The passion project of Mike Browning, of Morbid Angel and Acheron fame, comes alive with roaring technical fury in Chicago.

Another autumn Saturday night kicked off in Chicago as fans of brutal music congregated on the Windy City’s south side at Reggie’s Rock Club. It is at this time of year that the midwestern metalheads have calendars filled to the brim with concert dates. And this show, fit perfectly in tune with a month of dark, ominous, and assaulting sounds.

Starting off the night came the newly formed Blood of the Wolf. The band dares not be confused with another local home opener as they entered the stage with full confidence. Fronted by Mike Koniglio of Kommandant notoriety, the outfit blends the modes of Black and Brutal Death Metal along with lyrics that beckon to wartime strife and values. Their soul-crushing sonics will pave the way for what one hopes would be many more live appearances and future material.

Next up came Chicago’s own, Imperial Savagery. Their rolling and rhythmic calamity delivered their nihilistic motifs with tracks such as, “Thy Kingdom Crumbling,” and, “Faithless Emptiness.” Their bombastic slams of sound make it easy for any new listener to fall quickly in line with unison headbanging. And for those privy to taking on their live show, there is no mistaking the enthusiasm of frontman, Brice Dalzell, as he puts his back into a performance with full conviction, dedication, and animation.

Then came the unmistakable presence of Carpathian Funeral. Shirtless frontman Mark Conway marched on stage with an appearance that screamed almost as loud as himself: his torso covered in blood, his hair dangling, and a bestially jolly smile holding his great countenance. The band’s blasphemous Brutal Death Metal pulls no punches in its sound nor lyricism. To avoid any confusion, Carpathian Funeral made sure to drive home the band’s centralizing, heretic notions as Conway proceeded to rip apart a Bible and festoon the venue with its pages. By the end of their set, fans could be seen walking about with passages of Leviticus and Deuteronomy stuck to the soles of their boots.

Following the blasphemy came Morgue Supplier: the grindcore outfit that easily falls in line with what one could expect from any other band of the subgenre. This group provides all the inaudible guttural screams, rapid time changes, short song lengths, lyrics of evisceration, and the cramming of as many notes in a musical phrase as possible. Their set provided ample time for concert goers to snag a beverage before the headliner.

Finally, Nocturnus AD took the stage to round out the evening. The band’s history is a dense and dynamic tale revolving around lead vocalist and drummer Mike Browning’s highly influential musical past. He was part of the vanguard of Floridian Death Metal and the numerous roster changes of a myriad of great bands. Though much could be discussed of the musicians’ past, the present never looked more prolific.

For those unfamiliar with the band, there is an immediate adjustment required in finding Browning both behind the drum kit, blasting away in precision time, while still maintaining vocal duties. Furthermore, the five members gelled perfectly exhibiting a great renaissance for the so-called “old school Death Metal.” This is in addition to the sci-fi soundings of the incorporation of keyboards, the technicality of shredding and flowing solos, all while driven home by reliable headbanging rhythm.

It was another great fall Metal show in the Windy City.

Nocturnus AD
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Morgue Supplier
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Carpathian Funeral
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Imperial Savagery
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Blood of the Wolf
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