On May 19th, 2023, the killer triple bill of Obituary, Immolation, and Blood Incantation came to the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood, a fantastic venue. I would love it if they hosted more metal shows there. Unfortunately, the concert started exceptionally early, so I missed the fourth band on the bill.
I got there just as Colorodo’s Blood Incantation took the stage. It was my second time seeing them (the first was Psycho Vegas), and I got there early to catch their set as they are one of my favorite “new” death metal bands. So if you ever get to catch Blood Incantation, you absolutely should. Even though their most recent experimental ambient album, Timewave Zero, was a misstep, their previous efforts are top-notch.
Live, this quartet is even better than recorded and much heavier than you’d expect. Blood Incantation’s music has a lot of dynamics, and the fact they are not blaring at ten through the set and splitting the brutality up with guitar harmonies, cleaner sections, and psychedelic parts makes the neck breaker riffs hit much harder.
I can’t say enough good things about this band, and they should have been higher on the bill.
Blood Incantation Setlist
- The Giza Power Plant
- Slave Species of the Gods
- Hovering Lifeless
New York’s Immolation has been around forever and, in my opinion, has never been much more than a third-tier death metal band. I had seen them previously opening for Exhorder as a three-piece. Sadly, their performance that night did little to change my mind.
Their riffs got the crowd going, but their set was still boring, aside from a few songs they played from Dawn of Possession. The band has an awkward stage presence, with one guitar player looking like he’s falling asleep, flanked by another with some of the most ridiculous stage moves I’ve ever seen.
- An Act of God
- The Age of No Light
- Harnessing Ruin
- Despondent Souls
- World Agony
- Destructive Currents
- Under the Supreme
- Let the Darkness In
Obituary took the stage early, around 9:30. The Fonda had the sound dialed perfectly. Unlike many death metal bands with blast beats and riffs with a million notes, Obituary’s music is meat and potatoes, almost bordering on punk. Still, when mixed correctly, it is devastating.
John Tardy’s voice was as brutal as usual. It’s incredible at 50+; the guy can still deliver as he does. There were a few points when he missed a line or two, but the fact that he pulls extreme vocals like this off is miraculous, although it’s worth noting he does so with a lot of reverb and delay.
As always, the band played like a juggernaut, with Donald and Terry holding down the rhythm for Kenny and Trever to assault the crowd with their signature guitar twin attack. In addition, Kenny Andew’s guitar solos improve as his tenure in the band continues.
The only downer was much of the set consisted of songs on the new album, which is top-notch, but the new songs are more verse/chorus structures and get a little boring live. On the other hand, the older material was extraordinary because, at times, it didn’t even make sense other than it was one riff heavier than the last.
But this is just a minor complaint. Come see this tour if it reaches a city near you!!
- Redneck Stomp
- Sentence Day
- A Lesson in Vengeance
- Visions in My Head
- The Wrong Time
- Barely Alive
- Slow Death
- Find the Arise
- Weaponize the Hate
- My Will to Live
- Chopped in Half
- Turned Inside Out
- Dying of Everything
- I’m in Pain
- Slowly We Rot
- Cat Scratch Fever
Apr 28 – Charlotte, NC @ The Underground
Apr 29 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Elevation 27
May 01 – Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Soundstage
May 02 – Philadelphia, PA @ Brooklyn Bowl
May 04 – New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
May 05 – Boston, MA @ The Middle East
May 06 – Montreal, QC @ Theatre Fairmount
May 07 – Toronto, ON @ The Phoenix Concert Theatre
May 09 – Chicago, IL @ Metro
May 10 – Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line
May 11 – Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room *
May 12 – Englewood, CO @ Gothic Theatre *
May 13 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex
May 15 – Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
May 16 – Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
May 18 – Berkley, CA @ UC Theatre
May 19 – Los Angeles, CA @ Fonda Theatre
May 20 – Mesa, AZ @ Nile Theater
May 22 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk
May 23 – Dallas, TX @ Granada Theatre
May 24 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
May 26 – St. Louis, MO @ Red Flag
May 28 – Louisville, KY @ Headliner Music Hall