We slapped on our SINday best on August 20 and headed over to Brick By Brick to continue our path of repentlessness (this word exists in the Slayer dictionary) and allowed the mighty Marduk to ravage us. The Swedish black metallers came in and tore the Brick apart one by one with an invincible squadron in tow.
Native badasses and Ugh Metal residents Warpath rushed in and quickly invaded the stage. The quintet from Julian set the mood with the native chanting intro that never fails to get us into battle mode. Though these metalcore warriors were the “odd one out” in the death and black metal lineup, Warpath made it work. The band was energetic and ready to blow their set out of the water.
Vocalist Johnny Osuna, worked up the crowd, like he usually does, along with rest of the band. Though bassist Jason Wolfe was missing that night, their buddy Danny Trujillo from the Barona reservation filled in for him and then some! The bassist donned skull face paint as opposed to the tribal war paint his bandmates had and the signature bandit look guitarist Harrison Whitecloud sports.
The bassist got down with his fellow members and was entertaining as hell, and invaded the stage. Lest we forget drummer Dean Osuna towering over his drum kit letting his presence and excitement be known.. It was another successful battle for Warpath.
Soon after, local black metallers and fog machine enthusiasts Greenskull rolled in. They brought out the classic and mystifying sound of black metal adding a much needed sense of dread to our sunny coast ‘cause too much cheeriness is lame…okay maybe not that lame, it’s alright.
Their sound, however, was anything but dreadful and fueled the enigma of Greenskull with the resonating screeching vocals along with the calculate tempo from the ensemble. Greenskull certainly doesn’t need the excessive amount of fog they use in their shows to fuel their presence because their music speaks for itself. Greenskull already possesses that magnetism without the need of fog, lasers or shiny green skulls …okay shiny green skulls would be pretty gnarly.
With the fog slowly clearing up within the Brick, the stage lights shined down making it seem like there was an abysmal type of dawn and setting up the stage for Abysmal Dawn! Admit it that was a good one! Right?…Everyone’s a critic. And you know who else doesn’t need to try hard to impress anyone? Abysmal Dawn ‘cause they’re already cool!
The death metallers from the City of Angels raised some hell and kicked off with their recent material “Human Obsolescence” off their latest album Obsolescence. Abysmal Dawn appeased their OG followers by revisiting their debut LP From Ashes and played “Servants to their Knees.” The death metallers also paid homage to the Ugh Metal staff with the ultra brutal “Grotesque Modern Art” and “Loathed In Life- Praised in Death.” Before you dispute the claim that I just made, I have three words, let me dream.
Charles Elliot’s interchanging growls took a life of their own and kept you on your toes. Elliot would sometimes release a piercing screech before u-turning his vocals into a thick growl while keeping his focus on his guitar. Bassist Eliseo Garcia created a mini storm of his own with spurts of windmilling…EEEK! Hold on to your vests! Hurricane Eliseo just rolled in!! Oof! *Picks up headband and fixes hair* Okay now that he simmered down, Garcia’s silent intensity, afterward, was a storm in repose before triple teaming with guitarist Vito Petroni and drummer James Coppolino for another wave.
The decaying sun had risen and swallowed up the Abysmal Dawn setting in motion the great Incantation. These death metal vets wasted no time and worked all sorts of dark magick on our dogforsaken soles. The anticipation of seeing these guys pumped any worn out foot in the Brick with adrenaline especially when they unleashed “Rites of the Locusts,” and “Carrion Prophecy.”
John McEntee’s guttural growls were still bursting with brutality much like their earlier days nearly thirty years ago. Their latest album Profane Nexus may have been the belle of this unholy mass but this death metal quintet let out some classics such as “Christening the Afterbirth” off of their 1992 album Onward to Golgotha and “The Ibex Moon” from 1994’s Mortal Throne of Nazarene. Though Incantation are living legends, these gentlemen were the definition of humility as they thanked the crowd after every song.
The stage was still oozing with magick and energy that was so ready to be harvested by the mighty Marduk, not that they needed any. These black metal legends had been through a battle of their own earlier this year that had caused them to be banned from certain venues, but not here. The Swedish quartet was ready to melt our faces off and so they did. Yes, I AM SKELETOR!.. From the neck up.
Marduk drew first blood with “Frontschwein” and the infectious ode to our fallen hellhound who was a prominent Madame [Citation Needed] “The Blonde Beast.” This “Beast” briefly turned the pit into a dance floor, a choppy sea of black all around us. One can not simply resist Fredrick Widigs catchy ass drum tempos in this song and Hans “Mortuus” Rostén’s presence and showmanship. We’re not that dead on the inside! Mostly on the weekdays and some holidays…
Marduk may have started with songs from their latest album Frontschwein but they slowly ventured back with “Wolves” from 1993’s Those of the Unlight and “Materialized in Stone” from 1994’s Opus Nocturne. But because Marduk wanted to keep things interesting, they slid these classics in between their set list. The pit was pleased with whatever song these titans threw at it.
These black metal Swedes closed off with “Panzer Division Marduk” and the pit became a battlefield once again, like it already wasn’t throughout their set amirite?! Marduk were the masters and commanders of this stage whose presence can easily conquer the far side of the world! For all of those that attended, it was a clear victory from afar. For those that didn’t have the chance to attend, be sure to join the Marduk fleet and experience these energetic black legends in action.