Exhumed @ Crucible
Madison, WI

What an incredible night. I had been looked forward to this show for months. Crucible is basically a huge room with a stage straight ahead when you walk through the door. Off to the right and lining the walls is the bands merchandise area. Death metal/grindcore bands have the best merchandise and nothing can change my mind about it. I managed to snag Exhumed’s horror Blockbuster themed tour shirt. It is pure fire. 

The stage which is straight ahead when you enter the room is sizable but, the stage lighting is pretty dim and harsh. No real alternating between multiple colors. Regardless, the sound definitely fills the room and isn’t bad at all. You can hear the vocals rather cleanly and it is mixed well, so a round of applause to the man behind the mixer. 

The show itself was everything a horror movie and metal fan could have asked for. Their Slaughterhouse Maniac character was ever so present throughout the entire show. He came out with vhs tapes and loaded them into televisions posted next to the bands cabs. He then came to the front of the small stage and destroyed a vhs by ripping it up and threw it into the hungry audience. I was positioned between co-founders bassist Ross Sewage and frontman Matt Harvey. Straight back was drummer Mike Hamilton. It was so poorly lit back by him I literally couldn’t see him at all. On the bright side you could hear him thrash his with ease and timeliness. On my far right was a newer recruit Sebastian Philips on guitar. 

Their set list covered multiple albums, but clearly their newest release “Horror” would have the most tracks. I was hoping they’d play “Matter of Splatter” but, I can’t really argue with how kick ass the tunes they picked were. I was right up front for the first three tracks, all of which were off the new album. I can tell you it was nothing, but perfection. They started out with an absolute onslaught of grindcore bangers. They played so quick it was hard to pick up behind the camera lens at times. The cool thing was they did make sure to give me some opportunities for snaps. Musically, they were so tight. Vocals were dead on. Harvey, projected his signature scratchy screams strongly while ripping solos left and right. He had no problem moving around the stage and leaning into the crowd when the chance opened up.  Sewage, was also extremely fun to watch up front. His eyes burst open with power every time he approached the microphone. He was brutal as hell on the bass strings. You felt it. He had no problem engaging with those of us upfront even allowing people to hit the strings at times. 

I moved to the side of the room to ditch my gear and watch room and watch from on top of a platform. It only got better being able to watch the chaos from afar. I never noticed the circle pit going insane behind me. It took up the entire middle space of the room. You could see the steam rising up to the ceiling rafters. I could also watch other guitarist Sebastian Philips stand upfront and over the top and right in front of everyone flipping his hair and laying down those tantalizing riffs. When the slaughter maniac emerges from the back he grinded the guitar strings on a guitar and threw sparks over the crowd during “Forged in Fire” which illuminated the room and was awesome as hell. At the very end as the band closes on a Venom cover “Countess Bathory” the maniac wheeled up an old popcorn maker. Staying with the horror theme he then removed a severed head and poured the blood out over a patron, whom bathed in it, then sprayed blood out across everyone stage right. From there he turned the televisions off and the stage went dim ending the engaging show.

After 20 years worth of albums and touring these guys still are good as ever. They reached every expectation I had going into seeing them finally. Frankly, I cannot wait for them to come back around again. Their “Horror” album is pure gold and their set was the same. Thank you for having me out!

Ravenous Cadavers
Slaughter Maniac
Coins Upon The Eyes
Limb From Limb
Naked, Screaming, and Covered in Blood
Decrepit Crescendo
Forged in Fire
Defenders of The Grave
Utter Mutilation of Your Corpse
The Red Death
Playing With Fear

Death Revenge

Deadest of The Dead
Open The Abscess/The Countess Bathory (Venom Cover)/Open The Abscess

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