Deceased, Rumplestiltskin Grinder, Vehemence, Hemoptysis, and Chaos Ascending at UB's

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Deceased, Rumplestiltskin Grinder, et al.
UB's Restaurant & Bar
August 8, 2010

In most Christian sects, Sunday is typically reserved as a day of rest, but last night at UB's there was no rest for the wicked, as six bands converged on this Mesa club to provide a night of demonic delight for the many metalheads in attendance.

A pair of Tucson bands - Genocaust and Chaos Ascending - opened the show to a small-but-appreciative audience of Valley metal fans. Genocaust ripped through a set of brutal death metal, while Chaos Ascending leaned more towards the melodic, technical end of the death metal spectrum.

Valley thrashers Hemoptysis took the stage next, and the band played a strong half-hour set. Guitarist/vocalist Masaki Murashita came off like a modern-day Mille Petrozza, repeatedly throwing the horns and encouraging numerous circle pits among the expanding crowd. The band played a song from their forthcoming full-length album before closing with their most recent thrash-terpiece "Shadow of Death."

The main draw of the night was clearly the recently reformed, semi-legendary Valley death metal outfit Vehemence, who drew a bigger crowd to the stage than either of the national touring acts to follow. Vehemence played a brief, pummeling set of old-school death metal to an appreciative, mosh-happy audience clearly stoked to see their hometown heroes back onstage.

Philadelphia's Rumplestiltskin Grinder were faced with the unenviable task of following Vehemence, but they ultimately proved that they're more than just another average band with an incredibly awesome name, tearing through a vicious set that intertwined death and thrash metal with crossover punk attitude.

Headliners Deceased took the stage shortly after 11 p.m, and the Virginia foursome played as if the weekend was just getting under way instead of drawing to a close (as evidenced by the slowly dwindling crowd). Lead singer King Fowley made several references to his bald spot while introducing songs dating back to the late '80s, but the band's set proved that the old guys still have it.

All in all, it was an awesome night of real metal, which is certainly worthy of staying up late on a "school night."

Critic's notebook:

Personal bias: I chose to conceal my bald-spot-in-waiting with a black baseball cap.

The crowd: Some were slightly more metal than me, but they were all definitely more metal than you.

Overheard in the crowd: "I like Lady Gaga, you fuckin' sonofabitch." - I'm unsure of the context, and frankly, I don't really care. It was just an awesome quote to overhear at a metal show.

Random notebook dump: "Fuck your gods, fuck everything, fuck you all" - the only lyrics I could actually make out from Genocaust's set.

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