On Wednesday, September 22nd, the Up From The Sewer tour brought their stench to The Nile Theater in Mesa, Arizona, featuring a slew of killer death metal bands: Undeath, Rivers of Nihil, Carnifex, After the Burial, and the mighty The Black Dahlia Murder. It was a sold-out show and the sweat of 1,000 people hung like a fetid mist in a poorly ventilated room. Dear Nile Theater, fix your AC.
First on the stage was Undeath, a brutal death metal band from Upstate New York. Their crushing riffs primed the audience for a night full of heavy music. The pit was circling and heads were banging as folks revelled in the return of live music.
Next up was progressive death metal band Rivers of Nihil. They shared some new songs entitled “Clean” and “Focus” from their new record The Work, which was just released last week. If these new tracks are representative of the rest of the album, it is worthy of the praise it has already received. They also brought out Andy Thomas of Black Crown Initiate to perform his guest vocals on the song “Where Owls Know My Name.” The raw power these guys brought to the show was palpable in the room and those in attendance returned it in kind.
Whatever level you’re on, you can count on Carnifex to take it to the next. If you’ve ever seen any of the memes about the drummer hitting their China cymbal and the whole audience dying, that pretty much sums up a Carnifex set. During “Slit Wrist Savior,” the majority of the several hundred people in attendance were jumping along with the music. Now, the Nile being one of the rare buildings in Arizona with a basement, you could feel the floor flexing under the weight which was maybe a little unsettling. Carnifex also has a new album that came out September 3rd called Graveside Confessions from which they played the title track.
After The Burial played a brutal set with all the blast beats and widdly widdly riffs one would expect from these progressive deathcore giants. They brought with them an impressive light show that added an extra dimension to their performance which was choreographed to the music and created an almost club-like experience. The audience went insane for “Behold the Crown,” complete with its gloriously absurd number of pinch harmonics.
Black Dahlia Murder started their set with, quite possibly, the most appropriate song ever: “I Will Return.” And boy did they! They sprinkled some songs in from Verminous with a healthy smattering of hits across their expansive catalogue. Although Verminous is not technically new, it had the unfortunate timing of releasing in April 2020 so this tour has still been one of their first real opportunities to play the songs for a live audience (minus a couple of festival performances this summer). As one would expect, they were performed flawlessly; from the groovy riffs to the ripping solos, to the rapid-fire blasts. At this point in the night, we were all packed in so tightly that whenever the girl standing in front of me would start to headbang I would get whipped in the face with her hair.
And if anyone was wondering, the Nile is still hotter than Satan’s butthole by the end of the night. There are still quite a few dates left of this tour, so check them out if they come out your way.
Remaining Tour Dates:
09/28 – Atlanta, GA @ Center Stage
09/29 – Greensboro, NC @ Arizona Pete’s
09/30 – Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Soundstage
10/01 – Columbus, OH @ King of Clubs
10/02 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Roxian Theater
10/03 – Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues
10/05 – Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews Hall
10/06 – Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Hall
10/07 – Montreal, QC @ Club Soda
10/08 – Worcester, MA @ The Palladium
10/09 – Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom
10/10 – New York, NY @ Irving Plaza