On Friday, February 4th the “A Valediction Tour” came barreling into the Nile Theater in Mesa AZ featuring Interloper, Vale of Pnath, and German technical death metal masters, Obscura. It was a brisk winter evening and the unassuming streets of downtown Mesa maintained their quiet bustle, unaware of the approaching onslaught of some really aggressive heavy metal.
First to the stage was Interloper, a three-piece progressive metal outfit featuring former members of Rings of Saturn and The Faceless. Now fully dedicated to their own project, Interloper, they are out supporting their debut full-length record Search Party. As they began setting up on stage I was surprised by the bare-bones nature of their setup. In a world where more and more bands are taking to the stage with massive drum kits with all the bells and whistles, here is Aaron Stechauner with a humble 4-piece kit and a handful of symbols. But just like a rustic Italian chef, these gentlemen took their humble ingredients and elevated them to outstanding levels. Their music is dynamic and melodic from the low growls to the soaring cleans to Miles Baker’s ripping leads. Sprinkling in a few lighthearted quips between songs by vocalist Andrew Virrueta, Interloper set us all up for the rest of the show.
Next up was blackened tech death metalers from Denver, CO Vale of Pnath featuring Ken Sorceron of Abigail Williams filling in on vocals. They light some incense on stage which, as it wafts its way into the audience, creates the ambience of a dingy occult shop whose relics may call forth unknown eldritch abominations. On this tour, Vale of Pnath have been debuting some new songs which are, by themselves, worth the cost of admission. They have continued their journey into the abyss of H.P. Lovecraft-inspired death metal featuring all the notes (in a good way). With their fast paced riffs, the mosh pits began opening up in earnest. Their performance set us all up for what was to come.
Lastly, it was time for the main event of the evening, Obscura. As the name of the tour implies, they are out to pump up their crushing new record A Valediction which was just released November 19th 2021. They played some new songs, including “Forsaken,” “When Stars Collide,” and the title track. Obscura never fail to impress with their sheer technical prowess. If you are looking to see some absolutely out of this world playing, then this tour is a must-see. There was an obvious gaggle of guitar players gathered on Christian Münzner’s side of the stage studying diligently as his fingers were gliding across the fretboard. I have also always been a huge fan of their use of fretless bass and it’s almost otherworldly tones. To top it all off, Steffen Kummerer’s ability to play some of those parts while also releasing the vocal assault that he does is incredible.
All in all it was an electrifying evening of aggressive, heavy music and if a show I would highly recommend.
This tour is still going strong, so check it out when they hit your city.
2/11/2022 Austin, TX – Come And Take It Live
2/12/2022 Dallas, TX – Amplified Live
2/13/2022 Houston, TX – Warehouse Live
2/14/2022 New Orleans, LA – Santos
2/16/2022 Orlando. FL – The Haven
2/17/2022 West Palm Beach. FL – Respectable
2/18/2022 Tampa, OR – The Orpheum
2/19/2022 Atlanta, GA – Masquerade
2/20/2022 Nashville, TN – The Basement East
2/21/2022 Knoxville, TN – Batley’s Knoxville
2/22/2022 Virginia Beach, VA – Elevation 27
2/23/2022 Baltimore, MD – Soundstage
2/24/2022 Harrisburg. PA – HMAC
2/25/2022 Brooklyn, NY – Knitting Factory
2/26/2022 Boston, MA – Sonia
2/27/2022 Hartford, CT – Webster Underground
2/28/2022 Quebec City, Canada – Imperial Bell
3/01/2022 Montreal, Canada – Foufounes
3/02/2022 Ottawa, Canada – Maverick’s
3/03/2022 Toronto, Canada – Lee’s Palace
3/04/2022 Rochester, NY – Montage Music Hall
3/05/2022 Pittsburgh, PA – Preserving Underground
3/06/2022 Indianapolis, IN – Emerson Theatre
3/07/2022 Louisville.KY – Diamon Concert Hall
3/08/2022 Detroit, MI – The Sanctuary
3/09/2022 Chicago, IL – Reggies
3/10/2022 Milwaukee, MN – X-Ray
3/11/2022 St. Paul, MN – Turf Club
3/12/2022 Winnipeg, Canada – Park Theater
3/14/2022 Calgary, Canada – Dickens
3/15/2022 Edmonton, Canada – Starlite Room
3/17/2022 Vancouver, Canada – Rickshaw Theater
3/18/2022 Seattle,WA – El Corazon
3/19/2022 Portland, OR – Dante’s
3/21/2022 Santa Cruz, CA – The Catalyst
3/22/2022 Petaluma, CA – Phoenix Theater
3/23/2022 Fresno, CA – Full Circle