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Review: Exhumed - To the Dead Tour
To the Dead Tour
Venue: Sonia
City: Boston (Cambridge), MA, USA

Show date: November 25, 2022
Guests: Vitriol, Escuala Grind and Castrator

Review online: November 27, 2022
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
To the Dead Tour

Rated 4/5 (80%) (3 Votes)

California's Exhumed rolled into Boston (actually the club they played, Sonia, is in Cambridge) on November 25, 2022 on their To the Dead tour with Vitriol, Escuala Grind and Castrator in tow for what was surely going to be an extreme metal evening guaranteed to leave ears bleeding and necks aching.

Castrator, playing their third date of the tour after joining a few days earlier, opened the show and absolutely killed. Their sound was great (despite a late sound check) as they played several songs from their debut, Defiled in Oblivion. It was great to see the club nearly as packed for these ladies as it would be later for the headliners. Everyone seemed to be having a blast and singer Clarissa worked the crowd like a seasoned pro. I feel sorry for anyone that showed up after Castrator's set as it was my favorite of the night. Get out and see them if you can. I grabbed a Defiled in Oblivion cassette and band logo patch from Clarissa at their merch table and she was very nice.

Next up was a band called Escuela Grind, who I'd never heard of, and which doesn't have an entry on Metal Archives. From what I found online they are a Western Massachusetts/Eastern New York death/grind band. Their live lineup consisted of two women (vocals, guitar) and two men (drums, bass), so second band in a row with a female singer, which was really cool to see. This band played fast and loud with the singer, all five feet, zero inches of her, bouncing around the stage like a ping pong ball caught in a tornado, continuing to whip the crowd into the lather that Castrator got started. There was a bit of a hardcore edge to their songs and, with the singer's maniacal movement, I was reminded of Suicidal Tendencies at times. The band's message of inclusivity and anti-violence toward underrepresented people was very cool and I give them huge props for speaking out. Musically they aren't my cup of tea, but it was a fun set to watch.

Vitriol took the final opening slot, and they might be a good band, but I can neither confirm nor deny that rumor as they were SO loud, their set was essentially white noise. The needles on the soundboard must have been buried in the red the entire time they were on and even with earplugs, I could discern very little variation in the barrage of sound. The crowd seemed to like them so take that for what it is worth.

Headliners Exhumed hit the stage to rousing applause and launched right into a couple of tracks from the new album, To the Dead. Matt Harvey and Ross Sewage traded vocal duties in each song, which is one of the reasons I like their sound as it is an even split between dry screaming (Harvey) and guttural growls (Sewage). Harvey and guitarist Sebastian Phillips traded leads and Phillips even took short guitar solo. They touched on more recent releases like Horror and Death Revenge as well as few older cuts in an attempt to represent their discography which, with eight full-length albums, is no easy task. The band sounded great, and the crowd was more than appreciative, but I have to give them extra credit for the stage show they've brought out with them. They had small video screens showing old horror movie clips and actual surgical films and had a "nurse" serving the band beer and a "doctor" in bloody surgical gear exhorting the crowd. During Phillip's solo, the doc came out with a guitar that had a metal plate attached over the pickups and would hit that with a grinding tool sending sparks flying around the stage and into the crowd. Safe? Probably not. Fun to watch? You bet. It's much more of a spectacle that you typically see at club shows (Sonia holds 350 people and was probably 2/3 full). That's the kind of entertainment you can expect from Exhumed, a veteran band that knows its audience. I grabbed a cassette copy of To the Dead and an album cover shirt. I typically get the shirt with the dates on the back, but they didn't have my size. That said, Exhumed had a ton of merch available, so bring your wallet as some is tour exclusive and quite cool looking. In the end, this is a tour you won't want to miss if you're a fan of death metal.

More about Exhumed...
Review: Death Revenge (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Horror (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Horror (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Necrocracy (reviewed by Edward T. Head)
Review: Slaughtercult (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: To the Dead (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: To the Dead (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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