Biiled as "The Annihilation Tour" to coincide with the 2005 release of Nile's masterpiece Annihilation of the Wicked, the band brought along Sweden's Hypocrisy, hot on the heels of their excellent CD Virus, as well as Soilent Green, Decapitated, and Raging Speedhorn. This was an excellent night of extreme metal, and Sea of Tranquility's Ken Pierce and Pete Pardo were on hand for all the musicality and brutality.
Read on for the full review of the show!
Ken Pierce-The appearance of Nile and Hypocrisy would be the first adventure into the Death Metal world that I would take in 2006 and to be honest I could not think of two more formidable bands to be featured on one bill. The venue would be the ever stalwart supporter of Metal (B.B. King Blues Club) and the tour billed as "The Annihilation Tour" would be just that. It is named after the new Nile release Annihilation Of The Wicked. Openers Soilent Green, Raging Speedhorn and Decapitated would also be performing and the full room very early in the night was a great sign of the level of interest this show had. I missed Decapitated in their entirety and some friends told me that they truly kicked some ass. I did catch SPV Records artist Raging Speedhorn and found them to be as energetic and intense live as Soilent Green. However, both bands are on the new side for my listening and will be looked more into in the future. Through all of these sets of brutality you could see the response positive and feel the excitement as they were getting ready for Hypocrisy and Nile.
Virus is the new album by Hypocrisy and they would be supporting it tonight. If you are a fan of the Death Metal sound but are open enough to expanding the genre then this album is exactly what you are looking for. There is nothing typical about the release and in conversation with Peter Tagtgren backstage we asked him about this. "Keeping Hypocrisy different allows me to be more creative, doing the same thing over an over can get boring" he said when discussing how the expected levels of a Death Metal record are defied on a Hypocrisy album. He also discussed his Producers role in respect to Dimmu Borgir and Dark Funeral. "I don't think I will doing as much of this for awhile, so I can focus more on the music itself". We countered that his success at this work was a great thing for Metal as opposed to someone in Rap music who makes their "productions" by simply placing samples of others music together and calling it their own genius. He agreed that it was a little different and perhaps can still be done if time allows for all of it. At showtime Hypocrisy hit the stage to an incredibly loud crowd. The last time I saw them was as one of the openers for Soilwork and the set was all too short. Tonight we would get to see material from both Virus and The Arrival and in the concert setting this music is much more powerful and incredible. Drummer Horgh from Immortal is truly amazing with his blast beats and thundering double bass drums. The line up is rounded out by guitarist Andreas Holma and bassist Mikael Hedlund. Overall a very powerful group that delivers best in the live sense. Watching this performance and feeling the energy up front only firms my belief that Hypocrisy is one of those bands that will continue to stand out in the Progressive Death Metal genre. I could not see a set list on stage but what we captured seems to be the majority of it. Buying any of the releases will give you the idea of the songs. For a little over an hour the audience received their money's worth and that is not an understatement.
Nile came on for their headlining spot and it surprised me to see a fair amount of people leave the club. I admit that I don't follow them but can say that their recent album is brutal and usually what the supporters would want from a band of this caliber. The latest album on Relapse Records is truly intense and with semi-new drummer George Kollias this is more possible. I could not even stop to catch my breath to see what he was doing on the kit as every movement was a blur. Dallas Toler-Wade is the main vocalist and growls through the whole set. Karl Sanders the lead guitarist also helps out on vocals and writes most of the Egyptian history based lyrics based on his love for the era. Not only would they be performing songs from the new album but also from their other releases In Their Darkened Shrines, and Black Seeds of Vengeance. I admit I am not the biggest fan yet but I admire their level of power and display during a show. Nile is perhaps one of the best straight ahead Death Metal bands of today. Despite this I would have reversed the line up to be Hypocrisy headlining.
Pete Pardo-After the solid New Orleans styled hardcore-meets Pantera thrash of Soilent Green and the kick ass stoner thrash of Raging Speedhorn (sadly, I missed Decapitated, who are an excellent technical death metal band from Poland), the crowd surged in anticipation for Sweden's Hypocrisy. Led by the prolific Peter Tagtgren, these melodic and technical death metal veterans raged through a near hour set of Hypocrisy classics, heavy on material from the two most recent albums The Arrival and Virus, but also dipping farther back in the catalog as evidenced by their brutal rendition of their classic "Roswell 47". Tagtgren and his co-guitar slinger Andreas Holma make a formidable team, trading off complex rhythms and blistering leads at will while the thunderous drums of Horgh and the nimble bass work of Mikael Hedlund provided a rock solid formation. The material played from Virus really goes over great live, especially "Warpath" and "Let the Knife Do the Talking", both of which are speedier and more technical than some of the bands earlier material. By the time the band was set to leave the stage, you could tell the audience wanted more, but that will have to be saved for another day. Perhaps a headline tour of their own might be in order in the near future? Judging by the response they got at this show and their recent opening gig with Soilwork and Dark Tranquility, not to mention the size of the crowds for both shows, I think they can do it.
What more can you say about Nile that hasn't already been said? These guys are one of the premier technical death metal bands around today. Not only is their music technical, but progressive as hell, with some of the most fascinating lyrics ever. Karl Sanders is a fanatic when it comes to Egyptian history and mythology, and the songs of Nile have always been based on material derived from ancient Egypt. Live, this band simply crushing with a churning, twisting maelstron of technical death metal power. The twin guitars of Sander and Dallas Toler-Wade pummel with brutal and intricate riffs and weave intricate lead passages that are pretty mindblowing to behold. The band has a pretty intense vocal attack, with brutal death metal growls performed by both Toler-Wade and Sanders. Let's not forget the amazing drum work of George Kollias, who is simply a monster on the drum kit, performing like an octopus with four arms as he drills plenty of blast beats and blazing double bass drum fills. If you like the dense, technical sounds of Annihilation of the Wicked, the band performed a few tunes off that release as well as some older material, which overall made for a varied set list, although due to the fact that many of Nile's songs are a tad lengthy, the set list was shorter than you would imagine. Overall, this was an excellent night of extreme music that left a very satisfied crowd "extremely" happy.
Ken Pierce, Hyprocisy's Peter Tagtgren, and Pete Pardo
Hypocrisy Set List
Fire In The Sky
Let The Knife Do The Talking
Nile Set List
The Blessed Dead
Sepent Headed Mask
Sacrifice Unto Sebek
Cast Down The Heretic
Masturbating The War God
Annihilation Of The Wicked
Black Seeds Of Vengeance
Khetti Satha Shemsu
The Burning Pits of the Duat