After over a year without live music, I was finally brave enough to venture into my least favorite thing (a crowd) to check out my favorite thing (loud heavy metal music). This thrashy, Friday night show was the perfect welcome back I was looking for.
Photos by Wil Wilson
New to the Denver show circuit are Grief Ritual, a doomy, sludgy take on death metal and hardcore who, in my humble opinion, fill a major void in our not-so-crusty city. Angsty vocals and expert-but-rhythmic shredding paired with d-beat drums and blackened riffs to appeal to all fans and hooked those who got there in time to view the first band.
Next up were Phobophilic, nasty, classic, and groovy, with their take on old-school death metal. Though they’ve only been releasing records since 2019, the crowd was already pumped and ready for them to take the stage as though they were as well established as Morbid Angel—gotta love that intense death metal fandom for even newer bands.
While Grief Ritual absolutely killed, it they were, as the name implies, a bit more somber, and Phobophilic got things going and brought the party atmosphere.
Last but not least, the band who needs no introduction, Gatecreeper blew the crowd away with their well-loved, classic death sounds and their catchy, mosh-heavy set. After a night of loud, aggressive music, unleashing all the tension in the pit was cathartic, even for those who stayed on the sidelines.