Chuck Schuldiner Project

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Wake The Beast, Fisthammer, Eye of the Destroyer and Curse of Samsara at Freddy's Tavern & Grille

It's been a while since I went to shows two nights in a row, and after tonight I regret not having done it more. With the chance to see four top notch bands, I had a good time exploring a new venue that certainly seems like a fitting place to put on this kind music. A true dive bar, Freddy's Tavern & Grille is the kind of place that seems meant for the underground, regulars coming in and enjoying their beers while a handful of death metal maniacs come out to listen to some of the regions most exciting heavy acts.

First to play was Wake The Beast. They have a rather chuggy death metal sound that uses a lot of powerful grooves to things going. When they really hit their rhythm things started to get a little crazy. While there wasn't enough of a crowd for anything moshwise, I get the sense that people were starting to fall into the grooves and have an appreciation for the raw and beautiful heaviness that Wake The Beast deliver. This is the kind of thing that pounds its way into your skull and refuses to come out. They provided a fitting start to a wholly satisfying evening of death metal and sonic destruction.

Fisthammer, the Philadelphia death metallers, were up next, and for me, they stole the show. This was my second time seeing the band and they put together something truly special. Far more tight with their new bassist after a short East Coast tour I get the sense that Fisthammer are now ready to start a meteoric rise. The bands singer and guitarist Max Svalgard injected a fresh sensibility to the sound with a variety of vocal stylings to keep things interesting. Fisthammer are an exciting band to watch live and they are only getting tighter with time. With a couple of big gigs up ahead of them, I'm excited to hear what they come up with next!

When Eye of the Destroyer came on I wasn't sure what to expect. I had talked to them earlier and they seemed like cool dudes, but death metal shows at dive bars can be hit an miss. Fortunately, Eye of the Destroyer were a clear hit. With chunky riffs and a lead singer who had a wonderfully lively stage presence, Eye of the Destroyer brought forth an unholy energy that got people smiling and feeling the magical vibes that only this type of music can create. These guys know what they are doing live and are a pleasure to listen to. With a new album release only weeks away, it seems like its time for them to reach the next level.

The final act was Curse of Samsara playing one of their final shows before their mainman moves to California to restart the band from there. They played a very tight set of thrashy death metal with all sorts of technical fills. These guys are solid performers too the guitarists in particular seemed to really get in to the wonderful aggressiveness of the sound. Though the singer came off as jaded, they were able to win the hearts of the few who remained to watch them. Their is a sort of sad beauty to this kind of event, a band who have existed for years are about to come to an end, and I feel honored to have gotten to partake in their legend.

As I write this my eyelids feel like lead, and I still need to shower before I sleep. Yet it's nights like this that make metal life worth living for me. As I stood outside, stamping my feet to keep warm and watching Fisthammer's gear while they loaded out, I realized that this is what I live for. I'm not going to grow up and get a real job, no, instead I'll spend my evenings with great bands like these in fun little dive bars, reveling in the magic of something that our parents could never understand. This is what rock and roll is all about, and by God is it good.

Find the bands on Facebook!

Wake The Beast:


Eye of the Destroyer:

Curse of Samsara:

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