Fit For An Autopsy

Fit For An Autopsy
The Forge
Joliet, IL

Headlining their Oh What The Future Holds tour at The Forge in Joliet, IL.

1. Oh What The Future Holds
2. Pandora
3. Hellions
4. Warfare
5. Hydra
6. Iron Moon
7. A Higher Level of Hate
8. The Sea of Tragic Beasts
9. Your Pain is Mine
10. Far From Heaven
11. Two Towers

Darkest Hour

Darkest Hour
The Forge
Joliet, IL

Darkest Hour performing at The Forge as an opener on the Fit For An Autopsy tour.

1. Perpetual Terminal
2. The Sadist Nation
3. Stand and Receive Your Judgement
4. Knife in The Safe Room
5. Those Who Survived
6. The Flesh & The Flowers of Death
7. Rapture in Exile
8. With A Thousand Words But One
9. Amor Fati


The Forge
Joliet, Il
Undeath performed as opener for Fit For An Autopsy.

1. Rise From The Grave
2. Necrobionic
3. Brandish The Blade
4. Cramped Caskets
5. Acidic Twilight Visions
6. Chained To A Reeking Rotted Body
7. Lesions of a Different Kind


The Annex
Madison, WI

Incantation headlined a riveting performance at The Annex. The Event was hosted by Midwest Mix-Up.

1. Concordat (The Pact) I
2. Rites of The Locust
3. Carrion Prophecy
4. Shadows of The Ancient Empire
5. Fury’s Manifesto
6. Homunculus (Spirit Made Flesh) IX
7. Blasphemous Cremation
8. Ascend Into The Eternal
9. Chalice (Vessel Consanguineous)VII
10. Oath of Armageddon
11. Ritual Impurity (Seven of The Sky is One)
12. Invocation (Chthonic Merge) X
13. The Ibex Moon
14. Impending Diabolical Conquest


The Annex
Madison, WI

Suffocation performing as direct support to Incantation. Hosted by Midwest Mix-Up

1. Catatonia
2. Seraphim Enslavement
3. Breeding The Spawn
4. Dim Veil of Obscurity
5. Pierced From Within
6. Funeral Inception
7. Perpetual Deception
8. Blind Torture Kill
9. Hymns From The Apocrypha
10. Liege of Inveracity
11. Infecting the Crypts

Skeletal Remains

Skeletal Remains 
The Annex
Madison, WI

Skeletal Remains performed as an opener for Incantation at The Annex in Madison, WI. Midwest Mix-up hosted the event.

1. Void of Despair
2. Beyond Cremation
3. Illusive Divinity
4. Internal Detestation
5. To Conquer The Devout
6. Tombs of Chaos


The Annex
Madison, WI

Stabbing performed as the opener for Incantation. Midwest Mix-Up hosted the event at The Annex.

1. Inhaling The Dead
2. Final Flesh Feast
3. Gutted By The Beast
4. Visions of Eternal Suffering
5. Vortex of The Severed Dead
6. Ravenous Psychotic Onslaught
7. Pulled Apart
8. Pulsing Wound


The Rave
Milwaukee, WI

On a breezy yet sunny day in Milwaukee, WI the historic Rave/Eagles Ballroom held perhaps the darkest performance they have held in quite some time. The fans lined up early covered head to toe in black. A multitude of Carnifex shirts spattered amongst them. The chatter amongst most was about the new album Necromanteum. At this point, the album is a month old and fans have had time to breathe it in. The consensus given was overwhelmingly positive. People were excited about it. That energy only amplified once the doors opened and people were led into the basement room better known as The Rave 2. The dimmed corners of The Rave came alive. After all, the ghosts of the venue were watching as well. The bartenders were busy with multiple lines around the room. The Carnifex merch area sold out of nearly most sizes of multiple types of tour shirts. They had all sorts of patches and trinkets available in limited qualities as well. They are one of the few artists that bring quality products with them on the road which makes it entirely worth the money. The two merchandise lines were all of the way to the back of the room all evening and the fans came prepared to support the deathcore legends. 

Covering six of their nine album releases the fans were given the older cuts while the band remained true to pushing a fantastic new album. Carnifex arrived on stage as one unit. The venue’s lights turned black and the stage’s strobes flashed. This lighting system is a constant for them. It has been a bread-and-butter move for years. The veteran deathcore band knows what works for their brand. Their silhouettes moved swiftly within the brilliant blast of lighting. From the second the first chord was strung the ambiance was set. Carnifex frontman Scott Ian Lewis lived on the edge of the stage. Leaning on his metal step at the center of the stage his physical size became imposing. He loomed over the fans pressed against the security rail while his vocals blasted throughout the room. They were deep, growl-filled, and ever so clean at times. He beautifully ripped through the new material with ease. There was no doubt Lewis only became better as the set moved along. Behind him on the drum kit, Shawn Cameron held a smile on his face while crushing his snare. For how impressively brutal the music is Cameron appeared to be having the time of his life. Peering out over the top of his toms he engaged with the fans in the front row by waving, pointing, and sneering at them. Despite all of this his focus remained intact and blasted away on his skins. The smashes made one’s heart pump harder and the bass kicks were smooth and efficient. He was the definition of perfection on the skins.

The evening as a whole was intensely fun from the start. The vibes entering, during, and leaving the room were all about fun. From the start, the circle pit spun at a lightning pace. It filled a majority of the floor space in front of the stage. Looking just above the crowd, you can witness Carnifex ripping through their set. Their light set up flashing as the heat from the pit rose to the ceiling. The room was filled with stage smoke and moisture. Fans head banged and chanted Carn-I-Fex over and over. Towards the end of the show, the circle pit raged while two patrons ran around it with massive trash cans above their heads. Everyone laughed and had a good time with it. Lewis was even laughing audibly over the venue’s sound system. Fear not despite the comical moment this show was everything a metal show should be. Fred Calderon’s low end rattled the floorboards. His foot stomping and hair-spinning head bangs were constant. As he moved around the stage each side of the room intensified their movements. Manning each end of the stage, long-time guitarist Corey Alford and new recruit and former Burn Halo guitarist Neal Tiemann lay down those magnificently down-tuned riffs. With each downstroke the tempo pushed and the adrenaline built. Tiemann moved around his half of the stage. Often moving back to the drum kit and then back to standing up on a metal box on the front edge of the stage. Alford kept positioned in one area. This positioning kept his fingers dancing across his fretboard. Additionally, he delivered brutal backing vocals. Together in unison they sonically pushed one thick sound across a raging audience. The riffs were mean and breakdowns ravaged The Rave. The band’s pace kept them pushing harder and harder with very little time in between songs to chat. 

In Latin Carnifex translates to butcher and refers to one as an executioner. This was a perfect encapsulation of what happened. The San Diego-based band came to Milwaukee and did what they always did, killed it. They were the executioners and every individual there was their prey. There is nothing one could say the task at hand was the only thing within their sights. They stood on that stage and gave every ounce of energy they had and pushed their fresh new songs onto the eager fanbase. Necromanteum has proven a perfect fit into their expanding list of titles. If anything it only improved their set list. They were sticking with what got them there, the heavy and crushing riffs paired with hauntingly brutal and destructive vocals. It was a masterclass in doing what works for the genre. This tour is impressive. When leg 2 of the tour is announced make plans to go. You will not be disappointed.

1. Dark Days
2. Pray for Peace
3. Necromanteum
4. Hell Chose Me
5. Torn in Two
6. Heaven and Hell All At Once 
7. Lie To My Face
8. Infinite Night Terror
9. Dark Heart Ceremony
10. Drown Me in Blood
11. Hatred and Slaughter
12. Slit Wrist Saviour

Apollo Theater AC

The amount of fear I had retained from that March evening stayed with me every day after I left that building. I was the last patron out the door. My night continued on Main Street helping people in need. The carnage is seared into my memory. Thunderstorms make me very uneasy and I slink to sturdy areas. When the wind is terrible it makes me shiver and I instinctually grab anything bolted to the ground. I already have sleep PTSD issues and they are compounded now. My natural habit is to fight back in healthy ways. The re-opening of the Apollo Theatre AC haunted me. It is why I inspect the ceiling of every building I walk into. This year has given me many amazing gigs to cover and this single event overshadows them all. Obviously, I am not the only person that deals with these issues. Everyone reacts differently over time. However, this day was the ultimate test of my mental health. Taproot was the headliner and one of my favorites through the ’00s. I could not miss their return to touring and the stage. This gave me comfort. The experience humbled me as a person and somehow reassured me of who I am as a person. I care about people. I have read the comments left by people at the show or the trolls trying to be dicks. My inbox filled up with comments and accounts of the night from others. We all made a choice to be there. We all got the warning on the phone. We all chose to ignore the staff’s suggestions of going to the basement. I tend to believe the Universe put us all there and gave us a choice to react. I wasn’t a fan of the people taking videos and not helping, but that was their reaction to fear. People sent me photos of myself lifting boards before I even left the venue that night. I know some didn’t like my publishing of events either. The venue employees and promoter all tried to get people to safety. They dug through the piles with all of us that were left behind. What I wrote is factual and my experience. It was a harrowing ordeal that Mother Nature put us all through. 20 feet either way and that tornado would have hit the bridge next to the venue or the strip of businesses on the other side. It didn’t though and we are now called survivors. The kid on the street that I helped get EMT attention is doing well and it gave me hope that we can slowly move along in life. The days following humbled me quite a bit. My body was thrashed. My moral crisis didn’t mean much once I faced it. I knew I was a bigger and better person than I used to be. I carry a lot of sympathy for those who were seriously injured or even killed. Witnessing all of this gave me a better hope in random strangers to do the right thing in most cases. In hindsight, I can honestly say I would do it all again to help the people I did. My PTSD is really menial compared to the larger picture of things. 

As I hit the highway on my way to the venue I realized I had the same hoodie, shorts, and shoes on as that night. Apparently, my clothes needed redemption as well. The little things flooded my head and my anxiety was at a fever pitch. It was a process. Approaching Main Street I began to get really nervous. My hands shook on the steering wheel. Why though? I made it out unscathed and helped as much as I could. The fear crept in on top of it. I parked unintentionally in the same parking spot I had that night. Again the Universe was putting me in that position once more. It took me a few minutes to turn the corner onto Main and walk up to the building. The building looked amazing and was completely rebuilt. The upper level from where the brick collapsed onto the roof was laid all over again. The metal sheeting covered the top once more. The marquee for the building was gone. The support chains hung loosely from the frontage. The exterior was fresh and clean. A medallion was embedded into the brick above the new venue doors. It read 1921. The establishment of the theatre. I sat outside of the building inspecting it and trying to get comfortable with it. The last time I saw it it looked like a war zone. Then I dug deep and knew I had to go in and comfort my senses. Upon opening the door I was greeted by the staff taking tickets. Smiles and friendliness instantly smacked me and I hadn’t even made it all of the way in yet. My eyes hadn’t focused on anything but the floor. I couldn’t look towards the stage or the roof above. The nerves were running hot yet. My anxiety lifted once my eyes scanned the entire room, it was a gorgeous space. People all around enjoying their time together. The walls were repainted with a new color scheme. Details in the decor popped. The flooring that was covered in rubble and dust had been replaced in spots and fully lacquered. it survived the abuse. Even the stage had an upgrade as the lighting was improved and the stage itself was carpeted. The historic building was once again a visual spectacle. Despite this, I still couldn’t look up or walk onto the main floor area just yet and that’s when I decided to walk through the door to the bar area. I stood in the same spot I was when the frontage ripped off into the street. The same window where rain ran horizontally gleamed with sunlight. Looking at the entire bar room once again, one would notice it was totally upgraded as well.  As I stood there I ran into my guy who stood with me when it all started and we shared a hug. We experienced the same things at the same exact time. It was comforting and something I never realized I needed. All of my anxieties about the evening decided to leave right then and there. That horrifying common thread turned into moments of beauty and art. It was so surreal.

The entire night was incredible. The fans poured in through the doors. The experience and history of what mattered six months earlier didn’t matter as much anymore. The community needed the Apollo. The fans needed the Apollo. I needed the Apollo. Eventually, my eyes fixated on the roof section that terrified me every day previously. The interior clearly had been rebuilt and reinforced. Everything was secure. I breathed with ease once again. My comfort level was back to normal. The ownership and folks involved obviously cared tremendously to get a place that is important to so many back and running. The crowd that filed in through those doors wasn’t bothered by the events that happened on those floors. They were happy again and that reaction was quite visible in their faces. The merch booths lined up in the same spots were busy. Music and metal have amazing effects on people to make things right in the end. Taproot being the first band back and headlining knew the importance of this evening for everyone that was involved and/or there that night. The audience lined the security railing and sang their hearts out like they always have. The circle pit spun with a heightened fever. Taproot delivered all they had and delivered that energy incredibly well. Armed with a setlist of bangers across 7 albums they had a performance of a lifetime. An adrenaline rush pumped throughout the rebuilt space. Stephen Richards had no issues leaving the stage to explore the room while performing. It turned into a unique way to highlight areas reborn. He joined the circle pit, walked around the backspace underneath the balcony, and then took the stairway up to the balcony then proceeded to leap from it into the crowd below open arms. The once dormant room was alive and full of euphoria. Their closing and arguably most popular song Poem created a stunning and unforgettable moment that signaled all is well and this moment in time was truly about all of us as fans. Frontman Stephan Richards invited all of the fans on stage to sing the song and they did. The microphone was being passed around with glee. I don’t know if that was planned but it sure felt unscripted and perfect. This period of time made it about all of us as a whole. Together. After the performance ended the band spent the rest of the evening talking to and signing various items for the fans. Jubilation overflowed. The atmosphere was electric and the vibes were pleasuring. While mixing it up with the band the realization that the space was alive and brimming with promise. This wasn’t a reopening it was a rebirth. The good times are back. Nothing is forgotten, but the gloom has lifted. Humanity and heart win again. Thanks to the heart and soul of the people involved it is a new dawn with the famed Belvidere attraction.

The final 2 paragraphs of the article I penned in the wake of the roof collapse still rings true and it shocks me how it resonated with my friends, family, and total strangers. I never really knew the reach and impact of the article I penned for Knotfest until I walked back through those doors. That is why it is extremely relevant to the incredible experience given to us all once again. If anything reread them again and let it sink in once again.

The heavy metal community gets a bad rap from those who aren’t in it, but you pick each other up and you help if able. That is the motto, that’s the responsibility of every metal fan. People’s race, sexual orientation, political affiliation, none of that stuff mattered. People, humanity, and caring for your fellow humans are what mattered during the worst of times.

I am extremely proud of everyone that stayed behind. People needed help and I ran towards it when others were running out the door. I also don’t blame people for running either. It was the hypothetical that everyone runs through their heads when they see things in the news. What would you do? Lately, I have been having a moral crisis in my head. I have done a lot of really good and a lot of garbage things. Now I know my past is just that, the past. I’m not that guy and never really was a bad person. It is building upon who I am now that is more important. I truly believe life puts you in places you were meant to be, good or bad. It is what you choose to do in those moments that matter most.


Turner Hall Ballroom
Milwaukee, WI

The evening was warm and bright—a beautiful moment to take in during the transition from Fall to Winter in Southern Wisconsin. The National Historic Landmark Turner Hall Ballroom is in Milwaukee’s downtown area. Across the street is Pfizer Arena and the Bucks district. The street behind the venue is the heart of the city’s history, Old World Street. The location is perfectly accessible to all. Upon approach, there is no line of fans outside. The doors open two hours early and lead up a flight of wooden stairs into a specious and entirely hardwood tavern room.  Patrons wait until the regular doors open here. Drinks and edibles are available. Once ready to check into the show you hop up one of two split stairs and halfway up these stairs are several historic pieces built into the walls explaining the building’s vibrant past. At the top of the stairs, there is a small coat check on the left, and on the right a place to pick up tickets and get the set times. Walking through the massive double doors, the room opens up. On the left runs the small bar and stairs to the balcony on the side of the room. Along the back wall, the touring package ran an immaculately diverse setup with many items exclusive to them and the tour. In front of them stood a small front of house with ropes of white lights going to the top of the main stage across the room. The stage was wide, deep, and unbelievably high. There was no security rail upfront. This was a good old-fashioned metal show. A thrash free for all. The stage stood about six feet above the floor which was perfect for anyone standing around the room.

The stage ran the full length of the performance area. Both of the microphone stands stood on the front edge and had elaborate masks attached to the front of them. Two TV screens stood on top of the guitar cabs on each end. They both displayed Cavalera while flames engulfed it. In the middle of the stage, stood Igor Cavalera’s drum kit. The kit was not on a riser. Next to it stood an anti-fascist flag that is with them every single performance. The band’s setlist for the evening was very simple, perform their freshly re-recorded Sepultura masterpieces Bestial Devastations EP and Morbid Visions LP. The band itself was primed and ready to perform. Simply walking onto the stage the crowd erupted. Igor moved and set up quickly behind his kit. His brother Max stepped out front and checked his microphone and then engaged with the faithful fanbase that had been waiting to thrash to the classic Sepultura albums. It is no secret that Max and Igor were the creative forces of the early success and genre-driving albums by Sepultura. Their fame alone pushes a devoted fan base to show up to the Cavalera performances continually. Milwaukee proved that on the 2022s Beneath The Remains/Arise tour where they performed both of those albums in its entirety. Unlike the last tour, this was set up to be an old-school thrash metal concert. No Security and no care in the World. The mythical songwriting king looked happier than he ever had. He moved his fingers across the fretboard and laid down the rhythms that made him who he was. Max Cavalera was a man-possessed. The in-between banter was kept to a minimum through the first album run. During that album play, he often walked around the stage and engaged every single corner and pocket that opened his access to the crowd. Often heading back to his brother Igor Cavalera’s drum kit and sharing glances and egging each other on. Pushing each other’s internal fire. 

Max Cavalera in all of his glory smiled over the throng of people pushing their way around the front of the stage. The rest of the band Igor Amadeus Cavalera on bass and Travis Stone of Pig Destroyer fame on lead guitar were moving across the stage engaging with the fans over and over. Igor blasted his powerful backing vocals over through the microphone. So strong he didn’t need a microphone at times. Often he leaned over the stage and slapped the hand of the waving crowd. Their faces lit up with excitement. Travis Stone flung his body around the left side of the stage. While stomping around his head banged along with every down stroke. A huge puff of hair flung around and an occasional yell blasted from his mouth. His fingers moved feverishly across the frets. The energy exuded blasted from the stage. The sizable crowd felt this and reciprocated every ounce of energy back. 

The floor moved as one. Circle pits filled the room and spun feverishly. Stage divers ran and flipped into waiting hands. Max Cavalera commanded it to grow larger and larger within every moment he could spare. This was a flashback to their Sepultura days. The fire from the performance resonated. The evening was filled with classic songs known and loved by the metal community. The engagement by the band and their adoring fans heightened the emotional connection that was made. The homage to their youth was a relation we all took to heart. Everything about their performance was incredible. The vibes rang positively all evening. The worst part about the entire experience was leaving. Cavalera Conspiracy is never to be missed. The opportunity to witness such greatness on stage is always a memory one should sign up for. 

1. Bestial Devastation
2. Antichrist
3. Necromancer
4. Warriors of Death
5. Sexta Feira 13
6. Morbid Visions
7. Mayhem
8. War
9. Crucifixion
10. Show Me The Wrath
11. Funeral Rites
12. Empire of The Damned
13. Inquisition Symphony
14. Escape To The Void
15. Refuse/Resist/Territory/Slave New World
16. Troops of Doom/Morbid Visions

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