Emily Hingle

Suffocation Is A Hostile Force

20:45 June 16, 2022
By: Emily Hingle

A massive Monday night metal bill took over Southport Hall with bands from the local scene and bands that have been performing for several decades. Kits were stacked one in front of the other in an attempt to fit all of this music into one single night.

Brat is a new force to be reckoned with in New Orleans and across the nation as they are beginning to tour around. Each of the members of the band have immense talent and style; Brat is comprised of Gen Zers who were fed steady diets of junk culture in the 2000s (think reality shows, over-sexualized dolls, and soulless pop music) and then blamed for all the ills of today's society as they enter adulthood. Most of their songs were introduced by pop tunes of the 00s including songs by Shakira and Timbaland. I've never seen grown men, much less metal heads, be so excited to hear "Toxic" by Britney Spears, then the phenomenal drummer Dustin Eagen would begin playing a beat to launch the band into something absolutely crushing. Platinum blonde vocalist Elizabeth Selfish (in her Stone Cold Steve Austin t-shirt) would happily dance along to the pop music, hot pink microphone in hand, then she would growl from a deep, dark place as guitarist Brenner Moate, who added some vocals as well, banged out cutting riffs. I've got to give it up to Dustin; he did some really cool and innovative things on a set that seemed like a third of the size of the kit of another band lingering behind it.

Hailing all the way from New York, Contrarian was the next to take the stage. Vocalist Jakob Sin whipped his long dreads around so much that I thought he might take out my camera lens if I got too close. But that wasn't the most impressive aspect of their performance. I've never seen nor heard a bass like Jack Eaton played. He was playing it almost like a piano. Both Jakob and Jack joined the band in early 2022 in anticipation of this mega tour, and I believe they did a fantastic job alongside the veteran players including Brian Mason, the fast-fingered guitarist.

I always enjoy seeing bands from Europe. They always have a cool style. Soreption came all the way from Sweden to entertain us. Vocalist Fredrik Söderberg was quite imposing. Standing still, staring you down, occasionally flicking his head sideways; he seemed like a man possessed. He held his old school microphone entirely within his massive right hand while his left was raised to emphasize his decree that he barked at his army. Tony Westermark was drumming his ass off. Precise, quick, and ever changing. It was exhausting just watching him. Frederick's delivery was just as intense, and his lines were almost rap-like in cadence and speed.

Bang. That's the best way to describe how Atheist got on the stage. They displayed extreme energy throughout their whole set, bouncing around in the stage like quarks in the Hadron Collider. I'm amazed that I have not seen them before especially considering the band, in some form, has been around since the mid-80s. Their highly-technical, almost jazz-informed, style is like if Frank Zappa went metal. Vocalist Kelly Shaefer is a wild man, but a very calculating one. Brandishing the mic stand like a staff leading the flock through hell and high water as they made their way through "An Incarnation's Dream" and "On They Slay." Between songs Kelly would speak to the crowd, asking them, "Wanna go fast?" and admiring New Orleans' "rich history of metal."

Guitarist Yoav Ruiz-Feingold jumped, flipped, and bent backwards in order to get out the intense riffs he played. His movements were so spasmodic that it seemed impossible that he could keep it up for a handful of songs much less nearly an hour. Through "Unquestionable Presence," "Brains," and "And The Psychic Saw," the mind-melting technical death metal outfit revved up my heart rate to a frantic rate.

Before Suffocation even started, people were seeking out the legendary Terrance Hobbs hoping to get a picture with him or tell him how much they love his guitar work. Being a very congenial man, he was happy to give audience to his fans throughout the night. He was cheered on uproariously as he and his bandmates came on and immediately launched into "Liege of Inveracity" and "Effigy of the Forgotten." This was my first time seeing Ricky Myers on the mic, and he didn't disappoint. He dealt punishing and crushing blows on each number on the set which included "Jesus Wept," "Clarity Through Deprivation," and "Funeral Inception." Near to the end of the show, they played a song that I had not heard of before: "Bind Torture Kill." No doubt that one was inspired by serial killer Dennis Rader.

The Forces of Hostility Tour is the kind of event that you only experience a handful of times in your life. This much force in such a short time could be harmful to you

Sign Up!