Tue November 15th, 2016
Minimum Age: 16+
Doors Open: 6:00PM
Show Time: 6:15PM
Event Ticket: $25
Day of Show: $30
***Please note: LPR does not print paper tickets. Tickets can only be claimed by checking in at will-call once doors have opened on the day of the show. The original ticket buyer must present a valid photo ID at that time. Will call name changes will not be permitted for this performance.***
Art reflects life. Extreme times demand extreme responses. Silence sucks. Noise is always the answer. And yes, NAPALM DEATH continue to be one of the few bands on this planet that adhere to all these principles and more. For the last three decades, their name as been synonymous with heavy music taken to the extreme – music that confronts, confounds and eviscerates in equal measure.
NAPALM DEATH’s enduring impact on the world of sonic savagery began in earnest in the late 80s, when the band’s first two albums – 1987’s Scum and its 1988 follow-up From Enslavement To Obliteration – refined and redefined the notion of brutality and velocity in the worlds of punk, hardcore and metal. Endorsed by legendary and much-missed DJ John Peel, the Brummie grindcore pioneers were such an exhilarating and yet alien dose of jolting adrenaline that even the mainstream media were forced to prick up their ears and take note. Throw in the fact that NAPALM DEATH were – and still are – driven by a ferocious intelligence and a genuine desire to make the world a better place through the promotion of rational thought and respect for all fellow humans, they stood apart from the often nihilistic and intellectually bankrupt underground metal scene and have remained unique and unerring ever since. While grind purists may point to those earliest records as evidence of the band’s significance, it is the tireless and terrorising exploits of the now classic line-up of vocalist Mark ‘Barney’ Greenway, bassist Shane Embury, guitarist Mitch Harris and drummer Danny Herrera that have cemented NAPALM DEATH’s status as extreme music legends. Over the last 20 years, the band have released a relentless slew of groundbreaking and fearless albums and other releases that have consistently punched holes in the heavy music world’s perimeter fence, espousing an indestructible credo of creativity and lyrical fire along the way.
However, unlike the vast majority of so-called veteran bands, NAPALM DEATH seem to be gaining momentum and focus as their story continues into its fourth decade. Albums like Smear Campaign (2006), Time Waits For No Slave (2009) and Utilitarian (2012) have proved beyond doubt that while their creators remain firmly at the forefront of the grindcore scene, they are also increasingly capable of expanding the boundaries of their own sound while exhibiting an undying passion for incorporating the most unimaginably intense and perverse fresh elements into their otherwise remorselessly fast and furious blueprint. And now, with the release of their fifteenth studio album, Apex Predator – Easy Meat, the undisputed Gods of Grind are poised to shatter preconceptions and redefine what it means to be truly extreme all over again.
“I guess the word to use is thrusting! It really goes for the throat!” says Barney. “People probably look at NAPALM and think ‘Fuck me, is that band still around?’ There’s a natural tendency as bands go on, that people on the outside say ‘Oh, they’re still making albums but they must be a bit humdrum now…’ and you know what? That’s something that I hope no one ever says about us. I find I don’t want something more refined or less extreme, I want something more extreme. Sometimes we’ll be in the studio and someone will say ‘Isn’t that a bit noisy?’ and I’ll say ‘Fucking hell, what do you mean? Turn it up! Let’s go and throw a microphone through the speaker!’ So that’s our attitude. The age of the band should never come into it. Just because you’re older, it doesn’t mean you lose the urge to make something challenging… or even annoying! Some of the sounds that NAPALM use are deliberately designed to annoy people, no question!”
A sprawling and frequently bewildering onslaught of fervently left-field and fiendishly inventive extremity, Apex Predator – Easy Meat takes everything that NAPALM DEATH have learned, absorbed and harnessed over the last 30 years and twists the resultant maelstrom into an unfathomable, tooth-shattering squall of ferocity. There is plenty of the hyperspeed grind that fans have long become accustomed to, but the more artful and dissonant elements that have long lurked within the band’s sound have been brought violently the fore like never before. As influenced by Swans, Killing Joke and Throbbing Gristle as they are by Siege, Celtic Frost and Discharge, these new songs add a wild array of new textures and tones to NAPALM DEATH’s sonic realm – all mixed to abominable perfection by long-time studio comrade Russ Russell – as slow-motion psychedelic sludge, barbaric post-industrial skree and flat-out quasi-electronic antagonism collide around the band’s trademark barrage of warped riffing and throat-flaying roars.
“The title track, it’s like Public Image Limited times ten!” says Barney. “It’s really extreme. There’s a lot of those influences on the album – Public Image, Killing Joke, Swans… all that kind of stuff. We were starting to do it on the last album, mixing it into the fast stuff, but this time we’ve mixed it in even more. Some of the chord stuff on there is pretty fucking mad. It was intentional. Sonically, we wanted it to be even more extreme. It’s quite simple. We’re not fucking around! Therein comes the paradox. You’ve got the really nasty, horrible, violent sound and then the really humane lyrics. I love that paradox.”
Once again proclaiming their refusal to stand by while the world plummets rapidly down the shit-chute, the new NAPALM DEATH album is plainly one of the most lyrically incisive and enriching records of the band’s career to date. Inspired by real world events and the never-ending cycle of predatory capitalism that causes so much poverty, misery and death around the globe, songs like Dear Slum Landlord…, Metaphorically Screw You and Hierarchies are as uncompromising and vital on a conceptual level as they are in musical terms. As ever, Barney’s humanistic worldview blazes brightly throughout – a positive voice in a wilderness of apathy and hate.
“I see the world as a see-saw,” he explains. “There are countries in the world that relentlessly consume and then there are other countries that are the fucking dumping ground, and the common perception is that they have less value. I don’t think that way but it’s just a natural way to think for a lot of people. The event that sparked it, and even this passed a lot of people by, was the building that collapsed in Bangladesh last year, at a textile manufacturers. It was the dodgiest situation ever. The building was already unsafe, there were huge cracks in the wall and they’d built extra storage on top, extra workshops, because the greedy bosses wanted to increase their output, and then the whole building collapses. These clothing companies, in the main, it was crocodile tears and nothing’s happened and to me that’s fucking shameful. People think that slavery is a thing of the past, but there are slave conditions all over the world, where people are working under threat of death. Slavery is far from gone. I know that it’s something I can’t change on my own, although I try to make the correct choices in my life, but I felt I wanted to raise the point a little bit and hopefully open people’s eyes.”
Adorned with some of the most gut-wrenching and distinctive artwork to grace an album in decades, Apex Predator – Easy Meat may well be NAPALM DEATH’s definitive statement, both on the state of the world and the limitless possibilities of extreme music. Right now, there is no other band with the brains and balls to make music this original, intelligent or downright terrifying.
The Black Dahlia Murder
Brian Eschbach: Guitar, Vocals
Trevor Strnad: Vocals
Ryan Knight: Guitar
Max Lavelle: Bass Guitar
Alan Cassidy: Drums
The problem of dropping a record as career-defining as 2013’s Everblack is that the bar is set so high following it up is a galling task. That The Black Dahlia Murder‘s response to such a challenge comes in the form of the devastating Abysmal serves to once again demonstrate why they are considered one of the most vital bands in contemporary death metal. “Once the record started to come together we knew it was going to be something special,” states vocalist Trevor Strnad. “It’s more urgent, it has more dynamics, it’s a more emotive record, and it has a more raw, angry sound to it. It’s still million mile-per-hour death metal, but when you invest so much thought and emotion into what you’re creating you end up with a record that does stand out, and we can hold our heads up high and say yeah, this is our best work.”
Since 2001, the Michigan quintet have focused their efforts on writing music that embraces all the finest qualities of melodic death metal yet does not shackle them, giving them room to constantly evolve and grow as musicians. With Abysmal the band have once again progressed while retaining the signature sound that has won them their devoted legion of fans, and making it clear that their best is not in their past. “I still love Everblack and everything we achieved when touring it, and in fact going into that record we faced a massive challenge in following up Ritual (2011), which had also been huge for us. Having two records in a row connect with fans in such a way was amazing, but definitely piled on the pressure going into this new one, because we don’t want to let them down, and we don’t want to let ourselves down. But we learned a lot in making those two records, and we brought that into Abysmal. We know we can take people’s heads off playing super fast, but that doesn’t always give listeners something to really chew on. We’ve learned to focus on creating some drama, interesting dynamics, and most importantly really investing time in thinking about how different parts of songs will make you feel.” While crushingly violent,Abysmal is certainly a long way from being a two-dimensional blast-fest. Often evoking potent melancholy or icy unease, tragedy and apocalyptic gloom also insinuate into the songs alongside the all-out fury, for make no mistake, while this record boasts a variety of dark and atmospheric moods the band have perhaps never sounded so downright pissed. The likes of “Re-Faced” and “Threat Level Number Three” are purpose built to incite chaos, and some of the fastest material the band has ever unleashed explodes from the likes of opener “Receipt“, “Asylum“, and the haunting title track. This can largely be credited to drummer Alan Cassidy, who joined the band in 2013. “With both Alan and Max (Lavelle, bass) new to the band there was a lot of speculation ahead of dropping Everblack, and though we knew we had a great record it was nice to prove the naysayers wrong. This time out Alan was really able to stamp his identity on the record, and yeah, there was a point where Brian (Eschbach, guitar) said level with me dude: just how fast can you go? And Alan unleashed this thing and we were like okay, let’s go faster than we’ve ever gone then!” Strnad laughs. “But it’s not just that, he’s injected so much style into everything. He writes really interesting fills, and he cares about having variety and really speaking with what he’s doing, and he was involved with the song writing more than any other drummer has been in a long time.” Strnad is just as keen to sing the praises of Lavelle, who also made a more substantial contribution to the record than he did to its predecessor. “We look back on every record and say we need more bass, and Max is a really prevalent part of things live, so we wanted to have that come across more, and he totally nailed it. It’s definitely a dirtier bass sound than we’ve ever had too, which sounds more wild, more live, and adds to the punch.” Guitarists Eschbach and Ryan Knight bring a cavalcade of riffs to the table, upping the stakes in technicality, melody, and sheer blunt force trauma, letting intoxicating flavors of black metal and NWOBHM creep into the vicious assault, and Knight’s soloing is at a point where Strnad believes his name should rightfully be thrown in amongst the genre’s most prominent shredders. “With every album we allow a bit more time for him to solo and just totally own it, and when he nails it he’s really at that Megadeth Rust In Peace level. I do think he deserves to be spoken about in the circles of great metal guitar players. Marty Friedman should buy Ryan a beer, I think, and I genuinely don’t see that as something really out of the ballpark.”
Of course, Strnad’s own contributions are a vital aspect of every TBDM album, and he once again delivers, both in regards to his lyrics and caustic vocals. While his lyrical inspiration remains primarily rooted in horror and the macabre, on Abysmal the theme of hell is prominent, whether it be a literal hell, figurative, or personal one. “Stygiophobic“, for instance, which is a slower, crunchy, doom-inflected dirge, sees him focusing on those who are irrationally afraid of hell. “These people spend their every waking moment thinking of going to hell, and every time they go to sleep they see all their friends burning in hell, and this obsession has become a debilitating psychological condition, which is awful, and interesting.” Alongside this, on the scathing “Threat Level Number Three” Strnad goes inside the mind of a “recidivist rapist molester, who has been chemically castrated, focusing on his internal dialogue as he’s trying to reenter society.” He explores more fantastic subjects, such as the cruelty and violence of Vlad The Impaler – the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula – in the more melancholic “Vlad, Son Of The Dragon“, and he also reflects on issues that have affected him more personally, allowing himself some form of catharsis, most notably on “Receipt” and the title track. However, while despair, isolation, and thoughts of suicide haunt these songs, on burly closer “That Cannot Die Which Eternally Is Dead” he pushes the band’s perseverance in the faces of those who might consider counting them out. “What I’m saying in that song is that we can’t be stopped by normal means. No matter what kind of challenge or roadblock we face we’ll just keep coming, and I think by now our fans know that.”
In tracking the record, the band re-enlisted producer Mark Lewis (Cannibal Corpse, Whitechapel) and former bass player Ryan Williams, who also helped engineer Everblack, their intent to get away from the overt sonic sterility affecting far too many contemporary metal albums. This is a prominent factor in why the record sounds as angry as it does, the band focusing on capturing a raw, live sound that doesn’t always strive for absolute perfection. “We wanted a sound that would show we’re actually human beings, and not just computers playing death metal. We were not going to resample the drums, sound-replace or quantize anything. We didn’t want to have the exact same drum sound as every single freaking band seems to have right now, and that’s why essentially going backwards was going forwards for us. The guys have the chops to do it, so it’s not like we need to lean on Pro-Tools to make an album, and I think it’s the most energetic thing we’ve done since the very first record, Unhallowed (2003), which had a similar live feel.” As always, artwork was of great importance in expressing the band’s vision, and this time they turned to Russian artist Daemorph, who is known for his work in the brutal death metal community. “Again, I was a little unsure quite how we would follow up Everblack, because the artwork Nicholas Keller did was incredible. But we told Daemorph we wanted something that really looked like hell, and he went above and beyond. The first time I saw it I was like yep, that’s hell, and I know I definitely don’t want to go there!”
At this stage in the game, with typically modest aspirations, Strnad is more interested in maintaining their longevity than shifting records, and if the band never gets any bigger than they are right now he will “die happy a hundred times over“. However, this does not mean there is anything even vaguely resembling an end in sight. “We’re still young at heart and I feel like the evolution of the band still has a long way to go. I don’t see a ceiling on what we can do, and there will be no end. It’s just going to be a constant ongoing fight to make better music and be a better band, and it’s always going to be time to kick ass.“
Virginia extreme sound revolutionaries PIG DESTROYER deliver savage grindcore that is both intentionally confrontational and thoroughly pummeling. PIG DESTROYER formed in 1997, when vocalist J.R. Hayes and Agoraphobic Nosebleed guitarist Scott Hull united in their efforts to create utterly destructive grindcore. As soon as the band, also featuring founding drummer John Evans, began rehearsing, they found that their common musical interests produced intelligent and incendiary compositions. After releasing a self-titled demo, which was met with rousing critical reception, PIG DESTROYER released their first full-length, Explosions in Ward 6. Strongly positive reactions to Explosions in Ward 6 established PIG DESTROYER as one of the best new grind acts to have emerged worldwide in the last decade.
Relapse Records soon signed the band off the strength of Explosions, and in 2001 PIG DESTROYER took listeners on a rampaging journey through an unsettling, psychotic world with their landmark release Prowler In The Yard. Melding an insane musical attack with similarly jarring lyrical prose and an unmatched propensity to incite, Prowler In The Yard hit listeners like a coal-black monolith of nihilism. The record stunned music fans, garnering lavish praise, and became one of the more talked-about extreme music releases in recent history, even breaking into the mainstream metal media despite its brutality. Headlining performances at the 2002 New England Metal and Hardcore Festival and at the 2002 Relapse Records CMJ Showcase, alongside a high-profile set at the Relapse Records Contamination Festival in Philadelphia, cemented PIG DESTROYER’s place among the new goliaths of heavy music.
PIG DESTROYER then continued work on the follow-up to Prowler In The Yard. In what would turn out to be an exhausting, lengthy creative process, the band assumed the ambitious goal of creating a multi-media monster (CD / Audio-DVD package) with their next album. Terrifyer was released in the fall of 2004, and embodied a frighteningly compelling mix of seething metal, intense grind, and thrash and punk rock. Terrifyer featured 32 minutes of unrelenting sonic battery in addition to the 37-minute Audio-DVD track “Natasha.”
The 2007 release of Phantom Limb, which received acclaim from critics and listeners worldwide, cemented the band’s legendary status and showcased the band’s versatility with its incursions into sludgier and groovier territory than ever before. Phantom Limb was followed by an extensive US tour that found PIG DESTROYER sharing the stage with Carcass, Suffocation, Misery Index, Genghis Tron, and Car Bomb. In 2009, the band made festival appearances at Hellfest, Maryland Deathfest, CMJ Fest, and Scion Rock Fest, and have since played at numerous other national and international festivals including Hopscotch Fest, Brutal Assault, Damnation Festival, and Phil Anselmo’s Housecore Horror Film Fest.
In 2012, PIG DESTROYER partnered with new drummer Adam Jarvis (Misery Index) and released Book Burner, their ruthless follow-up to Phantom Limb. Book Burner showcased a return to a rawer, more primitive sound, and featured 19 songs of the band’s signature misanthropic grind. 2013 saw PIG DESTROYER release an EP of previously unreleased content through Bandcamp titled Mass and Volume as part of a charity effort, and also saw Adam Jarvis’s cousin John Jarvis join PIG DESTROYER as the band’s first bass player.The band have also made impressive inroads into more mainstream media – the one-off single “Octagonal Stairway” was included in Adult Swim’s Singles Series, and “The Diplomat” (off of Book Burner) featured prominently in the season three finale of Comedy Central’s acclaimed Workaholics. This September, the band are set to reissue a deluxe remixed and remastered 2CD version of their 2001 classic Prowler In The Yard on Relapse, which will include a bounty of previously unreleased music and media. Yet even accounting for the band’s more visible successes, what still stands out the most is their fundamental and immaculate musical essence. PIG DESTROYER boil metal down to its muscle, sinew, and bone – razor-sharp guitar, percussive pummeling, throbbing bass, and a lone, stark howl. Though their music is incomparably dark, the future is quite bright for PIG DESTROYER.
Formed in early 2008, Power Trip draw from the sacred texts of classic hardcore, punk, and metal. After the success of their self-titled Lockin’ Out 7”, Power Trip has unleashed their debut LP MANIFEST DECIMATION, out now via Southern Lord Records.
Surging with a modernized translation of the works of mandatory crossover pioneers Nuclear Assault, the Cro-Mags. Exodus, Leeway, Sepultura, and more, Manifest Decimation hurtle the band’s “steel, speed and destruction” ethos direct at the jugular with thirty-five minutes of crossover intensity that sounds like it was excavated from a 1987 time capsule with sixteen tons of radioactive dynamite. Recorded by Arthur Rizk and Daniel Schmuck, and produced, mixed, and mastered by Arthur Rizk at Solomon’s Gate in Philadelphia, Manifest Decimation wages war on all in its earshot, with nearly thirty-five minutes of thrashing violence. In the wake of their rabid live shows, images of impending doom and destruction have become synonymous with the name POWER TRIP.
Abnormality is an extreme metal band hailing from Massachusetts, United States. Purveying a violent hybrid of the heaviest subgenres in metal, Abnormality mixes technicality and speed with devastating grooves. Taking from a wide range of influences, Abnormality captures the speed and unrelenting viciousness of Hate Eternal and Origin and infuses it with grooves and hooks more reminiscent of Suffocation and Deeds of Flesh. Abnormality came together in 2005, and now features seasoned members Mallika, Jay, Josh, Ben, and Jeremy, all hailing from various underground acts such as Goratory, Ascendancy, Sexcrement, Revengeance, and Iranach. Abnormality delivers a brutal sonic experience that death metal fans cannot deny.