Show in Review: Suicide Silence, Impending Doom, Pathology and More
After waking up from my post-show coma from seeing Nile the night before, I watched the movies that made us docu-series on Netflix and then proceeded to get ready to head out from Vegas. On the way my road trip partner and I hit traffic from holiday Vegas visitors to people who simply didn’t know how to drive in the snow or rain. We jammed out to a wide range of metal on the drive that should have taken 4 hours but instead ended up being a little over 6, having left Vegas at 1030/11 am and arriving at the venue around 530.
After we pulled up and got parking situated. I spotted 3/4 of Pathology chilling in the parking lot and went over to say hello. I brought them all t-shirts as a thank you for their support while enduring the occasional interview by me at metal festivals.
Chain Reaction is an all ages venue off of Euclid and West Lincoln in Anaheim, CA. It shares a parking lot with a thrift and furniture store. There was a table set outside for the collection of toy donations with the incentive of a free poster in return for your generosity. The toys were being donated to a great cause to help children and families in need. Unfortunately we did not have a good amount of time to stop to grab some toys to donate, but I made up for this by contributing to the local Las Vegas toys drives to do my part to give back.
Back to the venue. To enter the venue, you are asked to remove everything from your pockets. Bags are checked and you are wanded on both sides before entering what looks like the gate to a back yard behind someone’s house. Right inside the gate is an open air cinder block wall enclosure complete with street art and benches to allow for patrons to go outside and get their nicotine fix without having to leave the venue completely.
Inside the door is a long bench with outlets for your device charging needs. The floors are just strait concrete which makes for an easy clean up of spilled drinks, sweat, blood and any other fluids that might make their way to the ground. The walls are filled to the brim with band t shirts that lead up to the stage. There is also pretty nice sized area back behind the bar and out of the way of majority of foot traffic for bands to set up their merch tables and show off the goods they had for sale.
Chain Reaction had also obtained their liquor license a little over a year ago to start serving alcohol. They now have just short of a handful of beers on tap and a good bit of canned options for decent prices. Allowing for a bit more appeal to the 21+ crowd.
The Mendenhall Experiment kicked things off at 6:30. This band has a pretty inspirational message. Overcoming distance and medical diagnosis to make music and persevere through all the nay-sayers who said they couldn’t. There is even a movie about Guitarist Brandon Mendenhall’s life called Mind Over Matter that was distributed by Sumerian Films and directed by Sebastien Paquet.
The band was very animated stage presence and great sound. They faked out the crowd with the intro to Blind by Korn before jumping into one of their next songs towards the end of their set. During the set I noticed a woman even holding a baby with ear protection via some baby sized noise cancelling giraffe headphones. I am confident in saying that this 3 month old baby was the youngest member of the audience bringing the label “all ages venue” to an extra level.
Their set list encompassed a little bit of new and a little bit of old, playing a good bit of their 2017 self titled EP release to include songs like Seize the Day, Nothing Good Came Easy and Prosthetic . The band released their latest single in August of this year called Unwanted followed up by an Acoustic rendition of their 2017 release Nothing Good Came Easy on December 13th not long after this show.
Anhedonia up nexttttt at 715. You can tell why they were second on the bill as local support …these dudes are heavy. Sick fucking breakdowns. They got extra heavy musically and vocally during “The Well”. How I have not heard of them before is beyond me considering their drummer Andrew Holzbaur is a former member of a band I follow, Oceano as well as fill in drums for Impending Doom.
They followed that up with a new number “Whispers of the Serpent” as the hardcore kids took turns spin kicking in the pit. It was cool to see this done without crowd killing. No one was punching people in the back of the head and ruining the overall experience for them. It was the most respectful pit I’ve seen involving hardcore dancing in a while.
The band most recently had released a music video for Virulence via Slam Worldwide, the song they closed out their time slot with. The video itself is pretty kick-ass. The band has 4 singles currently released on all major music platforms in addition to a pending album drop scheduled for December 21st, 2019 ending the year with some oomph. The new album features loads of guests to include Alex Terrible from Slaughter to Prevail, Cody Fuentes from Spite, Josh Miller from Emmure, and Michael Hewat formerly known from Drag the Lake. With the talent of the original members plus some heavy hitters doing guest spots, I’m looking forward to snagging a copy and blasting my ears with it once it hits the public.
Pathology was up next and of course did not disappoint playing 4 songs off their new album Reborn to Kill. Including my favorite song from this piece of work, Forced Regression, where in the middle of the song sandwiched between two guitar parts is this almost 10 second growl that I will put the song on repeat just to hear its 30 seconds of guitar build up to that righteous growl that just makes my insides tingle. They also included Hieroglyphs on Cement Walls , The Druid’s Gavel and Frothing at the Mouth. Mixing up the new in with some old school Pathology opening with Dissected by Righteousness from Awaken To The Suffering (2011) and closing with Code Injection from Legacy of the Ancients (2011)
Ricky was closest to me on stage hopping around with some massive energy to match the movement and tone of Obie on the mic stirring the crowd like a churning cauldron until the pit was just right. Daniel made his usual O-faces towards the crowd while he whips his hair back and forth shredding away. While Dave sat behind his kit just obliterating the drums. There are never any regrets. I’m looking forward to seeing them again when they come back through Vegas or another fest and any new material they throw our way in between.
Impending Doom has been been a band on my must see list for a while now. I was stoked to finally cross them off and have my face melted to the level I expected. This was their first show ever with Suicide Silence and was a long-time-coming achievement they gleefully announced to the crowd.
Their set was complete with stage diving, hardcore dancing and push pits. The crowd swarmed the stage to get a chance to scream in the mic and slap hands with whatever member of the band was at the edge of the stage but mostly the vocalist Brook Reeves. Glasses were lost, phones were dropped, people were flying, water was spilt in a massive amalgamation of brutality. One kid was terrified after a few stage divers landed on him and dislodged his glasses while another dislocated his shoulder after it hit the cement floor instead of the supporting arms of fellow crowd members. It seemed he dove from the stage at just the wrong time when heads were turned. This was just the beginning of show shenanigan casualties.
The band released an album in 2018 “The Sin and Doom Vol. II” that they indulged our ears with during their performance with Everything’s Fake, War Music, EVIL , The Wretched and Godless and then threw in some oldies but goodies with Murderer and Deceiver (Baptized In Filth-2012) as well as The Serpent Servant and More Than Conquerors (The Serpent Servent-2009) By the end of it the venue was as hot as a sweaty 16 year old boys arm pit minus the smell and the floors were slick with beer, sweat and a little blood.
After their set I made my way to the merch tables to get the only shirt design I didn’t have from Pathology before venturing outside for some much needed air. Visible scrapes and bruises on pit goers could be seen as I came back inside. We decided to go back towards the merch booths and bathrooms for the last band and then eventually made it towards the bar / benches near the entrance/ exit area.
Suicide Silence came at us for their first time back at Chain Reaction in 8 to 9 years. Making this a momentous occasion and fitting for the final date of this run. Now, I hear a lot of people giving flack that this band isn’t the same since Mitch tragically passed in 2012 and it’s much like those die hard Slayer fans who say things aren’t the same without Jeff. To those people I’d say things are not meant to be the same after losing a member, they are meant to adapt and change, whether that is for the better or worse all depends on how people deal with change as individuals and as a group. That is just how life is. There is no need to drag down the hard work of a collective group because of it. Eddie has taken on the role of lead vocals since and is killing it. His stage presence is great. As is the rest of the band’s with how they engage the crowd and have appreciation fans old and new welcoming them on stage and at the merch table with open arms.
While on the stage they played their newly dropped singles Feel Alive, Meltdown and Love Me To Death( which I really can’t get enough of) in addition to Fuck Everything (another favorite) , Slaves of Substance , O.C.D , M.I.A and so many more.
A young man named Daniel jumped on stage for Feel Alive and got to hold the mic to solo before Eddie put his arm around him and did a full on duet with the kid for a little bit longer and invited any other vocalists to come on stage. They obliged during the last song of the night “No Pity for a Coward” circa 2007. This crowd was so brutal that there were people leaking blood from faces being rushed out of the venue leaving a trail of blood behind them.
The Head-bang Over
After the show ended we all shuffled out of the doors and into the parking lot where the cold air hit me in such a refreshing amount, it was almost better than sex. We made our way to my brother’s house to drink an entire bottle of jack between the 3 of us while I gave his husky Shiba much love and belly rubs before passing out to wake up for the drive back home to Vegas the next morning.