Carcass is closing the books on their Spring tour with Immolation and Creeping Death this week. Starting out in Austin, Texas and culminating at what might be the final Maryland Deathfest, I caught up to them at The Vogue in Indianapolis.
Texas death metal band Creeping Death started the night with thirty hair-raising minutes of hard edged metal. The tour was a little rickety for the band when all their equipment got stolen in the early days of the jaunt. Luckily, they got it all back and seemed no worse for the wear, hitting on all cylinders and playing music from their recent EP, The Edge of Existence, to go along with the songs from Wretched Illusions (2019) fans were more used to hearing live.
The Vogue is a good venue for metal with its wide open main floor surrounded on three sides by a balcony. There are bars within a few short paces of any spot in the hall, and the house lights offer more choices than many other places do, enhancing the performances of bands who are travel with minimal stage gear.
Immolation is a band from New York that has been setting the mark for death metal since the late 1980s. With eleven studio albums to their credit, including this year’s Acts Of God, Immolation were in complete control on the stage. While Creeping Death leans toward the hardcore realm, Immolation has a heavier sound, turning in the direction of established DM, and even doom, by comparison. The fullness of their sound can at times conceal its complexity, but the compositional sophistication is not lost because you can tell it is Immolation playing and not any other death metal band.
Beginning with the title track from the new album and ending with one of their earliest songs, the eponymous “Immolation,” the band represented their canon with deliberate variety. There were many points where the depth of their writing and the experience of the musician shined through. The band holds seminal importance in death metal and when you hear them play live you know why.
Creeping Death brought the hardcore, and Immolation brought the heavy, and Carcass railed on with unbounded crackling energy. Playing a style that is sometimes called Death ’N’ Roll, Carcass has evolved over the years from their more grindcore beginnings. Starting at about the same time as Immolation, the band likewise had an enormous variety of songs to choose from. Touring in Support of their most recent album, Torn Arteries (Nuclear Blast Records, 2021), naturally we heard songs from there, including “Kelly’s Meat Emporium” and “Under The Scalpel Blade.” There were also songs that go way back, like “Tools Of The Trade,” and ones from the middle years such as “Captive Bolt Pistol.” The range was impressive and welcomed by the fans.
These three bands sound very different from each other. That turns out to be a good thing because their music fit together perfectly. You do not always get this kind of balance, and I would like to see another leg of this trio to extend the synergy. I knew I liked all three bands before I got there – I had written reviews all their recent albums in the past year. I couldn’t have asked for more. Nobody in Broad Ripple has a better time on Monday night than the people who went to The Vogue.
The tour is over now but there is always another one around the corner. Look for these bands wherever they might be playing this year because you know going in you will see a great show.
WORDS AND PHOTOS BY WAYNE EDWARDS
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