A Night of Death Metal and Deathcore Featuring The Black Dahlia Murder at The Nile Theater

Max Lavelle and Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder at The Nile Theater, Mesa, AZ on 22 September 2021

Review and Photos by Fred Kuhlman
Promoter: 13th Floor Entertainment (https://www.13thfloorentertainment.com/ )
Venue: The Nile Theater (https://www.theniletheater.com/ )
Date:  Wednesday September 22, 2021
Tour:  Up From The Sewer Tour

The Black Dahlia Murder at The Nile Theater, Mesa, AZ on 22 September 2021

On Wednesday night, Death Metal and Deathcore came to The Nile Theater in Mesa, Arizona.  Five great American Death Metal and Deathcore bands descended on The Nile and so did the fans.  And YES, American does have some GREAT Death Metal and Deathcore bands Europe. The headliner of the night was The Black Dahlia Murder (TBDM), but 4 other great bands amped up the crowd for this main event.  A quote from the Rochester City newspaper: “Death metal is music that revels in gratuity, obscenity, and pushing the boundaries of good taste to extremes.”  And tonight, all of the bands pushed these limits.

Throughout the night a small mosh pit was running, but when TBDM came on stage, all hell broke loose.  First the crowd crush started.  I was one row from the stage and once the crush started, I had a more difficult time photographing.  After the first song, the crowd surfing started.  A number of people surfed to the stage and TBDM did not seem to have any issues with them getting on stage.  After I got kicked in the head 6 times by the crowd surfers, I was about ready to leave the front.  But when one of the idiots jumped from the stage right over me and hit me, I was done.  I had to protect both myself and my camera equipment.  Also, I was not able to photograph any more so being in the front was useless.  So, I transitioned to the back of the crowd, behind the mosh pit and next to the sound board.  But even the mosh pit expanded and it got to the point where they were hitting the sound board.  Now I have no issue with crowd surfers or people in a mosh pit, but tonight they went a little over the top.  I understand that a number of the fans had 18 months of pent-up frustration of not being able to go to a concert, but please remember that there are others there that also just want to see these great bands.  After the show, I meet one of the bands packing to go to Texas for the next show.  They said, “You are one crazy MFer to have stayed in the front photographing.”  Hopefully the photos I got and presenting here can convey the true excitement of having these great bands performing again.

As a note, if you every attend a Death or Trash Metal show, the crowd rush, crowd surfing and mosh pit is a strong possibility.

As a special request: please attend concerts.  This is one of the few ways these bands make money.  They make next to nothing from streaming services.  Also, if you do see them, consider purchasing merchandise from their merch tables.  In a lot of cases the non-headliner bands might even sign the CDs that you purchase.  Remember, it is up to us going to these shows which allows these bands to make a living and continue to tour and provide us with outstanding music.  But if you do stream their music, do it a lot.  The more your stream, they more they get paid.

The Black Dahlia Murder

Trevor Strnad, and Max Lavelle of The Black Dahlia Murder at The Nile Theater, Mesa, AZ on 22 September 2021

The Black Dahlia Murder (TBDM) was the headliner of the night and from the fan’s excitement during their performance you could tell that the majority of the audience was there to see them.  TBDM is a Death Metal band from Waterford, Michigan that was formed in 2001 by Trevor Strnad and Brian Eschbach.  The current band consists of lead singer Trevor Strnad, Brian Eschbach on rhythm guitar and backing vocals, bass player Max Lavelle, drummer Alan Cassidy and Brandon Ellis on lead guitar and backing vocals.

TBDM has release 9 studio albums with their latest being Verminous in April last year.  Tonight, they did a mix of songs from all of their albums except Everblack and Abysmal.  As I said at the beginning of this review, once TBDM took the stage the crowd went crazy.  I have been to a number of Death Metal concerts and this by far had one of the most fanatic crowds.  When the people were not trashing in the mosh pit, they were singing along with Trevor.  There were times that the crowd was almost as loud as the band.

About half way through the set, Trevor had to take his shirt off to stay cool.  Trevor was all over the stage, singing to all parts of the crowd.  After poring his heart into the 19-song set, his shorts were so soaked that he looked like he was wearing swim trunks.  Everyone in the band was spent be the end of the show.  This is a sign of a great band; they gave it their all for the fans.

You can find out more information about TBDM and their upcoming tour dates on their website and Facebook page.  Check them out and if you want to see a great Death Metal concert; this was one of the best.

Website: https://www.tbdmofficial.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/theblackdahliamurderofficial

Photos by Fred Kuhlman, All Rights Reserved

TBDM Setlist:                                                (Album)
I Will Return                                                   (Deflorate)
Verminous                                                       (Verminous)
Nightbringers                                                  (Nightbringers)
Unhallowed                                                    (Unhallowed)
Funeral Thirst                                                  (Unhallowed)
Sunless Empire                                               (Verminous)
Nocturnal                                                        (Nocturnal)
Statutory Ape                                                  (Miasma)
Removal of the Oaken Stake                          (Verminous)
Contagion                                                       (Unhallowed)
Everything Went Black                                  (Nocturnal)
On Stirring Seas of Salted Blood                   (Ritual)
Child of Night                                                 (Verminous)
Kings of the Nightworld                                 (Nightbringers)
What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse         (Nocturnal)
Warborn                                                          (Nocturnal)
As Good as Dead                                            (Nightbringers)
Deathmask Divine                                          (Nocturnal)
Miasma                                                            (Miasma)

After the Burial

Trent Hafdahl, guitarist of After The Burial with The Black Dahlia Murder at The Nile Theater, Mesa, AZ on 22 September 2021

After the Burial is from Minneapolis, Minnesota that formed in 2004.  Guitarist Trent Hafdahl is the only original member of the band left.  He is joined by lead singer Anthony Notarmaso, drummer Dan Carle and bass player Adrian Oropeza.  One thing that make After The Burial different from other Death Metal bands is that guitarist Trent Hafdahl uses an 8-string guitar.  Usually 7 & more stringed guitars are used in Progressive Metal bands to provide a wider range of tones.  But with the growling voice of Anthony and the pulsating rhythm provided by both Dan on drums and Adrian on bass, this pushes the band into the Deathcore subgenre.  After The Burial have produced 6 studio albums including Evergreen just release in 2019.  Three of the songs tonight were from that album.  I really enjoy their albums, but the true power of the band comes out in their live performances.  At tonight’s show, they added extra depth and energy to each of their already great songs, if you like listening to there music on one of the online services, then you would love seeing them in concert.

You can find more information about After The Burial, their albums and the upcoming tour dates and locations on either their website or Facebook Page.

Website: https://aftertheburial.co/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/aftertheburial

Photos by Fred Kuhlman, All Rights Reserved

After The Burial Setlist:                               (Album)
Lost in the Static                                           (Dig Deep)
In Flux                                                           (Evergreen)
Collapse                                                        (Dig Deep)
Behold the Crown                                         (Evergreen)
Exit, Exist                                                       (Evergreen)
A Wolf Amongst Ravens                               (Wolves Within)


Carnifex with The Black Dahlia Murder at The Nile Theater, Mesa, AZ on 22 September 2021

Carnifex was formed in 2005 out of San Diego County, California.  Founding members, Scott Ian Lewis as lead singer and drummer Shawn Cameron are still with the band.  In 2007 guitarist Cory Arford and bass player Fred Calderon joined the band.  Carnifex is considered a Deathcore Metal band that mixes blistering guitar riffs, a heavy pulsating drum beat, an extreme bassline and throat wrenching growling vocals.  Everything your parents would hate.

Carnifex has produced 8 albums with Graveside Confessions just being release this year.  Tonight, the did a mix of songs from multiple albums.  Like most metal bands, you get the full power and punch of the music when you see the band live.  Cory made his multiple guitars sing as he generated multiple guitar riffs.  Shawn and Fred provided the pounding bass beats that made the mosh pit come alive.  What can you say about Scott, but simply amazing!  With his dark painted eyes, his guttural voice, he tore up each song and drove the crowd crazy.

Like all of the bands tonight, Carnifex is definitely better live then just listening to one of their albums.  If you like their music, then you definitely need to attend one of their shows.  You can check out their music and future tour dates on either their website or Facebook Page.

Website: http://carnifexmetal.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/CarnifexMetal

Photos by Fred Kuhlman, All Rights Reserved

Carnifex Setlist:                                 (Album)
World War X                                      (World War X)
Pray for Peace                                    (Graveside Confessions)
In Coalesce With Filth and Faith        (The Diseased and the Poisoned)
Slit Wrist Savior                                  (Dead in My Arms)
Cursed                                                (Graveside Confessions)
Graveside Confessions                       (Graveside Confessions)
Lie to My Face                                    (Dead in My Arms)
Hell Chose Me                                    (Hell Chose Me)

Rivers of Nihil

Jake Dieffenbach, lead singer of Rivers of Nihil with The Black Dahlia Murder at The Nile Theater, Mesa, AZ on 22 September 2021

Rivers of Nihil is a Death Metal band with some overtones of progressive metal from Reading, Pennsylvania.  The band consists of founding members; lead singer Jake Dieffenbach, guitarist Brody Uttley and bass player Adam Briggs.  Guitarist Jon Topore joined in 2015 and drummer Jared Klein joined in 2017.  They have produced 4 studio albums with the last two, Where Owls Know My Name and this year’s release The Works.

Jake was a madman running around on the stage singing his heart out.  It was a little scary when Jake had to sit down on the stage to momentary catch his breath.  It was so hot on stage, that he was sweating a lot and need to drink a lot of water.  A lot of bands seem to have this issue when they come to Arizona because it is so damn hot and dry here.  The venues try to cool us, but you put a lot of people in any venue and it just get hot.  Jake was OK, but you could tell that by the end of their performance he was totally spent.

I met a number of people at the show that were there just to see Rivers of Nihil.  They told me that they were a different style of Death Metal and that I would really like them.  As they were performing, I heard both the Death Metal and some Progressive/Lyrical Metal in their songs.  After the show I came home and listen to their latest album The Works and really enjoyed the entire album.  At tonight’s show they performed two songs from this album, “Clean” and “Focus”.  I highly recommend checking out this new album.  Also, if you get a chance to see Rivers Of Nihil in concert, I would recommend it.  You can check them out on their website and Facebook page.  Their tour dates and sites are also list there.

Website: https://riversofnihil.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/riversofnihil

Photos by Fred Kuhlman, All Rights Reserved

Rivers of Nihil Setlist:                       (Album)
The Silent Life                                    (Where Owls Know My Name)
Clean                                                  (The Work)
Focus                                                  (The Work)
Sand Baptism                                      (Monarchy)
Where Owls Know My Name              (Where Owls Know My Name)


Alex Jones, lead singer of Undeath with The Black Dahlia Murder at The Nile Theater, Mesa, AZ on 22 September 2021

Undeath is a Death Metal band from Rochester, New York that was formed in 2018.  The current touring band members consist of lead singer Alex Jones, drummer Matt Browning, guitarist Kyle Beam and Jared Welch and bass player Tommy Wall.

Matt and Tommy provided the pulsating bass for the music, while both Kyle and Jared produced the driving guitar sounds.  Then add in the growling voice of Alex and you have a great start to the night of death metal.  They started the night off with one of their best songs, “Enhancing the Dead”.  This was the start of the mosh pit action.

The sign of a good leading band is to get the crowd into the mood and start the night off with a bang.  Undeath definitely provided this.  You can check out their music on their website and Facebook page.

Website: https://www.undeathmetal.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/fundeath/

Photos by Fred Kuhlman, All Rights Reserved

Undeath Setlist:                                 (Album)
Enhancing the Dead                           (Sentient Autolysis / Cosmic Apoptosis)
Acidic Twilight Visions                       (New Song)
Chained to a Reeking Rotted Body    (Lesions of a Different Kind)
Lesions of a Different Kind                 (Lesions of a Different Kind)


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