Summer Slaughter Tour - San Francisco, USA - July 2013

Event: Summer Slaughter US Tour 2013
Written by: Susan
Published: 23.08.2013


Summer Slaughter US Tour 2013 - The Regancy, San Francisco, CA - 19th July 2013 by 8bitglitch (114)

This year's Summer Slaughter tour began on a Friday night in San Francisco. A perfect city to kick off "the most extreme tour of the year." I had no idea what an epic night of metal was in store for me.

I arrived just as Rings Of Saturn was playing their last note. Apparently they played two songs before encountering "technical difficulties" and ending their set. Kind of felt sorry for them; what a crap way to begin a big, awesome tour!

I knew I might miss the first few bands but hurried to catch as many as possible; I just hoped to make it in time for Aeon at the very least. Their album Aeons Black from 2012 was one of my favorite death metal albums that year and I hoped it'd be awesome live.


When Aeon took the stage the crowd was still growing. It was mid-afternoon and the nine-to-five metalheads were still wrapping up work and getting to the venue. Nonetheless, the fans in attendance were more than ready to rock out. Aeon stood in a line at the front of the stage and played their songs well, though it seemed to lack much of the power I remember from the CD. From a visual perspective, frontman Tommy Dahlström wins the "crazy eyes" award for the evening. He also liked to spend time during the instrumental sections "beating off" the mic, which was placed in a, shall we say, phallic location. Their show was a little more straightforward than I'd hoped, after loving their kick ass album so much, but the unison headbanging to the anthem "Aeons Black" was a nice visual with which to close their show.

Or was it the closing? Probably since Rings Of Saturn's set was so short, a few guys from Aeon went to the side of the stage and conferred with a mysterious man, only to return triumphantly that they were to play a few more songs! Nice surprise.

  • Still They Pray
  • Living Sin
  • Aeons Black
  • Forever Nailed
  • Kill Them All
  • Forgiveness Denied


Completely turning things around from Aeon's straightforward playing, Revocation stormed the stage with insane energy. (And little did I know, this evening had only just begun.) Bassist Brett Bramberger was a complete beast, a blur moving around the stage. Guitarist/vocalist David Davidson (what is with these guys and alliteration!?) balanced both of his instruments with ease; when he was in guitar mode he made the most hilarious faces, especially during solos, of which there were plenty of great short bursts.

These dudes interacted well, too. Hair was flying, strings were flying, fans were also flying: the crowd surfing has really picked up its pace at this point! As if the crowd wasn't engaged enough already, Davidson at one point shouts point blank into his mic: "CIRCLE PIT!!" and like magic, the crowd parts like the Red Sea.

I was not familiar with Revocation before tonight and they were one of my "big discoveries" of the show. I can always count on Summer Slaughter to surprise me and tonight they really outdid themselves. Revocation's stage show would have been enough to woo me but their brand of tech death mixed with thrash also came complete with some FUNKY, funky soul. Found their merch table later, bought a tank top.

  • The Hive
  • Teratogenesis
  • Invidious
  • Dismantle The Dictator
  • No Funeral

The Ocean

Symphonic sludge is not something that happens every day; I was intrigued to see how it would happen live. Instead of a live keyboard, The Ocean was armed with their trusty MacBook, while the drummer wore headphones to keep in time with the pre-recorded symphonic support.

If you're familiar with The Ocean, you know their sludge is intense, dense, dark, and stunningly gorgeous while being incredibly heavy. The performance was appropriate for sludge: not all over the place but still quite active and engaged. Their guitarist liked to climb his downstage monitor and get closer to the audience. The bassist, however, took one of those extra wide stance poses while the singer pour all emotion in his mic, moving with ease around the stage at some times, falling to his knees at other times. As if The Ocean's music wasn't magical enough, the visual these guys completed the experience.

Eventually, all sets must come to an end, no matter how much you're enjoying them. Just as the final song was nearing its climax, I noticed the singer standing back a bit in the stage right corner. He was motioning to the crowd with his arm, as if indicating a diagonal line in front of him to the center of the crowd. I thought…. Is he..? No… no way. Is he?? He is! He did! He ran and jumped into the now large crowd, mic in hand, at the climax of the song, never missing a note. He floated among the ocean of happy fans while we onlookers beamed at his successful stunt.


  • Bathyalpelagic I: Impasses
  • Bathyalpelagic II: The Wish In Dreams
  • Abyssopelagic I: Boundless Vasts
  • Hadopelagic II: Let Them Believe

Cattle Decapitation

Mighty vegans Cattle Decapitation took the stage next and hot damn. That is all. I mean, that could seriously be all. It was one of those performances that leaves one a little speechless. I barely took any notes because I couldn't look away… or form thoughts. Face melting achieved. The guys didn't take the stage, they STORMED the stage. When they weren't stomping around punishing the floor as they played, they were playing out with intense eyes, challenging the audience to match their energy. And match it they did! The crowd surfing really picked up at this point, which encouraged the singer to repeatedly splash water into the mass of fans who were happy for it. The band was simply wild, which only encouraged the pit further, whose energy then fed back to the band. It was a sight to behold. Never miss Cattle Decap live. Yet another set that I did not want to see end.


  • A Living, Breathing Piece of Defecating Meat
  • Lifestalker
  • Forced Gender Reassignment
  • Your Disposal
  • Kingdom Of Tyrants

Norma Jean

There comes a time at every festival that one has to pay attention to one's stomach. The line and subsequent wait for food are just too long to fit into a break between bands, so getting in the much shorter line when the next band starts inevitably means missing some metal in favor of dinner. I didn't know much about Norma Jean so thought this was a safe time to get some food and cruise the uncrowded merch tables before heading back into the ballroom. When I finished eating and finally returned to the music, it was just in time for Norma Jean's last few songs.

I knew instantly I'd made a poor choice with dinner break-timing. These guys picked up where Cattle Decap left off with their insane, wild energy and kick-ass music. Learn from my mistake: don't be a douche and take a dinner break during Norma Jean. I spent the remainder of their set both in awe of their performance and kicking myself for missing the rest. Not that I could really recommend any dinnertime; all bands were phenomenal. Bring a snack, eat a huge lunch, just don't miss this band.

Apparently it was a great show from the start. By the time I tuned in, the band was all kinds of sweaty. At one point, vocalist Cory Brandan Putnam proclaimed: "The vibe in this room is incredible. San Francisco, you have great spirit."


  • Disconnectie: The Faithful Vampire
  • The Anthem Of The Angry Brides
  • Dilemmachine: Coalition, Hoax
  • The End Of All Things Will Be Televised
  • Creating Something Out Of Nothing Only To Destroy It
  • If You Got It At Five, You Go It At Fifty
  • A Small Spark vs. A Great Forest
  • Memphis Will Be Laid To Waste


The Regency Ballroom is a long, rectangular open space. The stage is at one end and a narrow balcony encircles the perimeter. Apparently ,this is rarely open for concerts but tonight I was lucky and found the doors open when I headed upstairs. Call me un-kvlt, un-tr00, whatever, my feet and neck were getting tired. I found a seat very near the stage in the front row of the side balcony and was able to enjoy a bird's eye view of the headlining bands. So glad I did. The visual these next few groups created could only have been savored from above.

Periphery clearly had fans on the audience. As the lights went back down after their sound check and the first notes rang out, the crowd surged forward like a tidal wave. It was a sight to behold. These fans had thoroughly been enjoying the show so far but as Periphery began, the dial was seriously turned to 11. You could feel the energy of anticipation released.

The band is a bunch of small, hipster looking dudes but DAMN can they put on a show. I smiled the whole time as they exerted their boundless energy, running all over the stage, humorously singing in each other's ears, or running up behind each other and toward each other, like a comic bullfight at times.

A hilarious moment came toward the end when the singer asked between songs, "Who caught us last year at Summer Slaughter?" *Crickets* The silence prompted him to ask jokingly, "So, did you not go or… did you just skip our set or what?" Their guitar player then stepped up to his mic and said to the singer, "Uh, we didn't play the San Francisco date last year." It. Was. Hilarious.


  • Icarus Lives!
  • Facepalm Mute
  • Make Total Destroy
  • Scarlet
  • Zyglrox
  • Luck As A Constant
  • Have A Blast
  • Ragnarok

Animals As Leaders

Now here is some intense instrumental metal played by an insanely talented trio. While the music fit well on this bill, the band's demeanor was a little more chill; they drew us in, instead of the other way around. And after a non-stop evening of in-your-face metal, this was a welcome change. Not a "break" or a time to "relax" by any means, just a nice bit of variety while being crushed by their music.

Musicians this good are mesmerizing. No one could look away. One thing this tour had in spades was brilliant drumming, and Matt Garstka of Animals As Leaders really had my jaw on the floor several times. If nothing else, how does he walk after a set like that? And night after night on a tour? His arms and legs were just flying but always on intricate and appropriately awesome beats - never just hitting harder for the sake of it. Out front, rising stars Rosin Abasi and Javier Reyes commanded their own 8-string guitars (the latter adorning a recent cover of Guitar World). They didn't stomp or fly around the stage but still completely kept our attention. The crowd was completely in awe but there was more introspective headbanging and less circle pit.


  • Tempting Time
  • Wave Of Babies
  • Earth Departure
  • Do Not Go Gently
  • Weightless
  • CAFO

The Dillinger Escape Plan

You may or may not be a fan of this band's music, or their chosen style. That's completely fine. There is just something to be said about true, TRUE professionals putting on a metal show, filling the stage with their own energy. No gimmicks, no theatrics, just some insane dudes, and they completely blew my mind.

Dillinger took the stage with a force I'd rarely witnessed before this night. Vocalist Greg Puciato burst onto the stage covered in a hooded sweatshirt and immediately jumped into the audience, cordless mic in hand. Sadly, the mic was having problems and we missed many of his opening notes. However, this did little to lessen the effect of his entrance. After making his way back to stage, he swapped to another mic while his cordless was worked on. It continued to experience problems for the entire first song but this didn't seem to phase him.

All 4 guys worked so well together and coalesced into one mega performance but still… guitarist and founding member Ben Wienman was the real star of the show. There is something so captivating about someone who loves what they do that much. He is an amazing player for one thing, but also made several grand trips into the audience where he proceeded to blissfully crowd surf while playing his instrument.

The crowd reacted in kind to each of their songs, each of their stage dives, each of their sprints across the stage and everything else. The band loved what they were doing and the crowd loved watching.


  • Prancer
  • Farewell, Mona Lisa
  • Milk Lizard
  • 43% Burnt
  • Panasonic Youth
  • Room Full Of Eyes
  • Gold Teeth On A Bum
  • Hero Of The Soviet Union
  • Nothing's Funny
  • Dead As History


  • One Of Us Is The Killer
  • Good Neighbor
  • When I Lost My Bet
  • Sunshine The Warewolf


One of the many perks of shows like this is the opportunity to meet some of the band members at the merch tables. I must say the most fun I had was chatting with Phil, David, and "Hoss" from Revocation. They were awesome dudes AND the band had girl tank tops. Thanks, guys. If you catch Revocation one day, please go visit their merch table and see if you can meet Hoss.

My other favorite perk of these tours is discovering new bands. Summer Slaugther has never failed to impress me with their line-ups; even if I've had my doubts going in, I always leave in awe of the night of metal I have just witnessed. And rich with the memories of bands I may not have otherwise checked out. Until next year.


Written on 23.08.2013 by Susan appreciates quality metal regardless of sub-genre. Metal Storm Staff since 2006.

Twitter: @HeavyMetalSusan


Comments: 2   Visited by: 114 users
23.08.2013 - 10:46
Mr. Doctor
Aw man that souds like a great night! Definitely a bit jealous. About food... I always eat a lot right before everything starts. Works for my tiny self every time.
This article pretty much confirmed me that I must catch The Dillinger Escape Plan when they play around here in a couple of months.
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
23.08.2013 - 14:00
Bad English
This is old school MS revien when MS staff and user wrote such reviews about hellfets, wacken, paganfest and other festivals, I realy enjoy to read it werry good, I wish we have more like this
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing

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