I’ve always had a heartfelt fondness of the Lafayette, Indiana metal scene. It, more so than many other places, seems to have an intimately close metal community, from which stems a multitude of quality of bands that will be covered in an upcoming piece that will be published here at the Vault shortly. After living outside of the United States for the past three years, I was eager to return to the fertile metal soil of Lafayette, and so on November 22nd, 2019, I did just that. After all, Nick Maxson of The Doom Room and who fronts melodic death metallers We’d Be booked a show that I couldn’t resist featuring three of the quickest rising new death metal bands: Mutilatred, Scorched, and Sanguisugabogg.
Before I jump into the performances, I’ll give some details about the venue. North End Pub is a comfortable, intimate venue, with an open floor in front of the stage, and plentiful pub seating with tall bar stools in the back. It’s also connected to a bowling alley if tossing some three-holed spheres tickles your fancy. This was only my second time at this venue and my first since it became the new stable location for shows hosted by Nick’s The Doom Room. The area surrounding the stage now had plenty of charm, with The Doom Room decals spread around, including on a drapery hanging at the feet of the stage’s drumset. Hanging from the right side of the stage was a map done in a fantasy Lord-of-the-Rings style of Lafayette (“The Kingdom of Lafayette”) and on the left were poster-flags from prominent bands in the local metal scene, including thrash metal favorites Lucifist and Nick’s own We’d Be. Lining the left wall of the venue were pinballs machines, including many that were appropriately metal-themed. All of this made for an environment that was not only friendly but also enabled the local scene to connect and celebrate metal in a variety of ways, whether through drinks, through activities like pinball, or through actual musical performances.
The first band of the night was Toledo, Ohio’s Mutilatred, who put out a brilliant EP this year called Ingested Filth. Their sound was thick and crushing, which brilliantly served their continual application of intricate, chuggy riffs stemming from the fingers of guitarist Patrick (Meyers) and Patrick (McDonagh), and bassist Eli Fakes. Mutilatred‘s riffs generally combine an intricate, fast, or melodic part with a heavier, chuggier part, and this combination creates a contrast that makes for an intense pull-and-release formula that persisted over the course of their set. Of course, riffs only go so far, so also of note is the brutal bludgeoning, blasting, and fills of drummer Clay Lowe that hold the cacophony together, as highlighted on tracks like “Fuck Everything.”
Second were Scorched from Delaware, who put out one of my favorite releases last year with their second album: Ecliptic Butchery. Although the theme of the night was certainly caveman-esque death metal, Scorched also threw some surprises into the mix, such as on two occasions when frontman Matt Kapa threw in some Mongolian-style throat singing that successfully added an eerie atmosphere to their onslaught. My only minor complaint about their set was that the sound was a bit thinner than on their most recent album. But I imagine this was largely due to the rhythm section thinning out whenever one of their guitarists would go into a lead or a solo, whereas on the album, the rhythm was multi-tracked even in these instances. Scorched also stood out, not only due to how young many of the members were, but also due to the committed stage presence of Matt, as he chose to command the stage shirtless and while continually pouring water over his hair, allowing everyone in the front of the stage to get sprinkled every time he rhythmically banged his head. The energy of the rest of the band was similarly high, illustrated best by the continually wild movements of bassist Andrew Benenati.
Last up was one of the most hyped new bands in the death metal scene, and for good reason: Sanguisugabogg. Sanguisugabogg are signed to Maggot Stomp, a quickly rising new metal label that specializes in old school, caveman-style death metal. They feature the frontman of Ohio’s brutal death metal band Limbsplitter on vocals, and it was clear that those roots run deep, as frontman Devin Swank dedicated one of their songs to Indiana’s metal scene, and name-dropped Gorgasm, Sarcophagy, and Human Filleted – many of the members of which were in attendance. Even though Sanguisugabogg are a new band, their performance felt like the work of veterans, with each member of the band commanding the stage. Devin repeatedly signaled for pits to erupt with a single hand gesture, and each time his call was met with a small but violent circle at the front of the stage, interestingly featuring older, grey-haired metal fans alongside younger ones, of both the male and female variety. The band played through their brilliant demo from this year, Pornographic Seizures, including tracks like the earth-shattering “Uningest,” in addition to playing a number of new songs. Among the new songs was one that was dedicated to fans of Internal Bleeding that enthusiastically aped their style of slamming brutal death, including even vocal patterns that were reminiscent of what can be heard on recent Internal Bleeding recordings. Songs were broken up with humorous and shocking samples that wouldn’t be atypical on a brutal death metal album, such as one about a woman trading her baby for some food from Taco Bell. The debates on how to pronounce their name will likely continue forever, but I can confidently say that Sanguisugabogg proved that every bit of the hype about them is justified, and I’m excited to hear what they release next, particularly after hearing so many of their great new songs that maintain the quality heard on Pornographic Seizures. I have no doubt that we’ll continue to hear more about each of these bands in the coming years, so be sure to check them out when they come through your area.
Check out these recent releases from the bands, how to support each, info about upcoming shows, and how to follow The Doom Room through the links below: