Show Review: Summer Slaughter 2017
Summer Slaughter - "the most extreme tour of the year" - has come and gone from the streets of NYC, and in its wake lies the slaughtered bodies of many metalheads from all over. This years lineup was absolutely stacked, and the tour managed to capture bands from all over the expanse that is the metal genre - from death metal to metalcore, and technical metal to deathcore. This year, the tour literally had something for everyone and there was no shortage of bands. Soulless Cult got to Webster Hall super early to ensure we caught all of the extreme metal goodness as soon as doors opened!
To kick off the tour package, ANGELMAKER brought the fucking heat with their sick blend of dual-melodic deathcore goodness. It was my first time finally being able to see these fine folks from Canada play their sweet, sweet brutality in person, and honestly they were so worth standing out in the very angry NYC summer sun to get inside in time to see. As the openers of the day, they unfortunately only got to play a few songs (which included Day / Day which was pretty sweet) but considering they were the winners of the contest to play and weren't initially scheduled for the tour, anything they played was honestly welcome. They fucking destroyed their set - so honestly, if you can get to the show early to catch them, you will NOT regret it. They know how to put on a show and kick-off a day of non-stop metal. Following up, BETRAYING THE MARTYRS took to the stage and played themselves a sweet little set too! It was obvious from the moment this tour was announced that these guys would be the odd-men out among so many heavy death metal bands, and they clearly acknowledged that when they came out appreciating anyone who was taking the time to "listen to something a little different." I've seen these guys a few times before at other shows I've been to, and every time I see them they get tighter and they truly know how to hype up a crowd. The crowd went absolutely nuts during their set, which was pleasant to see after a lot of the shit-talking that went on online about them being on the tour. It's always a good time seeing these guys perform and rock the fuck out, so it was definitely a great part of the day being a part of their set and bouncing along to their jams.
LORNA SHORE continued on the day with one of the best sets of the night. If you haven't seen them before (or haven't even heard them) - you're greatly missing out. Lorna Shore are THE most underrated and underappreciated bands in the entire metal community. They have been killing it - album by album - and their latest offering is straight fire (kudos if you caught the reference). Lorna Shore go on stage and literally just go and melt faces off - their twenty minute set is full of some of the best LS songs, so you are in for a real treat if you are heading to this tour as a fan of the band. They never disappoint and it kills me that they only got to play twenty minutes, but that's just how it goes. Sick.
RINGS OF SATURN - who dropped a brand new record just two days before - were up next to deliver their insane blend of aliens, death metal and tech-death. I immediately noticed that something was wrong when only three members - Ian, Aaron, and Miles - took the stage and started playing. A minute later, I noticed the laptop beside Miles that was pumping out the sick guitars normally played by the legendary Lucas Mann. I'm not entirely sure what was up with that (nothing has been posted to their social media regarding it, either, as of posting this). Regardless, RoS came out and fucking killed it - their sound is unlike anyone out there right now, and even down a member, they managed to kick a fucking ton of ass. Unfortunately, their set was cut short by the venue staff (again, not entirely sure what was up with that) so we only got to see three songs, but holy hell... these guys are disgusting. If you haven't heard Ian and his band of crazy-fingered dudes, don't miss them. ORIGIN came out next, and its sad that I'm not as well trained in their discography as I'd like to be (I only listen to them here and there), their set was, without a doubt, the loudest, most intense set of the entire day, headliners included. Just the drums alone by John Longstreth is fucking insane - words cannot even begin to express how crazy this dude is. Throw in the wild shred style they bring, and you got yourself a recipe for good ol' death metal. They were nuts - absolutely nuts. No doubt one of the more fun bands of the entire night.
One of my personal favorite bands, OCEANO, were next on the list to bring the pain - and it was a nutty set, catered to old school and new fans of the band. They made sure to include some older goodies along with the songs off their newer, past two albums. If you haven't seen Oceano before, hold on tight during their set - if any one band is going to bring the violence with them, it's going to be Oceano. I was having so much fun during their set that it was over way before I knew it - the tour gave them only a half hour to crank out some of the finest deathcore you could get these days. THE FACELESS followed-up to Oceano, and quite honestly, I don't know what to make of the band - their style isn't really what I'm into and while I can appreciate some cool, different technical stuff, I just don't see the hype behind these guys. The set wasn't bad, don't get me wrong, it just didn't live up to all of the hype that surrounds this band. Quite honestly, it kinda seemed like they weren't all that interested in even being there, but who knows. Just not my thing, I guess.
DYING FETUS were my final band for the day, and it was an absolute blast and honor to be so close to these legends in the community. These three dudes know exactly what they have to do to compose some dirty, heavy, fucking insane riffs to invoke pure violence and mayhem. They played such a good set - with two songs from their new album - and it was such an awesome way to end the day for us. Heavy, hard-hitting and relentless - just the way death metal should be delivered. Unlike the band that came before them, they seemed like they were having just as much fun as the fans in the pit - and the fans can (and do) certainly feed off that energy, and its incredible that after all these years, these guys are still delivering brutality night after night and are having fun while they do it.
All in all, Summer Slaughter 2017 was a fucking blast - it always is. This years lineup was one of the strongest they have ever put together - beefed up with so many bands with so many different styles. And that was just the actual tour package - there was eight other local bands that played the smaller stage throughout the night that we didn't even get the chance to check out. It's a shame that SLAUGHTER TO PREVAIL were not able to make it to the show, but shit happens, and hopefully they'll be able to make it to at least some of the dates on the tour before it ends. I can't recommend this tour enough to anyone who appreciates the heavier side of the metal genre - this year is stacked, and it was definitely one for the books! If you hit up the show this year, send in your thoughts; let us know who you had the most fun during! See you in the fucking pit!