Obituary/Abbath October 21, 2019 @ Union Transfer, Philadelphia, PA
This fall Abbath has decided to venture out of Blashyrk and it’s long, cold winters to, ironically, team up with Floridian swamp sportsmen, Obituary. It seems to be a new trend these days; match up second wave black metal icons with those from the death metal world and attract/create lots of crossover fans. This would have been unheard of in the 90’s, but today, quite honestly, it makes a great deal of sense. Watain and Morbid Angel have a tour in the US in this vein later this Fall.
Abbath. We all know who he is and the social media meme world has launched Abbath to legendary status. This status, of course, is entirely appropriate because Abbath is, indeed a legend. I’ve been lucky enough to see Abbath perform with Immortal, Old Funeral and his solo band – and he never disappoints. Not even a little. He simply loves the metal world. He loves the stage, and while he painstakingly writes intense metal songs that don’t even come close to compromise, Abbath still maintains a boisterous sense of humor and an approachability that endears his loyal and loving fans.
The crowd went bonkers every time Abbath struck one of his classic poses or did a crab walk – or made a face. The people I was standing next to completely lost it when he crabwalked during “In My Kingdom Cold.” Clearly worth the modest price of admission on its own – at least for those guys.
In terms of performance, Abbath mixed it up with new songs and “old stuff” as he called it. Opening with “Count the Dead,” the Philly capacity crowd went nuts. “Harvest Pyre” and “To War!” also tore the place apart and drummer Ukri Suvilehto made sure that the crowd didn’t even think about losing any energy. None did.
Old Immortal favorites like “One by One,” “In My Kingdom Cold,” and “Tyrants” more than satisfied those in the 30+ demographic while also introducing the many younger fans to the Immortal catalog. Honestly, more young people in America need to be familiar with the Immortal catalog!
Obituary has been touring a great deal lately and has stopped in Philly on nearly every one of those tours. Good. Because Philly loves Obituary! And why wouldn’t they? A blue collar metal band for a blue collar town.
This was the “Slowly We Rot 30th Anniversary” Tour. Naturally, the band played six songs off the death metal classic. These included the title track, “Immortal Visions,” and “Internal Bleeding.” This was after, of course, the pulsating fan-favorite “Redneck Stomp,” which had nearly all of Spring Garden Street headbanging.
The professionalism of Obituary is unmistakable. As is the sound. As one fan was telling me, as soon as you hear one strum of Trevor Peres’ guitar, you know that’s undoubtedly Obituary. It’s a signature sound for an iconic American metal band and if the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame actually knew anything about American rock, Obituary would be in there.
If you missed this tour… well… you missed a lot. You can, however, catch Abbath in Europe in 2020 on tour with 1349 and Vltimas.
Obituary tours Asia, Australia and New Zealand in 2020.