The weirdest metal tour of the year comes to The Rave in Milwaukee, with dinosaurs and goblins in tow.
Hunt the Dinosaur brings some of the nastiest breakdowns of the entire night for their opening act set. The crowd was smaller, but engaged, and really started feeling the groove after a few songs.
Aether Realm starts their set with some melodic instrumentals, but then charges into a heavier folk sound for their set. To get the circle pit started, lead singer & bassist Vincent Jones tells the crowd that an evil witch is chasing them, and they have to go fast so she can’t catch them. They keep up the faster paced tracks for most of their set, but slow down a bit for the power ballad “Guardian,” featuring Raptor, the keyboardist/vocalist of Nekrogoblikon, on guest vocals.
There is almost no warning that Inferi is about to start their set. The lights come up and they immediately blast into some of the heaviest tracks of the night. While most of their set is the full force death metal you’d expect, there are some moments with symphonic death metal touches, and even some slower head bangers. Despite the high heat inside the venue, the crowd has given in to the call of the pit, and the moshing continues for the rest of the night.
The crowd is all prepared for their sing-alongs, leading a chorus of “America, Fuck Yeah” between the sets. Nekrogoblikon hits the stage, sans goblin, kicking off with “Right Now.” Vocalist Nicky Calonne is being filled in for on this tour by Dickie Allen of Infant Annihilator, and while it’s not quite the same, he has a fantastic stage presence and does justice to all of the vocals.
Goblin hype man John Goblikon appears just in time to take on the clean vocals, and does so for almost the entire set. He says he’s drinking the iconic Wisconsin-only beer Spotted Cow out of his thermos, but it’s so incredibly hot in the venue, he should probably switch to water. Their set actually has more older tracks than newer, with only a handful from their latest album The Fundamental Slimes and Humors. Thankfully, this gives the time for a full set of all of their fan-favorite songs that maybe weren’t able to fit on an opening act set on previous tours.
“Darkness” is played in full light, as opposed to previous times where they’ve played it in, you guessed it, complete darkness. The pits keep steady with “Going to Die” bouncing between moshing and then dancing for the fun chorus. The craziest the crowd gets are for back to back tracks “The Many Faces of Dr. Hubert Malbec,” which has an incredible intro with a changeover from piano to metal, and “The Skin Thief.”
The change in singers is not noticeable to make a difference in the enjoyment of the show. The crowd is going nuts for anything and everything, and honestly, seeing John Goblikon singing clean vocals (backed up by Raptor, and other members) is a joy in itself.