Review of Carcass at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Sunday the 13th of April 2014 marked the final night of the 2014 Decibel Magazine Tour and it was at the Fillmore Silver Spring. The headliner was Carcass, making their first DC appearance since reuniting in 2008, though they have played Baltimore twice since then. Each stop on the tour had a local opener and for this show it was Coke Bust, a straight edge hardcore band. I got there in time to see them but there was a problem with my photo pass at the box office and I didn’t get the pass in hand until Coke Bust had finished their set. A shame since I’ve seen them before but never on such a big stage. The second band to play was Noisem, a band of very young guys from Baltimore. I don’t think any of them are even old enough to drink yet. Noisem wasn’t another local opener though, they were on the entire tour, and as such they’ve certainly been getting a lot of exposure outside the area as well. They play a rather catchy style of death/thrash that’s a throwback to the 90s. Their vocalist Tyler Carnes was pretty high energy on stage, at least when he wasn’t fighting with the mic chord that was wrapped around the stage monitors. He jumped down into the photo pit area several times during his set, you may have seen me trying to avoid running into him while photographing him down there, and he ran up to people and would scream lyrics at them. This must have been pretty cool to people close up but for anyone not right in front, well, they probably had no idea what he was doing. Their set was good though and the band looked good on the Fillmore’s nice, big stage. A cover of Terrorizer‘s “Fear Of Napalm” with guest bass by Alejandro Corredor of Nausea was fun and gave Noisem’s regular bass player the opportunity to stage dive.

The next band to play was technical death metal band Gorguts. The Canadian band only has one member from its pre-reunion days, guitarist/vocalist Luc Lemay, but the band was always really his to begin with. For some reason he was off to the left of the stage most of the time, an odd place for a lead vocalist even if he was also playing guitar. Two members of the techy instrumental band Dysrhythmia, a personal favorite band of mine, are in Gorguts so I’m definitely a fan of the current line up. They were absolutely crushing on Sunday at the Fillmore. They are probably the most brutal band to ever play there and while Gorguts only played five songs, each one was performed expertly. They closed out their set with their classic song “Obscura” which was punishing. This is the band I was most excited to see at this show and they did not disappoint! Luc Lemay was manning the band’s merch table most of the night and was very friendly with fans, shaking hands and taking photos with them. If you missed their incredible set don’t worry, they’re playing the final day of Maryland Deathfest this year, Sunday, May 25th, and they’re playing on one of the big outdoor stages so tickets won’t sell out.

The next band to play was The Black Dahlia Murder, a melodic death metal band from Michigan that, I’ll admit, I’ve never really been a fan of. I’ve seen them several times over the years since they tend to play with bands I like but I’m not really familiar with their music. A lot of people seemed to really dig their performance but I just wasn’t one of them so this part of the show was, for me, used to talk to various people I knew that were there. This isn’t to say that their set was particularly bad, though I could have done without the “big titties” comment from vocalist Trevor Strnad, it just wasn’t my kind of music and it wouldn’t really be fair of me to judge their overall performance.

The next band to play was the headliner, Carcass. They played Maryland Deathfest last May as one of the headliners, but that was before they released their new album, last year’s Surgical Steel. Sunday night’s set list (see it here) was fairly similar to the one they played at Maryland Deathfest, except a few older songs had been removed to make room for several new songs. While Surgical Steel seems to have been well received by most fans, I didn’t like it at all so the loss of older songs in the set list for newer ones was a bummer for me. Overall the audience didn’t seem to mind and I suppose if you’re really into the new material this was your first chance to hear it live. The new song “Captive Bolt Pistol” certainly got a bigger mosh pit than “Exhume To Consume” did, and only hearing three songs from Necroticism: Descanting The Insalubrious was a bummer to me, but overall I got what I expected, mostly songs from Heartwork and Surgical Steel. I thought Carcass’ performance was much better here than at Maryland Deathfest where they seemed a bit rusty. Part of this might be due to the band having played so many more shows recently. Bill Steer and Mike Amott replacement not Bill Steer Ben Ash traded solos seamlessly and the band just seemed tighter overall this time. Jeff Walker sure talked a lot between songs and speaking with people after the show there seemed to be two sets of thought on this: some people loved it and found it very entertaining while others found it rambling and annoying. Sometimes he had some interesting or funny things to say about the band’s origins or the Chicken Man, but sometimes he said things that had me wondering why he was still talking. Like when he made a comment about how being vegetarian or vegan is a choice like being gay is (what?) and how the last time the band was in DC his only memory was of how confused he was by an overweight, black, lesbian Neo-Nazi at the 9:30 Club (again, what?). It didn’t take away from the show too much I guess but I certainly don’t remember him talking that much the last couple times I’ve seen them live. Anyways, even if this Carcass show wasn’t my ideal show, they did play material from every era of the band to at least have something in there for every Carcass fan. Plus a show like this brings out a lot of people and it’s always awesome running into so many familiar faces. Be sure to check out my photos and videos from the show below and feel free to leave a comment telling me about your experience at the biggest metal tour to come through our area this April.

Noisem:

Tyler Carnes of Noisem

Noisem at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Noisem at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Noisem at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Noisem at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Gorguts:

Luc Lemay of Gorguts

Luc Lemay of Gorguts

Kevin Hufnagel of Gorguts

Colin Marston of Gorguts

Gorguts at the Fillmore Silver Spring

The Black Dahlia Murder:

Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder

The Black Dahlia Murder at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Max Lavelle of The Black Dahlia Murder

Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder

Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder

Carcass:

Jeff Walker of Carcass

Jeff Walker of Carcass

Bill Steer of Carcass

Jeff Walker of Carcass

Ben Ash of Carcass

Bill Steer of Carcass

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