On Monday, December 4th, 2023, Incantation performed at Hangar 1819 in Greensboro, NC. It was the last night of their 'Ancient Unholy Rising Tour.' Joining them on tour were the groups Stabbing, Skeletal Remains, and Suffocation. As an exciting treat, the NC-based band WoR opened the show with a bang.
As mentioned above, WoR is a North Carolina based groove metal band. They are definitely no strangers to making their presence known on stage, and this was their first "home" show since this past June during the first leg of their summer tour with The Convalescence. Additionally, this was their first show since they officially announced their new drummer, Raine Rumple, who filled in on drums during the second leg of their summer tour. WoR started off the show with a bang! They played nearly all new, unreleased material, aside from one of their most popular songs, "Kill You." It is hard not to move around and get excited when WoR is playing. They have so much energy and really have a good time on stage, too. Bassist Phil Funderburk and vocalist Bobby Demoss were jumping all over the stage. Guitarists Ben Kaiser and David Nisoff were killing it with the head-banging. The entire band's energy is contagious! They had the crowd moving in the pit for their whole set. During their last song, Demoss demanded that the crowd split the room in half for a wall of death collision when the song exploded at the end, all of course, while taunting and ridiculing the crowd for not listening correctly. It was so great to see these guys tear up the stage again. If you haven't seen them play before, you are missing out on a great experience!
To carry out the energy initially provided by WoR, Stabbing came out and absolutely destroyed the stage next. Stabbing is a fairly new death metal band from Houston, Texas. They really surprised me with how great they sounded live. There is a groovy element to their death metal that I really enjoyed. They also had a fun presence on stage and the crowd ate it up! All of the members are extremely talented and entertaining to listen to. I appreciated the use of pinch harmonics in the song, "Final Flesh Beast." They played two songs off their recent EP, that are titled, "Vortex of the Severed Dead" and "Pulled Apart" that were very good! I honestly was not very familiar with their music before this show, but after their set I would say I am absolutely a fan!
Skeletal Remains took the stage next. While they had a darker vibe to them, they still packed a punch of energy! The crowd at this point had been going crazy consistently for three bands, showing no sign of stopping. Skeletal Remains really set the mood with ominous backtracks that loomed in between songs. During their sound check I was really nervous about how clicky the triggers on the drum kit sounded, but they actually ended up sounding really good when paired with the low end this band has. Overall, I thought they sounded really good! I have been wanting to see them perform for a while, so I am glad I had the opportunity to.
Co-headliners Suffocation performed next. Suffocation is one of the pioneers of brutal death metal. They have been around since the late 80s and are still killing it. This tour served as the album release tour for their recent release, Hymns from the Apocrypha. This new album was definitely one of my top albums that have been released this year, so I was psyched to be able to see them perform! Their set was robust, resulting in them playing for about an hour. They played everything off their new album, minus three songs, which was great! The Stabbing vocalist, Bridget Lynch, came out and performed alongside Ricky Myers for one of the last songs. This was great to see, especially since she notably filled in for Myers on one of the earlier dates of the tour while he was unwell. Towards the end of the set, you could tell people in the crowd were getting tired especially since it was a Monday night and they had been going nonstop the whole night, but it seemed like the crowd really enjoyed the performance!
To finish off the night and the last performance of the tour, Incantation took the stage. Incantation is another pioneer of death metal, and also started in the late 80s. They also recently put out a new album, which is titled Unholy Deification. They played a good variety of songs from their entire discography, such as "Rites of the Locust", "Fury's Manifesto", "Carrion Prophecy", and more. They performed everything really well, and were exactly what a death metal fan would come to see. Unfortunately, towards the middle of their set, people's energy dwindled and it seemed like a lot of people had left for the night due to it being late on a Monday. Despite the weak crowd, Incantation still gave their all. They ended their set with "The Ibex Moon" and "Impending Diabolical Conquest."
This night was an incredible treat for death metal fans. It was great to see such iconic bands perform, some of which I never thought I'd get the chance to see! While their tour is unfortunately over, each of these bands has new material out that is worth going out of your way for! Go check them out!