The final day of Goregrowler’s Day may not have been as eventful as the previous day’s, but it was a great night filled with quality metal bands, and even though there was an admittedly enticing Rick Ross show in Austin, this reporter was there to witness the whole thing in its entirety (no leaving early or arriving late this time!). As with yesterday, this is a two-part review since there was quite a lot to cover. Part two can be found here.
If the set times are to be believed, Human Meat Market had to drop off the bill, so Austin’s Perversum opened the festivities in an excellent manner. Their technical death metal was played very well, with lots of finger-tapping licks that were fascinating to watch, especially when the bassist was matching the lead guitarist note for note. Interestingly enough, their drummer was none other than Dennis of Hod, who is always fun to watch as he bashes his kit into oblivion with his speedy drumming. The song “Sacrificial” was the highlight of their set, with its Egyptian style progressions with one riff that even sounded like Rage Against The Machine’s “Bulls On Parade”, although this is likely to be a coincidence. They weren’t playing technically all the time, though, as some of their simpler, mosh-oriented riffs were their best. Although day two of Goregrowler’s was mostly dedicated to acts from other states, Perversum waved the flag of Texas metal high, and represented Austin very well.
Brutal death metal band Solidification were the next band on the bill, and they suffered quite a few sound issues early on in their set. During the first song, this reporter could only hear drums, and even then, mostly the kick pedal, which sounded like a typewriter. Luckily, their sound got better over time, with their combination of Suffocation-influenced fast parts mixing with Devourment-style slams proving to be entertaining, especially wit the crowd. Their vocalist was quite good, and while he usually kept to a low gurgle, he would occasionally switch things up by moving to a high-pitched shriek for a few verses, thus avoiding the monotony of many slam death vocalists. Their bass player was also interesting to watch, as he would shift his plucking hand all the way on to the next, in the way that Geezer Butler used to do.
Promoter Aaron Goregrowler’s own band played next, and Engaged in Mutilating put on a great set, as was the case the last time this reporter witnessed them. There was a bit of comedy present whenever Aaron, mocking the events of the previous night, stormed offstage about for about two seconds before returning to take a few moments to blast (now former) Diabolic singer/bassist Pat Oulette. The band was tight and technical, and had quite a few slower moments, which were perfect for banging one’s head. There was, however, a technical issue with a guitar cord, rendering one guitar on the fritz for most of Engaged in Mutilating’s set, but the band played through the issue and sounded fine afterwards. Notably, Aaron started tossing out free shirts and a CD during their set, which is always appreciated. His vocal style was a perfect compliment to the music, and it wasn’t too low, or too high, but in the perfect range for this type of music. Instrumentally, Engaged in Mutilating were spot on, with many rapid-fire guitar riffs and superb bass playing. The drumming was a highlight, whether it was playing a slow groove or a blast beat-ridden section. Engaged in Mutilating is always a fun band to watch, and if you ever get a chance to check them out, this reporter would highly recommend it.
Michigan’s Cemetary Desekrator were up next, and they were one of the best bands of the entire festival. They were the sole black metal act of the night, and while technical/brutal death metal is a great genre, it was nice having a black metal band to break up some of the monotony. Oddly enough, the band was very old and very young, with two of their members looking like they were still in high school and their vocalist approaching middle-aged. The band played old-school black metal with quite a few elements of thrash, along with a few churning chord progressions that reminded this reporter of Goatwhore. Their vocalist sounded quite a lot like Absu’s Proscriptor McGovern, which is always a good thing, and his guitar playing was superb, capturing the essence of evil quite well. The rhythm section was great, too, with rock-solid bass and ever-changing (in a good way) percussion. This was no melodic black metal, this was raw and ugly, which is exactly the way black metal should be.
For more info: Part two of this review can be found here.