Suffocation, Incantation, Skeletal Remains, Stabbing @ Warsaw
While many venues are known to offer snacks alongside the standard assortment of beers, Jägermeister, and soda, very few places boast the delicious smell of cooking meat, onions, and potatoes that has made Warsaw a New York legend.
Yet, with the arrival of the Ancient Unholy Uprising Tour, the venue was set to serve up kielbasa and pierogis with a side order of extreme music. Serving as the home show for Long Island's own Suffocation, Brooklyn welcomed the death metal masters, along with special guests Incantation, Skeletal Remains and Stabbing.
Starting the night off with slamming death metal, Houston, Texas based quartet Stabbing no doubt made all in attendance glad to have arrived in time to catch their set. If the intensity of the guitar, drums, and bass weren't enough to grab one's attention, the nearly unhuman guttural roar of vocalist Bridget Lynch certain was.
Formed just two years ago, the brutalists are yet another example of the Lone Star State's rising talent, along with bands like Frozen Soul, Creeping Death.
Following up their 2022 debut, Extirpated Mortal Process, with a two song demo EP released just a few weeks ago, the future is bright for Stabbing.
Set to perform at next year's Maryland Death Fest, the volume of the "No!" emitted from the crowd when Lynch announced the last song of the night surely reflects Brooklyn's demand for more Stabbing. Here's hoping to see them back in the Big Apple again soon.
Despite some technical SNAFUs, which compared to what was still to come in the night were quite minimal, California's Skeletal Remains dialed up the speed with their ferocious brand of death metal.
Starting off with their brand new single, "Void of Despair", the set included many choice cuts from the band's four full length albums, including "Congregation of Flesh" and "Beyond Cremation". Inciting circle pit after circle pit, old school death metal fans banged their heads in approval to the Pestilence/Asphyx tinged riffs and guitar solos.
While the aforementioned technical issues required a slight change up to the set to keep the show moving close to schedule, the pinch for time only added to Skeletal Remains' intensity. Exiting the pit gasping and in need of a beer or two, the energy from the band certainly reached every fan in the crowd.
Though still in the process of booking shows for 2024, perhaps the arrival of new music is the foreshadowing of another stellar performance from Skeletal Remains in town soon.
When you've been on the road for nearly 35 years, chances are, you've probably experienced almost everything. It was this grit and veteran status that had Incantation vocalist/guitarist John McEntee smiling all the way through the set, despite an unfortunate setback when the band's smoke machine triggered the venue fire alarm.
Fortunately, after a few uncertain moments, the show was given the green light to continue. Rolling into New York to celebrate the release of their latest album, Unholy Deification, the slightly shortened set was packed with new offerings such as "Concordat (The Pact) I" and "Invocation (Chthonic Merge) X"
Churning through their signature blend of razor sharp, black metal blessed brutality the rest of the set was bursting at the seams with one killer track after another, spanning now fifteen albums. Of course not forgetting some of their most iconic numbers, the performance ended as always with "The Ibex Moon" and "Impending Diabolical Conquest".
There is much to be said about how, when a band has a good time on stage, so too does the audience on the dancefloor. Incantation brought this concept to life, even after a close call, by keeping spirits and horns high throughout the night. For proof, consider only the relentless circle pits and crowd surfers that kept the energy going strong.
As one of the most respected names in death metal and, by way of Long Island, a local legend, Suffocation needed absolutely no introduction to Brooklyn concert goers. Like Incantation before them, Suffocation was also pleased to be touring in support of a new album - entitled Hymns From The Apocrypha, their ninth release after a 35 year career.
Having joined the band four years ago, Hymns... is the first album to feature vocalist Ricky Myers (also of Disgorge) instead of Frank Mullen, the man who metal historians agree introduced guttural growls to death metal in the late 1980s. Though the shoes to fill are immense, Myers demonstrated his own might through new songs like "Perpetual Deception" and "Seraphim Enslavement".
With the dueling lead guitar work of Charlie Errigo and the ever iconic Terrance Hobbs in tandem with Eric Morotti's machine gun drumming and the sinister finger work of bassist Derek Boyer, Myers and company charged though many classic cuts, including "Infection the Crypts" and the title track from 1995's Pierced From Within.
"I think it's amazing how many bands wouldn't be here without these guys" remarked one fan before the show. Given the fact that, for some folks in the audience, Suffocation was a band they grew up headbanging to and were proud to introduce their own teenagers to that night, this sentiment extends to how the band also shaped the metal community at large.
Indeed, despite all the issues of the evening, all were able to rejoice in ultra intense music brought to life by the pride of "Lawng Eye-land".
Ticket and photo pass courtesy of Suspiria PR