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Aborted has been one of my favorite death metal bands for many years now, and I always make it a point to go see them live when they come around. This was going to be my 4th time seeing them, and my first time seeing them do a headlining tour. The month of May was a little slow for good death metal shows, so fans were lined up and ready to enter the venue, for what promised to be a heavy and diverse night of metal.

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The night began with the local openers. The first local opener was a band called Detriment. They have been around for a while, and are from San Pedro (a couple of cities over from my home town), but it was my first time seeing them. They are a three-piece consisting of drums, bass, and guitar. The drummer and guitarist shared vocal duties. The style was old school death metal, reminding me of bands like Exhumed, Dying Fetus, and Carcass. The drummer handled the higher register screams and the guitarist focused on the deep gutturals. The music had a nice blend of melody and groove, going back and forth between the fast guitar lines and slow breakdowns. The band was tight, as seen in moments where the drumming added technical offbeat hits over repeated riffs that were in odd time signatures. These moments were few, but they really were the highlights of the set. It showed that they had a good knowledge and feel for technicality, while focusing on memorability.

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The next local band was Send Them Sin. I had previously seen them at The OC Music Hall in Anaheim opening up for Rings of Saturn. This five-piece plays a style of music that combines elements of death metal, deathcore, groove metal, and thrash metal. The vocals have a fist pumping element similar to the style found in bands like Hatebreed and Chimera. At the same time, the band switches back and forth between slow grooves and breakdowns and the fast melodic guitar lines like Detriment did. The singer, Albert, tossed out copies of their EP to the crowd throughout the set, and explained that the songs from the set could be found on it. They threw in a cover of “Raining Blood” from Slayer, which made the crowd go crazy and scream along. They did a good job energizing the band before the show went to the touring bands.

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The first of the touring bands was Dark Sermon. I had not heard this band, so I did not know what to expect, but they had a really unique element to them. They combined the look and feel of an Agalloch or Wolves in the Throne Room show with death metal style vocals that were not too far off from the other bands on the bill. The lead singer placed candles and animal skulls at the edge of the stage, and held burning sage in his hand while he performed. He began the set with a dark hood over his head, and continued to show a lot of energy throughout as he would scream at the top of his lungs while laying on his back. He would also shout at the audience without the use of a microphone. The music itself had a nice blend of heavy moments with dark, soft, and atmospheric moments that felt more like a black metal show than a death metal show.

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Next up was the band that I was most excited for after Aborted, and that was Archspire. I had recently seen Archspire for the first time when they opened up for Fallujah, and could not wait to see their brand of technical death metal yet again. Archspire is known for being of the more technical bands currently out there. Their music includes guitar sweeps, bass tapping, and difficult start and stops from the drumming. But it is the singer, Oliver, who really steals the show with his rapid fire growls that are as close to rapping as technical death metal gets. The band has a lot of energy and stage and Oliver does a great job getting the crowd into it and screaming along. He also does a great job with the in between banter, as he is full of dark, inappropriate, and hilarious jokes that he executes with perfect delivery. They really pack a punch in a 30 minute set, and would be interested to see what they would be capable of if they ever came around to do a headlining set of their own.

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The last of the opening bands was Fit For an Autopsy. I was familiar with their music, but this was my first time seeing them live. Like Lorna Shore on the Fallujah tour, it was their job to add some diversity from all the technical or old school death metal bands. They were the only deathcore band of the touring bill, and they handled the job extremely well. The music was filled with dark and slow breakdowns, occasional dissonant guitar lines, occasional fast melodic riffs, slight elements of atmosphere, and repeated growled phrases that allowed fans to scream along. They supplied a lot of energy and really got the crowd into the show. Deathcore really isn’t my style of music, and I was really excited to see Aborted, so it wasn’t one of the more memorable sets of the night. However, I can appreciate their set and how excited their fans were to see them. The pits were very fun to just sit and watch.

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Finally, it was time to see the headliners of the show: Aborted. The Aborted fans made their way to the front sporting Aborted shirts, and started cheering for the members. The band began with a soundclip from the movie Hellraiser, and played an impressive 15 song set. The set started and ended with songs from one of their most popular albums, Goremageddon: The Saw and the Carnage Done. The set also included two other songs from that album. They played 4 songs from their most recent album, The Necrotic Manifesto, including such fan favoriets as “Cenobites”, “The Extirpation Agenda”, and the title track. The played 2 songs off of The Archaic Abattoir and even went all the way back to their Engineering the Dead to play one of their staples, “The Holocaust Incarnate”. I was happy to see them play 4 songs from Global Flatline, my favorite album by them. From album, they played “Fecal Forgery”, which the guy next to me was cheering for. Before they played it, Sven dedicated it to “that guy”. Sven went back and forth between being funny and being sincere. The band seemed happy to be able to play a headlining show at The Whisky, where they had previously opened up for Origin several years prior. The band was humble, but they were also tight as can be. The technical and heavy music flowed through perfectly, and the set just seemed to fly by. I couldn’t believe it was 15 songs long, because there were still so many songs I wanted to hear. But that just shows the band’s ability to stand it in a genre that often runs the risk of becoming stale. The band showed why they deserve to be listed as a “legendary death metal band”, and hopefully this show proved that they can come back and headline any time they want.

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  1. Meticulous Invagination
  2. Parasitic Flesh Resection
  3. Necrotic Manifesto
  4. Hecatomb
  5. Coffin Upon Coffin
  6. Fecal Forgery
  7. Expurgation Euphoria
  8. The Holocaust Incarnate
  9. The Extirpation Agenda
  10. The Origin of Disease
  11. Coronary Reconstruction
  12. Sanguine Verses (…Of Extirpation)
  13. Cenobites
  14. Threading on Vermillion Deception
  15. The Saw and the Carnage Done

It was easy to tell that the show left everyone, not only the crowd but the bands as well, feeling very content. There was an electrifying feeling throughout the venue.

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