Summer Slaughter Tour
Arch Enemy

Starland Ballroom
August 9, 2015

A couple of weeks ago, I was able to witness a very intense show. I have seen a few death metal shows, but none like this. The Summer Slaughter Tour lineup consisted of Beyond Creation, Cattle Decapitation, The Acacia Strain, Veil of Maya, Born of Osiris and Arch Enemy. If we’re being completely honest, I wasn’t exactly prepared for what I would witness on that stage and neither was my camera.

Beyond Creation

The afternoon began with a couple of New Jersey locals but a majority of the crowd arrived just in time for the real Summer Slaughter. But the band to really set everything off was Beyond Creation, nothing I couldn’t handle; death growls, sick guitar riffs, thumping bass rhythms, kick ass drum beats. Their short yet sweet setlist consisted of “Omnipresent Perception,” “Elusive Reverence,” “Earthborn Evolution,” “Fundamental Process,” and “Coexistence.” The crowd was definitely warmed up by this band’s unique presence, however, the show was brought to a whole new level when Cattle Decapitation appeared on stage.

Cattle Decapitation

Cattle Decaptitation really amped everything up with water pouring, intense death rattles and screeching, and so much spitting, well hawking loogies to be precise. Horns were thrown in the air, hair was being whipped around as several members of the crowd began to head bang viciously. The diehard CD fans sang/screamed along to their songs, word for word; “Manufactured Extinct,” “The Prophets of Loss,” “Your Disposal,” “The Burden of Seven Billion,” “Mammals in Babylon,” “Forced Gender Reassignment,” and “Pacific Grim.”

The Acacia Strain

The heat within the venue intensified and it was safe to say that New Englanders, The Acacia Strain, was doing everything they could to cool everyone down as they sprayed water on the crowd, throwing their horns in the air, attempting to scream with the band. A storm of mosh pits began to brew as Acacia Strain began to perform their songs, “Human Disaster,” “Above,” “Send Help,” “Beast,” “Holy Walls of the Vatican,” “Cauterizer,” and a song dedicated to the Justin Lowe of After the Burial who recently passed away, “Whoa! Shut it Down,” ending their set with “JFC.”

Veil of Maya

As for Veil of Maya, there are no words to describe them as beautifully heavy. After their perfect introductory music filled the ears of the crowd (the intro to Lion King’s “The Circle of Life”), Veil of Maya immediately kicked their set off with “Lucy,” “Mikasa,” “Punisher,” “[id],” “Unbreakable,” and “Phoenix.” The fans continued to scream along and head bang as the band finished their brutal set with “Crawl Back,” “Leelo,” and a song dedicated to Justin, “It’s Not Safe to Swim Today.” With four bands down, it was time to see what the final two had in store for everyone.

Born of Osiris

Born of Osiris, they amped everything up to the next level with their heavy hitters from the past albums and their current one, Tomorrow We Die Alive. The mosh pits brewed violently as they played their killer back to back set: “Open Arms to Damnation,” “Divergency,” “Empires Erased,” “Exhilarate,” a song devoted to Justin, “Recreate,” “Illusionist,” “Bow Down,” and ended with “Throw Me in the Jungle” and “Machine.” The death metal train was nowhere near over for one band had to finish the night off on a killer note.

Arch Enemy

Arch Enemy

Arch Enemy

The venue was packed to the brim as fans prepared themselves, mentally and physically, for the main event, Arch Enemy. It felt like an eternity waiting for the crew to finish setting up the stage and for the band’s appearance. Upon their arrival, with the “Khaos Overture Intro” taking over the speakers, the crowd roared with excitement as front woman, Alissa White-Gluz, revealed herself. Not a moment was wasted as they kicked off the show with “Yesterday is Dead and Gone,” “War Eternal,” “Ravenous,” “Stolen Life,” and “My Apocalypse.” Sick riffs unleashed by guitarists, Michael Amott and Jeff Loomis, filled our ears with such a sweet distinctive sound; heavy drum beats provided by Daniel Erlandsson, and the thumping 808 sound by bassist Sharlee D’Angelo; all complemented each other in such a rich manner. After “Bloodstained Cross,” and “Never Forgive,” Arch Enemy continued their killer set with “As the Pages Burn,” “Dead Eyes See No Future,” “Avalanche,” and “Dead Bury Their Dead.” There are no words to describe the band’s encore (“We Will Rise” and “Nemesis”) other than explosive. It was surely one hell of a way to end a day full of metal.

Overall this was one of the most intense shows I have witnessed in a really long time and all of the bands brought their game. Be sure to check out all of their future tour dates. They put on a show you do not want to miss!

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