Last Wednesday (March 19) my friend Brandy and I drove to Atlanta to see this year's Decibel tour, featuring Carcass, Black Dahlia Murder, Gorguts and Noisem. If you've ever made that drive from Raleigh, then you know it's a six and a half-hour slog through an uninspiring landscape on a road that seems to be under constant construction. I don't do it often, but the chance to see Carcass in a club again was too exciting to pass up. I was also looking forward to once again seeing Gorguts without being jammed in Luc Lemay's face.
The show was an early one, with Noisem hitting the stage around 6:30 p.m. We got up front and found an empty spot to the extreme left of the stage and managed to keep it all night. I was very impressed with Noisem, a Baltimore group whose members are super young (some still in their teens). Despite their youth, they put on a ferocious show. Watching them, I felt like I was witnessing a band that just might end up being legendary. You can listen to their debut, "Agony Defined," here.
Gorguts, who, in my opinion, put on the best show of any I witnessed at Hopscotch, were equally pummeling in Atlanta. Their set consisted of several songs from "Colored Sands" followed by the song "Obscura." It was cool to see their bass player wearing a Confessor shirt.
Up next were Black Dahlia Murder, the only band on this tour about whom I knew nothing. Actually, one person I know described them as having terrible albums, but an energetic stage show with an engaging lead singer. I can't say if that person's assessment of their albums is true, but they described the live show perfectly. BDM were enjoyable enough, and had a very vocal contingent of fans in the audience, but they kind of lost my attention toward the end of the set as I became more and more excited for Carcass. Brandy, on the other hand, pretty much hated them and spent the set chatting with a group of hardcore Carcass fans from Mexico. I would be curious to know if they had planned to go to Heaven & Hell, the gigantic Mexican metal fest -- including both Carcass and Brujeria among many others -- that was scheduled for last weekend but ended up getting canceled.
Finally it was time for Carcass. Like at the Deathfest, they came out to a recording of "1985," and then launched into "Buried Dreams."
Fairly early in the set they started playing "Noncompliance ... " but after the opening riff seemed to get off-track, and it sounded as if at least one person wasn't playing the correct song. The opening riff to that song is probably my favorite moment on all of "Surgical Steel," but I don't think the rest of the song lives up to that riff. When they recorded a short set for the BBC earlier this year, they tacked that opener onto "Carneous Cacoffiny," which I actually thought worked well, so perhaps that was the intent. Regardless, they all stopped, looked at leach other like, "what the hell?" and had a quick band consultation. Jeff came to the mic and blamed "cultural differences," and they moved on to something else. I'd like to know what they've done with that song in other stops on this tour.
I didn't know what the Masquerade's photo policy was, but apparently it was fairly lax because a couple of videos have surfaced: "Cadaver Pouch Conveyor System," in which you can see yours truly in the bottom left corner, shooting a Vine video and mislabeling it as "A Congealed Clot of Blood." I blame the combination of Patron and Newcastle tall boys for that one. The second video was of "Genital Grinder/Pyosified (Still Rotten to the Gore)/Exhume to Consume," which was probably my favorite song of the set.
Since I didn't bring a camera, I basically just shot Instagrams all night. Here's the best of what I got.