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Grindhouse, Ventura, Ca: FATALIST + CRYPT INFECTION + BURNING AT THE STAKE
Grindhouse, 10/29/10 @ The Red Cove, Ventura, Ca
Grindhouse at the Red Cove began with two phone calls.
Grasshopper, sent me a text saying that he found a dead body at his work that day. A customer had a heart attack and he had to call the cops. “His fingernails we’re blue.” He told me. “I’m so fucking ready just to drink beer and listen to death metal.” Grasshopper’s phone call set the tone for evening.
The next phone call that I got was from Ken May of Crypt Infection who told me that he just got off the phone with Daniel Dismal, of Church of the 8th Day, and The Dolemite Project, who said that they have been having consistent problems with their drummer, Chris Vira, and he was being kicked out of the band, effective that night. And to think the show hadn’t even started yet. As I got off the phone with Ken, driving home from work, my mind wondered what else the fog of the evening would contain…
Got to the Venue about 6pm, Josh Welling of Inherit Disease was adjusting all the settings of his new P.A. I set up our ritual altar off to the right and pressed play, we began the night with some Suffocation, “Blood Oath”.
After Dylan burned my copy of Terrorizer, and the bartender gave us both really dirty looks, Burning at the Stake hit the stage, minus one guitar player. Thomas Wilson was playing a show with his other band Inertia, with A Band of Orcs at he 118 West in Simi Valley. Sucks for him, I’ll bet they didn’t have a sick fog machine like we did, an altar of sacrifice, and a hot chick bringing the band free beer.
Burning at the Stake started off the night, masked and sounded extremely tight. I’m not used to hearing them with one guitar player, but Mike Miller played flawlessly. Dylan told me they are looking for a second guitarist, but in the meantime it might be nice if they put another cab on the other side of the stage to fill up the sound. The Drummer, Reily Brinser, really surprised me with how quick he was with his fills, and how many blast beats he managed to cram into the songs. Burning at the Stake is about to finish a new album, I’m anxious to come back and see them for the CD release.
Crypt Infection was up next and the fog was getting pretty thick. Some of our friends started to trickle in by this point. While we waited for Crypt Infection to set up their two full stacks on the tiny stage, Grasshopper and I pounded shots of vodka and listened to tracks from the new Dimmu Borgir album. He convinced me to give the album a listen, because track 5 “Dimmu Borgir” took me back to old Amorphis albums I used to love. As Crypt Infection sound checked, I turned the fog up just a little more…
While Crypt Infection was playing, Grasshopper rushed up to me and said into my ear, “Holy fuck, I did not expect this. They are so fucking good.” Crypt Infection dual guitar attack, and surgically precise technical death metal filled the room with fear. Their drummer was unbelievably good, his tempo like an unearthly machine programmed to crush the planet. Ken May’s vocals were so low and disturbing, but it was his stage presence that sent the chill up your spine. Ken May’s focus on stage was focused, brooding and murderous. I could not take my eyes of the stage. Joe Coma was in lock step with backing vocals and every song crushed exactly like their new CD “Haruspication”.
Not only was Mike Deity headbutted by Jack Skellington, but Fatalist slayed just like they always do, and no, the guitars weren’t too loud Neil! Fatalists guitar tone is always such a pleasure to listen too. Both guitars hammering the room with the classic Swedish death metal tone. Drummer, Tyler Castro has returned to Fatalist and I haven’t seen them since he’s been back; the band didn’t miss a note. The one thing different I noticed this time was how much Mike Deity has improved as a front man, and as a vocalist. Helicopter hair swings, gauntlet spikes and every note full of death and agony, Mike Deity has become one of the best death metal front men in the county, and an asset to Fatalists show. The fog of the evening cleared, and my vodka buzz wore off, I loaded my gear to old Unleashed music still roaring through the speakers. I started to think about how alive death metal really is. Josh of Inherit Disease said it best when he told me, “All these kids are discovering death metal, but don’t realize, it’s been around for 25 years!” Burning at the Stake, Crypt Infection, and Fatalist, all have their own way of expressing their own version of progress through death metal. Whether it’s the technicality of Burning at the Stakes song structure, the expression of Joe Coma’s solos in Crypt Infection, or the sludgy fullness of each Fatalist chord, each band still has their sound rooted in the fog, the fog of death.