Napalm Death and The Black Dahlia Murder Campaign in Denver

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Napalm Death and The Black Dahlia Murder Campaign in Denver

Jake Tharan, Entertainment Editor

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The Summit Music Hall hosted the visitation of representatives from the Abysmal Predator Tour on November 8th to allow them to voice their madness to supporters in Denver.

Denver metalheads were treated to an oh-so-sweet night of death, murder, misery and Abnormality, who were the first to present their case to the audience.

The Massachusetts death metal group brought forth a heavy sound built upon rather complex riffing and breakdowns tailored to break the listener down to rubble.  The group’s youthfulness is evidenced in their energetic performance complete with heaving slams and brutal growls courtesy of frontwoman Mallika Sundaramurthy.

With an intent crowd looking on and a well-executed show, the future of touring for Abnormality looks marvelously bright.

In a continuation of death metal marauding, Baltimore’s Misery Index took the stage.  Fast picking and blast-beats abound coincided with growled vocals in a hardcore-soaked performance.  The band stampedes through genuine metal structures, tossing aside any room for ambience or soft interludes.

Everything Misery Index adheres to is fast and aggressive, which by no means is a negative aspect of their live show – the certified mosher “Traitors” demands a stint in the pit.

At this point in the evening the floor began to see an influx of bodies, which meant one thing: The Black Dahlia Murder is back in Denver.

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The Michigan metal masters wasted no time diving into their set as green, red and purple stage lights colored the members onstage.  Frontman Trevor Strnad screeched into the microphone while the other members tore into their instruments, garnering a warm welcome from the Denver crowd.  Strnad remarked that Denver metalheads always “treat the band well” and expressed his gratitude to the crowd saying, “We have an ongoing love affair with this city.”

The devout BDM supporters have an apparent love affair with the band as well; the pits were rife with fury and fans gave spirited scream-alongs to songs like “Statutory Ape” and “Nocturnal.”

The group’s performance reaffirms why The Black Dahlia Murder is one of the finest live acts in the modern metal scape.  The band is preeminent in their craft; playing with great awareness, employing stellar timing, exhibiting showmanship and balancing melody and shredding.  Music fans in general should not find it difficult to enjoy watching these men perform, as it is a display of true craft.

The final act of the night brought British grind staples Napalm Death to the limelight.  How appropriate it was to be seeing such a group on Election Night in America.

Positioned in front of a glowing backdrop bearing only the bands unmistakable logo, the hectic racket of ND began to attack the senses.  Fans were given a diverse setlist that included the rabid “Smash a Single Digit,” the harshly catchy “When All is Said and Done” and the ludicrously strident “The Code is Red…Long Live the Code,” to name a few.

Frontman Barney Greenway delivered his usual preface before most of the songs then launched into his incomprehensible growl over the gnashing music.  Classic songs like “Scum” and the hyper-fast “From Enslavement to Obliteration” are ridiculously chaotic in a live setting.  The band creates prime moshing music that arrives in harsh splendor and is gone in an instant.  Longer tracks like “How the Years Condemn” and “Suffer the Children” administer bone-breaking slams, delighting fans.

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Napalm Death has withstood and helped shape the shifting metal platform since 1981, as they continue to deliver jarring grind to the world.  The band’s music is grating and intense; summoning frenetic blast beats with massive, crushing walls of distortion.  Their signature song content and image operates around political and social awareness, all while throwing in their honest, in-your-face conviction.

Along with the madness comes a somewhat ironic, nonetheless admirable message from Greenway: “Peace and love – the only way forward.”

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