Obituary Unleashed

Show date: October 5, 2008
Venue: B.B. King’s Blues Club & Grill
Bands: Obituary, Unleashed

Ralph Santolla of Obituary throwing up the horns

Ralph Santolla of Obituary throwing up the horns

The marquee outside of B. B. King’s stated:


I was hoping this would be a fitting description of the show to come. D42 was a little worried when she saw all the guys with denim and leather vests show up. Unleashed was an new band to us, and that kind of gear generally speaks of thrash metal, which is not my favored genre. Unleashed turned out to be a Swedish death metal band. I still thought they sounded more thrash then anything, but if that is what they’re going for, more power to them.

Unleashed are a band of showmen. Their music was good, but the show itself was great. We showed up fashionably late, and Johnny Hedlund (vocals) was already on stage riling up the crowd.

Johnny Headlund of Unleashed, riling

Johnny Headlund of Unleashed, riling

Anders Schultz drummed like a deranged gremlin, grinning ear to ear the whole time, his eyes sparkling with what surely was utter madness. Hedlund raged on and kept lying about the next song being the “last song” as there were maybe three of those. He talked about Vikings, and enlisted us as his Hammer Battalion—a  plug for their new album by the same name— which went over well with the howling crowd. Hedlund gave Fredrik Folkare (lead guitar) and Tomas Måsgard (rhythm guitar) a hand and all three strummed up a storm finishing with a three-guitar solute.

Hedlund took a swing from a drinking horn, told us how great Vikings were, and how great we were, and how great it is that there is such metal as death metal out there. Then he then threw beer at us and left the stage.

Anders Schultz on drums. Told you hes an evil gremlin

Anders Schultz on drums. Told you he's an evil gremlin

Unleashed played a good amount of music from their latest album, Hammer Batallion. Here is the setlist:


After the fun and energy of Unleashed, I’ll admit I wasn’t quite ready for the sludgy sound of Obituary. They put on as good a show as always, with John Tardy yet again hiding his face in his mane of hair while rushing back and forth across the stage and screaming at the crowd, but my heart wasn’t quite in it. The fact that the guards at BB’s kept breaking up the pit, even when it was just a couple of guys running in a circle with smiles on their faces was bringing me down too. One guy was particularly upset because he wasn’t doing any damage but kept getting grabbed, while the more violent guys were basically left to do what they will. I was hoping he wouldn’t get ousted, as this was obviously a show he was intent on enjoying. They let him stay, but I could sense the frustration in the crowd when three guards took up the center, with their arms crossed, waiting to grab anyone trying to have a good time.

John Tardy, all sludgy

John Tardy, all sludgy

Obituary played a good selection from a variety of albums. I finally got psyched for “Slowly We Rot” but that was one of the concluding songs if not the last. Despite the interference, Obituary fans still maintained what must have been the longest spontaneous circle pit in the history of shows, as it spanned basically the entire performance, sometimes turning into your usual moshing turmoil, but always getting back to the rushing-around-in-a-circle standard.

Ralph Santolla, guitar god

Frank Watkins

Frank Watkins, bass

Trevor Peres, rhythm guitar

Trevor Peres, rhythm guitar

The show ended at the outrageous 10:15pm. A setlist couldn’t be obtained because we had to rush out of the venue to avoid a lecherous bouncer. All in all, a good show, but for me it all ended on a bit of a downer. As much as I love Obituary, one of the seminal death metal bands from the birthing place of death metal (Florida), there was just a bad vibe in the air. Even Donald Tardy’s amazing drum solo couldn’t save it for me. I wish other venues would book more metal, because I’d really like to go crowd surfing again one day.

Links fo’ yo’ perusal:

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