Obituary, Pallbearer, Skeletonwitch and Dust Bolt at Barracuda, Austin, TX 5/29/2018

So, the roaring redneck death metal show from Florida rolled into town last night.  These guys are one of the stalwarts of the swampy Florida death metal scene and one of the prominent purveyors of gore with brethren Cannibal Corpse and Carcass.  Whereas those other two bands are straight up blistering, Obituary comes at their gore-laden tunes from a little different direction.  Imagine Molly Hatchet breeding with Cannibal Corpse and it will give you a decent idea of their sound.  You’ve got all of the putrefaction with an added dose of southern groove.  It’s gross and you can dance to it!  Win-win.  It’s an interesting combo and it plays well in a live setting.  It was a set list that represented a good cross-section of tunes from throughout their career.  The crowd went absolutely nuts with the largest circle pit I’ve ever witnessed at Barracuda and even had a couple of knucklehead clamber up into the overhead rafters during the encore.  It’s amazing I didn’t have a second straight concert flip flop blowout.

The rest of the bill for this show was widely varied.  Most touring bills usually throw bands within the same sub-genre together, but this one tried to add a little more diversity to the proceedings.  First out of the gate and playing while the sun was still up was Germany’s Dust Bolt.  This was my first experience with them and they brought a high energy straight up old school thrash aesthetic to set the tone for the night.  They were the most original of bands, but they more than made up for it with their enthusiasm.  Definitely a band to keep an eye on in the future.

Second on the bill was Skeletonwitch.  These guys have been around for some time now and are a seasoned death metal crew.  I always feel like I should really like Skeletonwitch, but they just never end up finding that sweet spot for me.  They seem like fun guys.  They have a great name.  Metal loves skeletons and witches.  You’d think that by combining the two would be even more awesome, but there is just something that is holding them back.  I’m not even sure what it is.

Coming out before Obituary were doom merchants and the pride of Arkansas, Pallbearer.  They are still touring on last year’s Heartless album and you can really tell that all of their relentless touring over the past year is starting to pay off.  I believe this is the fourth time that I’ve seen these guys play live and every time it feels like their performance gets a little tighter.  It’s like they are getting more and more comfortable in their own skin as a band.  Highlights of this set were their newly release single, Dropout, and an unreleased song from the first demo they ever put out.  I really hope they put this latter song out as a proper release because it was really strong.

Obituary-Visions In My Head

Obituary-I’m In Pain


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