The Black Dahlia Murder at Saint Andrew’s in Detroit, MI

The Black Dahlia Murder unleashes a bloodbath of epic proportions upon a room full of metal maniacs at Saint Andrew’s Hall in Detroit.

Alright, so “bloodbath” may be a stretch, but the mosh pit was in full force. The Saint Andrew’s security team was treated to one hell of a workout catching crowd surfers who splashed over the stage barrier. The Black Dahlia Murder have put together a super roster of metal bands and the fans are ready to go wild.

However, we couldn’t go wild just yet. An issue at the venue held up the opening of the doors for an hour and a half. The venue staff worked quickly to fix the issue and get everyone into the venue. The delay will cause compressed sets and require speedy tear downs and setups. Nonetheless, the show will go on.

Tipping the hat to the old school death approach of bands like Autopsy and Deicide, Undeath gets the mosh pit fired up. The swarming and stomping chunk of humanity celebrates the bludgeoning riffs emanating from this Rochester, NY band. Undeath focused their fierce stage energy on delivering music from their debut, Lesions of a Different Kind. They packed a ton of monstrous music into a short set and did a great job of amping up the crowd.

After a quick set change, the house lights fall as Rivers of Nihil begins with “The Silent Life.” The eerie green and blue lights flashing amid moments of darkness accent the soundscape. From their brand new album The Work, Rivers of Nihil performs “Clean.” This moody song highlights the excellent songwriting and emotive nature of their new music. Watching Rivers of Nihil perform is astonishing. You can see the passion they have for the music. The fans are equally enthralled.

With another speedy set change, the stage is ready for the blitz of Carnifex. This band is savagery unbound. The pit reels with bodies colliding with “World War X.” Carnifex also has a new album out called Graveside Confessions. They unleash the title track and “Slit Wrist Savior.” Both songs are delivered under a seizure-inducing light show which captures the chaotic brutality of Carnifex’s frenzied performance. In particular, vocalist Scott Lewis prowls the stage like a caged animal. Carnifex ends their set with the crowd-favorite sing-along “Hell Chose Me.”

The metalcore assault continues with After The Burial. Opening with the Middle Eastern machinations of “Lost in the Static,” the attack is swift and seething. Their performance is filled with a boatload of nuance and dynamic range creating a chemical reaction within the audience. Here again, the dramatic lighting that rapidly transitions from darkness into full-blown light creates a feeling of mania. This feeds the fury of the music. After the Burial closes with “A Wolf Amongst Ravens” to cap off a brilliant and punishing set.

All hell breaks loose when The Black Dahlia Murder begins their set with “I Will Return.” The pit is exploding with joyous moshers. Trevor Strnad (vocals) moves about the stage snarling into the mic. He and guitarist Brian Eschbach make a point to make eye contact with fans by pointing to them or raising the horns in solidarity. Guitarist Brandon Ellis’s neck is nearly as fast as his fingers on the fretboard. I’ve never seen someone whip their head around that fast.

For the next two hours, a sea of fans churns as The Black Dahlia Murder play songs from just about every album. The first three albums see heavy focus with Nocturnal receiving the most love. From all the sweaty and smiling faces, it is clear that everyone is enjoying the older tunes as well as the couple from the latest “Verminous” album. “Statutory Ape” elevates the fun with tour manager Nick making an appearance on stage in an ape costume.

The Black Dahlia Murder close out their set with “Miasma.” Throughout their marathon performance, the moshing and crowd surfing never let up. Evidently, we all very much needed this release. Many thanks to all the bands for making this night of metal so much fun.

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About Chuck Marshall 33 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.