Obituary @ B.B. King Blues Club (10/5/2008)

Obituary is one of the legends of Death Metal and the touring package with Unleashed and Carnifex meant a night of pure, cold Metal. Our coverage is below for those who want to scroll past the logo and learn more. Photos of two of the three performers are also featured, and like the song says, “two out of three ain’t bad”.

Logo - Obituary

Artist: Obituary
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Opener: Unleashed & Carnifex
Date: 10/5/2008
Label: Candlelight Records

I had just dealt with what amounted to nothing less than an insane month of shows in my quest to bring the Metal word to the masses, and as result I was unsure about even hitting this gig until the very last minute. Let’s face it, hitting eleven killer Metal shows in sequence and not only documenting the proceedings of the main band on the bill but also shooting images of almost everyone else who performed and choosing to comment on them also can be exhausting for anyone. Be that as it may, it is not often that two legendary bands in the Death Metal genre are hitting the stages on a tour together so when Obituary hit the road with Swedish legends Unleashed my plans were set in motion. The show would reach our area and visit the ever reliable B.B. King Blues Club and find Carnifex as the first band up. Here is our synopsis of the night.

Carnifex: Starting off the week with a little bit of Deathcore is probably not what many will say is the best for you but that was what was going on first for the show this evening. I am sad to report that we actually ended up missing these guys because of a shift in the set times. This happens every once in awhile and I am not sure if it’s a band or tour manager or even venue decision, but if you know a show has the doors open at 6pm, you should double check when the first act is set to do their thing if you don’t want to miss them. I asked around to a couple of Metal heads about what we had missed and while a couple replied with “nothing”, there were also a couple that said the band was “aggressive”, “heavy” and “intense”. I’ve heard the name a number of times and am sure that I will get to see them in the future so watch these pages for that when it eventually happens. Unleashed was up next and the night seemed to be moving far too quickly than I had ever experienced at these shows.

Unleashed: The guys in Unleashed were here a couple of years ago as a headliner with both Belphegor and Krisium as their support and it was nothing short of a thunderous gig for those who were lucky enough to experience it. Having missed the tour when it came to the NYC area we instead caught them at The Chance in Poughkeepsie, and based on that performance I was glad to be here tonight on home ground in a venue that I often feel that I should take up residency in based on how many shows I actually come to in the place. Unleashed had recently delivered unto their fans “The Hammer Battalion” which came care of SPV Records and as expected it is the perfect follow up to “Midvinterblot” and while there was a “decent” show of support when they hit the stage, I had remained hopeful that more would filter in by the time they were getting into their groove. I was looking forward to seeing them again, for even though the band had been around since 1989 tonight would only be my second time catching these Death Metal masters in action. Fronted by bassist Johnny Hedlund, the band is a juggernaut of musical power that focuses their lyrical themes on that of Viking culture and various elements from Norse folklore. They were once again intense, but the set was really rather short at only nine numbers and as expected a larger focus of the sets composition came from the latest album. If my memory was serving me correctly, only two numbers were played from the preceding album while three came from the new CD. That doesn’t leave much room for the older stuff when you have a total of nine albums out but you have to take what you can when the band is actually able to come around. Despite the short set the guys truly delivered their best for a crowd that started the pits a spinning quite a few times. I am sure that we will find them returning to our shores for another headlining tour in the not too distant future and I hope that this will find them bringing along some other worthwhile bands like the last time. Now it was time for Obituary to show the world how it was done.

Obituary: As you know, Obituary are one of the biggest legends in the Death Metal genre on the whole and as result are considered one of the most important bands in the genre as far as the US contributors of the stuff are concerned. They toured last year for their Candlelight Records release of “Xecutioner’s Return” and this killer record is also one that offers some homage to their original name of Xecutioner. To be honest I was more here at B.B. King’s for Unleashed this evening since the time between the catching of the bands had been longer for me when it came to them, but one cannot easily decide to leave a venue when Obituary is commanding the floor. Their set seemed very similar to the last time around which was not a bad thing, but I didn’t catch an official glimpse of one on the stage and hence had to go by a previous night and some of the material that I knew from that. While probably the loudest that I had ever heard him play, it seemed as though guitarist Ralph Santolla really seems to fit right in place in this band since coming aboard in early 2008. Jeff Tandy as a front man is very imposing because he is not only one of the original masters in the format but also uses his incredibly long hair to his advantage. It was like a wild lion’s mane as it spun around as he head banged during the set. Some of the crowd that I spoke to were annoyed about the emphasis on the newer material, but let’s face it the band needs to sell the new releases as much as they need to sell the old. At least the stuff on “Xecutioner’s Return” is pretty solid and not a disappointment. There was also some light crowd banter, but not as much as let’s say at a Behemoth show and tonight’s gig would also feature a drum solo which was enjoyable and totally not expected. In the end I did not feel that I left wanting.

The downside was that this came off as a very ill attended gig and if 300 metal heads were present that was saying something. I knew that there was a reunion of the original or shall I say, “Most popular” Biohazard lineup happening tonight as well and this event could have very well been the reason why. Of course it also could have been that previous month worth of killer shows that seemed endless which found people needing to save their money this evening. The upside for those who missed it is that we can almost guarantee that Obituary will return soon and I am sure the same applies for Unleashed and even Carnifex for those who like how they do things. This was a great way to start the month in terms of Metal absorption without a doubt.

Unleashed Set List:
1. To Asgard We Fly
2. Never Ending Hate
3. Your Children Will Burn
4. This Is Our World Now
5. Black Horizon
6. Midvinterblot
7. Death Metal Victory
8. Into Glory Ride
9. Hammer Battalion

Obituary Set List:

1. Find The Arise
2. Left To Die
3. Chopped In Half
4. Turned Inside Out
5. Insane
6. Forces Realign
7. Threatening Skies
8. Evil Ways
9. Drop Dead
10. Contrast The Dead
11. Drum/Guitar Solo
12. Dethroned Emperor
13. Slowly We Rot

The Metal Mistress of the Dark Side Miss Jasmin St. Clair was at the show as well and we managed to get a quick shot of her with the guys in Unleashed.

Metals Dark Side Jasmin St. Clair & Unleashed

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One thought on “Obituary @ B.B. King Blues Club (10/5/2008)”

  1. Whoa! I like the new layout! Good overview of the gig, tho I really felt sorta let down by it myself. I enjoyed Obituary much more the last time they came around so this time I dragged d42 to the show and I think she just stuck around for my sake. Unleashed were really great tho 🙂 I missed Carnifex too, but you’re right, they’ll be back. They have to.

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