Morbid Angel Concert Review-Nile Theater Mesa AZ 03-21-23
Review and Photos by Maxwell Williamson
On an abnormally gloomy day in usually sunny Tempe, AZ, a group of metalheads lined up and down the sidewalk outside of The Marquee Theater for a night of brutal metal featuring death metal legends, Morbid Angel with their special guest Revocation. A good-sized crowd of diehard fans showed up early on a Tuesday evening no less, and were all eager to get the prime spot at the front of the stage. Once inside, the wide array of fans of all ages – clad in battle vests and pentagram laden shirts, were waiting for the lights to dim and the pounding of the bass drums to tickle or burst their ear drums.
Crypta were first to get this brutal musical assault under way. For those who are not familiar with Crypta, they are an all-female metal band, hailing from Brazil. As the ladies prepared to kick things off, one rambunctious fan would repeatedly chant, Cryp-Ta, Cryp-Ta Cryp-Ta in his show of allegiance for the ladies that opened the night on this tour dubbed; United States Tour Of Terror. A six song set beginning with “Death Arcana” and closing out with “From The Ashes” off their debut LP Echoes of the Soul LP ripped through the venue at a tornadic pace. Lighting paced riffs, backed by a nice array of double pedal heavy drumming and a sweet mixture of high pitch screams with deep growls from their lead vocalist/bassist Fernanda Lira exhibited that these girls have what it takes to slay an audience. By the time they were exiting the stage, it was no longer just one fan chanting Crypta, he was now joined by the entire audience! Crypta are making some real noise as they climb the ranks of metal tours and build an army of new fans world wide. Get Into Crypta here!
Skeletal Remains: Next up on the bill was Skeletal Remains who hail from Whitter, CA. This metal ensemble are a no nonsense band that lets their music speak for itself which was a good thing as they were mostly in the dark on this evening making it impossible to get any usable photos. These guys came out of the gate full of aggression and wasted no time as they went straight to work with their musical assault. Drummer Pierce Williams climbed to his seat behind the kit while the remaining 3 members each approached their respective microphone stands with their axes in hand ready to rip; and rip they did! They presented a six-song set that was filled with blast beats a plenty, and shredding guitar solos galore; these gentlemen slayed through their set nonstop without much downtime. Assaulting the audience is what these guys do, moving from one song straight into the next, no filler, just straight to the point as they know their fans are here for some skull crushing metal that Skeletal Remains delivered at a relentless pace. Get Into Skeletal Remains at https://www.skeletal-remains.com/
Revocation: The Metal Blade Records technical death metal outfit Revocation out of Boston, MA co-headlined this evening’s festivities. Guitarist and lead vocalist Dave Davidson was arguably the most entertaining front man of the night with his in-your-face attitude and over the top energy, assaulted the audience from his first guitar riff. He also threw in a few jokes about covering some Phil Collins material to which the crowd seemed to be intrigued by that idea but of course; there was no Phil Collins to be heard tonight. The show was pure Revocation with a full force set which featured songs from four of their eight studio albums. The album most represented was their most recent release, Netherheaven which came out in late 2022. Revocation was an all-around a stellar performance, the band sounded fantastic live and filled the room with an electric energy that fueled the nonstop circle pits for their entire eight song set. Get Into Revocation and join the assault at: https://www.revocationband.com/
Now it was time for the metal icons, Morbid Angel to crush the show as they set the room ablaze, from the get go! Being MA’s first Arizona performance since 2019, these fans were fired up and ready to witness the kind of stage domination that these death metal Icons are so well known for. As soon as the band appeared on stage, resounding cheers erupted from the entire crowd. It didn’t take long to realize why Morbid Angel still draws in a feverish crowd after three plus decades in the game. Their performance packs a heavy punch that you can feel in your chest while headbanging the night away. They powered through a 15 song setlist, playing tracks from 5 different albums. They kept the crowd animated and moving with little downtime with a set that was relentless in it’s musical assault. After a brief switch of guitars – Steve Tucker informed the crowd how happy he was to be back on stage playing live shows once again; then they got right back into crushing the audience with their brutal music. They delivered a great set that everyone in attendance seemed to thoroughly enjoy. MA finished the night off with no encore, thanking Tempe for coming out on a Tuesday night and making them feel right at home. For this being my first time to see all four of these bands on the bill, I thoroughly enjoyed their performances and their very talented musicianship that was on display throughout the night. Not a bad way to spend a Tuesday night; surrounded by great company and witnessing a legendary act such as Morbid Angel who put their skills on display in epic fashion. If this tour is coming to your neck of the woods, do yourself a favor, mark your calendar and get out there to catch this tour; it will be a night to remember! Get Into Morbid Angel at: http://www.morbidangel.com/