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A Sojourn With Impaled .. 2 Nights of Terror
July 7-8, 2001; Cleveland OH [Agora] and Pittsburgh, PA [White Eagle Lodge]

Finally, the weekend arrived… a much anticipated set of showdates with Impaled, Vader, Origin, and others!

The turnout to the Cleveland show was poor… pathetic to be exact. Seeing so many people skip probably the best tour of the summer was truly a disappointment. Whether it be due to the holiday weekend, or a general lack of promotion on the part of the club/promoter, it was a sad sight to see the sparse gathering of people who actually decided to attend the show.

Withered Earth got things started with a solid performance and a good set. I’m not sure if this was the first time they had played Cleveland or not, but it was the first time I’d ever seen them here. The crowd didn’t seem to be left disappointed. Their brand of technical, new-school death left little to be desired in the sound department. The excitement began to build ..

Impaled played a too-short set without any props, due to the thin crowd + idiot security. The music left itself to be enjoyed without any adornment, and rabidly devoured and enjoyed it was. Impaled is one of those bands who puts 110% into their performances. True showmen, they kept the crowd entertained not only with their music, but with their onstage antics – between jumping around and constantly flicking off the crowd, there was never a dull moment. About midway into the set, Sherwood from Skinless rampaged onto the stage in his homemade white Impaled tee shirt (which he gave to a fan later on in the night). The set ended with Ross getting pushed off the stage into the crowd. Unfortunately no fans were taken out with his bass. The sound was good, there were no massive flaws in the set, and the fans who were listening and watching, were rewarded.

Origin, playing again as a four-peice, played technical and evil death for anyone who cared to stand around for 10 seconds to listen. People who keep making the cracks ‘Borigin’ and ‘Snorigin’ have no clue what they are talking about. This band is a pleasure to watch live, and play very good, technical brutal DM. Everytime I’ve seen them play live they have always done an excellent job.

Skinless is another one of those bands who people say have a must see live set. I’m not sure what it is, but Sherwood has a way of connecting with an audience that most frontmen seem to lack. I will say that everytime I have seen Skinless play, they have impressed me with how they can get the crowd into their music, mesmerizing almost everyone by the breakdowns in their songs which were just made for moshing.

Vader mopped the floor with about 90% of the bands on this bill, did you expect less? As creme de la creme, the drum kit was not triggered, and guess what? Doc plays that well without the need for any sort of enhancement! I have it on a videotape, I kid you not. I was quite amazed. Vader is one of those bands who are so good live, it sounds like you are listening to one of their cds. It’s truly a pleasure watching a seasoned band such as them play. No dropping full songs off their set list by accident, and a tight sound where all members seem to be on the same page.

So that was Cleveland.

The Pittsburgh show was held at a little “after hours bar”, like the late Smiler Coogan’s. Lost Disciple Records seemed intent on telling everyone in the known world that it was at a different venue, but a wise and very quick phone call to that venue proved them wrong. We showed up at the correct venue, the White Eagle Lodge. It was on the southeast? side of downtown Pittsburgh, in an area of old 1900’s era homes.

Impaled may as well have played on top of the bar, it was that small .. There was no stage and barely any ventilation. I don’t think there was an extensive house PA although I did see a mixing board and console. Who needed drum mikes? The crowd was forced by the bar to stand within 5 feet of the band at all times. You could get spit on or whacked with instruments if you weren’t careful ..

The crowd at the Pittsburgh show seemed to be MUCH better than the Cleveland one, especially considering how last minute the show seemed to be. Better promoter and less slackers in the scene.

A local band called GoatRot basically opened the show. They were MUCH better than that name suggests. They played a raw, simplistic, slower brand of USBM / classic metal. I was immediately motivated to thrash. The singer insists his real name is “Belial” though, so .. I don’t know how seriously to take the band .. but they were good.

After a break from the bar-smoke and crappy band after GoatRot, we returned to the venue in time to watch Impaled set up and play a KILLER set spanning most of their releases, if not all. The entire set is also on tape .. The venue was far too small for 90% of Impaled’s lagniappe, but a few bones and death masks still adorned various mike stands, drum hardware, etc. Seeing those hyper guys crammed into that tiny space and playing their guts out was a real thrill. The closeness of everyone crammed up front, thrashing and moshing around as Impaled kicked everyone’s ass with their lively performance was a sight to be seen. The set was as good as the set they played in Cleveland (and credit to them for doing such a good job on so little sleep). Definetly worth the 2 1/2 hour drive.

All in all, Cleveland’s show bill was far better, but Pittsburg’s coziness was more fun. Only the weather sucked (driving home).

“The Summertime Slaughter tour – More thrash for your buck! A definite must see event.”

– Necrosis Staff