One of my favorite recurring events happened right at the start of this show: arriving just in time to rock a piss, grab a beer, head into the stage-viewing area, and having one of the bands you’re there to see come on within 30 seconds. Brilliant.
This was my first time attending a show at Diamondz Event Center, a venue’s whose capacity is just under 300. There were perhaps about 220 people there on Saturday night. I have to give it up for the sound system and mixing there. Death metal can easily sound highly muddled and get lost in a puddle of muck, but the sound here was truly excellent. If you didn’t like Nile’s set you can rest assured it’s because of the band themselves. I mean, Nile is death metal for death metal fans. That much is clear.
The first band I was first here for was Nile. The three preceding bands were local bands – Deathstalker, Inhuman Wrath, and Kurgan Hypothesis, all of whom I missed, unfortunately. I’ve developed a habit long ago of skipping local band’s but after checking out some of these guys’ music, I probably should’ve gotten there earlier! Nile’s performance was all pretty standard death metal fare in all honesty. They do that comical thing a bunch of metal bands do where a they start saying a song name like a normal human being, but by the end of the song title, they’re yelling or growling it. I just find that so eye-rollingly funny.
Performance-wise, I was impressed with the drummer’s zen-like calm while playing some incredibly fast and technically proficient passages. The rest of the band too shared vocal duties while moving all over the fretboard. They’re definitely talented musicians, but not exactly ground-breaking in the death metal world by today’s standards. There is one song I really love by Nile, “Lashed to the Slave Stick”, which they didn’t even play. Major points off for that one. It’s actually quite a big personal pet peeve of mine when bands refuse to play their most popular song, but whatever.
1. Ramses Bringer of War
2. Sacrifice Unto Sebek
3. The Black Flame
4. Defiling the Gates of Ishtar
6. Call to Destruction
7. In the Name of Amun
8. What Should Not Be Unearthed
9. The Fiends Who Come to Steal the Magick of the Deceased
11. Black Seeds of Vengeance
Soulfly though, came out with a bang, playing nearly all of my favorite Soulfly songs (which, full disclosure, I don’t have many of), including starting with an immaculate 1-2 punch of my by-far two favorite Soulfly tracks: “Frontlines” and “Prophecy”. It was awesome seeing these tracks live. “Frontlines” was an unexpected thrash masterpiece for me. I remember seeing it on Fuse on Uranium back in ’04 and loving it, checking them out and being disappointed by everything else I’d heard by Soulfly. Some years later though, “Prophecy” caught my attention. That breakdown towards the end is just fantastic. The whole ending of that track has to be one of the best in metal, period. Unfortunately, looking through Soulfly’s recent setlist’s this tour, they’ve been covering Sepultura’s “Refuse/Resist”, which they did not do this show. Sepultura have undoubtedly written several of the best metal albums in existence and it would’ve been nice to Max sing one of those songs again, but oh well.
I was ultimately quite happy with their setlist. Aside from the aforementioned two tracks, I really like, and have listened enough to truly know, “Blood Fire War Hate” and “Back to the Primitive”. I’m not a huge fan of “Jumpdafuckup”, but it’s a hell of a fun live song. Gotta love the jumping those ’90’s nu-metal sounds inspire in a live environment. It was cool of a band of Soulfly’s stature to come to such a small town and venue and it was definitely a treat experiencing it. They’re doing a lot of “B and C market” stops this tour, and I’d definitely recommend attending one of these performances if you live in one of these markets.
4. Blood Fire War Hate
7. Rise of the Fallen
-Guitar Solo (w/ snippets of Van Halen’s “Eruption”, Metallica’s “Seek & Destroy”, and Slayer’s “Raining Blood” )
10. Wasting Away (Nailbomb cover)
11. Back to the Primitive
13. Jumpdafuckup / Eye for an Eye
-The Trooper (Iron Maiden cover) (snippet)