GIG REVIEW: Cryptopsy, Rivers Of Nihil, Visceral Disgorge & Seeker Live at the Riot Room, Kansas City
Ever come across a bill that seems too good to be true? I rarely get to fanboy around here anymore, but I definitely had a moment when I saw this lineup. Three of my favorite bands on one tour, one of which just happens to be playing one of my favorite albums of all time… it would be weird if I didn’t feel like a five-year old on Christmas when I heard the news. I hadn’t been this excited about a tour since Origin toured with Beyond Creation and King Parrot. This would be my second trip to Kansas City this week, after attending the 25th Annual Kansas City Rockfest earlier on Saturday. Close to 60,000 people came out to the festival so I had high expectations for a line-up of this magnitude. After arriving at the venue, I was sorely disappointed. Not only me, but the bands were too, which really sucked to see.
As Torn The Fuck Apart took the stage, the crowd was sparse to say the least. The band was giving it their all and putting out some quality death metal to almost literally no reaction; other than one already incredibly drunk man wishing them safe passage home in the middle of their set. Gloom hit the stage next to about the same effect. This time a very meager pit began taking shape as a few unwilling participants were bounced around the wide open middle of the room. The band, while definitely noting this, blasted on like they were in front of a full house and put on a killer show.
Seeker caught me a little off-guard. They were raw and intense, a literal wall of sound. I’d say Brody Uttley of Rivers of Nihil described them most succinctly as Gorguts meets Neurosis. This is a situation where I’m definitely glad I ran into them in a live setting first and got such a killer first impression because after going online after the show to check them out, I might not have been on board with some of their older stuff. Since it seems like they did a pretty solid job finding their foothold in the world, I’d say I’m pretty impressed. Again, the crowd was shit. No one moved an inch, no heads were banged, I barely remember a pit on this one. Everyone was dead lethargic and it was getting a little irritating.
By the time Visceral Disgorge came on, the crowd had thickened up like the soup in a port-a-potty on a hot summer day, as in, it hadn’t. I was determined not to let this shit crowd ruin this night for me and decided to be the only lunatic to windmill and thrash around because fuck you it’s a metal show and that’s how they’re suppose to go. I was genuinely disappointed when the music hit and someone wasn’t immediately punched in the face. That couldn’t have been my job this time as I was only a visiting correspondent. All jokes aside Visceral Disgorge was as heavy as I’d hoped they’d be, which is somewhere around shit your pants heavy. I haven’t windmilled that much in a long time and it felt so good, better than any kind of therapy. Finishing on ‘Skullfucking Neonatal Necrosis’ finally got a little crowd interaction with the Full Metal Jacket audio clip.
By the time Rivers of Nihil came on, the crowd was finally warmed up a bit. All ten guys in the pit were getting pretty rowdy and things were heating up. You could tell the bands were getting frustrated with the lack of crowd participation but they didn’t let it show as they put out a festival grade performance. As a fan, bassist, and nerd, it was an absolute pleasure getting to watch Adam Biggs put on a bass clinic during the set. Between him and Olivier Pinard of Cryptopsy, the low end was definitely held down that night. The rest of the band obviously had to keep pace and slayed as well. They bounced back and forth between The Conscious Seed of Light and Monarchy, playing all the favorites during a 45-minute set.
Finally, the moment of truth. When Matt McGachy let out that first, 15 second scream, my jaw hit the floor. They opened with ‘Two-Pound Torch’ and played a few newer tracks before jumping straight into the meat of the night. By this point the place should have been packed to capacity, which it wasn’t even close to. I’ve personally seen the Riot Room pack the house so I know it can be done, I’m not just beating a dead horse here. As soon as that infamous intro started, it should have been absolute pandemonium, but no one fucking moved. It was the most surreal set I’ve ever seen in my life. They played the entire album, the whole way through, with little to no breaks between songs. Just watching Flo drum was absolutely mesmerizing. He was going so fast the sticks would occasionally very literally shoot out of his hands. It was devastatingly heavy and everyone was so preoccupied with their macho posturing that it felt like I was among the few that really let loose and enjoyed the incredible show.
All in all, the bands were beyond incredible, especially given the circumstances. It really bums me out to see a city like Kansas City turn out like they did when I’ve seen towns a fraction the size bring twice the people and ten times the energy. Either way, it was a dream come true getting to see “None So Vile” performed live, especially along with Rivers of Nihil and Visceral Disgorge. Seeker was an excellent surprise and a welcome addition to the music collection.