Opportunities sometimes occur by accident instead of long term planning. 35 years ago, Brian Slagel worked at a record store and wrote for a handful of publications, having no intention on creating a label (Metal Blade). However, he was pissed off by seeing great bands get ignored and by 1982 the praised Metal Massacre compilation was born, featuring then-unknown artists like Metallica and Ratt. 35 years later, the label is up to Volume 14 of their Metal Massacre compilation, signing an extensive amount of artists including Amon Amarth, King Diamond, Armored Saint, Between the Buried and Me, Cannibal Corpse, and Dragonforce, to name a few.
With such an extensive history, the label wanted to commemorate its anniversary, announcing a North American tour with Whitechapel, Cattle Decapitation, Goatwhore and Allegaeon. Unfortunately, Goatwhore dropped off a few dates, including the New York show but, they will return later in the spring with Amon Amarth for those who missed them.
This past Saturday (25), New York fans celebrated their anniversary somewhat early at Irving Plaza having the first act Necromancing the Stone kick off the night promptly at 5:05PM. At that point, it felt like a metal matinee but that didn’t stop fans from arriving. During their abrasive set, frontman John Williams demanded the early crowd to form a large circle pit. Later into the set Allegaeon’s latest vocalist Riley McShane appeared on the stage providing guest vocals on one of the songs.
Necromancing the Stone
After a short break enough for fans to grab another round of drinks, it was time for Allegaeon. Despite vocalist Riley McShane being somewhat new to the group, his impressive performance would make anyone forget there was a change. They performed a few tracks from their new album Proponent For Sentience and the crowd enjoyed their vibrant energy.
The night drastically changed when Cattle Decapitation took the stage. Travis Ryan’s notorious passion for animals went live on the stage as he turned into a beast himself, slobbering on the microphone and spitting out his lyrics. It was what you would expect at a Cattle Decapitation show, and the fans loved it. The entire room turned into a sea of crowd surfers and headbangers while they played songs such as “Manufactured Extinct,” “The Prophets of Loss,” “Your Disposal,” and “We Are Horrible People.” Ryan has grown to be somewhat of a genius from adding his views into his music and as brutal the performance was, many would forget or not even care about most of them being vegetarians/vegans. Eventually, it was time for Cattle Decapitation to leave the stage and they closed their set with “Kingdom of Tyrants.”
Despite the early night, fans had time to guzzle a few more drinks just before Whitechapel went on stage to close the show. Frontman Phil Bozeman ran all over the stage, belting out his vocals while carrying a hand towel. It was an interesting combination, but no one seemed to care as their brutal set led to many crowd surfers in the air. Whitechapel had a celebration of their own with the ten-year anniversary of their debut album The Somatic Defilement. Additionally, they were promoting their new album Mark of the Blade, leaving plenty of room for a diversified set. They played new songs including “Mark The Blade,” and “Elitist Ones”, along with a few old tunes such as “Prostatic Fluid Asphyxiation.” Whitechapel didn’t seem to care about the venue’s curfew either that night and closed with the encore song “This Is Exile.”
Each act represented unique styles and timeframes from Metal Blade Records, leaving many fans eager to continue with the celebration.