Vader, Malevolent Creation, Cattle Decapitation, Abigail Williams, Light This City, Veil of Maya, and Burn Everything - November 23, 2007 - Back
Death By Decibels 2007 Tour
Rochester, NY ‚ Penny Arcade

It was the day after Thanksgiving and what an odd evening this show turned out to be...and not due to the bands, it was the venue. Vader, Malevolent Creation, Cattle Decapitation, Abigail Williams, Light This City, Veil of Maya, and Burn Everything played throughout the night in what was called the Death By Decibels tour. The location was the Penny Arcade in Rochester, NY. One of my favorite places to hit a show.

Upon arriving at the venue my friend and I went in to grab a drink, only to find out that the Penny Arcade lost their liquor license. They had a "hip-hop" night sometime in the previous weeks, which ended in a drunken brawl where the police were involved. This kinda blew our mind because a show to my friend and I goes well with a beer in hand. So to remedy this situation, in between sets we walked to an adjacent bar to grab a drink.

When the first band took stage we found out that it was another band was added to the bill. Which at first was a welcome treat, and later, as I will explain, turned out to be detrimental to the show.

Burn Everything was a local hardcore/grindcore band from Rochester. They played for about twenty minutes or so. They were pretty decent for a local band. Nothing really to highlight, but something worth a mention at least.

After Burn Everything went off the stage I was starting to wonder a little about the houseís mix because it just didnít sound all that balanced. It was, what it was, at the time...not too big of a deal since it was a local band.

Veil of Maya hit the stage next with quite a powerful sound. I read a little about the band and checked out a few tracks before I went to the show to see what to expect from them. They came with full force and seemed to be pretty brutal, despite the crudely mixed sound from the Penny Arcade. Not much to highlight from these guys, but they played about twenty minutes or so.

Next to bring power to the stage was Light This City. They turned out to be quite a treat. They sounded good with the poorly managed board, at least the best of the night. Light This City was an energetic bunch that got me prepared for the rest of the night. I hope to see them again where I get a chance to see them a little longer on stage, because they only got a chance to play about four tunes.

At this point of the evening I found out that the people in charge of the venue were trying to get the bands on the stage and off the stage as quick as possible, which made the next couple bands suffer a little, and disappoint the fans...

Iíve heard tons of good things about Abigail Williams, and enjoyed their EP that came out early 2007...I was looking forward to see them on stage. This is where the night started to deteriorate, and I must stress, at no fault of the bands. During their set, the sound maxed out a few time resulting in a muffled sound, along with a few high-pitched squeals out of the speakers. When I started to really get into their music, they were cut short, only playing three songs. Abigail Williams vocalist asked if they could play one last song that was three minutes long. They told him no. So he dropped his mic and walked off stage, seemingly pissed at the incident. My immediate thought was, "What the fuck?" How can a band be way over their time when they only played 3 songs?

After this debacle, I was wondering what was next...

Cattle Decapitation punished the ears of their concertgoers following Abigail Williams. Brutality is what we all got from this San Diego-based death grind act. The music was good for the brutally trained ear. Their vocalist has quite an expression on his face when screaming his death-grind vocals, all while his tongue sticking out like a dead heifer, much like their namesake. I'm sure they could have sounded a little better too if the board didn't once again max-out, and they got to play a couple more tracks.

On to the main reasons to go to this show...Malevolent Creation and Vader!!

The Malevolent ones possibly were the best of the evening. They played tracks from all over their catalogue, probably played the most off their latest creation "Doomsday X." The sound seemed to be ok from the house mix, though a little muffled. Tons of shredding guitars, pummeling drums, and death growls. I talked to Phil after their set to thanks him for the great show and the interview he did about a month previous to the show. As I reach to shake his hand, he told me to watch out because he had a broken hand. It just amazed me that someone can play with the speed and technicality that he did all with a broke hand. Now that's metal!!! Malevolent Creation played about thirty-five to forty minutes. Not to bad, but a few more tracks would have been nice. Hell they have been around for nearly 20 years!

At the end of the evening was Vader, all the way from Poland! Once again the sound wasn't the greatest, but I was thrilled because it's Vader! They played well and just as the previous bands gave the audience a great show. It was a heavy, aggressive, pounding metal slaughter. Just as Malevolent Creation did before Vader, they played excerpt from their two decade long metal compendium.

As you can see the bands were good, but the venue ruined it for me a bit. No alcohol, that's not cool. The headliners played between forty and fifty minutes, which isn't too bad. But everyone else had time to play only about three or four songs, which really sucked for their fans, and the bands that love to play in front of an audience. The board maxing out at times where you heard muffled static, high pitched squeals, and an obviously unbalanced board, really is unacceptable. All of this didn't ruin the show for me but it could have been a hell of a lot better.

Anyhow highlights of the nights for me were Vader, Malevolent Creation, Abigail Williams and Light This City. It was the first time I've seen any of the bands. For the time they had on stage they did as well as possible with the venue limitations. Malevolent was good to see. Vader was very solid. Light This City was a big surprise for me. Abigail Williams was good too, but with only seeing three songs there really wasn't much to go on.

This show will definitely be a memorable one. For the great bands and odd venue circumstance...


Reviewed By: Jeffrey D. Adkins