Metal heads across the valley have been saying – We need a promoter that will bring the best in slam and brutal death metal to the Phoenix area. Well my friends your cries have been answered in the form of Cannibalistic Events. In his debut endeavor, Cheffery Dahmer showcased how to put on a successful show and breathe life back into the local venues. The venue hosting this particular show would be Scottsdale’s own Rogue Bar, which provided the perfect atmosphere for a bunch of fans to rub elbows with the talent of the night including Arizona bands, Fetal Disgorge, Atoll, Meathook, and Wisconsin’s Putrid Pile. This was a bombshell of a show; let me give you a rundown of how the night went and the amazing performances I experienced.
Since Matt Riena banded with Kenny Palumbo to bring Fetal Disgorge out of hiatus, the two have been on a rampage across the valley. Taking advantage of the plethora of metal shows the ‘Valley of the Sun’ has to offer, Fetal Disgorge have utilized their short amount of time together fine tuning their stage performance; all while rebuilding their fan base and recording a highly anticipated full length album entitled Mass Female Degradation – Hard work and dedication = results!
This show would mark my third live Fetal Disgorge experience; it would also mark the moment I truly realized the momentum Kenny and Matt are building is going to steam roll slam music as we know it. Much like a UFC fighter prepping to enter the ring, Matt Riena is one of the more focused musicians before, during, and after a live set I have seen in Arizona. Again, (Hard work and dedication = results) Matt was lightning fast and surgically precise behind the kit. Blast beats were flawless, rolls and double bass were on point, and his cymbal work threads the needle through all of it. Kenny Palumbo takes point on stage equipped with his Jackson and two mics, (one positioned stage left, and one stage right) Kenny shreds through riffs as if the Rogue Bar was an artillery range.
No drum triggers, no pedals, no sample tracks or effects; Fetal Disgorge brings the slams raw to the stage completely disregarding your preference on how you like your metal cooked. Thank you gentlemen for the killer performance can’t wait to hear the new album.
Here is another band I have had the pleasure of watching grow into a rising powerhouse in the slam world, Atoll have opened for some of the industries finest when it comes to extreme metal; Nile, Origin, Aeon, and Deicide are just a few they have shared the stage with. This night however, would prove to be one of their better performances I’ve seen to date. They shared the stage with peers in the genre, not a mix of styles from the local scene followed by a headliner – This was slam night! It was time to bring your “A-game” and Atoll delivered.
After signing to Ghastly Music, Atoll would release their debut album The Gathering Swarm early 2016. Riding the wave from the release, the band immediately went back to work in the studio churning out new material with the help of new vocalist, Wade Taylor. The direction of their music is a complete U-turn from the debut offering, which can be compared to Atoll’s latest single “Forced Xenotransplantation”; even more notably during their live set. Only three songs from the debut album would occupy the set list for the show Saturday night, new songs like “Dripping Dead” (My personal favorite), “Global Wyrming” and the previously mentioned “Forced Xenotransplantation”, replace old favorites like “Delivered Rot” and “Necromorphosis” – As a fan, I’m completely fine with it!
Atoll put on the performance of their career on this particular occasion; they seem to have finally found their groove on stage. Andy and Cameron obligated the crowd to slam heads and stomp boots with a deep driving backdrop. Drum and bass tones sounded better than ever. Chris and Neil always bring chest crushing, down tuned, corrugated riffs to the front line. The magnetism Atoll showed reached across the venue, pulling fans to the source.
This is where I take my press badge, and throw it in the pit. Meathook took the stage right as my buzz was kicking in, waiting on a refill I watched anxiously from the bar as they opened their set with punishing force. Meathook is the epitome of slam metal for the drinking class of metal head; I respect a lead singer who only sets their beer down to grab another beer. There is no time to find an adequate place to set down your drink when Meathook kicks in full force, you’re only obligation is to not spill your beer as the mosh pit starts churning.
Capitalizing on the energy generated by the opening acts, Meathook wasted zero time setting up shop. Their professionalism showed as they quickly worked through sound check, fans already shouting and throwing horns up in the air. No bullshit music here, the sound coming from the stage was nothing short of pure brutality. Guitar work by Robin and Aaron was spot on, I found myself straining to watch both players shred their fret boards, timing was immaculate and tone was unique compared to previous offerings throughout the night. Making my way to the back of the venue to catch the broad spectrum of sound blasting from the stage, I found the perfect spot to experience the full body of Elliot’s rich bass tone and the madness coming from Johny’s drum kit; that snare tone is something that has stuck with me since. Mars deep and punishing growls bash your cranium like a blunt instrument, he doesn’t demand front and center stage like some front men do; his charisma is displayed by letting his vocals do their job, the fans have time to focus on the entire band not just the singer. Meathook put on a killer performance; I can’t wait to catch them live again here in the future.
With the influx of solo projects popping up in the metal scene over the last decade, few have been doing it longer and more successfully than the man, the myth, the legend Shaun LaCanne and Putrid Pile. Coming off a number of huge festivals this year in support of his new album Paraphiliac Perversions, Shaun arrived in Phoenix the day of the show and was welcomed by Cannibalistic Events with metal and Sierra Nevada. Later that night at the Rogue Bar, Shaun could be found mingling with the fans and exchanging stories with the local acts; all while enjoying the Arizona brutality live on stage. His demeanor suggested that he was genuinely enjoying the small club atmosphere, which added to Putrid Pile’s stage prowess that night. Being a one man band, Shaun takes advantage of the no stress environment. He travels lite and has minimal stage set-up. Shaun utilizes the intermission feeling out the stage and the crowd, after a quick sound check and a toast to the already cheering crowd of maniacs – It was time for the contusing force that is Putrid Pile.
Using a small mixing board and his phone, Shaun runs the show from the stage. His backing music is just that, backing music, it is the perfect palate on which to splatter bloody art across. Putrid Pile is all guitar and vocals at the front line, if you are not slamming your fists on the stage or collecting bruises in the pit; you are standing there in awe of the blinding fast fret work taking place in front of you. Shaun’s vocal work is just as impressive as he seamlessly switches from low growls, to piercing screeches in the blink of an eye. The entire set was not only massive in sound but in stage presence as well. The fans were also treated to a cameo vocal appearance by one of Shaun’s long time Phoenix friends by the name of Mike (last name not given), who turned this set up to 11. Putrid Pile played a long an extensive set for the patrons of the Rogue Bar, yet after the last song the fans showed Shaun that he wasn’t getting away without an encore. Hearing the crowd chant “Putrid Pile” at the top of their lungs, Shaun turned with a smile and his horns in the air, plugged his guitar back in, and treated all of us to another round mayhem.
I want to say thank you to the Cannibalistic Events for having That Metal Station at this sick ass show, also Thank you to all of the bands that played their hearts out for the fans. Most importantly I want to thank all of the metal heads that came out and supported the scene, you are the ones keeping metal alive.