Through Space and Grind features a slew of bands hell bent to kick the shit out of you and the other thousand plus metal denizens of your city. Get there early to see all the show. Black Crown Initiate opened, followed by Ringworm, who were only on the tour for a brief moment. There’s a rotating support slot, like a professor of the dark arts. Iron Reagan and Exhumed played well rounded sets. From headliners Voivod and Napalm Death, we saw true vitality in the 21st century. This tour package is absolutely astonishing. Every metal fan, of any age, should go see this tour.
Click here for photos and the full review.
Black Crown Initiate opened up the night, tapping now from both of their releases. Most recently, The Wreckage of Stars on E1. Earlier in the evening, I spoke with both stringsmen about their goals for this tour and what they have done differently with their live sound. Andy Thomas comments: “This is our first tour with a sound guy. We now have somebody that is directly invested in how you sound.” Albeit a brief one, their performance was as gravitating as ever, really shining on their newer material “The Eye that Leads You” and set opener “A Great Mistake.” These Reading, PA neighbors are really moving up in the metal world, and being included on this tour is a sure sign of their continued success in 2015. Here’s my interview with Rik and Andy.
Cleveland thrash outfit Ringworm are no stranger to the road, the first of many veteran bands to perform tonight. These guys have been incessantly cranking out new music over the past couple years, adding to their already solid career. Listen to Hammer of the Witch on Relapse and don’t forget to “Leave Your Skin at the Door.” Check out that review here.
Like many of their performances I have seen, I kind of feel Iron Reagan stole the show. They come out guitars blazing with these spastic thrash punk songs that are maybe thirty seconds long. I mean, Spoiled Identity has thirteen tracks on it and it’s barely a four minute total listen. They usually play in song blocks of four or five songs, perfect fuel for a very physical mosh pit. Comprised of members of both Municipal Waste and Darkest Hour, these guys know how to keep a crowd moving. Their set featured personal favorites “Eyeball Gore” and “Your Kid’s and Asshole” from their latest Relapse release, Tyranny of Will. One of the set blocks was heavy on Spoiled Identity, paying homage to Oderus Urungus on “The Living Skull.” Alas, no “Snake Chopper.”
Here’s a Spotify playlist of their set, which was a blistering 18 minutes.
Exhumed continues the night’s decimation and takes the crowd through a mostly Necrospective set. They were also touting along a new bassist. Exhumed first drew blood with me on tour with Dying Fetus a couple Halloweens ago. It’s hard to compare this performance to a special show like that. This tour’s set was straight up gore fucking metal, as they recently did a reissue of their debut on Relapse. “Do you guys mind if we play some old shit?” is a question crowds rarely answer no. So “Limb by Limb” they ripped. Anxious as I was to see them, I don’t think they are quite magellan with their new bassist. I just hope they remembered to bring the skull and spine beer bong to ease the new guy’s first tour jitters.
Seeing Voivod perform was a first for me and I can still feel the fire that they lit under my ass. Right out of the gate my heart rate spiked as they leapt into “Ripping Headaches.” For a second there, I thought Snake was going to throw his mic stand into the crowd. Instead, using it as a baton, he revved up the crowd that was brimming over the security barrier. He and drummer Away are the only remaining founding members of the Canadian Quartet. They did pause for a remembrance of their deceased guitarist, Denis “Piggy” D’Amour, who passed away from cancer ten years ago. There was also the obligatory “Back in my day…” speech from Snake, as he and Voivod press on in a thirty-three year career band. They are out in support of their latest release on Century Media, Target Earth, which is more on the thrash side of their progressive sound.
Grind metal kings Napalm Death weren’t showing their age, but the seated crowd sure was. As you probably know, this tour definitely takes a ride on the age demographic roller coaster. I saw some fantastic old Napalm tees worn under ashen beards and over fading strips of celluloid, sentinels of the old days still. On the floor, I always feel the generational torch is being properly passed when kids are moshing their fucking teeth out to songs written before they were born. Songs recorded on a cassette tape somewhere. Job well done metal community. This year, Napalm Death released Apex Predator-Easy Meat, their fifteenth studio album and fourth on Century Media.