Delaware DeathFest II, Mojo 13, Wilmington, DE, October 4 – 6, 2013

October 24th, 2013
by Infamous Butcher

Delaware Death Fest II

Mojo 13

Wilmington, Delaware

October 4 – 6, 2013

Review and Photos by InfamousButcher

DDF

Delaware DeathFest II

You gotta love the underground death metal festivals! They seem to be getting more popular or maybe I am just more plugged in! In the United States, the crème de la crème is the Maryland DeathFest, or MDF which is now into its twelfth year. There are also New York DeathFests, New Jersey DeathFests, Day of Death festivals, Philthadelphia Infest, and the fucking incredible festival I just attended, Delaware DeathFest II! When the lineup was announced I couldn’t believe my eyes: Deicide, Suffocation, Broken Hope, Dying Fetus, Exhumed, Brutality, and Paths of Possession all on the same fucking bill?!? HOLY FUCKING SHIT! I knew right away I had to do the 3 day pass! Get ready for a throwdown! Time for some rabid moshing and head banging people!

Jeremy Wagner

Jeremy Wagner of Broken Hope and InfamousButcher

Mojo 13 is this little bar on Philadelphia Pike that you can’t miss. On the front door was a large white sign that read ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK! The place had a large bar in one room and a second room with a small stage about 2 feet off of the floor. I think the capacity of the place is probably 250 people. When it was announced big death metal acts like Deicide and Dying Fetus were going to play this little club, I was afraid it was going to be a big sweaty hot-as-balls disaster, especially since we had unseasonably hot weather this week (fucking 89 degrees in Oct? WTF?). Actually, everything worked out really well. It was extremely hot in there Sat night during Suffocation and Deicide but the sound quality was decent, the vibe of the place was cool, and the small space had you bumping into death metal legends left and right! Friday night I caught up with Matt Harvey of Exhumed. I was there 5 min on Sat and ran into the one and only Frank Mullen of Suffocation! Shortly afterward I met Shaun Glass and Jeremy Wagner of Broken Hope. Those guys are some of the coolest musicians I’ve ever met. Later I met Satan’s right hand man, Glen Benton and on Sunday I talked some shop with Corpsegrinder (of Cannibal Corpse fame)! What other festival could you go to and get to meet musicians like that? I still can’t fucking believe it! Also, I met some new metalhead friends, reconnected with some others, and talked a lot of metal! If you are a metalhead you were really in your element. Merch was good, lots of shirts and CD’s from labels like Relapse, Sevared Records, and Season of Mist. Parking, not so good but at least it was free!

Glen Benton

Glen Benton of Deicide and InfamousButcher

EXHUMED

Matt Harvey

Exhumed – Matt Harvey

The first band I caught on Friday was Exhumed. Matt Harvey and co have spit forth killer new album NECROCRCACY and their live set is always a blast! Opener was the new song “Sickened”, a great blend of death metal and grindcore with thrashy guitar solos. Sound was raw and heavy with great guitar work by Matt and Bud Burke. Matt, Bob (Bodybag Bob Babcock) and Bud all handle vocals, which are like old school Carcass. The band has great energy which woke the crowd up and got the pit going! Highlights of the set included the old incinerated nugget “Forged in Fire (Forged in Flame)”, new track “Coins Upon the Eyes”, sing along “Limb From Limb” and the scorching screaming closer, “As Hammer to Anvil”. Late in the set their chainsaw wielding maniac mascot appeared, intent on making the saw part of us! As the show ended he produced a bloody severed head, from which he dumped blood on a (un)lucky fan in front of the stage, and then finished his performance with a stage dive! Exhumed is a must see people! I picked up a copy of NECROCARCY at the fest, great album, a bit more musically advanced than 2011’s ALL GUTS NO GLORY and more political, but still sick, heavy, and nasty! It’s like the new Carcass album with more balls. Fans of death metal and grindcore need to pick it up; it’s one of the gems of 2013!

Exhumed - Bob Babcock

Exhumed – Bodybag Bob Babcock

Exhumed set list

1. Sickened

2. Necrocracy

3. In The Name of Gore

4. Forged in Fire (Forged in Flame)

5. Limb From Limb

6. Coins Upon the Eyes

7. Dysmorphic

8. All Guts No Glory

9. As Hammer to Anvil

Matt Harvey

Exhumed – Matt Harvey

Bob Babcock

Exhumed – Bodybag Bob Babcock

Exhumed

Exhumed – Bud Burke, Matt Harvey

Exhumed

Exhumed – Matt Harvey

DYING FETUS

Dying Fetus

Dying Fetus – John Gallagher

Dying Fetus hit the stage about 12:30 to complete bedlam from the crowd! This is the first time I was seeing them and I was damn impressed! The three piece consisting of John Gallagher on guitar and vocals, Sean Beasley on bass and vocals, and Trey Williams on drums was very cohesive and together, like a well oiled machine of destruction! More powerful and heavier than the albums, John belched guttural vocals while shredding with his axe while Sean provided a contrasting mid range growl and heavy bass and Trey hammered us with blast beats! Clearly these guys have been influenced by Suffocation as most of their songs featured slams (breakdowns or tempo changes) that drove the crowd into a frenzy! Crowd response was violent and unfortunately there were some injuries (broken nose, broken ankle) late in the set. However, getting into a mosh pit is probably safer than getting behind the wheel of a car! My faves of the night included “Grotesque Impalement” (killer opener), “From Womb to Waste” (FUCK THE BABY!), and “Beaten Into Submission”. I think I’ve found a new band to check out and get into!

Dying Fetus

Dying Fetus – Sean Beasley

Dying Fetus set list

1. Grotesque Impalement

2. We Are Your Enemy

3. From Womb to Waste

4. Your Treachery Will Die With You

5. Homicidal Retribution

6. Beaten Into Submission

7. The Blood of Power

8. Killing on Adrenaline

9. Second Skin

10. Praise The Lord (Opium for the Masses)

11. One Shot, One Kill

12. Kill Your Mother, Rape Your Dog

13. Pissing in the Mainstream

Dying Fetus

Dying Fetus – Trey Williams

Dying Fetus

Dying Fetus – John Gallagher

DF

Dying Fetus – Sean Beasley

Dying Fetus

Dying Fetus – Trey Williams, John Gallagher

BROKEN HOPE

BH

Broken Hope – Jeremy Wagner

On Saturday, everything was running an hour behind schedule but the lineup was so fucking good I didn’t really care. The recently re-animated Broken Hope was in the house, and that means old school gore soaked death metal baby! This was the third time in the past year I was catching Chicago’s heaviest, and they didn’t disappoint! With the incredible new album OMEN OF DISEASE to promote, Broken Hope is touring the country with Deicide on the NO SALVATION TOUR; lucky for us they crashed our DDF party! From the opening bludgeoning of “Into the Necrosphere”, Broken Hope went for the jugular and didn’t let up! The thing that impresses me the most about Broken Hope is how good they are live. This is a band that was broken up for 11 years and has 3 new members. You would never know it, as they perform their macabre craft with the brutality and precision of a 25 year death metal veteran. Damian Leski’s guttural gurgling was brutal and stomach churning; he is doing a tremendous job replacing the late great Joe Ptacek (R.I.P.). Jeremy and Chuck traded leads and solos, sounding as precise and heavy as the albums. Shaun and Mike handled the low end perfectly and it sets the tone for their sick vibe. Pit was extremely rough and the crowd clearly loved what Broken Hope was churning out. We got 3 new tracks from OMEN OF DISEASE (“The Docking Dead”, “Womb of Horrors”, and “The Flesh Mechanic”) all of which sounded just like the album or heavier. My favorite tracks of the night were “The Dead Half” (from THE BOWELS OF REPUGNANCE, my fave BH album), old classic “Swamped in Gore”, “Hobo Stew”, “Incinerated”, and “The Flesh Mechanic”. After the set I was wiped out and battered but happy. OMEN OF DISEASE is one of the best metal releases in 2013 and it is certainly the heaviest. If you love old school death metal, pick up a copy if you haven’t already and catch these guys live, you will be blown away and SWAMPED IN GORE!

 

BH 2013

Broken Hope – Damian Leski, Mike Miczek

Broken Hope setlist

1. Septic Premonitions intro / Into the Necrosphere

2. Dilation and Extraction

3. The Docking Dead

4. He Was Raped

5. Swamped in Gore

6. The Dead Half

7. Womb of Horrors

8. Pitbull Grin

9. Gore Hog

10. Hobo Stew

11. The Flesh Mechanic

12. Incinerated

 

BH

Broken Hope – Damian Leski, Mike Miczek, Shaun Glass

BH

Broken Hope – Shaun Glass, Chuck Wepfer

BH

Broken Hope – Jeremy Wagner

BH

Broken Hope – Damian Leski

BH

Broken Hope setlist

SUFFOCATION

Suffo

Suffocation – Terrance Hobbs, Frank Mullen

Up next were New York death metal institution Suffocation, one of my all time favorite bands. Tonight was my 8th Suffo show and I was psyched to hear new material from PINNACLE OF BEDLAM, the awesome new album that came out last Feb. Singer Frank Mullen was with the band tonight, on recent tours he had not done all of the shows since he has a good day job now. ALL HAIL THE RETURN OF FRANK! A Suffo show without Frank is just not the same, his formidable vocals, intense stage presence, and humor are impossible to replicate. Also tonight guitarist Guy Marchais was unable to make it due to his mother’s health, so the band operated as a four piece with Frank, Terrance on guitar, Derek on bass, and Dave Culross on drums. Suffo kicked things off viciously with their usual opener “Thrones of Blood” and the chaos in the pit went up a notch or two! Suffo is one of the very best live bands in metal, their brutal / technical sound is always much heavier live (akin to multiplying one of their albums by 10) and the musicianship is stellar. Frank was on fire as usual, guttural, powerful, and inhuman. Terrance Hobbs is one of the most underrated guitarists in extreme metal, he writes a lot of Suffo’s music and he can shred with the best of them. Derek and Dave set the tempo perfectly and set off the slams, which are key to Suffo’s music. Frank was his usual hilarious self. First he commented about Mojo 13’s size for the fest – “This is our first time playing in Delaware. I guess this is the biggest place in Delaware?” Then he commented on being forced by his super strong polio stricken father (unable to walk but extremely strong upper body) to go to church weekly as a kid, being bored out of his mind, liking the snack at the end of the service, and learning that THE BIGGEST TRICK THE DEVIL EVER PULLED WAS MAKING THE WORLD BELIEVE HE DIDN”T EXIST (intro to “Funeral Inception”)! Set had 3 new songs and 7 old favorites. Best songs of the set were “Catatonia” (the first Suffo song ever!), “Funeral Inception” (Ricky Myers, the drummer for Disgorge, came out to do backing vocals on the GOD FORBID – GOD FORBIDDEN part), “Liege of Inveracity” (slam time!), “As Grace Descends”, “Rapture of Revocation” (best song on PINNACLE OF BEDLAM), and one I never get tired of, punishing closer “Infecting the Crypts” (A MAGGOT INFESTED CORPSE STARES DISMAL!). Great set as usual, had to go outside to get some air after the set due to the extreme heat.

Suffo

Suffocation – Terrance Hobbs, Frank Mullen

Suffocation set list

1. Thrones of Blood

2. As Grace Descends

3. Catatonia

4. Funeral Inception

5. Rapture of Revocation

6. Liege of Inveracity

7. Pierced From Within

8. Cataclysmic Purification

9. Purgatorial Punishment

10. Infecting the Crypts

 

Suffo

Suffocation – Frank Mullen

Suffo

Suffocation – Terrance Hobbs, Frank Mullen

Suffo

Suffocation – Frank Mullen doing the chop!

DEICIDE

Deicide

Deicide – Glen Benton

As Sat night goes past midnight, it’s the witching hour, which means time for DEICIDE! I’d been looking forward to this all day as I’d only seen Glen and co once before and I just knew they had something evil in store for us! Like an inferno of hellfire (sure as shit felt like it as the room was fucking hot as hell), Deicide blasted us with “Homage for Satan”! Sounding even better than he did last year, Glen amazingly delivered his guttural and high pitched satanic vocals with vigor while strumming his bass with lightning quick dexterity. Just like it says in the LEGION album – SO FOR ALL MY VOCAL CRITICS, SUFFER! Also, why isn’t Glen in the conversation for best metal bassists? Drummer Steve Asheim is a wonder to behold, a tireless whirling dervish of blast beats, fills, and cymbals. I think he is the best death metal drummer there is and I’ve seen a lot over the past 20 years. Jack Owen and Kevin Quirion can fucking shred and I don’t miss the Hoffman brothers because these guys are so damn good. Kevin also provided killer backing vocals to re-create the blended vocals you hear on the classic songs like “Once Upon the Cross” and “Serpents of the Light”. How awesome is that? Some bands can’t reproduce what they do in the studio, not fucking Deicide! Glen was in a good mood, joking around with hecklers. Some asshole with a crazy beard was giving him shit so Glen told him he looked like he belonged on Duck Dynasty and he should go home a fuck a duck! Glen also informed us that his secret to having energy to perform is 5 Hour Energy (!) Set was an amazing mix of classic material and a few songs off of 2011’s TO HELL WITH GOD. Best of all, we got two cuts from my fave Deicide album LEGION! Glen asked if there were any old fans of LEGION and then crucified us with “Trifixion” (BURNING I BLEED, UNHOLY INCISION, MARK OF THE BEAST, BEHOLD THE TRIFIXION!) and “Dead But Dreaming” (LORD KUR!)! That made my fucking night and I did a cyclone in the pit with another big dude and cleared some people out! My other faves of the set included “Dead By Dawn” (TRAPPED IN A DREAM OF THE NECRONOMICON!), “Once Upon the Cross” (FEAR HIM!), “Serpents of the Light”, “They Are The Children of the Underworld”, “Sacrificial Suicide” (BEHOLD THE CRUCIFIX, SYMBOL OF STERILITY, I AM CRUCIFIX – SATAN!), “Lunatic of God’s Creation” (FEEL THE KNIFE OF THE LORD’S DIVINE CREATION!), and the final track that Glen obliged with as the crowd yelled for one more song “Deicide” (NO LORD SHALL STAND BEFORE MYSELF!). Fans were beat up but happy afterward. I was so fucking wired I couldn’t sleep even though I the show ended at 1:40 and I got home at 2:30! Deicide fucking rules! New album IN THE MINDS OF EVIL is coming in November and I just can’t wait!

Deicide

Deicide – Kevin Quirion

Deicide Set list

1. Homage for Satan

2. Dead By Dawn

3. Once Upon The Cross

4. Scars of the Crucifix

5. When Satan Rules His World

6. Serpents of The Light

7. Save Your

8. Hang in Agony Until You’re Dead

9. Conviction

10. Trifixion

11. Dead But Dreaming

12. They Are The Children of the Underworld

13. Witness of Death

14. Desecration

15. Sacrificial Suicide

16. Lunatic of God’s Creation

17. Oblivious to Evil

18. Kill the Christian

19. Deicide

Deicide

Deicide – Kevin Quirion, Steve Asheim, Glen Benton

Deicide

Deicide – Glen Benton

Deicide

Deicide – Glen Benton

Deicide

Deicide – Glen Benton

PATHS OF POSSESSION

 

Paths to Possession

Paths of Possession – George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher

On Sunday I was curious about George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher’s side band, Paths of Possession. I’ve seen Cannibal Corpse twice with Corpsegrinder and I dig his voice and stage presence, so I was wondering how he would sound in a more melodic setting. Let’s make this clear, Paths of Possession play death metal, it is more melodic than Cannibal Corpse as it isn’t as fast, doesn’t have as many blast beats, and Corpsegrinder doesn’t get as guttural. That doesn’t mean it isn’t fucking heavy! I enjoyed the full set and the crowd did as well, moshing wasn’t as intense today because folks were tired / banged up from Sat and there were only about half as many people there on Sunday. The band was tight and together with impressive guitar work. Corpsegrinder’s voice was powerful, staying in the mid to high range, and his head banging is second to none, of course! Corpsegrinder was his usual tongue-in-cheek self in between songs, encouraging us to mosh (Let go of your girlfriend’s tits and ass and start fucking moving!) and joking around. Set was good; I especially enjoyed the heavier material, “Bring Me The Head of Christ” and “The Butcher’s Bargain”.

Paths of Possession 2013

Paths of Possession

Paths of Possession set list

1. Darklands

2. In My Eyes

3. The Second Coming

4. The Butcher’s Bargain

5. In Offering Of Spite

6. The Icy Flow Of Death

7. Memory Burn

8. The End Of The Hour

9. Bring Me The Head Of Christ

 

Paths 2013

Paths of Possession

Paths of Possession

Paths of Possession

PoP

Paths of Possession – George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher

BRUTALITY

Brutality

Brutality – Jeff Acres, Scott Reigel

Florida’s Brutality is revered in the metal underground for producing inspired, brutal, technical old school death metal in the early 90s. SCREAMS OF ANGUISH and AS THE SKY TURNS BLACK are death metal classics that every fan of the genre should own, and 1996’s IN MOURNING is an underrated follow up. The band recently reformed with the classic SCREAMS OF ANGUISH lineup and put out a 2 song EP RUINS OF HUMANS that has the underground buzzing. They’re back with a vengeance folks, the new EP fucking rules! Tonight, we lucky fans in Delaware got to catch Brutality’s second gig since reforming, and let me tell you it was fucking great! To start off they assaulted us with the SCREAMS OF ANGUISH opener “These Walls Shall Become Your Grave” (a personal fave of mine!) and I think everyone’s jaw hit the fucking floor! HOLY SHIT! Lead vocalist Scott Reigel stalked the stage and delivered amazing growls with ferocity while guitarists Don Gates and Jay Fernandez shredded with killer riffs and solos. Jim Coker’s drumming was spot on and powerful while Jeff Acres’ bass rumbled as he delivered higher pitched growls, contrasting Scott’s and recreating the impressive vocals heard on the albums. You’d never know these guys had just reformed, everything sounded brutally perfect, just like the albums or better! The set consisted of material from SCREAMS OF ANGUISH, the title track from WHEN THE SKY TURNS BLACK, their amazing cover of Black Sabbath’s “Electric Funeral” (my fave Sabbath cover of all time! ) and the 2 new songs from RUINS OF HUMANS. Besides the songs already mentioned, my faves of the night included “Ceremonial Unearthing”, “Spawned Illusions”, and the first Brutality song I ever heard on the DEATH….IS JUST THE BEGINNING II compilation, which was introduced by Jeff as, this is fucking “Cryptorium”! Us deathmetallers are so lucky Brutality has come back! I really hope these guys get to play Maryland DeathFest (MDF) XII in May so more fans can experience what we did in Delaware. Hopefully I will catch them again soon.

Brutality

Brutality – Jay Fernandez

Brutality set list

1. These Walls Shall Be Your Grave

2. Ceremonial Unearthing

3. When The Sky Turns Black

4. Ruins of Humans

5. Spawned Illusions

6. Irreversibly Broken

7. Crushed

8. Cries of the Forsaken

9. Electric Funeral

10. Cryptorium

 

Brutality

Brutality – Don Gates, Jeff Acres. Scott Reigel, Jay Fernandez

Brutality

Brutality – Don Gates, Jeff Acres, Scott Reigel, Jay Fernandez

Brutality 2013

Brutality – Scott Reigel

Overall, DDF was a helluva experience! DDF produced the heaviest lineup I’ve ever seen, surpassing MDF X, MDF XI, the Decibel Magazine tour with Cannibal Corpse / Napalm Death / Immolation and a bunch of brutal stuff I saw back in the early 90s. I got to meet a ton of musicians and hang out with lots of great, passionate, knowledgeable fans. Hey, death metal doesn’t have casual fans; you either worship it or hate it! I can’t wait to see who DDF will get next year and where it will be held. Keep the black faith my deathmetallers; we are the CHILDREN OF THE UNDERWOLRD!

 

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