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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ghoul -- Merriam, KS -- October 15th, 2011

That old-school death/thrash style seriously makes for some of the best live music. You know, that Razorback sound. Along with Exhumed, Ghoul does that style fantastically and tonight was no exception. On a rare headlining date from the upcoming GWAR tour, the foursome from Creepsylvania brough all of its metal to Kansas. Literally! They brought out Killbot, a giant metal dude with a spiked fist and a pincer (or a clamp for Futurama fans) and would bonk Ghoul on the head and even "attacked" the audience. They also brought out Baron Samedi during "The Mark of Voodoo" who bit off the head of a chicken, but since the venue didn't have any plastic or anything down, no blood. And last but not least, Destructor made an appearance and also beat around Ghoul and the audience. But other than the silly costumes and stuff, Ghoul can actually rip. No filler, all killer. The sound was spot-on and the band were really on their A-Game, interacting with the crowd while they shred. If Impaled is kaput, I'm totally fine with Ghoul still being around. 10/10

Troglodyte opened and were vicious as ever. They played a few songs I hadn't heard in a while, so that was awesome! 9/10

Opening was a band called Hellevate and they surprised me. They were awesome. A thrash band but the vocalist could hit King Diamond highs. And they did when they covered "Welcome Home"! Sweet! 9/10


1. The Lunatic Hour
2. Off With Their Heads
3. Transmission Zero
4. Splatterthrash
5. Rise, Killbot, Rise!
6. Brain Jerk
7. Destructor
8. Maniaxe
9. Mark of Voodoo
10. Blood Feast
11. Gutbucket Blues
12. As Your Casket Closes

Troglodyte included:

Don't Go In The Woods...
Skunk Ape Rape
Piece Of You
Mummified Yeti Hand
Fight For Your Life
Caught (On Super 8) (seriously one of the best songs ever)
They Walk Among Us
The Only Good Hippie...Is A Dead Hippie

Hellevate included:

Welcome Home (King Diamond cover)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Melt-Banana -- Kansas City, MO -- October 9th, 2011

Such a fun show! Melt-Banana is a legendary band and one of the pioneers for current noise rock/punk/grindcore. Seriously, if you are serious about any of those genre's, you need to know Melt-Banana.

This was the most sound I've ever heard a four-piece band make. I was most impressed by the guitarist, Ichirou. He had a ton of pedals, and each one just produced more and more noises from his amps. At points he would glitch his guitar to make it sound like it was on the verge of exploding. Totally awesome. Another great thing he did was slowly building up his guitar riffs to their climax and right as soon as he hit that note, his rig overloaded and just blasted feedback for a split second before launching back into the song. Absolutely amazing. Yasuko is also a very unique vocalist but works extremely well with Melt-Banana's crazy song structure! The bass player was also super tiny but one of the fastest bass players I've seen! I know they don't have a permanent drummer, but it amazes me that there must be multiple people who can drum Melt-Banana tracks. That takes some skills. But yeah, crazy show. Tons of moshing and everyone was having a great time. We got an encore too, which I don't think was planned because they were turning on the lights. So much fun!

Melt-Banana (extremely partial/out-of-order)

A Dreamer Who Is Too Weak To Face Up To
Spider Snipe
Screw, Loose
Cat Brain Land
Plasma Gate Quest
Monkey Man (Toots and the Maytalls)
Lost Parts Stinging Me So Cold
Shield for Your Eyes, A Beast in the Well on Your Hand
Lost Parts Stinging Me So Cold
8 Short Songs (literally, 8 songs one after the other including introductions, with each song less than a minute)
Blank Page Of The Blind (end set)
What A Wonderful World (B.B. King cover)

Melt-Banana: 9.5/10

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Skeletonwitch -- Lawrence, KS -- October 8th, 2011

Why is Skeletonwitch one of the best live bands ever? Is it because they have unmatched stage presence? Is it because Chance is otherworldy when he's doing his vocals? Is it the spot-on solo performances? Is it their perfect sound mix? It's every one of these, and stuff that I just can't put my thumb on.

This was my sixth time seeing Skeletonwitch, third time seeing them headline. It was the longest set I've ever seen them play, and it seemed evenly divided by their three albums. While the Beyond The Permafrost tracks were insane (including one of my personal favorite songs of all time, Within My Blood, ending the set with hellish ferocity), the songs from their new album sounded amazing. The new record is definitely a lot more melodic, but still vicious as ever. And I think my new favorite live Skeletonwitch song is Crushed Beyond Dust. The entire band was firing on all cylinders tonight. The sound was impeccable, and each member gave 110%. Absolutely the best time I've seen them, absolutely one of the best sets I've seen this year or ever. 10/10

Before the main act, Wrath and Ruin played. This show also served as their record release show. They play a brand of atmospheric/industrial/doom metal that is completely suffocating and brutal. One of the songs they played (I'll have to listen to their album, which they gave away!) was one of the most violent live songs I've heard. Not in a douchey, "let's see some blood, bro!" way, but in a serial-killing stranger-murdering way. And their drummer is still really, really good! 8.5/10

Opening the show was The Cast Pattern. It's been a while since I've seen them, but it looks like they got a new vocalist and were pretty decent! I'm not a huge fan of the type of metalcore/deathcore that they play, but they do it extremely well. No sustained/annoying breakdowns at all. 7/10

Picked up Wrath and Ruin's new album, "Mouth of Oblivion". If this combination of bands entices you: Khanate, Godflesh, Xasthur, Jesu, then I highly recommend you check them out. I also got the new Skeletonwitch album, "Infernal Damnation", on green splatter vinyl. Limited to 500 copies, you bet your sweet ass I'll be posting pics of it. Came with a free poster and digital download too!


The Horrifying Force (The Desire To Kill)
Reduced to the Failure of Prayer
Upon Wings Of Black
Submit to the Suffering
Crushed Beyond Dust
Beyond the Permafrost
Sacrifice for the Slaughtergod
Strangled by Unseen Hands
Infernal Damnation
Longing for Domination
Fire from the Sky
Vengeance Will be Mine
Choke Upon Betrayal
Within My Blood

Wrath and Ruin (partial/out of order):

The Bug
The Edgeless Beyond

The Cast Pattern (partial/out of order):

Set Like, Three Things On Fire
My Grandpa's A Faggot

Opeth -- Kansas City, MO -- October 6th, 2011

I couldn't ask for a better performance for my first Opeth show. Going into it, I had probably heard more of Katatonia than Opeth, but I was completely floored by them. Exceptionally heavy and just overall great performances from everyone.

As soon as Opeth started The Devil's Orchard, the crowd went nuts. They actually were singing along to most every song and headbanging, moshing, crowd surfing throughout the whole show. Yeah, there was one douchebag screaming for Blackwater Park in the back of the venue, but everyone else seemed really appreciative of Opeth doing something different. The only remotely negative thing I could say is that while I definitely enjoyed their acoustic songs, it really kinda threw off the tempo of the show. Luckily, Mikael is a great frontman and engaged the crowd and even led us through a rendition of the chorus to Harvest that it all was definitely worth it in the end. Highlights were the chillingly amazing "Face of Melinda", the Rainbow-ripoff (Mikael's words) "Slither" and "Hex Omega". Definitely never missing a local Opeth show from now on. No harsh vocals = the best kind of Opeth show.

Katatonia opened the show and was warmly received. Great "doom rock" that was really quite heavy at times. "July" was probably the heaviest song from them that evening. I'm definitely going to look into them further now!

Beaumont Club was packed. I dunno if it was sold out, but there were more people there for this show than I've seen at most shows. Definitely made me feel good to see a really happy and respectful crowd, yet still huge metal fans!


The Devil's Orchard
I Feel the Dark
Face of Melinda
Porcelain Heart
Throat of Winter (Acoustic)
Patterns in the Ivy II (Acoustic)
Harvest (just the chorus with crowd singing)
Closure (semi-Acoustic)
Fair Judgement
Hex Omega


1. Ghost Of The Sun?
2. Liberation
3. Soil's Song
4. My Twin
5. The Longest Year
6. Evidence
7. July
8. Dissolving Bonds?
9. Day and then the Shade
10. Forsaker