Chapel of evil, not an Angel in sight: Whitechapel and DevilDriver in TX

DevilDriver and Whitechapel

June 21, 2014

House of Rock- Corpus Christi, TX

              DevilDriver, & Co-Headliner Whitechapel, played for a sold out Corpus Christi, TX crowd at Corpus Christi’s famous House of Rock. The lines to the venue, leading from two different entrances wrapped around the block, merging into one another every now & again. The sun was beating down on the fans faces as they waited patiently in line as beads of sweat could be seen running down the foreheads & faces of each individual holding place with pure anticipation to see their favorite bands. Conversations were overheard about the hot Texas heat and an undying thirst for some cold beverages being served at an Irish Pub a half block away. The heat had taken its toll as some people could be seen leaving their spots in line to purchase said cold beverages for themselves and others still standing in place; a loud voice was heard coming from the front of the line asking for everyone to empty out their pockets, signaling the opening of the venue doors. The restless line began moving forward as that same voice instructed for said line to be again separated- one line for hard tickets, and another for will-call.

Rivers of Nihil   JHW_0436   The house filled up quickly with no time to spare. The first band Rivers of Nihil, took to the tiny stage, with no barriers between the crowd and the stage, for an up close and personal evening of phenomenal music. Taking it to the crowd’s heads, Rivers of Nihil opened the set with a formidable performance packed alongside powerhouse vocals & heavy, hard hitting guitar and bass riffs. Leaving nothing back Rivers of Nihil tore up the stage with original tracks like Terrestrial: Thaw, Mechanical Trees; Rain Eater and Birth of the Omnisavior. Demanding to see a circle pit, Rivers of Nihil refused to play til’ they seen one happen. The crowd was more than happy to oblige as the mosh-pit area opened up into a wide circle of spinning bodies going around like a whirlpool in a dirty river. Finishing up their night, Rivers Of Nihil blew the crowd away with Soil & Seed, leaving the stage with the crowd cheering & jeering them on.

The night rolled right along as one would expect; Revocation took to the stage, kicked a few teeth in lyrically and exited the stage as fast as they made it on. Carnifex, took over where Revocation left off, brutalizing the crowd with a palatable performance, stunning the crowd with everything they had brought with them… Body surfers, surfed the crowd. Stage divers, dove & newbies ducked in fear of being kicked in the face. Beer was flying in every direction possible, cooling off the sweaty crowd of 500 young, screaming heads.

Signed to Metal Blade Records, Whitechapel, was founded in 2006 by Phil Bozeman & Ben Savage (No, not that Ben Savage). Whitechapel has recorded four studio albums, 5 music videos & sold over 10,600 copies of their 2010 album A New Era of Corruption within the first week, debuting at position No. 43 on Billboard’s top 200. The Deathcore band acquired their name after the Whitechapel district in East London England… The location is best known for being the stomping grounds of the notorious serial killer “Jack-the-Ripper” Whitechapel climbed onto the stage one-by-one. One fan looks at another and screams “ARE YOU READY!?” When about that time, a surge of energy could be felt deluging from the farthest corners of the House of Rock. Pretty soon there was no space left between any of the bodies as the crowd continued pushing even closer to the stage. Our Endless War began Whitechapel’s set as a fist-fight broke out in the mosh pit; one fan knocked out another for some unknown reason. The phenomenal music didn’t stop a bit. Section 8; Faces; I, Dementia & Possession continued Whitechapel’s night as they copulated the crowd’s ear-vaginas. Directly after Possession came Prostatic Fluid Asphyxiation, a lovely ditty about love, hate, revenge sex mixed with a whole lot of violence. Full of deep bass growls & high energy screaming reminiscent of Dani Filth. Vicer Exciser supervened upon the crowd with quick double bass drum, speedy guitar riffs coupled among fleeting bass chords from hell… Subsequently Whitechapel played Mono; Worship the Digital Age; The Saw is the Law & ending their night with Possibilities of an Impossible Existence. Possibilities of an Impossible Existence was very noticeably & notably the crowds favorite of the night by Whitechapel. The song starts off with some vast picking of the guitar strings, giving off an eerie but enticingly electric, ear-pleasing sound, with one of those rhythmic beats that make the crowed jump. Adding excitement to the song lead singer Phil Bozeman, circled the air with his index finger prompting the hardcore fans within the Mosh Pit areas to begin swirling each other like a pack of ravenous dingoes at dinner time. The already standing crowd gave Whitechapel an ovation that could be heard from three city blocks away. Ladies & gentlemen, this photojournalist was very impressed with the phenomenal set Whitechapel played, and the band can count me in as one more diehard fan.WhiteChapel   JHW_0784

As Whitechapel’s equipment was being taken down, that of DevilDriver’s took its place… Bags of dry-ice were brought onto the stage alongside boxes of unopened box fans. The crowd began to go wild as some patrons of the House of Rock could see frontman Dez Fafara (Coal Chamber & DevilDriver) pacing the backstage floor as he mentally prepared himself for the outstanding performance he was about to pull off. DevilDriver formed in 2002 over a series of barbecues & jam sessions Fafara hosted after moving to the Santa Barbara from Orange County. The term DevilDriver refers to bells used by Italian Wiccans to drive evil forces away. Fafara, thought it appropriate for the band as it sounded “evil” and thought the title fit his life. The bands self-titled debut album DevilDriver was released on October 21st, of 2003 under Roadrunner Records & hit the Top Heatseekers chart at No. 17.

After what seemed an eternity, DevilDriver finally hit the stage with reprisal. Storming his way to the front of the stage, Fafara greets the front row fans by touching their hands with pure love & affection. The band opened their prodigious set with End of the Line. Soft, melodic, subtle & celestial guitars start this phenomenal song off sweetly, then out of nowhere, BAM! The crowd got punched in their face without any expectations what-so-ever. The timing was perfect as the crowd began going ape-shit with the ascending & descending guitars accompanied by Fafaras low growls growing louder slowly but surely. DevilDriver  JHW_0980Without hesitation, DevilDriver continued splitting wigs with Head on to Heartache (Let Them Rot); Not All Who Wander Are Lost; Before the Hangman’s Noose; Gutted & Nothing’s Wrong?..

          Nothing’s Wrong? Is the bands 1st single off their self-titled debut album & received extensive airplay on such programs like Headbangers Ball & Uranium… After Nothing’s Wrong? DevilDriver blew the crowd away with something this photojournalist didn’t expect, a Death Metal cover of Awolnation’s, Sail. All the elements from the original track were present, only in melodic death metal format. During this astounding cover, a young woman dawned in all black was being body surfed to the stage where she landed at Dez Fafara’s feet, on her neck, shoulder & head. Jumping up to her feet as if nothing happened, she raised her arms to the crowd showing she is indeed alright, tu-whit Fafara greeted her with a heart-felt gesture, expressing his concern for her via a sideways hug as shown in the photograph. Before one would know it, the night had slipped by without a problem & DevilDriver finished up their kick ass set with Hold Back the Day; Dead to Rights; Clouds over California; Ruthless & finally Meet the Wretched. Ladies & gentlemen, yet again this is another tour you cannot afford to miss!

Review by: Jared Wingate 




Rivers of Nihil