Monday, April 25, 2016

Concert Review: Deicide - December 7, 1998

Note – some of these concert reviews are nothing more than dregs of memories cobbled together to the best of my ability. Having seen so many shows over the years, certain ones are harder to recollect than others. This happens to be one of the harder ones to remember anything about.

Many years ago I had a friend Kyle Powell. He was a guitarist/singer in black metal, doom metal, and death metal bands. These bands were not really for me. I’ve never been a huge fan of the death/doom metal scene. I usually enjoy the music, but I never got a real good taste for the grunting growling vocals. They always sounded somewhat ridiculous to my ears. However, being one who understands that different music can mean different things to different people, I was supportive of Kyle and his death/doom/black metal projects. I listened to his EPs and gave encouragement where I could. I even went as far as to see his band in concert.

Obsessions was a small night club in Randolph, New Jersey, not far from my home at the time. Kyle’s band, Engorge, had been given the opportunity to open for Deicide, a band I did not know at all. Like most opening acts in these club type settings, their spot on the bill was based on how many tickets to the show they could sell. So, as a good friend, I bought a pair of tickets and dragged my buddy Tommy to the show with me. Ultimately, I was there to support Kyle’s band and if the other bands turned out to be good, then that was a bonus.

Thanks to the magic of the internet, I was recently able to remember that Deicide was on tour in support of their latest release at the time, Serpents of the Light. I don’t know if it’s a good album or not, but I am sure that their fans loved it. I don’t remember much about Deicide. I’ve never paid them any attention since that night, so I wouldn’t remember much about them anyway. As previously stated, death metal has never been my thing. It’s possible that I left early and didn’t even stay for Deicide’s set. I honestly do not remember.

What I do remember was how excited Kyle was to be performing on stage opening for Deicide. He was living out his dream. Kyle’s day job may have been in the mortgage industry, but his real career was under the lights of heavy metal. I remember that I enjoyed the band’s set, even though I did not care for the vocals. This would be a running theme for the rest of the night. We would listen to a lot of growling vocals that I didn’t care for and I would wonder how guys could play music this amazing and then grunt out the lyrics. I never understood death metal.

I believe that Engorge went on second and played a tight set – perhaps thirty minutes long. I also remember meeting the guys from Mortician, who were also there to witness the show that night. At the time, they had only released one album, Hacked Up For Barbecue and were preparing to record their next record. Kyle had mentioned on a few occasions that he was considering joining the band as their drummer and that the opportunity may have been there for him to do so.

I remember asking Will Rahmer when Kyle was going to join their band. His response was simple, “Whenever he wants to.” I told Kyle about that meeting the next day and he smiled. He still wasn’t sure if he wanted to join them or continue on with his own band. He ultimately would stay with Engorge. Recent internet searches show that the band is still around. Perhaps it is time for me to reach out to my old buddy Kyle and see how Engorge is doing.

So, I may have seen one of the greatest Deicide shows in their history, or I may have seen their worst. I may not even have seen at all. I just can’t remember much about it. Sometimes memory can be a little fuzzy, or almost not there at all.

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