Union Transfer


Napalm Death & Voivod

Napalm Death & Voivod

Exhumed, Iron Reagan, Ringworm, Black Crown Initiate

Tue, February 3, 2015

Doors: 5:00 pm / Show: 5:30 pm

Union Transfer

Philadelphia, PA

$17.00 - $20.00

This event is all ages

Napalm Death
Napalm Death
What makes NAPALM DEATH so special? Well, let's think back 30 years: Would you have thought that a grindcore band from Birmingham would ever make it into the official album charts with some of the most infernal noise ever put on tape, enter the Guinness book for the shortest song ever recorded or appear in a prominent UK TV series named "Skins"? That it would be part of an Alice Cooper hosted episode of BBC's Never Mind the Buzzcocks to guess from a couple of look-alikes who is the singer in NAPALM DEATH? Could you have ever imagined a down-to-earth lad named Mark "Barney" Greenway, a soccer fan (Aston Villa F.C.), vegetarian, prog metal freak and one of music history's most renowned representatives of "cookie monster" style vocals would become a personality within the extreme music realm that is not about beer-drinking and hell-raising but synonymous with sounding hard while being smart? Well, that is where we are at now. From filthy, sweaty rehearsal rooms and tiny clubs and pubs NAPALM DEATH has conquered every music festival you can think of and toured through corners of the world a lot of bands would not even dare to tour while becoming famous for combining brutal music with political engagement and ethical values beyond the usual cliché of sex, drugs & rock n roll. And, as most fans will be delighted to hear, this remarkable story is far from being over…

Fourteen albums in (not counting the cover-platter "Leaders…Part 2") three decades and NAPALM DEATH remain the leaders of the grindcore / death metal world, once again showing the upstarts how it's done. Not content to simply wear the term "legendary," the band has once again raised the bar on what it takes to remain at the top of the heap with its highly anticipated new album "Utilitarian". While their past roster reads like a who's who of extreme metal royalty, including Lee Dorrian (Cathedral), Bill Steer (Carcass), Justin Broadrick (Godflesh) and the late Jesse Pintado (Terrorizer) to name a few, it's the current line-up of Mark "Barney" Greenway (vocals), Mitch Harris (guitars), Shane Embury (bass), and Danny Herrera (drums) that has kept the legend alive and seething. "Utilitarian" is the follow-up to the band's much lauded 2009 album, "Time Waits For No Slave", and sees the quartet return in expected raw and uncompromising fashion.

In the wake of a gruelling international tour schedule for "Time Waits For No Slave", NAPALM DEATH finally got down to writing for "Utilitarian" in early 2011. It was recorded over the course of the year at Parlour Studios in Northamptonshire, UK with producer Russ Russell monitoring the mayhem, finally mixed and mastered in November. The end result is vicious and chaotic, but Greenway notes that "the ever-present darker, more ambient side of Napalm (references: Swans, My Bloody Valentine, Birthday Party et al) has now gotten faster, too – or at least the tempo of it varies so it's not just exclusively slow and mournful. This gives it an extra, obtuse dimension. And hopefully people get lost in the frantic thickness of it."
"Utilitarian" runs the gamut from straight-ahead violence and force to pure, undiluted NAPALM DEATH-induced chaos that overall provides a well-rounded bloodletting that's not for the weak and also confronts the listener with such surprising moments as the sax passages by none other than John Zorn on 'Everyday Pox' or choral-like clean sections in 'Fall On Their Swords' or 'Blank Look About Face'. The latter is a perfect bridge to the album's outspoken lyrical content as it viciously attacks politicians' opportunistic talk that according to Greenway only knows one goal: "Say anything to tame a crowd - whether it is sycophantic praise, bullshit morality or rabble-rousing power-speak - as long as they can cling on to their place in the hierarchy."
True to the band's tradition of spitting gallons of verbal venom, "Utilitarian" is an in-your-face razor-edged platter of social, cultural and political commentary. Far from being a placard-waving "cause" band, the quartet offer up personal views on the degeneration of society ('Everyday Pox'), the arms trade ('Fall On Their Swords'), sexual and gender expression ('Gag Reflex'), the environment ('Order Of Magnitude') and aspects of everyday life for the common man ('Collision Course', 'Think Tank Trials') revealing Barney's understanding of what to do with your life: "We have a finite period of existence that is all too easy to waste, and ultimately we all deserve happiness and contentment." The bottom line is: Think for yourself, liberate yourself and don't end up feeding the machine that all too willingly eats you up.

Ultimately, NAPALM DEATH are special because they never sacrificed their ideals for anything mundane, will continue pleasing their fans with a stunning record named "Utilitarian" and ceaseless touring activities in support of its release while provoking world leaders with all the rage and criticism you can squeeze into a song. Extreme music's raised fist is back!

Voivod’s career path has endured as many shifts and disturbances as the music itself. From major label deals and big-time tours to slogging it out in clubs while metal went through growing pains in the mid 1990s; from high profile bass player ex-Metallica man Jason Newsted to Eric Forrest, who pulled double duty as bassist and vocalist in the mid/late ‘90s. Both men departed from the band by varying degrees of accident and physical injury. The Quebecois prog metal pioneers have persevered through thick and thin to arrive at a comfortable place in 2012 -- a place of rebirth, rejuvenation and respect.

Voivod’s various lineups have often revolved around the changing of bass players. In the mid ‘90s, bassist/vocalist Eric Forrest entered the fold to make the band a trio for the first time. After two albums, a collection called Kronik and the Voivod Lives live set, Eric was laid up to do a van accident incurred during a road jaunt. Several years later, ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted did his part to help revitalize the band again, and after 2003’s Voivod S/T album, an extensive stint on Ozzfest and supporting Ozzy on an arena tour. The band’s Mark IV lineup is as good a lineup as could exist without original guitarist and chief riff catalyst Denis “Piggy” D’Amour. His tragic passing in 2005 threw the band into a period of hiatus, and it was only an event of such unthinkable gravity that could bring surviving members Denis “Snake” Belanger and Michel “Away” Langevin back together with bassist Jean-Yves “Blacky” Theriault.

Estranged after disagreements during the recording of 1991’s Angel Rat, Blacky -- who handled “blower” bass for the band since their formation in 1983 -- came back to the fold in 2008. When the three surviving members decided to keep the legacy of Piggy alive, there happened to be exactly one perfect match for the job: Daniel “Chewy” Mongrain. A veteran of tech-death monsters Martyr, the very first metal album Mongrain owned was Voivod’s 1987 album Killing Technology, and his first live metal show was seeing that very same band in 1990. Mongrain grew up on Voivod. He worshipped and eventually learned Piggy’s innovative techniques. He looked up to his local heroes, and his band even covered Voivod’s “Brain Scan” in 2006, which also featured Blacky himself on guest bass. It was a collaboration that served as the testing ground for both men to join/rejoin the Voivod fold in the coming years.

Once Piggy’s final recordings were made into albums with Jason, Snake and Away working to cobble together the demo’s they had written together (2006’s Katorz and 2009’s Infini), a revitalized Voivod hit the road, largely as a means to keep Piggy’s music alive, to celebrate all that Voivod had meant to so many fans around the world. After several jaunts through North and South America, Europe and Japan, the new lineup began itching to do more than just exist as a tribute to itself. A new song, “Kaleidos,” began showing up in live sets, and response was positive enough to keep the band writing and driving in the only direction they’ve ever known: forward.

The result of that drive is 2013’s Target Earth album. Recorded at producer Pierre Rémillard’s Wild Studios in Quebec and mixed by Sanford Parker (Pelican, Nachtmystium) the album is out right in time for the band’s 30th anniversary. For this release, Voivod’s own company, Iron Gang Factory, joins with global powerhouse Century Media Records for a January 22nd worldwide release. It’s something the band’s diehard fans are eagerly anticipating, and to say the songs of Target Earth run the gamut of Voivod’s capabilities would be an understatement. Where “Corps Étranger” steams forward at a frantic clip, so does “Kluskap O’Kom,” the latter more refined and layered, while incorporating what are perhaps the first-ever backup gang vocals heard on a Voivod album. On the other side of the spectrum is “Empathy for the Enemy,” a thoughtful art-metal landscape. Several tracks carry the creepy, folkloric vibe of the Angel Rat album;
the title track is quintessential Voivod sci-fi metal; and strange studio trickery spices up a variety of tracks, lending additional depth to the listening experience. Mongrain’s riffs possess the angular trademark of Piggy’s approach, and the entire band challenged themselves in constructing some of the trickiest arrangements heard on a Voivod album since their Nothingface phase (such as the dizzying changes of “Mechanical Mind”).

But while reference points can be made to previous Voivodian eras, there is more new than old here, and that is the way it has always been with the band. Even the cover artwork is both familiar and brand new. Drawn by drummer Away, as ever, the image of an armored, gun-toting nuclear warrior recalls the band’s 1984 War and Pain debut, but he is rendered entirely differently, while a brand new Voivod logo flies above the scene.

Voivod’s 30th anniversary celebrates their career as one of metal’s most influential bands. The handful of live albums, reissues and DVDs that began to surface in the past ten years proved how beloved this band really is, and now comes another album of inspired fresh material that proves Voivod still have many new paths to travel. What band continues to redefine and reinvent themselves 13 studio albums and 30 years into their career? There is only one answer to that question: VOIVOD.
San Francisco's Exhumed plays gore-obsessed death metal with a tongue-in-cheek flair and an overall musical approach that are often reminiscent of Carcass, a band whom they have frequently acknowledged as a primary influence. They have endured constant lineup changes to become, if not a highly original act, at least one of the better representatives of their doomed-to-obscurity subgenre. The band formed in 1991 with a lineup consisting of Matt Harvey (guitar, vocals), Col Jones (drums), Derrel Houdashelt (guitar), Jake Giardina (vocals), and Ben Marrs (bass). They made their first recordings under this formation, including the Excreting Innards 7" for Afterworld Records. Giardina and Marrs left the band within the next few years, with Matt Widener (bass) and Ross Sewage (vocals) brought in as replacements. After recording the Horrific Expulsion of Gore demo (1994), Widener left and Sewage took over bass duties. This lineup eventually recorded a split CD with the Ohio band Hemdale, In the Name of Gore, which came out on Visceral Productions in 1995 and featured an absolutely revolting album cover. Soon after, Houldashelt left and was eventually replaced by Mike Beams. With this lineup intact, they signed to Relapse Records and finally released their first official full-length, Gore Metal, in 1998, with guitarist James Murphy (Death, Obituary) at the production helm. Sewage left the band shortly after this record, leaving the trio of Harvey, Beams, and Jones to record the follow-up, Slaughtercult. The album was released on Relapse in 2000 and was enthusiastically received among the death metal scene
Iron Reagan
Tony Foresta - Vox
Landphil Hall - Guitar
Mark Bronzino- Guitar
Rob Skotis - Bass
Ryan Parrish - Drums

Hometown: Richmond, VA
The reigning kings of destructive hardcore metal, have brought forth yet another testament to their sheer brutality: The Venomous Grand Design. Ever since their emergence from the Cleveland metal scene, Ringworm has garnered the immediate attention of hardcore metal fans, leading them to spots on tour with bands such as Blood For Blood, Hatebreed, and Terror. Ringworm displays an awesome ferocity in the power of their instruments, and vocalist the Human Furnace uses his voice as a tool to extract the diabolical nature of anyone who hears it.
Black Crown Initiate
Black Crown Initiate is the sound of a sentient being at war with itself and everything else; an entity holding on for dear life as its inner and outer world dies.
Venue Information:
Union Transfer
1026 Spring Garden St.
Philadelphia, PA, 19123