Videos taken from Andreas YouTube Channel
The highly anticipated but postponed Faces of death tour finally took place in Dresden. The lineup promised nothing but seven string guitars, six string basses, annihilating blast beats, mathematically precise riffing in sum the finest technical and progressive death metal and I was not disappointed.
The originally tour had to be postponed because of the pandemic and the lineup also changed quite a bit: Archspire, Black Crown Initiate and To The Grave were not able to take part in this tour but the replacement is very notable: Harbringer, Inferi and Fallujah will blast their beats over Europe instead.
For me the evening started unfortunate: Harbinger started very early at 5pm where the venue’s website and also the tickets stated 7pm for the beginning of the concert. So I missed Harbringers show and could only hear the last song of Inferi.
But you should definitely check out Harbinger from the UK if you don’t know them yet. Their unique style of music with influences from technical death metal, metalcore and hardcore totally grooves and kicks ass.
Same counts for US technical death metal outfit Inferi. I’m very sad that I only heard the closing of their set but even that was a total blast. I really got into this band last year with their new Album Vile Genesis and its very unique Artwork which reminds me of the spawning army of plague god Nurgle from Warhammer 40k.
Their last song of the set Aeons torn still gave me a great sense of their symphonic technical death metal with rolling blast beats, sublime riffs, majestic synths and Frontman Stevie Boiser screaming and headbanging furiously. I had the chance to talk to Stevie after the gig (very nice dude) and luckily they are planning to come back to Europe next year so I definitely going to catch them next time. You should do the same and also check out their discography if you haven’t done it yet.
But after this unfortunate start of the evening I was ready for some musical relief and Allegaeon from the US entered the stage to deliver. I really enjoyed their short but well sorted setlist spanning most of their Albums. Hits like Into Embers or the mighty closing song Behold (God I Am) unleashed a technical death storm into the crowd – for me the heaviest band of the evening. The sympathic singer Ezra Haynes motivated the crowd and the energy in front of the stage rised from song to song.
So the stage was well set for the bay area based tech-metal outfit Fallujah. With their new singer Kyle Schaefer they just released a new album Empyrean in September and they were ready for a decent presentation of their new material. First of all the sound in front of the stage was really good so all aspects of Fallujahs complex sound spectrum could unfold. Kyle Schaefer layed of a very good performance and nailed the clean vocal parts which are essential to the atmospheric parts of songs like Eden’s Lament from the new album. The setlist featured mostly new songs but with Carved from Stone also older fans got their cut. The new material unfolded a dense atmosphere driven by the interaction of ferocious blasting song parts and elevated melodies carried by lead guitarist Scott Carstairs. Noteworthy is also the excellent base play of ex The Faceless member Even Brewer who even used slapping on his 5 string. The precise and diverse drumming did the rest to underline the great performance which the crowd honored with moshpits and headbang action. Check out their new Album which is really worth the listen.
With tension the crowd now awaited tonights headliner Rivers of Nihil a band which needs no further introduction. With their highly acclaimed progressive technical death metal and metaphysical nature inspired lyrics they guide the listener to the mystical realms of their album tetralogy. I saw them live at this years Brutal Assault Festival with their former singer Jake Dieffenbach and thus was very curious about how their performance would change with bassplayer Adam Biggs taking over the main vocals. They started their set with The Void from Which No Sound Escapes from their latest album The Work. Their unique sound catched me from the beginning and Adam grew with every song more and more into the performance. After two songs it felt very natural to me seeing him as the frontman of the band. Of course it was a different experience but a great one. It was so impressive hearing that mighty growls while seeing him nailing the most complex base licks on a six string. The same applied to the drummer Jared Klein who hit every note of his clean singing while playing the drums. The again crystal clear sound let every guitar effect shine trough and gave room for the listener to immerse into the songs. Sand Baptism was one of my highlights and the line I’m the sun and I’m the moon still gives me shivers. Also the famous saxophone was heard and added its layer to the complex song structures. Time really flied during the set which focused on the latest album The Work and the crowed enjoyed the band’s mix of ultra brutal death metal parts, jazz influenced pieces, fragile clean passages and fat grooving cuts. The set was closed worthy but way to early with Where Owls Know My Name. If the band can continue their creative journey at this level then there are great things to come. After the concert I had the chance to catch up with guitarist Brody Uttley who revealed that this lineup will be the final one for the future with Adam on main vocals. An official statement for the consolidated lineup will follow next year. In my opinion this is a good decision based on the gig I just whitnessed. My other takeaways from this evening: double check the timetable, a pair of dungarees don’t affect drumming skills and this kind of music doesn’t allow the use of six string guitars (I only saw minimum 7 strings). So go out and catch this tour but be fast on the tickets – many shows are already sold out. No wonder with this great package - the Faces of Death rised and smiled.
*Unfortunately there was no professional photographer covering the event and we were forced to take pictures with the mobile phones.