Now in its sixth year, the Decibel Magazine Tour came to Dallas night featuring headliners Kreator, along with Obituary, Midnight, Horrendous, and Dallas’ own Warbeast. For folks in Dallas who might not know otherwise, these gigs at the House of Blues start early. Time restrictions in their neighborhood prevent shows from running past midnight, so consequently things kick off early when there’s a bill that features five bands.
Warbeast took the stage at 6:25pm to play a set of new material from their forthcoming Phil Anselmo-produced album for Housecore Records. As usual, the band was spot-on in performance as they powered their way through a short, yet satisfying set. The new material features all the Warbeast qualities you know and love: pummeling drums, razor-sharp riffs, and relentless energy. After their set, I overhead more than a few fans discussing their anticipation for the new album.
Horrendous came on next and played a very impressive set that was high energy and loud as hell. Labeled as progressive-death metal, the band lived up to the hype. Having never seen the band live, I was immediately anxious to see them again (preferably with a longer set). The trio has a lot to offer and the crowd on hand responded enthusiastically to their set. You should definitely arrive early to catch their set.
Midnight followed with a strong set of their own, complete with full-blown rock star histrionics. The three-piece band, wearing black bags on their heads, are certainly capable musicians with a strong collection of songs, but I had to laugh when the guitarist dropped to his knees then rolled on his back to play his solo. Honestly, I thought this was funny. You’re not Randy Rhoads, dude. But, the crowd responded strongly; and like I said, they do have good material. But, I lost interest in them quickly.
When Florida death metal legends Obituary took the stage, the crowd was ready to rock the fuck out. By this time the House of Blues had filled up quiet nicely and the Obituary contingent was ready for what they came for. In fact, the crowd reacted to each song with a “Yes, I can’t believe they’re playing this one!” type enthusiasm. The band was particularly powerful and the mosh pit reflected the intensity of their performance. Bodies, drinks, and even a few smartphones got thrown around as the band played songs from their classic debut album Slowly We Rot and selections from Cause of Death, Inked in Blood, and others. Only a few dates into the tour, the band sounded as sharp as ever and delivered a fantastic set.
Finally, around 9:30-ish Kreator took the stage. The band had one of the most elaborate stage set ups that I’ve seen at the House of Blues. A beautifully painted backdrop, a stage free of any equipment other than the drum kit (I don’t know where they stashed the amps), smoke machines, and a pretty cool light show created the perfect atmosphere for the German thrash legends to rip through their set.
Playing a number of songs from their latest Gods of Violence LP, along with classics across their discography, Kreator was incredible. Each member of the band brought their A-game and seemed to relish the reaction from the crowd. Considering the violent-energy of Obituary’s mosh-pit, I was quite impressed that this crowd didn’t let up a bit for Kreator. Indeed, there were a few hundred of us who were thrilled to see the band whose history in thrash metal seems to be better appreciated in their homeland than here in the states. There’s really no reason why these guys shouldn’t be huge in any country. Last night’s set was evidence that they can hang with any of their peers.
There’s plenty of time to see this tour package and we highly recommend it. It’s a diverse lineup featuring a little something for everyone, be it thrash, death, or just good old metal.
– J. Kevin Lynch