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Disrupt Festival rocks Atlanta

The first annual Disrupt Festival, presented by Rockstar Energy, made its stop in Atlanta at Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood on June 28th, bringing veteran punk rock bands together in the wake of the now-defunct Van’s Warped Tour. Photographer Jenna Hughes was on the scene to capture the nostalgic show!

The Story So Far

Circa Survive

Thrice

The Used

 

Evanescence (8)

Evanescence and Lindsey Stirling at Chastain Park Amphitheatre August 15th

Chastain Park Amphitheatre hosted an incredible night of music in Atlanta on August 15th, with co-headliners Lindsey Stirling and Evanescence sharing the stage. Fans packed the seats of a nearly sold-out show on the warm summer night, ready to witness the amazing talents of violinist/dancer Lindsey Stirling.

A full orchestra took the stage first, before Lindsey burst into stage dressed in an x-ray leotard, and dancing and spinning as she played “The Arena,” “Moon Trance,” and “Shadows.” A performance like no other, Lindsey was accompanied by talented dancers as well as the incredible orchestra behind her as she played. Evanescence’s Amy Lee joined Lindsey for vocals on “Shatter Me,” much to the crowd’s delight.

A brief homemade video of Lindsey performing to the Evanescence song “Bring Me To Life” popped on screen then, and Lindsey took the time to speak to the audience about once being a kid of 15, and dreaming of performing with her idol Amy Lee. “This is everything I imagined at 15,” she said. She added words of encouragement, “Anyone who is successful has failed on the road to reaching their dreams. Successful people get up and dust themselves off. Just because someone l else doesn’t see your potential doesn’t mean you don’t have it.” The gorgeous “Take Flight” followed the speech, followed by the mesmerizing, crowd-silencing “Crystallize.” The passion for what she does radiated from Lindsey, and every dancer and musician on the stage with her.

Evanescence was met with roaring applause, as Amy Lee came out and took her seat at her piano, beginning with “Never Go Back,” a new version of the song from 2018’s Synthesis. Many of Evanescence’s songs were re-recorded for the album, which features an orchestra on every song, along with electronic additions that create a unique spin. “The End of the Dream” came next, followed by “My Heart Is Broken,” a song that really highlights Amy’s powerhouse voice. The crowd sang along to every word of the stripped down “Bring Me To Life” and “Lithium,” before a surprise cover of The Beatles’ “Across the Universe.” The new song “Hi-Lo” brought Lindsey Stirling back on stage as she performed her violin solo, and was all smiles as Amy was singing next to her.

The amazing “Lost In Paradise” followed, before Amy dedicated “My Immortal” to the fans. “We’ve been doing this 20 years,” she said. “You just keep showing up! Thank you!” The crowd lit up with light for the duration of the song, with everyone standing and singing along. Another new song, the haunting “Imperfection,” closed out the set, before the band returned with Lindsey for the encore, an epic cover of Ozzy Osbourne’s “No More Tears.”

Evanescence and Lindsey Stirling continue their tour of the U.S. through September. More tour dates can be found here.

Lindsey Stirling

Evanescence

 

Dillinger Escape Plan Hit the Variety Playhouse on their Farewell Tour

The Dillinger Escape Plan played at the Variety Playhouse on Friday, November 11th, touring in support of their final album, Dissociation. The Variety Playhouse is a beautiful WWII-era Art Deco movie theater cum music venue featuring a large balcony.  The Variety Playhouse just completed a top-to-bottom renovation after its recent purchase by Agon, which also owns the Georgia Theatre in Athens. After twenty years and eight albums, The Dillinger Escape Plan is breaking up amicably to pursue different projects. Their final album, Dissociation, continues their recent trend towards moodier, more cinematic music. Dissociation may be slow and evocative in places, but Dillinger Escape Plan still treads the line between order and madness. You hear more of Greg Puciato’s range as a vocalist. I’ve seen Dillinger several times at the Masquerade, and it was nice to see them at the Variety Playhouse with it’s larger stage and better lightshow. Cult Leader, from Salt Lake City, Utah, Carbomb, from New York, and O’Brother from Atlanta, are joining them on tour.  This tour of performances will finish up its American leg in Burlington, VT on November 17; Huntington, NY on November 18; and Hartford, CT on November 19, and then three shows in Canada, and then it’s off to Europe.

Cult Leader opened the night up. Three of the four members of Cult Leader played together as Gaza, a highly-respected grindcore band which itself dates back to 2006. Cult Leader released their first EP in 2014 on Deathwish records, and followed it up with a full length, Lightless Walk, and another EP, Useless Animal, both in 2015. They opened the night up strong, and I felt a lot of charisma coming off the front line of the band. The crowd was largely receptive. No one I talked to had seen them before, but enjoyed their set.

Carbomb played second, after their very impressive massive drum kit was assembled (two  snares, two kick drums, four toms, and twelve cymbals!) It was worth it, because their drummer is incredible. The whole band was very tight, frequently stopping a blistering mosh breakdown on a dime. Carbomb formed out of two other bands, Neck and Spooge, who were sharing a rehearsal space in New York. Their sound is distinctly New York Hardcore, but with a progressive slant on it. It’s a great angle.  The crowd loved it and the first mosh pit of the night made its appearance.

O’Brother, the penultimate act of the night, are very talented, if not a departure from the tone of the rest of the lineup. They remind me of Mogwai or Explosions in the Sky, but spacier. Some of their material is heavy, but nothing as screamy or bludgeoning as Carbomb or Dillinger Escape Plan. Nevertheless, the band threw themselves into their performance, and the singer was charming. Their band features a baritone guitar player (this instrument is halfway between the bass and the guitar) which thickens their sound considerably. Their arrangements were lush, but still allowed for some extended improvisation. O’Brother formed in Atlanta in 2006. They just released their third studio album, Endless Light, this year.

Before our headliner came out, the security guards warned me that they’d heard about them, and about how crazy their shows can get. If things got too bad up front, I wouldn’t be allowed to shoot for the full three songs I typically get. Dillinger is known for breathing fire, leaping from rigging twenty feet into the air into the audience and other antics. Fortunately, things didn’t completely devolve until after my photography was complete. The Dillinger Escape Plan took the stage, launching into Limerent Death, the first single from their latest album. They sprinkled in a number of their classic hits, like “One of us is the Killer” and “Sunshine the Werewolf” (A personal favorite!) Dillinger was formed in 1997 and went through some lineup changes in the early years. The man anchored at the center is guitarist Ben Weinman. Weinman is an intense performer, hurling himself and his guitar around the stage and into the crowd. No one in this band is a slouch on stage.  But Weinman is in all places at all times. The band played a full set followed by a 3 song encore ending with “43% Burnt”, from their debut EP, released 17 years ago.  

I met fans that drove five hours to see this show. These fans were 3 when Dillinger’s first EP came out. Most bands with this long of a history hit a rut, get a sound and run with it for their careers. Dillinger has never been afraid to reinvent themselves over and over.

Napalm Death takes a Death March through Atlanta’s Masquerade April 10

On April 10, Napalm Death and the Melvins came to the Masquerade, co-headlining the Savage Imperial Death March Tour.  They’re all still at the top of their game, and packing in shows.  They’re doing 35 shows in 42 days, blazing through 22 states and 3 Canadian provinces. I’m tired just describing it, but this is par for the course for these two bands, each with their own reputation for playing long, intense sets and not taking many days off. The Melvins set a world record by traveling around the USA, playing all 50 states plus Washington DC in 51 days in 2012 (they released a DVD of this tour, made up entirely of mobile phone footage crowd-sourced from their fans! You can find it here).

“We have been talking about doing a tour like this for a long time, so we are thrilled it’s finally happening,” says Napalm Death bass player Shane Embury in an interview with Loudwire. “Having been long time fans and friends of the Melvins we are very happy to be embarking on this six-week tour of musical madness with them and Melt Banana. Expect the unexpected!”

There were a lot of old school metal fans out that night. Both the Melvins and Napalm Death have been touring since the early 80s (I just did a quick calculation and the combined touring experience of the bands on this billing is 90 years!).

Melt-Banana, a Japanese duo whose style is best described as “Noise/Punk/Something Not of this Earth/Seriously, What is That,” joins them on tour. Melt-Banana has been a cult sensation for more than twenty years, primarily in the United States and UK.  It helps that their songs are in English.  They formed in 1992, and were signed within 6 months when they gained the attention of legendary producer Steve Albini. They’ve had a drummer and bass player previously, but have functioned as a tight, efficient duo for most of their career.  Guitarist Ichirou Agata is known for his ability to draw “non-guitar sounds” from his guitar.  He does this with his unusual playing style, using pick scrapes, odd harmonics, and feedback as well multiple synths, distortions and other effects spread across two pedalboards onstage.  Yasuko Onuki matches his frenetic style with her own, and she drives the backbeat using a wireless MIDI controller in one hand as she sings into her mic in the other. The crowd was digging it.  Melt-Banana closed their set by saying “instead of playing 3 long songs, we will play 6 short ones,” and proceeded to play six spastic musical vignettes, each no more than 90 seconds long, like the musical equivalent of a bento box.

The Melvins played next, and the crowd was ready to start moshing. These guys are classic metal and are still drawing new, younger fans. King Buzzo, the lead singer and guitarist played a cool aluminum guitar that gave a distinct edge to his sound, and an explanation for his name. The Melvins took their time and ran through hits from their entire 30-year career.  You can only pack so much into a 90 minute set, though.  King Buzzo prowled the stage in a wizard’s robe decorated with eyeballs, while drummer Dale Crover and bassist Steven McDonald helpfully wore shirts which read “Drums” and “Bass” in glitter.  The Melvins got their start back in 1983, and have cultivated an underground following of influential artists.  Maybe you don’t like the Melvins, but many of your favorite rockers sure do.  Their sludgy sound laid the seeds for Seattle’s grunge rock scene.  Progressive metal bands like Tool and Mastodon also consider the Melvins an important influence.  They produced a high intensity set that demonstrated what a finely tuned gigging machine they’ve become.  There was a sizeable mosh pit and crowd surfers bobbed on the surface to fall into the photo pit.  

Napalm Death closed the night. Melvins frontman Buzz Osborne adds, “Napalm Death sounds like a gorilla on LSD firing a machine gun… and I mean that in a good way. We’re happy to be heading out with the ultimate grindcore pioneers.”  Sometimes a band doesn’t sound like their name.  Napalm Death is not that band. While none of the original members from 1983 are still in the band, the current lineup had all found their place in the band by 1991.  It’s crazy to think you might start a band with your friends, everyone with whom you started that band leaves at some point, and that band is still going strong a quarter-century after the fact.  One thing that has not changed over the years is the absolute face-flapping loudness and intensity of this band. Grindcore came into existence because these guys birthed it.  Their live shows are equally intense.  Napalm Death blasted through their set, from the first downbeat to the last dissonant feedback.  For a full 80 minutes, vocalist Mark Greenway ran from one end of the stage to the other, from the drum riser into the photo pit to goad the audience, and then back to the drum riser. The audience met his energy in kind, and it was hard to find a place in the room untouched by the chaos in motion. Apex Predator – Easy Meat is their 15th and most recent release.
The Savage Imperial Death March tour continues through May 8, and you can see the rest of the dates here.

Waka Flocka Flame sells out Atlanta’s Center Stage Jan. 16

The pit was packed on Jan. 16 at Atlanta’s Center Stage for Waka Flocka Flame, an act featuring Russ and Kelechi out on their Flockaveli 1.5 tour. The crowd turned up on the dance floor to mosh and grind their way through the night. The air was thick with the heavy perfume of Mary Jane before the party even started.

Kelechi, the opening act, hails from Marietta, Ga. He started his career as SUBMiT, but changed his stage name to Kelechi, his given name, as a means of embracing his Nigerian heritage. While most concertgoers see opening acts as an opportunity to pregame or grab a T-shirt before the lines get long, Kelechi had many fans in the house singing along to his music. His single “WANT,” gained the attention of Mountain Dew’s music magazine Green Label Sound and earned him a trip to SXSW in 2015. His DJ, Ukan, did a great job keeping the set moving along, and he was clearly having a great time with the sold out crowd, rapping along with Kelechi from time to time. He exited the stage via the photo pit to exchange fist bumps and high fives with some fans. 

Up next was Russ, a prolific producer, rapper, and member of the DIEMON crew with 11 albums to his name. He is not your typical Atlanta rapper. Russ isn’t yelling “Shots! Shots! Shots!” in your ear; instead, he wants to sit down and have a long conversation with you over a bottle of liquor. His music will take you to the darker, more quiet corners of the block party. His productions are smooth and highly listenable. I wish that the polish and attention he brings to his studio productions carried through to his onstage performance. The stage seemed big for him. The crowd was full of his fans, and I heard lots of people singing along to his music, but I wanted to see more charisma and command from him. Nevertheless, at the end of his performance, admirers were clambering to get close to him, take his picture, and ask where they could buy his jacket (You can get it on his website here).

After a brief intermission, Waka exploded onto the stage with a large group of friends and fans. At that moment, the whole energy of the place shifted. The dancing in the crowd turned into moshing. Onstage, people were taking lots of selfies and passing around bottles of Patron.  People in the crowd held their phones in their outstretched arms towards the stage, to have the rapper take a selfie with their phones. Waka barely stopped moving to stop to talk to the crowd. He didn’t have to. He leaped and moshed from one end of the stage to the other for almost the entire set.

Girls begged to be pulled onto stage. Girls begged -me- to pull them onstage. That was weird, because photographers are usually invisible. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Everyone there wanted to be close to him. Those not lucky enough to be pulled into the party onstage got their chance when he leaped into the audience and wandered out into the crowd for a few songs. The lights on stage and in the house went down, and he was lit by nothing but the ever present cell phone flashlights and cameras as people clambered to document him and their closeness to him. Later, he took a ‘break’ by heading back to join DJ Whoo Kid at the DJ Booth to take shots and spin hits by his friends and collaborators.

Towards the end of his enduring 90 minute set, some of the crowd started to filter out early to beat traffic. When you’re as big as Waka Flocka is now, you’re bound to get some folks at your shows that aren’t true believers. Those people may have gotten out of the parking deck faster, but they missed something very special when Waka had all the lights turned off, to be lit only by everyone’s cell phone flashlights and lighters while he spun a freestyle about his childhood and the hardships he’s faced to get to his place now. When he was done, he handed off his microphone, walked off stage without a word and headed downstairs.

Backstage offered no rest for the wicked, though, because there were fans and hangers-on waiting for him, to be in his presence and to snap photos of and with him. And Waka has a presence, even off stage. He’s tall, lean, and handsome, with an attractive smile. The dressing room after the show was a mellow environment; fat blunts were passed around alongside bottles of liquor and delicious-looking cupcakes. Selfies were taken, assessed and re-taken, and there was a friendly conversation and laughter throughout the dressing room. I wandered out of the haze around 2 a.m., past the crews sweeping up the bottles, flyers and other post-concert detritus. I’m sure the party carried on, as Waka basked in the success of his concert and album release.

Black Dahlia Murder slays Atlanta’s Masquerade Dec. 11

The Black Dahlia Murder are on tour supporting their new album Abysmal, and played a well-attended show at the Masquerade on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. The crowd got more intense as a full night of down-tuned riffs, blistering vocals and double bass blast beats carried on. The members of Black Dahlia Murder assembled the tour lineup themselves with bands from a variety of labels to showcase a spectrum of brutality from the old-school thrash they grew up with to the off-kilter time signatures and breakdowns of contemporary mathcore.

Artificial Brain opened the night. They are a five-piece death metal band from Long Island, NY, and are touring in support of their debut album Labyrinth Constellation. The crowd was strong and attentive for the opening act. You see fewer people staring at their phones during the opening acts at metal shows than you do at indie shows. The vocalist, Will Smith (no relation), thanked the audience for coming out early, reminding them that they “could have still been at home, taking bong rips and playing Fallout.”

Entheos put on an excellent performance, with high energy, compelling and complex guitar parts over tight, percussive double bass mosh. The musicianship in Entheos is exactly what you’d expect from the former drummer of Animals as Leaders, the bass player from The Faceless, and the guitarist from Animosity. Chaney Crabb prowled, kicked and leaped, never stopping for breath as she pounded out her growling lyrics. Entheos just released their self-titled 3 song EP.

Iron Reagan played next. Although they only formed this year, the members of Iron Reagan are all veterans of bands like Municipal Waste and Darkest Hour. Their sound is old school thrash metal and the crowd loved it. Six-string guitars made their first appearance of the night as the guitar players in Iron Reagan reminded all in attendance that you don’t need “low” to get “heavy.” The crowd got good and warmed up as the mosh pit reached critical mass.

The penultimate act, Goatwhore, came on stage bedecked in studded black leather gauntlets, boots and jackets. Hailing from New Orleans, Goatwhore has spent 16 years grinding out death metal, steeped in Jack Daniels and the sneering attitude southern metal is known for, with a touch of bluesiness in the fast, tough-guy riffing. Vocalist Louis Falgoust controlled the crowd with his presence, and loomed over the mosh pit, directing its activities with his gestures.

The Black Dahlia Murder headlined the night, playing hits from their extensive catalog. By the time they took the stage, the audience was frothing with energy. Crowd surfers fell into the photo pit and reached for the band, only to be carried off to the sidelines by the venue security. A gigantic moshpit swirled with shirtless bodies, and every surface in the room resonated with death metal. Even the stage security was singing along. The night closed when the audience’s thirst for savagery was quenched.

The energy of a death metal show is hard to describe if you haven’t been. The music may be merciless, but the crowd is supportive and friendly. It’s a community that welcomes others, and attempts to police itself of bad elements. It’ll be interesting to see where shows like this will go when the Masquerade closes. Is there a venue that’s large enough to handle the bigger crowds of international touring acts, but still accessible enough to allow niche acts a place to play to larger audiences? Time will tell how this void will be filled.

Live Review: Gojira, Devin Townsend Project, The Atlas Moth at The Masquerade

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Review and Photos by David Feltman

The best concerts always include at least one surprisingly good band you’ve never heard of before. And by that standard, the Gojira/Devin Townsend Project show at The Masquerade on February 5th was a great show. The opening act, The Atlas Moth, was a complete question mark on the roster, but by the end of the set, the band had me heading to the merch table to look for their albums.

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The band played a quick set between 30-to-45 minutes in near darkness. With nothing more than a little red tinted backlighting, The Atlas Moth used the lack of lighting like a sensory deprivation tank. Perhaps inspired by Devin Townsend’s own “metal ocean” concept or band’s like ISIS who have since expanded on the idea, The Atlas Moth’s brand of post metal played like squalls and crashing waves. The biggest surprise came from the way the band toyed with the notion of “voice as instrument” by filtering yelps and screams through looping and echoing effects, creating layer upon layer of heavy ambient sound.

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A headliner in his own right, the Devin Townsend Project was next on the night’s lineup. Always the consummate showman, Townsend kept the audience entertained even while his crew was setting up. Obscure YouTube videos and repurposed movie posters featuring amusingly unflattering pictures of Townsend were projected on a screen over the stage. The strange slide show kept concertgoers guffawing until curtain time.

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Townsend is an act that must be seen live. He goofs and mugs for the fans between songs, but he also conducts and commands his audience in any manner he pleases, from sing alongs to mass “jazz hands.” His stage presence is electric and it’s impossible to resist his massive energy. Everything about his show has been carefully crafted around crowd interaction and to that end, Townsend is one of the most generous and obliging artists you could hope to see in person.

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Despite being quite visibly exhausted and dripping in sweat, Townsend hopped up on top of the barrier and worked his way slowly across the audience from right to left until every extended hand was shook and every question and compliment had been addressed.

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Where as Townsend’s set was imbued with passion and gusto, Gojira’s set was utter savagery. The audience wasn’t so much warmed up as over heated by the time Gojira went on. A fog of sweat hung discernibly below the rafters three songs into the set. True to the savage child of Gojira’s new album title, many of the males stripped off their shirts despite the cool February weather outside. The crowd was a sea of bobbing and flailing limbs. Bodies surfed over the top and collided with the photographers beyond the barrier. One young man, holding his long hair back, took a few steps vomited on the floor, took a few more steps, vomited again. The methodical dipping of his head between steps appeared to be in time with Gojira’s trudging tempos. Another young girl, who couldn’t have weighed more than 90 lbs., took three long, hard drags off of a joint before collapsing unconscious into the arms of a stranger.

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Whether the result of youthful excess or madness motivated by the band’s tribal rhythms, the audience was radiating wild amounts of energy. After “Oroborus,” Gojira cooled the crowd down with Mario Duplantier’s drum solo before wrapping up the last two-to-three songs of the show.

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The band closed with “Vacuity” and saved “Gift of Guilt” as an encore. The fatigued audience deflated like an old birthday balloon as the show ended. Someone presented Joe Duplantier with a large “Thank You” poster and there was a moment of shared, albeit weary, appreciation between artist and audience. This is a show with no weak spots, no low points and guarantees that you will come away tired, sweaty and satisfied.

Grindcore grows older, not softer: an evening with Napalm Death at Zydeco Birmingham, AL 11/26

Napalm Death has a history of chaos. So much so that its lineup almost completely changed between the A-side and B-side of its debut album, Scum. The band has none of its founding members, yet it has managed to exist for just over 30 years and boasts a catalogue of 15 studio albums.

“Once it would have been very easy to say, ‘Ah, you know, that’s it. We’ve done enough. You know, we’ll just finish it there,’” says lead singer Mark “Barney” Greenway. “But we just always, when things seemed to be not as good, we always seemed to pull something out of the fire that motivated us to move further.”

Originally from Birmingham, UK, Greenway has been screaming, shouting and growling for Napalm Death for roughly 22 of his 43 years. Despite his tenure, Greenway never seriously considered a career as a vocalist when he started. And to hear him tell it, Napalm Death didn’t put a lot of consideration into him either.

“Lee (Dorrian) left, the singer before me, and I was just the first choice because I use to hang around with them and I kinda use to roadie for them and stuff. And they just asked me. I don’t think they really thought about it that much to be honest…I would have probably only given it a couple of years and some good times and, yeah, something to say that I’ve done. But I never expected it to last this long. I never had any agenda to be a musician. That’s what people should understand, I really didn’t. Yeah, I had a band, but I couldn’t really say I was that serious a musician. I was just moving along on the tide of excitement of being in a band, you know. So when I joined Napalm it was a shock really. But I made the most of it, did the best I could and I think, hopefully, it turned out to be something I was pretty capable at.”

Napalm Death has long been cited with creating, or at least defining, gindcore. The combination of hardcore punk and death metal makes for songs that are brutal, loud and whiplash fast. In fact, the band holds the Guinness record for shortest song. But the limitations of the genre often snares band in a monotonous cycle. Napalm Death has certainly had its lulls over the years, but the band has, for the most part, managed to keep its sound fresh over the years by knocking down the same boarders it’s credited with forging.

“When we make albums we don’t tick a load of boxes as to how we should or shouldn’t sound,” says Greenway. “We just really do what feels right at the time, you know, and that does include just trying to make an album that stands out. You know it would be very easy for us to do another album of 20-second songs. We could write one of those in a week and, yeah, it’d be pretty ok. But what’s the point, you know, if you’ve got other ideas that are not going to dilute the thing that made the band so special in the first place, as in the fast and furious and chaotic sound? So if we can expand upon that, then what’s the problem?”

Napalm Death has started to incorporate largely unorthodox (for grindcore) elements into its music, including the vocals of Dutch operatic rock singer Anneke van Giersbergen on Smear Campaign and a jazz saxophone on Utilitarian. Such experimentation has caused criticism in the past, but since the band switched labels to Century Media and particularly since releasing The Code is Red…Long Live the Code the band has enjoyed near unanimous praise in spite of its bold tinkering.

“I have to pinch myself sometimes. It’s a wonder as to why there’s no, like, negative reviews. But I haven’t seen any at all, which is fucking strange. We’ve always written the way we’ve ever written. I just think that perhaps since 2000, we did Enemy of the Music Business, all our albums, instead of being ever more furious then they have been at any other time, apart from the early days, I don’t think people like that. When you mix that with the, like you were saying, like, the sax stuff we had on the last album, like the ambient influences and whatever else, it just makes something that sticks out.”

Utilitarian, released February of this year, may consist of slower, three-minute songs, but Napalm Death’s sound has matured rather than mellowed. Instead of the typical wall of noise, the band brings a surprisingly nuanced musical arsenal to the table without blunting its extreme metal edge. Anyone who may think Napalm Death has grown soft only needs to see the band live.



Sharing a bill with Speed Wolf, Exhumed and Municipal Waste, Napalm Death was the highlight of the show at the Zydeco. Monday night shows are generally anathema to professional touring bands, especially when you don’t start playing until nearly 10 pm. But Napalm Death proved to have enough drawing power to lure metal heads out of their holes. The range of fans was impressive, from peach fuzzed young’uns to old school aficionados that could be mistaken for ZZ Top members. Everyone was out and head banging for Napalm Death’s set.

Regardless of how fast or hard the band might play in the studio, everything played live is a little harder and faster. It’s easy to forget that the band’s members are all in their mid-40s when they’re on stage. Greenway in particular is a complete blur as he runs, jumps, and epileptically thrashes. That much energy sent the audience in to waves of violence that smashed against the foot of the stage. It didn’t feel like a Monday night show.

The band pulled out a couple of surprises in the set list, playing “Scum” and “You Suffer” (a 1.3-second song, which they played twice for kicks) as well as a cover of Dead Kennedys’ “Nazi Punks Fuck Off.” The audience was nearly spent once Municipal Waste took the stage around 11:30 pm. Most of the older fans bailed out as the younger fans pushed to the front.

Napalm Death may have started out as a band your parent wouldn’t let you listen to, but now that the band has spanned a generation, it’s becoming the band your parents are still listening to. The tempo may not be quite as fast, but Napalm Death is harder and heavier than ever in their old age. And they’ve got no plans of stopping. “After how ever many years, twenty-something years, it’s the unspoken thing that’s hard to explain,” says Greenway.

“It just seems to work. You know, we’re all different people at the end of the day. I mean, there’s times where we don’t always agree on stuff. But you have to kinda get past that and understand what are the plus points of your particular band. For us it just seems to work.”