CEPHALIC CARNAGE + Dead to Fall + more @ El Salon

By DCU - No Sleep Til Bedtime - 04/27/2005

I am always incredibly excited to see one of my favorite and challenging grind bands Cephalic Carnage, and even though I had just seen them days before, it was my pleasure to trek out to El Salon to see them again. El Salon is certainly not the best locale for a metal show, not only is it way up on St-Laurent, where us metal kids do not like to travel, but the whole atmosphere of the venue just isn’t conducive to that kind of show. But like always you make the best of a bad situation on an ugly rainy night, and you get ready thrash out to frenzied blistering music.

Opening up the show for me were locals Beneath the Massacre, a band recently signed to Galy Records. This is a band that shows so much promise, mixing extreme death metal brutality with technical riffs and hardcore breakdowns. The band seemed disappointed with the activity of the crowd, which was in no way their fault, as their set was intense and gripping. My one problem with the band is the echo effect used on the vocals. The singer already has such a brutal and heavy voice, perfect for this style of metal, that the echo just seems like overkill.

Next up was Dead to Fall, with their American metal-core style similar to that of Darkest Hour. There set was extremely high energy (except for some technical difficulties) and the hardcore crowd reacted rather well to songs off the most recent Villainy & Virtue as well as older material. They even threw in an At The Gates cover song which was flawlessly performed. Although Dead to Fall don’t push the envelope with their music, they put on a great live show and never cease to impress. (Disclaimer: I may or may not have been part of a hardcore pile-up on the front of the stage during "Bastard Set of Dreams".)

Sadly when Cephalic Carnage took the stage the venue was more than half empty, with not more than 40 people in attendance. You could tell the band was disappointed with the turnout, but they still grinded the night away with enthusiasm. The majority of their set came from their new album Anomalies with tracks "Counting the Days", "Kill For Weed", "Dying Will be the Death of Me", and others. From Lucid Interval only the title track was played, with the concert wrapping up with their patented "King of the Hill/Observer to the Obliteration of Planet Earth" medley. An amazing set, the band has never sounded this good, it was only disappointing that not as many people were there to check them out, but it was there loss.