Summer Slaughter Tour 2017
w/ The Black Dahlia Murder, Dying Fetus, The Faceless, Oceano, Origin, Rings of Saturn, Betraying The Martyrs, Lorna Shore, Angelmaker and more
The UC Theater
August 20th, 2017
Photos and review by Jared Stossel.
The Black Dahlia Murder. Dying Fetus. Betraying the Martyrs. This is just a sampling of the names that appear on the gothic looking playbill that's been sported across music websites and blogs throughout the summer, advertising for the annual Summer Slaughter tour, a mecca for anyone even remotely interested in the genre of death metal. It doesn't start as early as a show like, say, Warped Tour, but it's a lengthy day. The annual indoor music festival brought its Bay Area stop to the UC Theater in Berkeley, CA, with a lineup that packed out the hall from as early as 2:30 in the afternoon until it conclude around 11 PM.
At its core, every band on the lineup shares a number of similarities, but it's their unique variations in style, presentation, and stage presence that set each artist apart from one another. The event was headlined by The Black Dahlia Murder, a six-piece melodic death metal act from Detroit, MI. The band, clad in all black took the stage around 10 PM for a chaotic, technically proficient death metal set filled with material from Nocturnal, in celebration of the album's tenth anniversary. The band also threw in a few tracks from other records, including "Vlad, Son of the Dragon" and "Abysmal" (Abysmal) and "Nightbringers", from their upcoming studio album of the same name (the album drops this fall via Metal Blade Records).
There were a number of acts throughout the show that stood out in addition to our headliners. Dying Fetus evokes disturbing imagery just be reading their name, but they're not straight-forward doom metal. Their music is tightly constructed, pulling elements of both thrash and death metal into their tracks. Oceano brought down the house with an emotionally charged set blending influences of both death metal and hardcore. Up and comers Lorna Shore were a major standout, playing earlier on in the day with material from their most recent full-length Flesh Coffin.
The one band that stood out to me the most, throughout the entire lineup, were a band that played about halfway through the day. They're called Rings of Saturn. Their vocalist is unlike anything I've ever heard before in the world of heavy music, and their show is captivating. There are only three members on stage: a vocalist, one guitarist, and a drummer. No bass player, no rhythm guitarist. Yet the play with the tenacity and engagement of a five-piece act. I can only imagine what a headlining show from these guys would be like, and I hope we get to see that from them in the future.
Overall, The Summer Slaughter Tour is a show for a lover of the death metal genre. There's no other tour in America that takes on this genre like this, with an insane amount of dedication, intensity, and a propensity for bringing together some of the best acts in the industry. If you missed this time around, there's always next year.
The Black Dahlia Murder Set List
Everything Went Black
What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse
I Worship Only What You Bleed
Of Darkness Spawned
To a Breathless Oblivion
Vlad, Son of the Dragon
Summer Slaughter Tour
This has been another Shameless Promotion.