Suffocation w/ Exhumed, Jungle Rot, Rings of Saturn and Adimiron (4/6/13)
The Note, West Chester, PA
Review by Jude Felton
On a beautiful springtime evening death came to the town of West Chester, Pennsylvania. The third date of Suffocation’s Despise the World tour was coming through, with a cool looking line-up of bands set to hit The Note, which is owned by none other than Bam Margera.
When Italians’ Adimiron hit the stage the venue was far from full, however they proceeded to thunder through their short set. Musically, their blend of thrash and death was pretty good for the most part, with only the vocals being the real weak point. Unfortunately Sam Kinison was all that came to mind, and as such distracted me slightly away from the solid wall of sound that the band delivered.
Following Adirimon were Californian band Rings of Saturn, who hit the stage running. A far more imposing stage presence than the previous band, thanks mainly to Ian Bearer on vocals, they proceed to belt out their vicious brand of technical death metal/death core. Being new to their material I did find that a few of their songs seemed to blend into one another, although this did not take away from a fine set delivered by some talented musicians.
|(Rings of Saturn)|
It was now time for the Wisconsin death machine, Jungle Rot, and they hit the stage running. They may not have been the most mobile band ever to hit the stage, but the delivery of their set was top-notch. Tunes from the latest album, Terror Regime, which included a blistering rendition of the title track and my personal favorite, I am Hatred, were absolutely blistering. To say that Jungle Rot was tighter than hell would be a mild understatement. The only real problem with their set was the fact that whoever was controlling the stage lights decided not to turn them on until well into the set. This unfortunately was a problem that had plagued the previous two bands as well. Still, this did not take away from the fact that Jungle Rot came to West Chester and destroyed it. The back of one of their t-shirts proclaims ‘Savage, Monstrous, Vicious, Heartless’; words that were spot-on in their description.
San Jose lunatics, Exhumed, were next up and the veterans proceeded to dive straight into the new track The Beginning After The End, which is on the flexi-disc that comes with the latest issue of Decibel magazine. There was no denying Exhumed’s enthusiasm on stage, and they were definitely a mobile bunch, however their set didn’t do too much for me. They did throw in a little theatrics, which was cool to see, but it was until they launched into a brand new track, entitled The Ride. If that is a sign of things to come from the next album, it could be well worth checking out.
Closing out the night were Long Island’s finest, the technical death masters Suffocation. This, however, was one of the dates on the current tour that vocalist Frank Mullen would not be attending, which quite honestly was a bummer. His replacement for these dates, including this one, was John Gallagher from Dying Fetus, and it was quite apparent that he was well up for the task.
However, the beginning of the set was plagued with sound issues, which really distracted away from Suffocation’s terrific tunes. Their latest album, Pinnacle of Bedlam, is an absolute beast and it was great to see tunes such as As Grace Descends being belted out. Still, despite Gallagher doing an absolutely solid job on vocals, it was strange for me to see them play without Frank, and a bit disappointing.
Overall, this was a great fun gig though. The crowd picked up during the evening, although I would say that the venue was far from packed, and there was a good mixture of music on display. Despite only being third on the bill, Jungle Rot definitely were the band of the night and judging from this performance I would not want to be the band that follows them. It may not quite have been the pinnacle of bedlam, but there was certainly a terror regime delivered.