Suffocation - Cattle Decapitation -
Krisiun - Visceral Disgorge - Wolf King
Well, it's finally here. After 30 years of touring, Frank Mullen,
vocalist for the mighty Suffocation, is calling it quits. Having seen
the band 3 times during my nearly 25 years of concert going, there was
no way I was going to miss this final farewell.
Nov 4th 2018
Oakland Metro Operahouse, San Francisco, CA, USA
I arrived at the Oakland Metro Operahouse as the local opening act
performed, Wolf King. Their music was a little less death metal and
more hardcore, but still they did a decent enough job. The vocalist was
particularly energetic, with some severe headbanding.
Next was Visceral Disgorge, who was replacing Soreption on the bill
(who couldn't get a work visa in time to join the tour). Hadn't heard
of them before they joined the tour, and had taken a quick listen to
their album online before the show, which seemed a little generic to
me. But live they actually worked quite well. Brutal Death metal with
lots of slams, blasting and fast double bass, think Dying Fetus mixed
with a slower Disavowed, and a little bit of Devourment. Think I'll
pick up their CD after a strong performance.
Krisiun was next, I had seen them 20 years earlier, and little has
changed with the band. While the drumming has a little more variety to
it than that show long ago, for the most part it was an unending
barrage of double bass and blasts. The band is certainly intense, the
whole set was just an exploding ball of energy, playing through mostly
newer tunes (sadly, no material off my favorite album of theirs
"Conquerors Of Armageddon"). But their newest album is a strong one, so
it was still plenty enjoyable. Their set was surprisingly short, maybe
they were trying to rush a bit since it looked like the show was going
to go late.
Cattle Decapitation was next, and while I do like the band, I felt
their music didn't go over as well live. Just too many time changes and
spastic starts and stops. While there was moshing, they just didn't
have the same reaction as some of the other bands due to the complexity
of the music. The vocalist certainly gave it his all, from fierce
screams to those crazy "pirate vocals" he's known for. But overall they
may be a better listening to on a CD band than live.
Suffocation hit the stage, and it was all about Frank. And why not,
it's his last set of shows, the man is a legend, inspiring so many
death metal vocalists over the years. The set was all his favorite
songs, and all the classics were played, 'Breeding The Spawn', 'Jesus
Wept', 'Effigy Of The Forgotten', 'Pierced from Within', 'Thrones of
Blood', 'Liege Of Inveracity', 'Funeral Inception', and many more.
Between songs was plenty of Frank banter about his desire to retire and
start getting his seniors discount at Denny's. I have to say his voice
was in fine form, the man went up there and belted through over an hour
of intense music, he is going out on top, no light hearted final
performance, it was like he's taking every last bit of his death metal
energy and using it up on this tour. Maybe after the last show he will
just go mute. And of course, the rest of the band, who will continue on
after Frank is gone, was their usual stupendous selves. Terrance still
has it, and every time the band cut off a note, it was perfect silence.
Every note was perfectly hit with razor sharp precision, their sound
was just as clear and powerful as any performance on their CDs. The new
drummer is decent, although I found his double bass to bit a bit weak
sounding (but his cymbal work and blasts were near perfection). He's
still pretty young, will be interesting to hear how he develops. I'm
pretty sure all of the songs were played at 1.5x normal speed, and the
breakdowns were played at half speed, so a huge contrast to be enjoyed.
I am sad to see Frank go, but the whole band really showed the audience
why they are one of the most classic and hard working death metal
bands, and I really can't think of a better send off than this show.
Only 2 weeks of shows left, if they're coming to your area this is not
to be missed.
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