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As Blood Runs BlackDarkest HourDying FetusFeaturesFleshgod ApocalypseOceanoPowergloveSix Feet UnderThe Black Dahlia MurderTour Galleries & ReviewsWhitechapelWithin The Ruins August 10, 2011 Joshua Weidling
The Summer Slaughter tour 2011 came blazing to the House of Blues in Chicago. On this tour came The Black Dahlia Murder, Whitechapel, Darkest Hour, Dying Fetus, Six Feet Under, PowerGlove, Oceano, As Blood Runs Black, Fleshgod Apocalypse and Within The Ruins. You can check out our review after the break!
Summer Slaughter has become such a monster tour the last few years. With each installment of the summertime tour, it’s drawing more and more people, more and more bands, and is starting to pick up where the Ozzfest’s left off. The tag line “The Most Extreme Tour of the Year” holds truth.
The House of Blues hosted this year’s Chicago date. As with most other dates of the tour, it was held at indoor venues with a more traditional, single-stage format. Opposed to the ‘fest’ style tours of multiple rotating stages that we’ve all grown to know and love. The singular stage gives the tour almost a retro old-school feel. It reminded me of when I used to go to huge arena shows as a kid, spending the fifteen minute change-over times between bands to grab a beer or fight through traffic to buy a shirt. I felt at home and even slightly nostalgic at Summer Slaughter; I could get used to this.
The kickoff band for this year’s package was Within The Ruins. A phenomenal, technical, death metal band, that shows off true talent. Their guitar wizardry proves that you can go above the fifth fret and still be heavy. It’s important for an opening band to set the pace especially with a tour so robust with heavy-hitters and they hit the ground running.
Next up was Fleshgod Apocalypse. Hailing all the way from Italy with a mixture of new/old death metal and huge symphonic elements; I was excited to see them stateside. Their set was fast with every song at break neck tempos. Bassist Paolo Rossi’s operatic clean vocals had every wine glass in the building begging for mercy.
Quickly after FA cleared off stage, As Blood Runs Black loaded on. You could start to really feel the energy surging in the room at this moment. With each band that went on, people got more excited, more rowdy, and more connected with the tunes. ABRB picked a good blend of old and new songs to rile the crowd into a near frenzy.
Oceano did a damn good job of keeping the ball rolling as they took the stage next. The sludgy, heavy as all hell, Chicago natives did a number on their home crowd. I worry the aging floor of the House of Blues will never be quite the same after their set.
If you took Gwar minus blood, multiplied by inflatable swords and traded in the slaves in for cardboard monsters, you’d have PowerGlove. I have the slightest resentment towards the band only because they stole my idea of taking classic video game theme songs and making them metal, but I can’t be too upset because they do it so well. Classic game themes like Megaman, The Legend of Zelda, and Super Mario were metalfied and I never thought I’d see the day where an entire floor is circle pitting to a thrashed out version of Tetris. Following PowerGlove were Dying Fetus and Six Feet Under, which are both classic death metal giants who didn’t disappoint.
Darkest Hour really caught my attention when they took that stage. They had some incredible die-hard fans singing every word alongside vocalist, John Henry, even while crowd surfing. DH is a perfectly executed example of the ‘twin-guitar attack’. Eyes dodging back and forth from guitarist to guitarist as if it were a match at Wimbledon.
Lights hit the stage, the curtain lifts, and White Chapel walks on to the sounds of strings and erratic white noise. White Chapel has really made a name for themselves in the last few years. To go from the opening act of the 2008 Summer Slaughter to being direct support for this year’s, speaks volumes. Using three guitarists, sampled backing tracks, and kick drums that would make buildings crumble to pieces, sure makes for a sonic assault. The crowd responded quite accordingly to say the least. No lyrics left unsung.
The moment before a headlining band hits the stage is a feeling I cannot accurately describe. It’s a nervous anticipation mixed with excitement and receptiveness. The second the opening sample started for The Black Dahlia Murder, the crowd immediately exploded. A surge pushed forward towards the barricade and at the drop of the first note the entire floor had erupted into a pit. Recently acquired lead guitarist Ryan Knight (ex-Arsis) is a great fit live, as well as in the studio/writing process. TBDM had a well constructed set of songs spanning all of their albums: Statutory Ape, Necropolis, I Will Return, and A Vulgar Picture to name a few. The set included several choice cuts from their newest release Ritual which debuted 31st on Billboard’s Top 200, selling 13,000 copies in its first week. Impressive by any standards, especially for an ‘underground death metal’ band. The comedic banter between vocalist Trevor Strnad and the crowd is always worth a laugh. “Let me see your muscles!” is by far my favorite quote of the night.
The energy level started on ten and continued on up from there with each new band that took stage. There was never an ebb of crowd participation in the slightest all night. I can’t remember the last time I went to a show and there was not even one dull moment. Every band was better than the last and I am already looking forward to next year’s Summer Slaughter.
Information about the review…
Tour: Summer Slaughter Tour 2011 feat The Black Dahlia Murder and Whitechapel
Bands: The Black Dahlia Murder, Whitechapel, Darkest Hour, Dying Fetus, Six Feet Under, PowerGlove, Oceano, As Blood Runs Black, Fleshgod Apocalypse and Within The Ruins
Date: August 8, 2011
Venue: House of Blues in Chicago, IL
Joshua Weidling Owner/Founder
I'm the owner & founder of Digital Tour Bus. I started the company in my dorm room during my freshman year of college. I have a degree in Marketing from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Outside of music and going to concerts, I'm a big fan of stand-up comedy, playing board games, trying the most amazing unhealthy food, and watching really mediocre comedy tv shows.