A violently pleasant evening in Anaheim.
From blasphemous death metal to pummeling deathcore, this year's CHAOS & CARNAGE Tour offers warm welcome to connoisseurs of all things heavy. Comprised of WHITECHAPEL, DYING FETUS, REVOCATION, FALLUJAH, SPITE, UNCURED, and BURIED ABOVE GROUND, this year's traveling pack of wolves made it's way to the House of Blues in Anaheim on May 3rd for an evening of demolishment. Blasphemic death metallers CARNIFEX joined the effort for one of two nights on the road.
Many thanks to work hours and the terrible traffic from downtown Los Angeles to Anaheim for making this writer/photographer miss the driven openers. It wasn't the most pleasing of situations, but traffic aside, the atmosphere upon arrival was electric, thanks to the packed lobby filled with metalheads clamoring at the merch booths and indulging in sweet, sweet alcohol. People were talking, heads were banging at the background, and more importantly, smiles were to be found.
Several minutes after grasping the energy of the venue and it's inhabitants, the lights began to lower and it was now time for hell to come forth. With lights down and pentagrams lit, CARNIFEX enter the scene with the somber opening of Drown Me In Hell, which soon erupts into a frenzied attack that opens the mosh pits in an otherwise "no moshpit" venue. Audiences swarm towards the front and photographers gather for a good shot of frontman Scott Lewis growling the chorus into the mic, sending chills down this writer/photographer's spine. The man knows how to put on a show.
CARNIFEX offered additional incentive for audiences on the west side of the country, who were blessed with an (un)holy delivery of pure fucking death metal. Ripper after ripper, the band brought out their best material in full force, including burners like Slow Death, Die Without Hope, and Hell Chose Me to name a few.
With a performance this relentless and tight, there's no doubt that CARNIFEX drew eyes from those unfamiliar to their death dealing capabilities. From new tracks like Bury Me In Blasphemy to old favorite Lie To My Face, the band laid it all on the line and set the foundation for their forthcoming full-length.
For those who thought CARNIFEX was peak intensity that evening, DYING FETUS sure let some jaws drop and floored any and all sound limitations that evening. The Baltimore trio set the bar high and led a masterclass death metal display.
The John Gallagher, Sean Beasley, and Trey Williams ensemble is as destructive as they've ever been, pounding the speakers with blistering fret work and double bass drumming from the depths of hell. Flashing lights and dim atmospheres worked in DYING FETUS' favor, adding depth to their velocity.
Destroy the Opposition, Fixated on Devastation, Subjected to a Beating; you name it. There's just no shortage of destructive DYING FETUS tracks on the setlist. Just when you think it can't get any worse, the opening dialogue to From Womb to Waste commences and it all goes downhill from there (in a good way of course).
The DYING FETUS and CARNIFEX sets left the stage hot, raising expectations for anything scheduled to follow. However, this meant nothing to headliners WHITECHAPEL, who delivered an array of offerings from their expansive discography to please both the new and the old comer. The devastation was set to continue.
Opening their set with When A Demon Defiles A Witch from their latest outing The Valley, WHITECHAPEL establish themselves from the start and garner cheers from the near sold out House of Blues in Anaheim. Pits open soon after as the group begin ripping through staples Mark of the Blade, Brotherhood, Let Me Burn, and more.
Frontman Phil Bozeman commands with a powerful presence throughout, standing at the head and unleashing pain filled growls while Alex Wade, Gabe Crisp, Ben Savage, and Alex Rudinger attack on all other fronts. The fantastic lighting and sound at House of Blues perfectly complements the quintet, who feed off the electric crowd in tantalizing fashion.
The moshing stays steady throughout the night for WHITECHAPEL's continuous assault, concluding with one of the band's best, The Saw is the Law. This is WHITECHAPEL at their best.
Over a decade into existence and WHITECHAPEL still deliver a live show that is unmatched. Stage effects aside, the energy that the band radiates is one that represents a triumph that surpasses any other stage in the band's thirteen year career. As acclaimed as The Valley may be, it's live presentation exceeds it's digital means and commands attention from all in proximity. Simply put, get your ass to the WHITECHAPEL show.
The Chaos & Carnage Tour is currently underway. Remaining dates and more below:
Chaos & Carnage Tour Dates:
5/8: Oklahoma City, OK - Diamond Ballroom
5/9: San Antonio, TX - Rock Box
5/10: Dallas, TX - Gas Monkey Live
5/11: Houston, TX - Warehouse Live
5/12: New Orleans, LA - House of Blues
5/13: Atlanta, GA - Buckhead Theatre
5/15: Fort Lauderdale, FL - Revolution
5/16: St. Petersburg, FL - Jannus Live
5/17: Winnston Salem, NC - Ramkat
Tickets and additional information may be found HERE.