Review by Seraphim Dibble, photos by Lola Marie Photography
Every once in awhile you get a tour that should not be missed for any reason. If you die before it comes to town, then you’ve gotta crawl out of your grave to make sure you’re there. This summer’s tour with Black Dahlia Murder, Whitechapel, and Fleshgod Apocalypse is one such tour. All three bands have become legends in their genre, so it is only appropriate to play at one of Denver’s many old-school theaters. The Ogden Theater, much like the Oriental Theater, started its days as a playhouse. Now, it houses concerts and more. Offering balcony viewing positions and a huge pit, it is worth every penny to attend a show there.
The night started off with Shadow of Intent. Their combination of pig squeals and symphonic metal got the audience moving early in the night. Many bands have trouble even getting fans in the door if they’re the opening act. It was clear that their singer had tremendous skill and lungs, as he kept up their trademark screams for dramatically long moments. Live, the 5-string bass they use brought even more thunder to the room. Their stage presence set an exceedingly high bar for the rest of the evening.
The next band, Aversions Crown, had no intent of letting this bar down or running into it. Despite not moving around the stage as much as Shadow of Intent, their stage presence kept everybody captivated throughout the set. Their impressive drum set matched well with the 8-string guitar that they are known for. They had a flair for the dramatic, as well, dropping the stage lights between songs so that they could turn to face the audience anew with each song.
Not to be outdone, Fleshgod Apocalypse came on stage like a death metal Haunted Mansion. They toured two years ago with Arkona as a supporting act, and they didn’t drop one bit of their stage show. Featuring a pianist and dedicated opera singer instead of samples, they showed up in full vampire costume this time. Their redwood instruments matched the aesthetic perfectly, with a look that resembled a classical violin.
While Black Dahlia Murder didn’t directly bring any overarching theatrics to the stage like Fleshgod Apocalypse, they are a long-running band with talented musicians. Just a few years ago, they had a sold-out tour playing their Unhallowed album in completion. This show showed how that, and many stops on this tour, sold out well in advance. Widely regarded as one of the premiere names in melodic death metal, they devastated the stage at the Ogden. It was hard to believe that they were not the only headlining act on this tour.
Despite having lived through four energetic sets, the crowd was ready for the closers of the night. Whitechapel took the stage like a runaway train. Four hours of death metal did little to stop anybody from moshing or throwing down for their lengthy and roaming set. Playing a combination of old and new content, Whitechapel showed that night how they became a genre staple. Nobody left this show disappointed with it. The tour has more stops throughout North America, concluding in August in Kentucky, so make sure you do NOT miss it.