Belphegor + Suffocation Show Review
Show Lineup: Six Million Dead, Abiotic, Necronomicon, Suffocation, Belphegor
Venue: Club Red, Mesa AZ
Date: Nov 1, 2019
Alright, this was the heaviest show I have ever been to and it did not disappoint. With such a stacked lineup I had high expectations and they were all met. To be perfectly honest I am not an avid fan of any of these bands but with the exception of Six Million Dead they are all bands who I have listened to previous to the show. I’m certainly not familiar with every song that these bands played; I’m not going to be judging their songwriting in this review.
Six Million Dead started the show out. They are a local Native American band playing tech death music. It was heavy and pretty well executed. For a local band, they were very impressive. Their set was short and clearly a tad under-rehearsed. There seemed to be a bit of miscommunication between the band members during songs but it didn’t affect the sound much as they played it off and just kept rocking. The vocals were easily the best part of this band, the vocalist pulling off great high screams as well as brutal lows. Stage presence was nothing to write home about, but they did what they could for being the first opener. Overall pretty average, but above average for a local opener.
Abiotic were next, playing some great tech death. A four piece group, the bassist played a six string and used slapping and tapping. You know how it be. The music was extremely well executed, the whole band fitting together and showing off their chops. Their stage presence was good, the vocalist did a good job keeping the crowd interested, he even took some audience members’ phones and took selfies and videos on them. Vocals were very good, heavy as fuck. Side note, the guitarist was playing an absolutely gorgeous purple Ormsby guitar and I am very jealous.
Third was Necronomicon. A 3 piece band headed by Rob the Witch, Necro went hard. Their stage presence was fucking great, the bassist jumped around and did kicks al la Malmsteen. The drummer wore a black hood and just blasted away the whole time. The drums were the highlight of their set to me. Listening to their new album Unus, I was unsure of how the incredibly fast and technical drumming would be played out live. They were amazing; the drummer really nailed his parts and never lost momentum for the entirety of the set. I am sure he used triggers but it was really awesome to see. Rob had great vocal delivery and got the crowd involved as well.
Suffocation is where shit started to get real. The crowd had been loving the show so far, but when Suffo took the stage they absolutely mobbed toward the stage and the pit got exponentially better. Suffocation has been in the game for quite a while now and it really showed. They bombarded the audience with heavy shit, old and new. Stage presence was awesome, the entire band headbanged and got super into it. The vocals for Suffocation were awesome. The vocalist really knew how to do his oooooooeeeeee scream if you know what I’m referring to. The band also used edgy backing tracks to make the vibes more dark. The pit was the most insane for Suffocation of all the bands of the night. I got in for a bit and it was just awesome; the people in it were really nice and I had a great time. I sprained my finger pretty bad and I also got hit in the face hard but it was 100% worth it. Quick note: I haven’t seen Suffocation with Frank on vocals so I can’t make a comparison but I can say that Ricky’s vocals were absolutely great.
Belphegor; shit got realer. As the stage got set up, the techs burned incense on stage and made the whole place smell like a church. Additionally, they had dark instrumental tracks playing before their set that featured church bells and edgy classical music. A quick word about the set: it featured two full stack guitar amps, a myriad of upside down crosses, and a pair of racks of bones. Once again, people crowded the stage and they went pretty crazy when the band took the stage. Belphegor has also been around for a while and they know how to put on a show. Their light guy was very good, strobes and moving lights were used to full effect to complement the stage happenings and the music. The band moved around the stage and interacted with the audience. The lead vocalist had some dank corpse paint on and he often made weird facial expressions and random movements, perhaps trying to act possessed for further edge factor. The band’s use of tracks and lighting as well as stage presence made for an extremely intense set.
Overall, I hecking loved this show and I would go again in a heartbeat. Another metalhead box checked; I am content.
Reviewer’s Name: Nate Smith