Decapitated and Septicflesh at Saint Andrew’s Hall in Detroit, MI

Decapitated and Septicflesh deal in death at Saint Andrew’s Hall in Detroit on the Cancer Culture Over North America Tour.

Someone forgot to inform the good people of Detroit that it was a school night as Saint Andrew’s was full of metalheads for the Cancer Culture Over North America 2024 tour stop featuring the slashing death of Decapitated and symphonic savagery of Septicflesh as co-headliners. Adding in a further dose of death metal with prodigious technical chops were openers Kataklysm and Allegaeon.

Off to an early start was Allegaeon from Colorado, opening with the brilliant “Threshold of Perception.” This band is technically superb and performs their music with frenetic energy. In particular, vocalist Ezra Haynes is a powerful presence on stage both vocally and physically as he engages the crowd with the actions of a conductor at a symphony. Allegaeon included their new single “Iridescent” which showcases the dynamics of their music. The fantastic engine that drives the band features the phenomenal playing of Brandon Michael on bass and Jeff Saltzman on drums. Particularly brutal and outstanding was “Of Beast and Worms” from their most recent album Damnum. The marvelous fretwork of Michael Stancel and Greg Burgess left audience members mesmerized.

Veteran death metal band Kataklysm has been bringing crushing music from Canada for over 20 years. Opening with the title track from their latest album Goliath, they set the stage for a set of pure rage. The furious vocals of Maurizio Iacono matched perfectly with the devastating drumming from James Payne to cast an aura of malevolence. The monstrous chug of Jean-François Dagenais’s guitar and Stephane Barbe’s bass punctuated the attacking rhythm of “Narcissist.” Decrying the state of the world, Maurizio mentions that it is here in the metal community we find the truth before the band unleashes “Bringer of Vengeance.” Kataklysm capped off a brutal set full of mosh pit mayhem with “Black Sheep.”

Next up, the Greek gods of symphonic death Septicflesh took the stage. The set looks like a neo-gothic temple or ruin with disquieting figures impassively observing the crowd on backdrops behind the band. They quickly whipped the crowd into a frenzy with “A Portrait of a Headless Man” from their superb Codex Omega. The guttural growl and punishing bass of Spiros Antoniou fueled the darkness on “Neuromancer” from Septicflesh’s most recent album Modern Primitive. Spiros kept the crowd in the palm of his hand by calling out to them and engaging them between songs. The blasting drums of Kerim Lechner added devastating intensity to the entire set, but were especially effective on “Communion.” The guitars of Christos Antoniou and Dinos Prassas were as sharp as surgical steel as Septicflesh concluded their fantastic set with the menacing “Anubis” followed by the triumphant “Dark Art.”

A banner featuring the album cover for Decapitated’s latest album Cancer Culture glows under the lights as “From The Nothingness with Love” plays over the house sound system. The band makes their way to the stage and then unleashes hell with the title track “Cancer Culture.” Drummer James Stewart is an absolute beast on the drums. He creates a sonic tidal wave that smashes into the crowd on “Post(?) Organic.” Adding to the visceral weight of the music is the punching bass notes from Pawel Pasek. Dreadlocks lashing and whirling, Rafał Piotrowski is a man possessed as his malicious vocals compel the mosh pit into a higher degree of chaos. Putting on a clinic is guitar pyrotechnics and riff savagery is Wacław Kiełtyka. Decapitated keep the pit roiling with “Iconoclast” before a final spasm of thrashing to “The Last Supper.” Truly a monumental finish to a spectacular night of extreme metal in Detroit.

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About Chuck Marshall 45 Articles
Chuck loves music. If it is powerful and played with conviction, that is even better. In a past life, Chuck enjoyed thrashing on the stage in a Michigan metal band (Battalion). Now he prefers to use his imagery and words to capture the essence of a concert or an album. See and feel the music with Chuck; you’ll be glad you did.