Kreator, Obituary, Midnight, and Horrendous are currently on the 2017 Decibel Magazine Tour and I went down to the Masquerade to check them out. I missed the early performance by Atlanta’s Withered—I’m going to blame the super early 6 PM doors and the notoriously congested Atlanta traffic, which may or may not have been the reason I was late—but judging by the massive early crowd, I’m guessing that the openers put on a respectable show.
Philadelphia’s Horrendous were up next and I was blown away by their performance. These guys are one of the most exciting death metal bands out there and for good reason. The band has that old school death metal feel with a melodic twist—imagine an up-to-date version of Chuck Schuldiner’s Death with a hint of thrash metal—that is sure to make death metal fans salivate for more. I highly recommend their 2014 release Ecdysis if you haven’t heard it already.
Ohio thrash/black metallers Midnight followed up with a chaotic performance. Midnight are one of a select few bands that do the whole black-masks-on-stage thing (Mgła anyone?) and it suits their punk/thrash inspired brand of black metal. The band epitomizes what a live metal performance should be: climbing stage monitors, smashing instruments, and crowd surfing with the fans. Midnight is definitely a band you need to see live!
I was particularly excited about seeing Obituary given their self-titled album came out a day before the show. Obituary are one of those “boutique” death metal bands: they are one of the founding members of the legendary Florida scene, are exceptionally gifted musicians, and enjoy the kind of prestige that is reserved for only the true canons of the genre. Their set was everything I had hoped for and more; heavy, tight, and full of jaw-dropping awesomeness that can only be experienced by seeing genre-defining bands like Obituary. The band’s new self-titled release (Relapse Records) is a must-listen for any death metal fan out there.
Next up, German thrashers Kreator took the stage and played a moster set comprising 19 songs—I guess that’s what you do when you’ve been around since 1982—complete with some nifty stage lighting. The band sounds incredible live; crisp guitars, machine-gun drums, and the thumping bass all complement Mille Petrozza’s vocals nicely in the mix. They kicked things off with Hordes of Chaos, Phobia, and Satan Is Real, before providing the crowd with a truly hellish rendition of Gods of Violence on a stage covered in smoke and red lights, marking the climax of a fantastic night for me.