown Initiate, Fallujah, and BUM-BUM-BUM Archspire?! After seeing this, I immediately bought a ticket and eagerly awaited the 26th.
The local bands who were probably only there because they won some battle of the bands that got them on the bill were Ashes of Existence and Prometheus. Now, I’m not one to rag on bands just because I don’t totally like their genre, but a fair portion of the audience clearly were holding back some laughs and giving the occasional eye roll to both core-rollers. Ashes of Existence were a fairly standard deathcore band, but they had enough sort of melodeath moments to get my head bobbing. I didn’t really hang in the crowd to watch Prometheus, as I was too busy checking out Archspire’s budding merch booth. Here is Ashes of Existence’s bandcamp. Prometheus’ bandcamp (if they have one) was impossible to find because their name is used by every metal band on the planet. If you’re really that curious, Prometheus are a deathcore band from Bremerton, WA; happy hunting.
Black Crown Initiate
Didn’t show up. I halfway expected this because each event page I saw for this show did not have BCI listed in the bill. It makes sense, and I can’t really say I was disappointed as their subtraction got me out of the show earlier and I didn’t really know their music to begin with.
While there has been a ton of talk about Fallujah online, and no doubt, “The Flesh Prevails” is probably going to be on the internet’s top 3 AOTY, I really didn’t know this band that well. I was music-cramming on a burnt copy of “The Harvest Wombs” the week before the show, so I at least knew “Cerebral Hybridization” when it came on. All in all, the band was very tight and energizing live and they piqued my interest. (I now am an official owner of “The Flesh Prevails”).
All kidding aside, Archspire were one of the main draws for me to this show and really helped sell the ticket. I got right up in the front, but had to wait a bit for the first set of numerous technical difficulties (no pun intended) of that night to get figured out. After everything was fixed, they proceeded to the stage and immediately ripped into “Scream Feeding”, which turned every innocent, curious listener into a rabid, meth-starved barbarian. My memory gets a little hazy here, but I’m pretty sure they played “Plague of Am” next, though I could be wrong. What I know for certain is that they soon ripped into “Fathom Infinite Depth”, which has one of my favorite fucking drum sections in a song of any band ever (dat weird cymbal fill tho)! Without a doubt, Spencer Prewett dethroned Dave McGraw as the fastest drummer I’ve ever seen live (and without a snare trigger, to the best of my ears capability). Anyhow, they played “Rapid Elemental Dissolve” (Season of Mist, get on top of reissuing this album please), “Seven Crowns and the Oblivion Chain”, and then closed out with, of course, “Lucid Collective Somnambulation”. For the band’s first U.S. show, Archspire went over incredibly well; the pit was a clearly established, corporeal force, and people flocked to their merch after they played. On a side note, the singer intermittently kept saying weird shit between songs like “My father doesn’t love me” or telling dead baby jokes. I’m stoked to see them again in October (Jack Bauer eat your heart out).
Rings of Saturn
So yeah, you may have found out through some of my comments I am one of the few who don’t vehemently hate this band. In fact, I actually kind of *looks around, whispers* “like them”. If you can’t say any of this band’s material makes for a good, cheesy listen at times, then that stick up your ass probably needs a little loosening. I won’t get super detailed here to spare my TOH brahs, but they opened with “Corpses Thrown Across the Sky”, starting the show off well enough. I will say, in the midst of me bro-ing out and slamming to some breakdown-city, ROS seemed like they really didn’t want to be there that night, which earnestly affected my judgment of their performance. They played tight, but their live sound almost seemed like a sanitized version of their recordings (not a positive for any band). Near the end of their set, Joel Omans broke a string, and the rest of the band seemed to be having equipment malfunctions as well, which led to a complete halt in their set. After all problems were sorted out, they had to end their set short with (no surprise) “Seized and Devoured”, which is one of the most meatheaded, sing-a-long metal songs that exists outside of Bloodbath’s, “Eaten”.
Ah, the Faceless; the tech death/deathcore band that has enough androgynous qualities for both trve death metal fans and chubbies-wearing core kids to enjoy equally. While I’ve had numerous opportunities to see The Faceless live, none were quite right. They’d either be on horrible bills (ex. Cradle of Filth) where they’d assuredly only get a 20 minute set, or crazy unforeseen circumstances came up like when I was supposed to see them and BTBAM last year, but then Dave Chapelle announced a standup set on the same day. Finally, this was the show I had been waiting for: The Faceless headlining with a long ass set that touched on each album of theirs with care.
They opened up balls-out with “Shape Shifters/Coldly Calculated Design”, a song that turned a tired crowd ravenous. After playing a few other scorchers, I had to slip out of the front, but only after mandatorily suffering to see “The Ancient Covenant” up close. I chose the right time to catch a breath as they segued into a perfect cool down of the collected “Autotheism” movements. Kleene’s vocals were really impressive here and I thoroughly enjoyed all of the newer songs that the internet world has seemed to collectively shit upon. “Legion of the Serpent” coerced me back to the front, and they really did it for me when they played “Hymn of Sanity”, which may be my favorite Faceless song of all time. They concluded their set with “Xenochrist”, but not without Michael’s guitar crapping out (strike three for the night) at the end of the song, to where he just tossed the guitar and started giving out high fives.
All in all, I had a blast and this was one of the first bigger shows I went to alone, so I had a really pleasant time just doing whatever the fuck I wanted. Definitely in my top shows I’ve seen this year. With this, crazytaco_12 leaves you with the wise advice bestowed upon me by an ancient group of sages in the northern land of Vancouver:
(Joe Note: BAAAAAAAARF)