OBITUARY (2019) Live Concert Review

With Special Guests ABBATH, MIDNIGHT, and DEVIL MASTER

  • Venue: The Forge – Joliet, Illinois
  • Date: October 12, 2019
  • Special guests: ABBATH, MIDNIGHT, DEVIL MASTER
  • Reviewed by Michael Juvinall – Horror Patch
  • All Photos Copyrighted by Michael L. Juvinall

The year was 1989 and this horror/heavy metal journalist was 21-years old at the time. I had been into metal since I was about 14-years old. This particular year saw the release of Slowly We Rot, the debut album by the new Floridian death metallers Obituary. I remember buying the cd of the album and having to pick my jaw off the floor after having listened to it for the first time. This was a sound I had never heard before. It was death metal for sure but not the sustained speed with blast beats and the like. This was more death/doom sounding. Slow, grinding, metal with the occasional bursts of speed. I instantly fell in love with Obituary and have been a fan ever since. The band along with fellow Floridian groups, Morbid Angel, Death, Deicide, Six Feet Under and others became a subgenre of their own – Florida death metal. 

Getting any opportunity to see Obituary perform live is a chance not to be missed. They pioneered death metal and have all the experience and sound to back it up. So when Obituary comes to town, you jump at the chance. I have seen them live a few times now and they’ve never disappointed. 

This was the 30th-anniversary tour for Slowly We Rot so appropriately, they played most of the songs from that album along with a spattering of other tracks from their library. 

They started the show off with the instrumental hit “Redneck Stomp”. This initiated the crowd into their music and madness and got things really moving. The first half of their set was comprised of songs off their varied discography including “Chopped In Half”, “Turned Inside Out”, “Dying” and others. 

The second half of their setlist was all songs from Slowly We Rot! Founding member and frontman John Tardy was on point. His voice never sounded so good. I don’t know how he does it, his deep, guttural growls are the best in the business but he looks like he’s going to pop a vein in his head when he sings – I just hope he never stops. 

The band was tight as ever with Trevor Peres and Kenny Andrews on guitars and Terry Butler on bass guitar. Backing things up as always was John’s brother and co-founder Donald Tardy on the kit. If anyone ever says to you that extreme metal bands are full of hack’s – punch them in the face because I’m here to tell you these guys are the best of the best and true musicians to the core. 

I do want to comment and I’m not sure if it was just me because I was sick as a dog on this night but the lighting for the band seemed off to me. It seemed flat and uninspired, not the usual lighting for these shows. I wasn’t impressed with the light show, but that’s me and it didn’t affect the way they played so it’s a minor whine. Also, they only played for 65 minutes, but that’s another rant for another time. 

4 out of 5 Pentagrams!

Setlist:

  1. Snortin’ Whiskey (Pat Travers song) (Played from tape)
  2. Redneck Stomp
  3. Threatening Skies
  4. By the Light
  5. Chopped in Half
  6. Turned Inside Out
  7. Dying
  8. Straight to Hell
  9. Find the Arise
  10. I’m in Pain
  11. Don’t Care
  12. Deadly Intentions
  13. Internal Bleeding
  14. Godly Beings
  15. Suffocation
  16. Words of Evil
  17. Intoxicated

Encore:

  1. A Dying World
  2. Slowly We Rot

Click on each image to enlarge:


Direct support for the tour came from the Norwegian black metal band, ABBATH. If you’re not familiar with this band, they were formed in 2015. Frontman and guitarist Abbath Doom Occulta split from legendary Norwegian black metal icons Immortal that year and pulled together his own band. These guys are the real shit! It’s true Norwegian black metal and they don’t joke around with it – corpse painted faces and all. Scandinavian black metal is the real deal and a treat to see live if you ever get the chance. 

This quintet is also quite accomplished players and didn’t disappoint. I had never had the opportunity to see them and was happy I did. They played for a full hour to the crowd’s delight. Abbath had a knack for stirring up the crowd with some not politically correct gestures and facial movements. 

3.5 out of 5 Pentagrams!

Setlist:

  1. Count the Dead
  2. Bridge of Spasms
  3. The Artifex
  4. Harvest Pyre
  5. In My Kingdom Cold (Immortal cover)
  6. Tyrants (Immortal cover)
  7. Warriors (I cover)
  8. Calm in Ire (Of Hurricane)
  9. Hecate
  10. Outstrider
  11. Winterbane
  12. To War!

Click on each image to enlarge:


The other two opening bands I was not familiar with at all. That’s not a bad thing because sometimes you discover a young, hungry opening band that turns out to be something good. Unfortunately, this was not the case with these bands. 

The second opener was the Cleveland black/punk-metal outfit, MIDNIGHT. This group has been around the block a bit, they’ve been a band since 2003. But I’ve never been a fan of the punk/metal sound and act, with only a few exceptions – The Misfits, Danzig, Doyle, etc. Anyways, this trio wore black hoods/masks on heads so you couldn’t see their faces at all. Ok, no big deal. 

These guys had a lot of energy and were definitely not static in their performance but I was not into their music much. They were good players and musicians but it wasn’t really my thing. I try to keep an open mind when I go and review a show but they didn’t do much for me. Oh well, on to the next band. 

2.5 out of 5 Pentagrams!

Setlist: 

  1. Penetratal Ecstasy
  2. Poison Trash
  3. Black Rock’n’Roll
  4. Satanic Royalty
  5. Evil Like a Knife
  6. Lust Filth and Sleaze
  7. You Can’t Stop Steel
  8. Who Gives a Fuck?
  9. Unholy and Rotten

Click on each image to enlarge:


The initial openers were a Philadelphia based again, black/punk metal band, DEVIL MASTER. I was not impressed in the slightest with these guys. Lead vocalist, “Disembody” is definitely a punk style vocalist. He hung on the mic stand and didn’t really move around – strike one. Guitarist and practicing Satanist, “Darkest Prince” was decent enough but again, not my sound – strike two. The rest of the six-piece was just there in the background, again, nothing special – strike three! They played for 30 minutes. 

2 out of 5 Pentagrams!

Setlist:

  1. Black Flame Candle
  2. Skeleton Hand
  3. Christ’s Last Hiss
  4. Nightmares in the Human Collapse

Click on each image to enlarge: (Note – Devil Master had spider webs set up across the front of their stage. It was nearly impossible to shoot pics through that crap which is why there is a lack of pics for that band)

About Michael Juvinall (2559 Articles)
I am a devoted husband and father. I have been a voracious horror fan since the early age of 5. I watch all horror films but my great loves are classic horror films: Universal Monsters, Werewolves, Hammer Horror and an all around affinity for things that go bump in the night!

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