Deathcrusher Tour (Carcass -
Obituary - Napalm Death - Voivod - Herod)
What a package! One sure can't complain about a lack of value for money
with this touring package and its reasonable ticket prices!
Consequently, the 1,500 capacity LKA Longhorn was nearly sold out.
Nov 4th 2015
LKA Longhorn, Germany
Due to traffic, I arrived too late to see Herod, but eye witnesses told
me that they played 4 songs and were "OK - well, barely OK. Oh, and
those were 4 looong songs."
Next up were Voivod. Though I'm aware of the band, I never really got
into them. They got Michel Langevin on drums going for them, playing
impressive parts rather effortlessly and providing a good variety of
beats. Gladly, his drums were loud and clear, in contrast to the
guitars, which were buried somewhere in the mix at first. Otherwise,
their material was OK to me, but not much more. However, fans may
forgive me, but their biggest turn-off was their vocalist - he came off
more like a random member of the crowd with a good buzz going, rather
than a front man. They ended their set with their signature song
"Voivod", which finally gave them some sympathetic crowd response.
The mighty Napalm Death were next, which surprised me a bit - I was
assuming they'd be much bigger than Obituary, playing second to last,
but they merely filled an approx. 45 minutes slot. But, boy, did they
deliver! They blasted through each and every song like it was the
encore of a 90 minutes set in front of 5,000 fans! Barney looked
younger than what I remembered him, and was his animated self as ever.
In between songs he mixed his political banter with some mild jokes and
even some sympathetic German, which by far exceeded the standard "Guten
Abend" that seems to be the pinnacle to most bands, and helped win over
the crowd. Mitch is still sitting out tours, and Barney humorously
introduced his dreadlocked replacement as "Munky of Korn". Not only
played he the (allowedly simple) parts flawless, he also did most if
not all of Mitch's high squeals. Danny on drums also did a good job,
but it felt like he briefly jolted a few times at the tempo shifts.
Although Napalm omitted their entire "experimental" phase that started
with Diatribes, they still managed to deliver a varied set that didn't
leave room to breath for one second, with tracks ranging from their
most recent work (e.g. "Smash a Single Digit") to their debut's title
track "Scum". Third time that I've seen Napalm Death live, and although
this was only an opener slot, it was almost their most impressive
performance I've seen, and to me the most surprising band of the
evening! Though the first mosh pits of the evening arose, crowd
reaction was nowhere near adequate to their energetic set.
Obituary started out their roughly 60 minutes set with an instrumental
and atmospheric lighting. The crowd exploded, and one could see folks
headbanging even in the last rows. Not being familiar with their music,
I realized that I was totally wrong when I thought Six Feed Under
played simple, old-school death metal. Obituary plays _really_ simple,
old-school death metal! The riffs are simple enough to bang along to
almost instantly, which is really easy, as guitars and bass play the
same parts. A lot of fun at first, but I found myself checking my watch
increasingly often after 30 minutes. The fact that they only seem to
have two different tempos for their songs (slow and fast) doesn't help,
as does the lack of any notable stage acting. Plus their set didn't
have any surprising elements, so I kept watching the drummer, who also
seemed to be the most stand-out musician. As far as crowd reaction is
concerned, they were easily the winners of the evening. But the
contrast of their overly simple material with the rather complex
material of Napalm Death and Carcass couldn't have been bigger.
Disappointing to me, but I seemed to be a tiny minority.
Finally, Carcass started their set with "Unfit for Human consumption",
quickly followed by the regular opener "Buried Dreams". They had great
light, great sound, and shredded absolutely flawless and scarily tight
through their impressive catalog. Though they only played for well over
an hour, they played (to me) hit after hit, performing some of their
tracks only for a few seconds (e.g. "The Sanguine Article" - one of the
highlights of their set) and still leaving out some of my favorites,
which speaks for their legacy. To my surprise, Bill Steer did his deep
grunts not only during his signature "Exhume to Consume" slot, but also
in a couple of other spots - though by far not all parts, e.g. still
skipping "Corporal Jigsore Quandary". Anyway: Glad to hear more of his
vocals, as the dual-vocal approach of their earlier records still has a
lot of appeal. They cleverly structured their set, e.g. launching into
"Genital Grinder" right before the extensive solo part of "Captive Bolt
Pistol" would have started. Just when I started to wonder whether they
were wimping out of the double leads solo, sure enough they resumed
"Captive Bolt Pistol", ripping through all solos with ease. Jeff
Walker, never exactly shy in the first place, has grown a lot as a
front man, easily controlling the crowd with his tongue in cheek
banter. Their encore started with the 8+ minutes "Mount of Execution"
played in its entirety, which grows a lot live, before ending the show
with "Heartwork". Easily the winners of the evening playing-wise.
During the songs, the crowd reaction was mixed, which I'd attribute to
the frequent tempo changes in their songs. However, the applause after
the songs made it clear that the crowd loved them.
All in all, Voivod were the odd band on the bill, hardly winning any
new fans. Napalm Death almost stole the show, being in terrific shape.
And fans of Obituary and Carcass sure got their money's worth - what
more can one ask for?!
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