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Scout Bar, Houston, March 3rd, 2022


We had been waiting for the visit of the German band DEFEATED SANITY for some weeks for its spring tour on American soil. The only negative thing was that the show fell on a Thursday, and I had to finish my 9 to 6 day and then drive to Scout Bar. I didn't take a break at lunch that day, so I was able to leave an hour early. However, the traffic in the fourth largest city in the United States didn't allow me to arrive on time.

I arrived after 6:30pm, and the first band was already on stage. The locals ARCHITECTURAL GENOCIDE were already finishing their set. For those who haven’t heard them, they are practitioners of a brutal Death metal with Slamming hints. They have been active since 2017, and you can listen to their 2020 debut album Cordyceptic Anthropomorph on different digital platforms. It’s highly recommended, by the way.

We ordered the first beer while STABBING was concluding its sound check. The Houstonian quartet consists of four members. The drummer and guitarist are males, and the bassist and singer are females. Despite STABBING being the second opening band, local fans, tour staff, and musicians were super impressed with this band’s performance, especially by the vocalist Bridget Lynch. The music is brutal Death metal, but it is quite simple, perhaps because they have been on the scene for a short time—since June 2021 to be exact. There was little movement in front of the stage other than occasional enthusiasts practicing Capoeira, although I assume that most headbangers were like us, attentive to the quartet's playing. They have a four-song EP called Ravenous Psychotic Onslaught, released in December 2021, and so far, it is the recording that represents them. This is a local band that you have to follow closely. They need more experience writing music, but they already have adequate tools to get the job done. And my brutal Death metal soul was so in tuned with the band that it almost shouts: “…Bridget! Will you marry me? Haha.


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SPLATTERED, from San Francisco, was the third act to take the stage at Scout Bar. Despite promoting themselves as a quintet nowadays, at the Houston show, they played as a four-piece. Justin Sakogawa was alone on guitar, Andy Smith on vocals, Josh Wesson on bass, and on the drums was replacement Matt Kilner. This band was more like DEFEATED SANITY, musically speaking. However, they are more experimental at times, and Justin's solos personalize the music a lot. The phrase that best describes this guitar player is that he is a Death metal soul trapped in a Heavy metal body. The band offered a very precise live performance, and the audience showed them a great deal of appreciation.

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The next band also came from California, with almost the same number of years of experience but with more recordings under their backs and signed by a major label, Century Media. SKELETAL REMAINS are well known in the Death metal arena. They are practitioners of a more classical style, and with all the ingredients to enjoy The Entombment of Chaos, the most recent musical production. During the first songs, Chris Monroy was struggling with his voice, but he recovered as the vocal cords warmed up. On a personal note, I like songs from the previous album Devouring Mortality more, but they nailed it on stage. It was a tremendous show, very much in tune with the band’s high quality.

Next, VITRIOL, from Portland, Oregon, arrived. This band caught my attention the most, without detracting from any of the previous ones. Their performance was in your face and energetic. They were promoting their latest recording, the 2019 debut album To Bathe from the Throat of Cowardice, which got them signed with Century Media Records. They are a very organic mix of Death, Black, Thrash, and other styles of metal, but you really have to listen to them in order to understand the music. VITRIOL has the perfect mix of brutality and musicianship. Adam Roethlisberger on bass and Kyle Rasmussen on guitar combined their voices, and it’s an incredible mix of hell and insanity. This is a band that the audience watched with interest, especially during the first songs, but then the Capoeira resurged in the crowd.

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Despite VITRIOL’s super show, there was no doubt that metalheads were waiting for the main course. DEFEATED SANITY is a technical brutal death metal band with over 29 years of experience, and they are old acquaintances of the American scene. STABBING’s vocalist Bridget Lynch described that sentiment succinctly: "... can't wait to see DEFEATED SANITY..." The troop, led by drummer Lille Gruber, began their setlist after ten o'clock in the evening. Lille is joined by Jacob Schmidt on bass, Josh Welshman on vocals, and Justin Sakogawa of SPLATTERED on guitar, the only musician who was getting paid double, haha. The intros of "The Sanguinary Impetus", accompanied by their respective brutal songs, made Capoeira return to the Scout Bar. Texas is a state that appreciates the sounds that DEFEATED SANITY stands for, although this band makes progressive tech Death metal seem easy to play. To summarize this tour, I will use Kyle Rasmussen’s (VITRIOL) words: "... this tour has brought together different bands and ways of playing death metal..." These words define accurately what The Sanguinary Impetus US tour accomplished. I would also like to highlight the success of including ARCHITECTURAL GENOCIDE and STABBING on the roster; the great Houston Death metal arsenal was shown by these inclusions. We can only thank all the bands for including our city in this tour, and Claire Reynolds (The Orchard) for inviting us to cover it.

Photos: Michel Sanchez

 Words: Alex Sanchez


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