May 20, 2019 Hatebreed Bring 25 Years Of History To Denver, CO 5-15-19 w/ Obituary, Madball, Prong, & Skeletal Remains
Twenty-five years ago, the world was a much different place. When people walked into walls, it was generally because they were inebriated and not because they were watching their Facebook feed. Absolutely nobody knew what ‘lol,’ ‘meme,’ or ‘selfie’ were. Instead of Instagram walls, people had walls in their homes adorned in posters and pictures of their favorite bands. Of those tapestries of musical praise, if you were ground into Metal, Hardcore, or Punk around 1994, you would find bands like Prong, who had just unleashed their crushing masterpiece, The Cleansing; Hatebreed busting onto the scene, various Obituary album covers, and Hardcore veterans Madball. It was a time that helped pave the way for so much that has come to be, and still to this day, stands as a testament of influence.
A great period to look back on, Jamey Jasta and Hatebreed are on a musical level that inspired some of the heaviest bands, and some of the most die hard fans. If you go to a Metal concert and do not find a fan laden in at least one Hatebreed tattoo, you are most likely not at a Metal show and should check your bearings. Adding to this, Jasta has also been influencing outside Hatebreed through podcasts and hosting MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball. So, how do you celebrate 25 years in an industry where most bands are lucky to even stay alive overnight? Put together the best damn hard-hitting lineup and take the party to the masses, which in true Hatebreed fashion, is exactly what they are doing. Teaming up with Obituary, Madball, Prong, and newcomer Skeletal Remains, how could anyone say no?
A tour that kicked off back on April 4th, on Wednesday, May 15th it hit the Ogden Theatre in Denver, Colorado where a large crowd was in full force. Kicking the night off was the newest of the bands on the roster, but don’t call them freshmen, Skeletal Remains. Armed with three full length albums – 2012’s Beyond the Flesh, 2015’s Condemned to Misery, and 2018’s Devouring Mortality – Skeletal Remains was ready to show Denver everything they had.
Their grinding, guttural approach was a true homage to an old school sound with their personal own touch. In fact, Chris Monroy’s vocals would make the likes of Chris Barnes proud. This is while the guitar work of Adrian Obregon was just massive and bludgeoning as Edward Andrade’s drumming absolutely pulverized the senses. If gore, brutality, and unrelenting Death Metal is what your hungry for, Skeletal Remains is a band worth checking out and keeping an eye on.
Up next was a band that should need no introduction, Prong! Born out of the New York scene in 1986, this is the band born from the mentality that they were going to come in and kick your music listening ass each and every night. From albums like 1990’s Beg to Differ to 1991’s Prove You Wrong, and of course the 25 year old birthday cornerstone album, Cleansing, they have proven time and time again that their grooves stick in your head while you ‘snap your neck.’
A band which featured Aaron Rossi returning on drums and Jason Christopher arming the bass, joining Metal guitar icon Tommy Victor, they played the classic Cleansing album in its entirety. Rekindling various memories, first and foremost, songs like “Whose Fist is This Anyway?,” “Broken Peace,” and yes even the well-known “Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck” still have a razor sharp edge that no one can deny. Also, you are reminded the album’s riffs are so memorable that they have been plagiarized many times over by bands later. Lastly, driving the stake through the heart, the crowd proved that regardless of sub-genre preference, Prong is a band that crossed the lines and gets everyone moving.
Gasped from screaming and mosh pits, the hungry audience was ready for more as Madball prepared to hit the stage. A band who also adopt the “I came to kick ass and chew gum…” mentality, like Prong, they hail from New York; apparently east coast life breeds hostility that is channeled into the best Alternative music.
Together for many years, while Madball may have started as a side project, it was apparent since their 1994 debut, Set It Off, that it was going to be anything but. Taking over the theater, there was no time to catch your breath as the band blasted on stage with Freddy Cricien racing back and forth carving through the aforementioned album’s title-cut. An unrelenting energy was channeled through the audience while pits erupted on both tiers as the band dialed in tracks including “Smell The Bacon,” “For My Enemies,” and “Across Your Face.” A powerful vocalist, Cricien’s energy was simply infectious, and while most bands are as routine as a NASCAR race, Madball was a full-on destruction derby, helmets not included. Sadly, if you are wanting to catch Madball, they will not be on the next leg of the tour, but if given a chance, they are a must see experience.
Moving along, it was hard to imagine the crowd still had the strength to stand, but they had that and more as they clamored for Death Metal titans Obituary. Born out of the Florida Death Metal scene, Obituary are one of the bands who made the city of Tampa a Death Metal capitol. Since 1989’s Slowly We Rot, Obituary has stood apart from their Metal brethren, and they were about to show why in their direct supporting slot.
Ready to tear up the room, John Tardy was not just a distinct voice, he was one of a kind, and as always, in perfect harmony with Obituary’s nightmarish sounds. Churning through classics such as their staple cover of Celtic Frost’s “Circle of the Tyrants,” along with songs like “Body Bag” and “Don’t Care,” the audience was in full sync and singing in unison. Closing out the night, they delivered the proverbial cherry on top with “Slowly We Rot.” A blistering set that could wrap the night, this crowd still had enough in the tank for Hatebreed.
Speaking of which, Hatebreed were ready to go and wasted no time getting to work. The honorary ‘birthday boys,’ they went straight to the beginning with the track “Empty Promises” from their 1997 debut album, Satisfaction is the Death of Desire. As with any band that has endured what Hatebreed has had to on its way up, they were ready to show how much they appreciated their fan’s loyalty through the years. With that in mind, it was appropriate that they went right into the title-track from their 2002 follow-up, Perseverance, sending the crowd further into a frenzy. From this point on, 25 years of Hatebreed was on full display through tracks such as “Seven Enemies,” “Tear It Down,” plus “In Ashes They Shall Reap” as the set charged through at rapid speed.
Frankly put, how many history classes have you taken that include a full contact mosh pit, crowd-surfers, headbanging, and ear ringing? Probably not many, but Hatebreed delivered a lesson no one will soon forget. So get your study caps on, your hamstrings stretched, and get in the pit as the second leg of the tour continues now through May 26th.