Decibel Defiance – A Must See Tour For The Death Metal Fan

I apologize in advance if this seems quite a bit condensed for my usual rants about shows, but due to being that damned tired, there’s not a lot of gas left in the tank.  After getting off of work and going straight to Tampa (which is on the other side of the state for me) and then making it home by 5 in the morning to go to work two hours later with a busted open head courtesy of a drunk asshole trying to get payback on me for making him eat concrete earlier in the night, I’m amazed I even wanted to use the computer.  The Decibel Defiance tour features death metal/deathcore pioneers Suffocation and technical extreme metal wizards The Faceless with Through The Eyes Of The Dead, Decrepit Birth and Fleshgod Apocalypse.  The setting was The Brass Mug bar in Tampa, Florida, and the outcome was just as brutal as expected.  If there was one good metaphor for this show, the bands were the meat processor to the usual death metal sausagefest.

The night started off with Italy’s Fleshgod Apocalypse making their first trek to the United States in their black face paint and their matching getups of what appears to be quite the massacre at a formal gathering.  It became obvious by the first song that these outfits weren’t just for show and tell, this band means business and they are out nightly to slaughter.  They were hands down the treat of the night for me because I wasn’t sure what to expect from the first three bands.  Up next was Decrepit Birth who were no slouches either bringing a heavy dose of California death metal to an abnormally chilly Florida night.  Bill Robinson is a hyperactive maniac vocalist which makes for a great time and amusing photos if you can get him to stand still for a split second.  Of course the rest of the band keeps up nicely and makes for a brutally enjoyable set.  This is the same band that has had Suffocation’s Derek Boyer as well as Tim Yeung and Kevin Talley on the skins in the past.  Through The Eyes Of The Dead is a good, solid death metal band but a little bit too generic since nothing really set their set apart as memorable to me.  Actually, lead singer Danny Rodriguez’s hand cast was pretty fucking metal.  Maybe it’s just me and I’ve just seen too many openers over the past decade to differentiate them all sometimes but I have nothing bad to say about any of the bands.

The Faceless took the stage for their clinic of metal mastery.  Musically they are a band that deserves to be on the same plane as bands like Suffocation and Nile.  The biggest thing holding them back is a lack of material.  The band is a tight knit group that effortlessly blew through too short of a set for my liking.  They also played a new song which is on par for their previous work and definitely excites me for something new in the near future.  Suffocation took the stage right before midnight to the better part of a full house for the Brass Mug.  Suffocation is one of the most intense bands in the business who gives 110% nightly.  Guy Marchais and Terrance Hobbs each hold their own very nicely on the six strings while Derek Boyer holds down the low end.  Mike Smith is an absolute machine on the drums and doesn’t get nearly the credit that he deserves in the metal world for his talent.  Vocalist Frank Mullen goes from soft spoken and calm off stage to a crazed beast on stage.  His love song for the ladies, ‘Entrails of You’ always puts a smile on my face and makes me wish I could have been that romantic with one or two of my ex’s.  Aside from Frank’s occasional rant, Suffocation ran off an hour worth of songs both new and old flawlessly.  It was quite a treat for me to finally see a band of their caliber headlining a show and getting a full set since I had only seen them playing second fiddle to Fear Factory, Carcass and Devildriver in the past.  Speaking of treats, Guy also gave me a bottle of Duck Butter Hot Pepper Sauce which could possibly be the perfect Louisiana hot sauce, but the fat kid will save the food talk for another day.  Even without the hot sauce to spice up the night, from top to bottom the show was scorching to warm up the few hundred that turned out on a Monday night for a real metal show.

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