Sunday, November 27, 2016

Concert Review: Red House November 26, 2016 (Cartilage, Dismembered Carnage, Hemotoxin, and Lord of War )


    On a cold dark night in the city of Walnut Creek, CA, Red House Studios happened to be a haven for extreme metal music enthusiasts. The bill featured four brutal acts that displayed solid talent and allowed for fans to unleash their inner aggression and revel in the sound of extreme distorted chaos.

    The line-up consisted of four bands: Cartilage, Dismembered Carnage, Hemotoxin and Lord of War. I think four bands was the perfect amount to have booked and I have been to shows where there were seven bands which really cut down on each group's set time. Also, you had consistency amongst the bands who played this show, so it was not like you had to wait after two bands to finally get to a band that knew how to write songs and play their instruments.

  Before the Red House even opened its doors, you had a decent amount of people waiting around to get inside. Starting the show off was Cartilage from San Francisco who I think had a supportive following from what I observed as they began their set. The band’s sound was a mix of old school death metal and flesh ripping grindcore. They even wore blood splattered cloths to add to the music’s gory death grind themes. Cartilage was an very impressive act all around, especially with regards to their musicianship. The band’s drummer demonstrated tremendous talent behind the kit and the guitar sound cranked out plenty of corpse cutting riffs. At times I felt like the guitar riffs were capturing that early Carcass sound and the intense blast beat sections hit hard to the point where you felt the sheer force of the drums. Also, the singer had great personality and solid stage presence. Definitely an act to keep an eye on and a really enjoyable live band.


  Second up after Cartilage was Dismembered Carnage, a group of blasphemous brutal sounding musicians from Concord, CA. The band’s sound draws influence from old school death metal and the slower gruesome sounding riffs really stood out during their set. I thought they had a solid guitar and drum sound throughout their set and the vocalist showed great passion when growling into the microphone. They seemed to have a fanatical following of fans in front of the stage who were headbanging along and constantly moshing around. Songs like “Devoured in the Tomb” and “Split Open the Pope” received positive response from the audience. I felt the lyrical content at times fell into that cliché death metal category, which has been done so many times before. I mean, Deicide and Vital Remains have made careers out of talking about dismembering priests and frightening Bible Thumpers. In the end, Dismembered Carnage has something going with their sound, but I would like to see the band maybe push themselves more in certain areas.

  After Dismembered Carnage concluded their unholy old school death metal sounding performance, Hemotoxin started gearing up to begin their set of technical style of death/thrash. I saw Hemotoxin a month prior when they played at the Trecelence release show. Also, I reviewed, “Biological Enslavement,” when the album came out and I do believe that there is a chance it might make its way into my top ten albums of the year. Hemotoxin is band who has really put in the extra effort since the release of the new album. Their hard work is paying off and the recent performances seem to get better each time I see them. The vocal’s perfectly compliment the attitude of the music, while each member shows great enthusiasm when playing their instrument. Also, you remember certain songs like “Regression” and “Forgotten Faces,” because of the thought provoking lyrics and well constructed verse sections. The band demonstrates that technical talent alone does not make a band great, it is about crafting memorable songs that convey powerful energy and can grab people’s attentions. Even with some slight guitar monitor issues the band put together a tight sounding performance which the fans seemed to appreciate and enjoy.

  The final act, Lord of War, from San Diego, CA, was currently on tour and seemed to be busy within the last month after recently finishing up a European tour with Vader and Hate Eternal. I was interested in hearing how they would sound and the band had a very impressive stage set up with smoke machines and an eye catching light setup. Unfortunately, I guess some other people in the crowd were not as interested and a fair amount of them either left, or went outside. This has happened where people only go to see their friends and sometimes bands end up playing to less than half an audience. I do believe it is disrespectful, however, Lord of War's singer sort of let it get to him and kept bringing it up throughout their performance. The rest of the band played on with really good passion and although breakdown riffs are not exactly my favorite style of guitar riff, I respect the two guitar players for at least maintaining a tight sound. Overall, Lord of War was a decent act who unfortunately learned that it is long way to the top if you want to rock and roll.

Lord of War

  Wrapping it up here, I think the entire show was not disappointing for those who showed up to the Red House. There were definitely some talented extreme metal musicians working hard to present vicious and unforgiving sounding songs that would have scared the pants off of a Southern Baptist Minister. Again, I cannot stress enough the fact that these four bands were all you needed to have a great headbanging experience. If there were seven bands billed...damn, Lord of War might have been playing to two people.

1 comment:

  1. Great review.
    I agree with you about number of bands playing.
    Keep it simple.