The first band Inter Arma is from VA and is like Emily Dickenson poetry put to metal. Instead of the reminiscent “Because I Could Not Stop For Death,” they speak of riding slowly to their graves. They exploded right off the bat, then slow it down to almost a Cathedral style epic song of going to the grave, a melodic groove that has parts that are purely instrumental, setting the slow march to awaiting death.
The lead singer eventually creeps in with a foreboding deep voice, as if the grim reaper is speaking. Patchouli smoke fills the air as if an epic mist or fog in a graveyard. While the rest of the band slows to a melodic crawl, the drummer, with no shirt and faded red shorts, pounds on steadily for the death march.
When the pack picks up, he explodes on the drums, and the dueling guitars and bass follows suit. The lead singer jumps in, growling, letting the spirits fill him. The deep growls from beyond the grave meshes well with the massacre of music, as intense as the dropping of the guillotine, music splattering on you like blood from the severed neck: musical decapitation.
When they finish, they calmly exit, as if they did not just blow everyone’s mind, tiptoeing off stage as if it wasn’t them who just took the crowd on the epic journey through sound and musically inspired emotion, a trip to beyond the grave and back. When the lights turn on and the house metal selection comes on, the drummer can be seen air drumming to the beats, proving he is a true music fan.
In fitting contrast, there is a guy in the crowd wearing a Whinnie the Pooh outfit onesie, who must be sweating… He makes his way to the front for DeafHeaven, along with a mass of youth. When the mosh pit erupts, some look startled, with big eyes like WTH is going on, and what are all these crazy people doing, especially the small guys in skinny jeans, uh-oh…
Whinnie the Pooh makes his way on stage to dive off into the crowd for the song Sunbather. There’s so much dense fog rolling out from under the stage that it creates this cloudy effect like heaven. There’s a lot of guitar playing that is higher up the fret, only adding to the ethereal effect of the band.
The lead singer says it’s incredible to be playing with a band that they’ve looked up to for so long. He is great at slapping hands with the eager fans. One guy nearly creams his jeans, exclaiming, “he touched me!”
The girl next to him had her hand slapped, too, and she also looked as if she was going to cry from an orgasm. It’s almost comical to see these young kids freaking out, because in their eyes, these guys are bigger than Justin Beiber, or girls in the 80’s screaming for New Kids On The Block. Their music was great though, you’ll give DeafHeaven that.
The fog made it hard to see who anyone on stage was, but it did add to an awesome effect. It’s like a generation after the Carcass band; the lead singer sported leather dress shoes, paired with jeans ripped below his ass cheek. The one guitar player could’ve been a stand-in for the guy turned into fishboy in that Rob Zombie film.
They were good enough that you would go purchase their album, so worthy of checking out if you’ve not heard them before for sure. They end with Roads to Judah’s “Unrequited.”
Carcass guys set up the stage with a medical tools backdrop and positioned LED screens. The same medical tool backdrop drapes beneath the drums and wraps around boxes, adding to the slice and dice effect. A lot of youth filters out, as the older fans claim the front of the stage, each looking a little bewildered, like they didn’t expect to see a bunch of kids rocking out before a band like Carcass.
Feet are sticking to the ground, commanding you to stay in the front row. Each time you pick up a hoof, you worry your shoes will get torn apart. It’s like superglue on shoes.
Carcass commands the stage, bringing the heaviest riffs by far. The mosh pit erupts like a volcano, asking over the crowd. People hit around as if abruptly struck by a car of drunk drivers.
The make people chant along, egging them on. Hair flies every which way, and the two guitarists battle for domination in between fits of angry screams. The LED display even encompasses the drum kit, a really cool effect. Bloody body parts, even a mangled, bloody penis, rotates around the LED synched displays.
Hearing the proper British accent is such a contrast to the guttural belting when they sing, but they command the audience like a king. Some of the young blood went home to their moms, but a few brave ones stayed to get schooled on how these British cats rule. There’s a bleach smell in the air, like someone has been sterilizing medical equipment.
Whinnie the Pooh must’ve been ripped apart, and maybe that’s his innards they’re flashing on stage, a take no prisoners show, regardless of age. Here in Florida, lots of people sport their Death shirts, and the lead singer recalls coming to Florida in Miami to play with Death, calling it the “most epic tour ever.” Bloody surgeries are shown on the stage, adding to how much these guys rage.
The real troopers stomp around, pounding fists and knocking their heads. They show the young bloods what a real mosh pit is all about. It’s not running in a circle, but hard, heavy hits, like people having fits.
One guy marches by wearing a leather studded kilt. Girls sport fishnets, even on their sleeves under their concert shirts. The fad of skinny jeans replaced with cargo shorts, many sporting camo for Veteran’s Day.
Military is definitely a group that doesn’t play, able to slaughter as much as the band that shreds on stage. Like soldiers, these guys don’t take a break, stomping on until everyone in the crowd feels the ache. They don’t pause for a ballad, just hitting hard again and again like a fly over dropping bombs, leaving a path of destruction and the telltale Carcass.