Ugh Metal Celebrates Metal Blade Records’ 35th Birthday

Whitechapel singing a metal Happy Birthday in this shindig… not really.
(L to R: Guitarist Zach Householder, drummer Ben Harclerode , bassist Gabe Crisp, vocalist Phil Bozeman and guitarist Alex Wade)

In 1982, the Klown was Pennywise’s preconceived thought, Stephen King was probably still brainstorming to work on the Klown’s bible, Ronald Reagan’s administration was in place. Most importantly, a records store employee by the name of Brian Slagel was putting out sample cassettes helping local LA metal acts to make a name for themselves among them was Metallica. On March 9, Ugh Metal took a trip to downtown San Diego and in to the House of Blues to commemorate Slagel’s brainchild and celebrate his baby’s 35th anniversary.

In an Ugh Metal second, the Klown would like to extend another mea culpa to the opener of this birthday bash, Necromancing The Stone. For reasons that are best left unsaid, the Klown and company just had a doozy of a time getting there on time. T’was a real shame, the Klown was looking forward on seeing these gents kick ass. Possibly partake in a bit of “Bleed for the Night,” “Unfinished Business” or “The Battle of Morningstar.” Till next time gents, hopefully y’all will return to our humble abode so Ugh Metal could partake.

Ugh Metal’s night kicked off with the Coloradoan quintet known as Allegaeon. The group kicked us off with the energetic sounding, “Proponents for Sentience I – The Conception.” Frontman Riley McShane proved to be charismatic and upbeat to keep the crowd going. Right before the performance “Of Mind and Matrix,” McShane got a louder pop from the crowd when he announced that he too was a local boy, from Escondido to be exact.

Allegaeon start off Ugh Metals night…sowwy Necromancing the Stone   (L to R: Bassist Cory Archuleta, drummer Brandon Park, vocalist Riley McShane, guitarist Corey Stancel and guitarist Greg Burgess )

Before closing out Allegaeon’s set, McShane announced his appreciation for the support and for the opportunity Metal Blade Records gave them and then wished their label a happy birthday. The group closed out with the somewhat energetic “1.618,” a song which defines the band’s sound and musical style. Due to their signature style best heard in this song, it helped them gain recognition from the label.

After Allegaeon’s technical and melodic metal cleared the stage, the Klown had the pleasure of seeing the definition of extreme metal from NOLA. If you keep up with us, then it should be no surprise if you don’t, you can check out how the Big Easy came to the Finest City. Unlike last time, Goatwhore’s setlist was shorter than the last time but that was to be expected. Just like before, frontman L. Benjamin Falgoust II and the prolific guitarist and backing vocalist, Sammy Duet, put on one of the best shows the Klown has ever seen.

These gents from N’Orleans’ started their time with “An End to Nothing.” After “Collapse in Eternal Worth,” Falgoust hyped the crowd and showed some contagious charisma and joked about those who were checking them out for the first time and who haven’t bought their last album by simply saying to “get them at the merch stand or just download them illegally like everyone else!”

(L to R: guitarist Sammy Duet, vocalist L. Benjamin Falgoust II, bassist James Harvey)

Goatwhore soothed the clamoring masses when they began to perform “Cold Earth Consumed in Dying Flesh.” Of course, a Goatwhore show would feel rather incomplete without their timeless classic, “FBS.” Right before Falgoust started “In Deathless Tradition,” he continued to hype and announced the band’s newest album and its approximate release, Falgoust however, iterated that they would not perform any of the new material. Goatwhore proved that their presence is as powerful as a voodoo spell this time around, managing to blow the roof off of the House of Blues and closed with “Apocalyptic Havoc.”

After Goatwhore left the crowd, the audience that night got more refreshed when local titans Cattle Decapitation took the stage. Cattle Decap kicked off with one of the Klown’s personal favorite “Manufactured Extinct” and followed with “Prophets of the Lost.” As always, it’s rather refreshing to see front man Travis Ryan be himself on stage. If you don’t understand what the Klown means, allow him to elaborate. If you’ve never seen a Cattle Decap show, Ryan unlike other front men, isn’t the “average” type of front man. Even as Ryan works the crowd, he manages to incorporate humor and every once in a while uses his signature high vocals to speak.

Hometown heroes/badasses Cattle Decapitation put on a hell of a show!
(L to R: Guitarist Josh Elmore, drummer Dave McGraw, bassist Derek Engemann, vocalist Travis Ryan and guitarist Belisario Dimuzio)

Cattle Decap also played the current theme song of the world: “We Are Horrible People.” Ryan would share their appreciation for Metal Blade, the fans and the opportunity to represent the label for 15 years and counting. Before closing out, Ryan would go on to show some California pride proclaiming it the best state in the country because of the weather and food among other things on his list, and dedicated “Pacific Grim” to the Golden State and its inhabitants.

The heavy metal dose of California love continued with Whitechapel. Time is a hell of thing, the last time the Klown saw Whitechapel was five years ago at the same venue co-headlining with Hatebreed. The boys from Whitechapel put on a hell of a show then and delivered again this time. They began their performance with “The Saw Is the Law,” a song the Klown believes was rather appropriate not only representing this type of metal blade and their symbol.

Unlike the last time, the band as a whole had a nearly invincible presence about them. Phil Bozeman’s showmanship was infectious and was a man of few words except when he had to growl. The band then took us back to their self titled 2012 album by performing “Faces” and “I, Dementia.” The band would have felt remised to leave out their latest album Mark of the Blade and performed “Mark of the Blade” and “Elitist Ones.” The masses bellowed in joy after “Possibilities of an Impossible Existence,” and the band generously treated fans to one more song.

Phil Bozeman, Ben Savage and Zach Householder hack us good!

Whitechapel finished their set with an encore performance of “This Is Exile” from their first breakthrough album, This Is Exile. This truly was an awesome birthday that Ugh Metal had a chance to attend. Assuming Metal Blade decides to throw another birthday bash, don’t forget to RSVP for the next time because you definitely don’t want to miss out.

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