September 14 @ 7:00 pm - 11:30 pm$20
Thy Art is Murder
As a Teenage Death Metal act, DECAPITATED averaged an age of just 17 by the time of their debut album but incredibly drummer Vitek was a mere twelve years old upon their formation in 1996. Both guitarist Vogg and bassist Martin also held down membership of Black Metal act LUX OCCULTA. In 1997, the trio of vocalist Sauron, guitarist Vogg, and Vitek added the 13 year old bassist Martin. DECAPITATED, hailing from Krosno, debuted with the demos Cemeteral Gardens in 1997 and 1998 “The Eye Of Horus”. Further exposure was garnered by the inclusion of tracks on the 2000 Relapse Records ‘Polish Assault’ compilation alongside YATTERING, LOST SOUL, and DAMNABLE. The first album, recorded for Earache subsidiary Wicked World, was produced by VADER Piotr Wiwczarek and sees a cover of SLAYER Mandatory Suicide. DECAPITATED early demos were pressed up onto CD by Poland’s Metal Mind Productions entitled The First Damned, adding two live tracks from the ‘Thrash ’em All’ festival. The band toured as support to VADER in early 2001. DECAPITATED’s February 2002 album ‘Nihility’ would include a cover version of NAPALM DEATH ‘s ‘Suffer The Children’. The band scored a valuable coup later that same year, being chosen to perform at the Polish ‘Ozzfest’ event in late May. By August DECAPITATED was on the road in North America with tour partners INCANTATION , VEHEMENCE and DEAD TO FALL. The band, shooting a promotional video for the track ‘Spheres of Madness’ to further promote the album, would form up part of a strong package bill topped by VADER for a run of dates across mainland Europe from late August alongside KRISIUN and PREJUDICE. Vitek took time out to lay down drums on VADER frontman Piotr Wiwczarek’s PANZER X project EP ‘Steel Fist’. The February 2004 DECAPITATED album ‘The Negatron’ would see a bonus track offering of a take on DEICIDE ‘s ‘Lunatic Of God’s Creation’. A short spurt of UK dates saw the band ranked alongside ROTTING CHRIST , ANATA and THUS DEFILED . The band then united with Norwegian Black Metal elite outfit MAYHEM and Japanese act DEFILED for a European tour commencing early April. US dates scheduled for July and August had DECAPITATED opening for CANNIBAL CORPSE . However, all North American touring plans were cancelled due to the sensitivity in regard to the band’s name and the executions of hostage victims in Iraq. DECAPITATED parted ways with guitarist Jacek Hiro in October, opting to remain a quartet for February 2005 European gigs allied with HATE , CRIONICS and DIES IRAE . The band re-shaped in June when frontman Sauron closed a nine year tenure by announcing his withdrawal. DECAPITATED quickly drew in their friend Covan formerly of ATROPHIA RED SUN, NEUROTOXIC.c.w.a., as replacement. The band entered Hertz Studios in Bialystok in August to record a new album entitled ‘Organic Hallucinosis’. September European dates had DECAPITATED partnered with British act GOREROTTED and Dutch DETONATION. Following US gigs in December, DECAPITATED parted ways with bassist Martin, the four-stringer having to deal with military conscription issues, pulling in Richard Gulczynski as replacement. Live work breaking into 2006, promoting the ‘Organic Hallucinosis’ album recorded at Hertz Studio in Bialystok, saw the band teaming up with HYPOCRISY, SOILENT GREEN, RAGING SPEEDHORN, NILE, and WITH PASSION for a North American tour commencing in early January. In mid February it was learned that bassist Martin had returned to the fold. US dates for September and October 2006 saw the band hooking up with KRISIUN , CATTLE DECAPITATION , SIX FEET UNDER and ABYSMAL DAWN. The band united with headliners FEAR FACTORY and SUFFOCATION for further North American shows in November. The band united with Nancy’s PHAZM for extensive European touring throughout February 2007. In May the group toured throughout Australia and New Zeeland supporting NILE. The band’s next tour outing was to be the ‘Summer Slaughter’ trek across the USA throughout June and July, seeing NECROPHAGIST headlining on a mammoth package billing with BENEATH THE MASSACRE, CEPHALIC CARNAGE, CATTLE DECAPITATION, THE FACELESS, AS BLOOD RUNS BLACK, ARSIS, and ION DISSONANCE. The band is ready for next tour attacks! Asia, North and South America and Europe.
“I think the metal scene is immeasurably lacking in bands that offer emotional and atmospheric material,” says Fallujah vocalist Alex Hofmann. “Metal can’t remain as single serving as it is and hope to keep relevance. Bands need to bring a knockout live show and make the audience actually feel something other than mere impulse. It is for this reason that I think the world (or the metal world for that matter) has already been waiting for a band like Fallujah.”
Hofmann is onto something, actually. From Fallujah’s formation in 2007, the San Franciscans have melded brutality and brains into a sonic force with an unquestionable presence. Debut album, The Harvest Wombs, set the tech death world afire, with its smart brawn and well-placed jazz-rock interludes. The group’s follow-up album, The Flesh Prevails, further contrasted intensity with atmosphere. Tracks like ‘Carved from Stone’, ‘The Night Reveals’, and ‘Sapphire’ floored fans with their dexterity, ingenuity, and ferocity. Fallujah, however, aren’t content to be pigeonholed as tech death (or deathcore).
“That term was what we were lumped into for a long time,” the frontman admits. “In my opinion, the term has stuck way past its relevancy with our music. When you put on a lot of tech death bands I have a hard time understanding why we are considered amongst their ranks. The Leper Colony and The Harvest Wombs-era makes perfect sense, but now? I think we offer so much more to the musical pallet, so when that term comes up the first thought that comes up is ‘irrelevancy’.”
Eager to not repeat The Flesh Prevails, Fallujah set out to write a paradigm shift in new album, Dreamless. Written largely by guitarist Scott Carstairs at his home—the rest of Fallujah would join in to help the six-stringer smith songs— Dreamless represents a band at the peak of their songwriting ability. According to Hoffman, songs like ‘The Void Alone’, ‘Face Of Death’, and ‘Lacuna’ feature less musical arithmetic and more groove, a trait that’s underscored throughout Dreamless. Instead of the rapidity and claustrophobic atmosphere of The Flesh Prevails, Fallujah’s new music is clearer, stronger, yet still rife with emotion and ambiance.
“Simply calling it death metal would be inaccurate,” states Hofmann of Dreamless. “This album is a major step forward with the goal in mind of transcending the limitations of not only the death metal sound but the scene at large. Anyone who is a Fallujah fan will put the record on and immediately know who it is they are listening to, but there’s a diverse palette represented here that our previous albums lacked. The aim of the album seemed a lot more focused this time with what we wanted to achieve. With each album we write it becomes apparent that we get better at actual songwriting.”
Lyrically, Dreamless is Fallujah in a different light. Whereas The Flesh Prevails centered on Hofmann’s personal experiences, Dreamless views things from the perspectives of others. There’s also a filmic tie-in as well. In short, Dreamless features Hofmann’s most revealing lyrics to date.
“The main theme revolves around various films and the emotions they evoke from my own past,” Hofmann says. “Each song manifests not only the themes within dialogue, but the colors and cinematography as well. I found it refreshing not to have to dig deep back into my own head and try to force a sense of artistic flare on ideas or experiences that in many ways are not grimly poetic. Telling a story about the struggles of characters in an environment that is real and down to earth was so interesting because there is no sense of insincerity. You are in many ways retelling a story from your own perspective, one that is driven by empathy and common experience. The real treat will be seeing if the fan base can decipher the themes of the lyrics and figure out what films correlate with which songs.”
Dreamless was produced at Sharkbite Studios (Exodus, High On Fire) with Zack Ohren again at the helm. Having produced both The Harvest Wombs and The Flesh Prevails, Ohren made it easy for Fallujah to return. The relationship between Fallujah and Ohren is closer to brotherhood than hired studio gun. He knows how Fallujah work as a team, and how to get the best out of individual performances. He’s both taskmaster and cherished mentor. Plus, Ohren’s a true gearhead, something Hofmann cherished while cutting tracks for Dreamless.
“Zack has been pivotal in making our albums shine,” the singer grins. “His knowledge of technology and attention to detail have made him essential to the whole process. We never for a moment felt like we were just another band in the meat grinder with him, as he took a personal interest in making this album the best it could be. Having him tag team this record with Mark Lewis has produced crushing results.”
Fans and journalists have a close relationship with Fallujah—Hoffman and team spent a lot of time meeting kids online while recording Dreamless, actually—but the bond is destined to be stronger after they hear Dreamless. It’s at once a personal and rewarding experience. While Fallujah describes their music as “aggressive and emotional”, Dreamless will take Fallujah to new levels of renown. To wit, the Fog City residents are prepared to jettison the constraints of death metal while not forgetting the genre’s tenets.
“I want the kids to be able to put the record on and actually feel something real,” admits Hoffman. “I think if I had to direct their emotions it would be those of nostalgia, memories and someone of blissful ignorance. I want a fan to put on a song from a new record that he’s never heard before and have it take him back to a time or place that the song has no attachment to. The melodies and atmospheres on this record are powerful in that way for all of us so we hope it has the same effect on other.”
“I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my eyes and all is born again.” Ghost Bath refers to the act of committing suicide by submerging in a body of water.
Ghost Bath writes and creates under the assumption that music is an extension of one’s own soul. They journey through the sorrow and sadness that all lives experience, but leave a glimmer of hope. They portray both deep anguish and angelic soundscapes that are sure to leave an impression on the listener. The band started in October of 2013 with the release of their self-titled EP on Solitude Productions (China). This was followed by their debut LP titled, “Funeral,” which was released on Pest Productions (China) in June of 2014. “Moonlover” was released on Northern Silence Productions(Germany) in 2015. In 2016, the band was signed by Nuclear Blast Records.
- September 14
7:00 pm - 11:30 pm
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- Alex Hofmann, black metal, Carved from Stone, Cemeteral Gardens, Chicago shows, Concerts in September, death metal, Decapitated, Dreamless, Earache, Face Of Death, Fallujah, First Damned, Funeral, Ghost Bath, Heavy Metal, Hertz Studios, Hofmann of Dreamless, Lacuna, Lux Occulta, Martin, metal, Moonlover, Nihility, Northern Silence Productions, Nuclear Blast Records, Pest Productions, Polish Assault, Rebel Radio, Rebel Radio shows, Sapphire, Sauron, Sharkbite Studios, shows in September, Solitude Productions, Spheres of Madness, Steel Fist, The Eye Of Horus, The Flesh Prevails, The Forge, The Harvest Wombs, The Leper Colony, The Negatron, The Night Reveals, The Void Alone, Things to do in Chicago, Things to do in Joliet, Thrash 'em All, Thy Art Is Murder, VADER Piotr Wiwczarek, Vitek, Vogg, what's playing, Wicked World, Zack Ohren
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