On This Day in History

On this date in history, 7/10/2015, the final Mayhem tour made its stop at Deer Creek. The show featured Slayer, King Diamond, Hell Yeah, The Devil Wears Prada, Feed Her To The Sharks, Kissing Candice, Whitechapel, Thy Art Is Murder, Jungle Rot, Sister Sin, Sworn In, Shattered Sun, and Code Orange.

I’m going to concentrate on the bands I really enjoyed the most. Sister Sin was pretty good, with a female lead singer. They were more of an old school hard rock band with actual singing, so that was a good diversion from some of the more intense bands. 

Jungle Rot was the first band to get some serious pits going and I thought they had a great visual look and intensity in their sound. 

Thy Art Is Murder were phenomenal and their singer was hilarious. He called us all a certain word that makes most women furiously angry, but he went on to express his love for women in general and for us metal fans in particular, and we all laughed together. 

Comedy aside, they were all business when it came to their music, and it was intensity personified. 

The absolute highlight of the second stage area for me was Whitechapel. I was in the front row against the barricade during their entire set, and they brought the brutality like a tornado filled with razor blades.

 Phil Bozeman’s vocal chords must be made of the same metal that comprises Wolverine’s blades…the man is a metal machine! With 3 guitarists chugging relentlessly on down tuned guitars and a monstrous sub bass boost attack, I could feel every note inside my body pulsating like an angry beehive. 

I took a break for the remainder of the second stage bands, so if any of you have any commentary on them, feel free to put it in the comments. 

Hell Yeah are a band loved by some, hated by others, but I thought they did a great job that night. It was awesome to see Vinnie Paul on stage again, and I prefer Chad Gray’s work with Mudvayne, but love hearing his throat shattering screams. 

One thing I forgot to mention; due to poor ticket sales, the lawn section was closed for this concert and security had us all move into pavilion seating. 

My friends and I wound up directly in the center of the pavilion, about 10 or 15 seats behind the various sound boards. Perfect seats for what was coming next. I had waited so long to finally see King Diamond, and it was worth it all, so worth it. 

My friends didn’t share my enthusiasm, but that’s okay, too. There are so many choices and subgenres of metal that we all endlessly debate about. Back to the KIng. 

His voice is just unbelievable. It is unlike any other vocalist who specializes in high notes. I don’t even know if I can adequately describe the unearthly, almost ethereal tones he pulls out of his vocal chords, but it can be alternately scary and beautiful, often in the same breath. And the guitars! 

King Diamond first gained fame with the legendary Mercyful Fate before launching his successful solo career. Outstanding guitar players have been a hallmark of both bands’ work from the very beginning and I was mesmerized by everything those guys were playing. Andy LaRocque and Mike Wead were the deadly duo for King Diamond. 

It was all top notch, riffs, leads, guitar harmonies intertwining for days. The lighting and sound for Diamond and Slayer were just perfection, too. At the end of his show, Diamond lingered on stage for a lot longer than most singers do, showing his gratitude to the fans up front and looking like he was truly savoring the moment. That impresses me so much when an artist does that type of genuine show of emotion. 

Slayer closed out the night in Slayer style. Tom Araya was in great voice, Kerry King and Gary Holt were murderously precise and brutal, and Paul Bostaph threw down on the drums. 

He’s no Dave Lombardo, but he’s no slouch, either. This was the first time I got to see Slayer with proper headliner treatment, and it was glorious. The 1-2 punch of King Diamond and Slayer to end the festival was just the best combo I could imagine. A fantastic end to a festival that brought a ton of great metal memories.

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic

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