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Saturday, November 11th, 2023 at the Concert Pub North

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First cold winds arrived at the same time that the NY Brutal Death metal set feet on the Space City. November 11th was a black winter day, the perfect weather to enjoy the Death metal mix that was put together to celebrate the Texas Beatdown Massacre tour headlined by PYREXIA.

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STATE OF FILTH was the local act selected to open this inhuman sonic assault. The H-town four-piece has been putting out music since 2019, and despite the young appearance they nailed it on stage very professionally. Their Slamming rhythms meet Death metal in a modern spot that was highly appreciated by the moshers that night, especially those slow breakdowns. “Endless Torment”, “Dehumanized” and “Curbside Homicide” are the latest singles on digital platforms, and this is what Tristan Groves (vocalist) answered regarding these songs and a possible upcoming release: “… “Endless Torment” is a part of an unannounced split we have coming up with two other bands and “Dehumanized” was a part of an EP going by the same that we dropped earlier this year. “Curbside Homicide” is just a single we dropped to fill out the space between releases, but we will most likely include it in a full length after our upcoming split…”

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The lowest down-tuned distortions would come from the east outskirts of Dallas. GUTRICYDE, since 2020, has been singing about gore, killings and human perversions. The fog machine announced that evilness was about to be unleashed and dense sounds emanated from the act led by guitarist and vocalist Bret Smith (ex-EMBALMED). Low and deep vocals, a rotten Death metal mixed with old Thrashy riffs came out from the Concert Pub North’s PA system. It was a sick performance with an incredible crowd support. The three-piece was accompanied on stage with the four member Ray “Gutty”, a butcher with a pig head who reinforced the murderer narrative. The band has been revealing what is coming ahead next year with tracks like “Drain” and “Death Factory”, but let’s see what Bret reveals about the new album: “… We have ten tracks that will be on our next LP, titled "Desires of The Morbid". It should have it out around March 2024…”

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UNNECESSARY SURGERY came all the way from San Antonio to crush the stage with their extreme sounds. The listeners were attacked by a solid and classic way of performing brutal Death metal. Like the previous band, they were using drum tracks because they still don’t have a drummer made of bones and flesh. It was quite an experience to have them slay the H-town and NY audience that night. The current four-piece had the EP Hauled off in Chunks released in 2022 and I think it’s time for more gory tunes. This is what Dennis Sanders (guitars) commented on what’s coming ahead for the band: “…We are currently working on and perfecting eight or nine songs for a full length, which will be out next year. We are working with several drummers to see if one will be able to do all the songs the way I want them done. The Houston show was fun, and we feel it was one of our best sounding and best played performances to date…”

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PERCEPTIONS OF TORMENT drove almost seven hours from Gulfport, Mississippi to the Concert Pub North. They offered an interesting mix of brutality, speed, breakdowns, and classical Death metal to add more flavor to the stench. The performance was tight and appreciated by the moshers at all times. They had the EP Hymns of the Grotesque Mind out in 2015 during the early years but I believe, Elegance in Postmortem from 2022 is representing the band’s sound nowadays. Another bestial show! We reached out to Chris Williams, the vocalist, days later to ask him how he felt in Houston, and this is what he came up with: “… The show in Houston was amazing. We had the best time! All the bands we played with were just incredible. They were such good friends of ours and everybody really brought their A game and brought the house down. Amazing time! We have almost completed the songs for our second full length titled Blood …”

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Another band from the Alamo City was invited to this short run. CHEESE GRATER MASTURBATION not only has a repulsive moniker for those who don’t like metal music, but the music involves lots of pervert Death metal references and Grindcore structures as well. They were formed in 2013 and Goremet Human Buffet is the latest record from 2020. The current five-piece smashed the audience using two vocalists, Hellbound Jeff and Batzblood, a sick contrast for this self-satisfying endeavor.  I leave you with Hellbound Jeff (vocalist) to comment about the show and future band’s commitments: “…The show was really cool. We played here in San Antonio on Friday, Saturday in Houston and Corpus was Sunday. I really liked the way the crowd reacted to all the bands, and it looked like everyone had a good time! PYREXIA was just amazing, and it was just really fun to hang out with everybody! We are literally working on the recording for the new album right now. Hopefully, we can get that out soon. Then start working on getting on the road and playing some fests and maybe some small runs again…”

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The next act to set foot on the stage became a legendary Death metal band in New York back in 1992. They had a hiatus in their career and started writing a new chapter when they got back together in 2013 with Images of Immortal Damnation. IMMORTAL SUFFERING discharged its fury on the Lone Star State for the second time this year, as they were invited to Gored in the Heart of Texas last September. Extreme Torture were the right words to describe what the crowd experienced down in the pit and is also the title for the new EP released this July.  This is what Joe Provvisiero, (guitars) stated about this run: “…Texas is always a good time. Great people, great food! Ha. We have a few more shows coming up. Then, it's back to writing new material…”

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The New York four-piece headliner came on stage around midnight. After a quick stage set up the troop led by Chris Basile on guitar since 1990, started shredding that blend of extreme and fast brutal Death metal with a flow or groove that only PYREXIA has built over the years. It was late and cold, but the scattered crowd approached the stage by the vocalist’s command and from the first tune they became feverish. The current four-piece released the last album System of the Animal 25, which is re-recording of the 1997 edition with a new lineup and vocals. An outstanding moment was when the band called everyone onto the stage to share “Sermon of Mockery” together. It was a badass closure, but I felt the setlist short, my death metal soul craved for more brutality. Thanks to Serena for making this show possible and to Concert Pub North for hosting it. But let Chris summarize this second night review and announce what’s coming next: “… Always a fan of Houston! Texas is a favorite of mine. Definitely a great venue. 2024 has a ton in store for Pyrexia. We have shows booked through October. And we have a nice surprise release coming out as well. Gonna be a killer year. Thanks Alex ! …”

Pictures and text: Alex Sanchez

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