Games Meet Metal: Is it possible to get one's "tribal" on?

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Is it possible to get one's "tribal" on?

Soulfly, Prong, Cattle Decapitation, and Mutiny Within @ Harpos, Friday, October 16

Ah, Harpo's. A mecca of Eastern Detroit. A home away from home for any reasonably sized metal band. An absolute shithole. It's the kind of place where crackheads openly smoke their rocks in plain view outside the venue's doors, and no blinks an eye. Probably because they would drop their pipes in the process. Despite what you think of it, Harpo's is one of the places to go to catch most metal bands as they pass through the Motor City, and tonight is quite the jumbled asortment.

Mutiny Within has been promoted as being the future of metal by quite a few people, but all I heard was a bit heavier version of Linkin Park. The band sticks out like a sore thumb compared to the rest of the show, with atmospheric keyboard effects and straight up Bon Jovi-esque clean vocals. If Mutiny Within toured with Lacuna Coil or Disturbed, it would be a much better fit. But here, it's just baffling.

Grade: C-

Cattel Decapitation are quite the oddity. They are total vegans who preach the virtues of a meat-free diet and yet are not total hippie flower children. In fact, they're brutal. Very brutal. I'd say" tofu brutal." On top of that, they're technically proficient in their guitar playing. Josh Elmore is just a monster at the strings. Watching him pluck away was damn near dazzling. Vocalist Travis Ryan is quite the growler, and a good talker to the crown. Damn shame the crowd wasn't more attentive. I'll chalk it up to just plain old unfamiliarity with the band and their style. Too bad, the crowd couild of done a hummous mosh.

Grade: B

I'm quite the fanboy for Tommy Victor. Not only did he bring Prong unto the world, he's also a great touring guitarist. Dude nails all the songs when he's on tour with Danzig. Plus, he just seems like such a swell guy. That swellnes really makes whatever show he's performing at that much more special. We actually got a bit of a surprise, as Static-X bassist and fellow Prong nut Tony Campos was plucking away for this tour stop. About the only downturn to the set was no performance of the classic "Prove You Wrong". At least they didn't forget  "Snap Your Fingers Snap Your Neck". I'd have to snap someone in half if that didn't happen.

Grade: B+

Fun fact: I've seen Soulfly at least once for every album cycle they've toured since their debut. As such, I've beared witness to several different lineups and Max Cavalera's zany tribalness, and now I can say that the current line-up is the best he's ever employed. When you have a guitarist that can get the crowd riled up with flamenco guitar, then you're doing something right. However, I do have one concern. Max , himself, is really not looking too good. I know dude's in his 40's, has a bunch of kids, and has been the business center for his band since it started, but he's really let himself go. The gut's bigger, his movement is limited, and it looks like his dreads could use a redoing. God, I know this sounds so selfish of me, but if a Sepultura reunion ever happens, I'd want all the members to be in good health. C'mon Max, take a break for a little bit and get your body back in shape. It'll do your heart good.

Grade: B

Overall concert rating: B

A damn good tour to go to, especially if you're budgeting. Just stay away from the first band, and you'll do okay.

1 comment:

  1. Sounded like a pretty good show there Riff. It's too bad about Max. I haven't seen the guy in a while but it just goes to show what happens when you replace alcohol with food while on tour.