The Fresh-faced act Gatecreeper and the veteran collective Exhumed both recently released shiny new full-length albums. Just six weeks ago we were gifted with some fresh and fearsome material from these great groups. Now they have joined forces on the road to play their new fantastically foul tunes. The Sanctuary was an ideal venue to host a stop on this tour. It’s the perfect size and atmosphere for the fans to experience an intimate and enjoyable encounter with these Death Metal experts. Just outside of Detroit, The Sanctuary caters particularly well to the heavy. This pocket-sized music club proudly hosts some of the best metal shows that come through Michigan. With venues like this, and local acts like Mutilatred, show us that the metal scene in this state is alive and well. The enthusiastic gang of guys in Mutilatred opened the show with a spunky, spirited set. They even handed out actual paper flyers which gave the night a marvelously old school feel.
The first band from the tour bill was the hardcore kids, Judiciary from Lubbock Texas. The angsty vibe they conjured alerted and roused the growing crowd. Having a rather different sound from the rest of the groups on the bill, vocalist Jake Collinson thanked everyone for giving them a chance. The night shifted gears from cut off shirts to black leather and metal studs. The three-piece Californian act, Necrot brought a dreary darkness to the stage with speed and girth. A bit of Black Metal peeped through with the prominence of a screaming guitar. They had rough, raw, and grimy elements woven deep into their sound. The Death/Grindcore Metal act, Exhumed had their turn next.
The crowd was greeted by the band’s ever-entertaining mascot, Dr. Philthy, who got everyone revved up. These Californian fellas sauntered onto the stage spilling out slimy sounds that seeped through the speakers and spread. The smell of gasoline, talent, and depravity filled up the cozy-sized venue. Their vintage vibe enthralled the delighted crowd and maneuvered around the room with angry confidence. The band’s’ casual demeanor, but fiery playing had the kids swarm to the center of the room and create a respectable circle pit. The tracks played from their new album, Horror (Relapse Records) violated the senses with their blistering blast beats and evil lyrics. The old school screech, the thick, chugging guitar work, and the overall relentlessness that is Exhumed made for an incredible live show.
Then the fog machine was turned all the way up and an eerie green light took over the stage as the headliners, Gatecreeper came up to do their thing. Instantly their undaunted aggression and sinister vivaciousness made a mark on the entire room and everyone became immersed. The cold outside was forgotten as the venue heated up from this Arizonian act’s uncouth, forward, and articulated extremes. Their new album, Deserted (Relapse Records) proclaims this group’s ability to create a thought-provoking approach on the classic Death Metal sound. The harsh, crunchy, and tortuous tones from guitarists Eric Wagner and Nate Garrett were eagerly digested by the enthralled onlookers. They ended their all too short set with the popular song, ‘Flamethrower’ off of their first full-length album, Sonoran Depravation (Relapse Records). The sincerity in their grim presentation of innovative Death Metal was refreshing to witness live. Be sure to purchase both of these band’s creative, dark, and raunchy records.
WORDS AND PHOTOS BY RAGIN ROSIE