And so it is, the final part of the final day of the Goregrowler’s Ball reviews! Part one of this review can be found here, while all other reviews can be found here.
The death metal power trio Death Sick took the stage after Cemetary Desekrator, and to no surprise, they played brutal death metal. However, they played it quite well, with no hint of metal core that plagues many other brutal death metal bands. Their set was very good, with their last song containing an amazing outro riff that was simple in its execution, but very effective in its delivery. The only complaint was that the tone of the snare drum was rather ringy and out-of-tune for a few songs (think early Devourment), but this problem was fixed by the end of their set. On song featured an incredibly heavy distorted slam bass riff that felt like a hammer smashing you in the face (which is a good thing in the realm of extreme metal). The band varied up their vocal styles, too, as one specialized in low growls while ear-splitting shrieks were the specialty of another. Don’t worry, it was from the guitarist and bassist, they aren’t one of those bands who have two singers who don’t play any instruments (see: -core). Even though they had to cut their set short due to time constraints, Death Sick played well and are easily worth checking out.
Bloodsoaked were next, and although the band usually operated as a one-man band, main member Peter Hasselbreck had joined forces with Metal Mike from Disfigured for a very special one-time performance at Goregrowler’s Ball. You should probably be able to guess this by now, but the band’s specialty was brutal death metal, and even though they didn’t have a bass player (somewhat of a recurring feature throughout the fest, is Goregrowler’s cursed in that regard?) they sounded crushingly heavy. Their front man bore a strong resemblance to Strapping Young Lad’s newly-shaven headed front man Devin Townshend, especially when he would make amusing faces at the crowd. He held a long scream at the end of fan-favorite “Suicide”, which was one of the best songs of the night. One song started with an unusually, well, cheery intro, which was odd to hear, but the song soon segued into the usual heavy riffing one would expect from Bloodsoaked. The band ended with a brand new song that hit this reporter like a steamroller with its punishing display of double-bass and low-end riffs. Metal Mike perfectly filled his role as the stand-in guitarist, and the amount of chemistry between him and Peter was astounding.
After a reasonably short turnover that included lots of Death in the house music (always a plus), California death/thrashers Sacrificial Slaughter took the stage, and yet again, this reporter has to state that they didn’t have a bass player. In any case, the band didn’t let that stop them, delivering speedy riff after speedy riff of unbelievable death/thrash. Their front man’s growl was reminiscent of Glen Benton’s, of Deicide, although it sounded like the first Deicide album as opposed to the later, more brutal grunt that he would popularize. Their backing vocalist/guitar player shrieked out some of the highest screams this reporter has ever heard, all the while delivering nothing but excellent riffs. Musically, Sacrificial Slaughter could be compared to early Sepultura with the aforementioned Glen Benton singing, and if that isn’t enough to pique your curiosity, I don’t know what is. Their drums were played very well without triggers, a fact proudly stated by their frontman. They pretended to finish their set, but came back with a new song, “Compound Fracture”, which sounded great and started a pretty savage pit. Sacrificial Slaughter were one of the best acts of the night, and the enthusiastic crowd response showed that most of the crowd would probably agree with me.
Finally, Texas/New Jersey death/thrash band Nokturnel took the stage to close out the entire festival. The “anti-grunge” extreme metallers delivered a punishing, hate-filled set that took no prisoners and was met with a positive response by the crowd. Frontman Tom Stevens’ growl was spot-on, and one could really feel the anger in his voice and he shouted out songs like “I Remain Faithless”, which sounded superb. New members Bill Reuter (also of Death Sick) on bass and Duane Timlin did an excellent job with the classic Nokturnel material, and even threw out a new song, an instrumental, which contained many guitar theatrics from Stevens. The band closed out its set with a song originally written for Steven’s first band, Savage Death, which was just as punishing as anything in Nokturnel’s catalogue. The band came back for an encore, bringing the fest to a superb conclusion with “Taking Hate to the Grave”, which was the perfect end to a fine set and a fine festival.
And so, once again, Goregrowler’s Ball comes to an end. It was a great fest this year! We’d like to thank Aaron Goregrowler for arranging a great festival for a fourth year in a row!
For more info: For all the reviews from Goregrowler’s Ball, go to this page.