Tuesday, October 15, 2013

LIVE REVIEW: Dying Fetus, Exhumed, etc...

Dying Fetus, Exhumed, Waking the Cadaver, Abiotic, and Flesh Hoarder
live @ Red7
10OCT13 in Austin, Texas

On one of those rare Thursday nights in Austin where it's not 110 degrees outside, I find myself weaving through traffic with Brandon Commando behind the wheel, desperately searching for one of the few remaining free parking spaces downtown. With a minimal loss of life and property, we found a spot about three blocks away from the club. Your overreaching municipal bureaucracy can't keep us down, man.

I'd never heard the first band of the evening. Over the years, I've found that it's when I'm unfamiliar with a band and have no expectations is when I'm floored by something new. Well, it happened again when FLESH HOARDER took the stage. The band can't decide if it's from San Antonio, Austin, or Maxwell but who cares? Flesh Hoarder plays ripping, blastastic death metal in the Cannibal Corpse/Suffocation vein. These Tex-Mex vatos totally kill it, musically speaking, but with song titles like "Infactuation with Menstruation", I'm betting that there's a lot to be desired in the lyric department. They have a demo CD that's making the rounds. Grab it and decide for yourself.

One-for-one so far for the evening. Usually, the local opener is an abysmal waste of time but not tonight. I actually got to see something impressive. I wish I could say the same for Florida's ABIOTIC. This band is living proof that chops alone do not a good band make. The Red Hot Chili Peppers are living proof of this hypothesis and Abiotic are a extension of the same logic. Yes, the band can play circles around most of its contemporaries but there's not an interesting song to be found in the setlist. What's more, Abiotic are fully devoid of any originality. The plagiarism is so blatant that not only did I immediately spot riffs lifted from Candiria, the Dillinger Escape Plan, and Cannibal Corpse but I also counted four separate riffs from The Faceless. This is a band that went through its collective record collection, cherry-picked the choice material, and glued it all together into a boring ball of mush. Utter trash. The singer wants you to know that there are products for sale over at the merch booth. The bass player was the best thing about this band. Watch for him to bounce out of Abiotic and join Coheed & Cambria (or someone of the like) shortly.

Here is the single that Abiotic's singer wouldn't stop yapping about.

Next up was WAKING THE CADAVER with a shipment of New Jersey's greatest cultural export: wigger slam metal. At what point did people start saying to themselves, "You know, I want to start a band that sounds exactly like Emmure."? When did that happen? Because it happened at least once, because I'm watching it bore me to tears. Yep, Waking The Cadaver is dead-set on riding that open-E chug all the way to Valhalla. You should listen to this band if you want to watch five people make Hatebreed look like John Coltrane. All of this said, "Life Lesson", Waking The Cadaver's closing song, was quite the epic jam. I think there's a good band in here somewhere, I just can't hear it yet. Plus, Waking The Cadaver was merely bad where Abiotic was genuinely offensive.

Although this was filmed in Philadelphia, it's an accurate depiction of the boredom thrust upon an unsuspecting Red7.

Now, with the cynical big-metal-label cash grabs out of the way, we can get down to the real bands. EXHUMED took the stage and set it ablaze with a proper mixture of gore/grind (a.k.a. sounding like Carcass) and Bay Area thrash and hardcore. It's not just the Carcass influence that makes Exhumed so interesting. I love how they incorporate the brutal West Coast sounds of Capitalist Casualties, Deadbodieseverywhere, No Less, Plutocracy, and the rest being incorporated into the death metal framework. It works. It rules. I also loved the maniac surgeon character who popped up throughout the set and I really enjoyed the Looney Tunes inspired skit of the lead guitarist. Check it out the next time Exhumed comes to your city.

In what should be no surprise to anyone, DYING FETUS stole the show. After all, it is the band's own headlining tour.

They took all the kids to school. They showed all the posers what time it was. They proved why they're one of Relapse's flagship bands. Can you believe that these guys once-upon-a-time released a CD on Wild Rags Records?

Dying Fetus mixes in enough moshcore into its style of technical death metal that its music appeals to nearly all. The crappy opening bands should note that Dying Fetus doesn't have to beg the crowd to start a circle pit or to crowd the front. Dying Fetus doesn't need to say anything. The band lets the music do the talking

Holy crap! Footage from the actual show at Red7!

...and more.

...and more.

...and more.

So, what have we learned? We learned that Mexicans from the 'hood can really nail that Cannibal Corpse-style, gory death metal. We learned that all the talent in the world is no cure from being a trend-hopping douchebag. We learned that reading is fucking dumb. Finally, we learned that Relapse should send its bands out in pairs more often.


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