Written By Braddon S. Williams
On this date in history, 4/4/2022, Hi-Fi in Indianapolis hosted an evening of pure brutality as Obituary, Gruesome, 200 Stab Wounds, and Cadaverous combined forces to bring a smorgasbord of extreme death metal flavors to the table.
Indy’s own Cadaverous opened the show with an efficiency and ferocity that set the template for all that would follow. The power trio is not the preferred format for a death metal band, but Cadaverous made it work.
200 Stab Wounds followed up with a much more thrash-oriented variant of the death metal style. Similar to the “fast” zombies in horror films, this style of death guarantees the band will catch and kill the listener at a much quicker pace. In the months following this show 200 Stab Wounds have generated a lot of buzz in the metal community.
Both Cadaverous and 200 Stab Wounds are relatively new bands and welcome additions to the scene, always a good circumstance. Gruesome have been around a bit longer, and the self-proclaimed tribute to Death (the seminal band that influenced myriad fans of the genre that bears their name) took things to the next level with their ferocious twin lead guitar onslaught.
At this point I have to reiterate what I had previously said about the Hi-Fi’s superior sound and staging; every band I have seen at Hi-Fi has benefitted from the excellence of this club. I’m sure these opening bands would have been fine at a lesser venue, but Hi-Fi complimented everything that was good about them and elevated them beyond what they are accustomed to.
My previous experience with Obituary was at another fine club, Bogart’s in Cincinnati, but they were a support act for that show (and a killer one for certain) and as the headliner at an arguably superior venue, Obituary brought their “A” game. I was both amused and thrilled to see the band hit the stage for a buildup riff that went on for several minutes before singer John Tardy made his entrance. This was a technique famously utilized by James Brown in his heyday and it was proven to be a fine entrance for a death metal legend in a completely different musical universe. Tardy even borrowed deceased comedy icon Sam Kinison’s signature move of emitting a mighty primal scream away from the microphone. Luckily my wife and I were in the front row (again!) and Tardy basically yelled right in our faces! Throughout the set, Tardy tirelessly prowled the stage and acted as hype man for his bandmates and showed the appreciative crowd his enormous grin repeatedly. Donald Tardy’s drums were bestial and perfectly crushing, as was Terry Butler’s glorious bass tone. The guitars of Trevor Peres (rhythm) and Ken Andrews (lead) were ferocious, chunky, and lethal, and Obituary delivered a monstrous set of death metal elite tunes. The band seemed relaxed and fully aware of the pristine sound, lights, and stage setup.
It seems that Hi-Fi will be a club I will eagerly attend for a variety of musical styles. If they can make death metal sound that surgically clean, I can only imagine what they can do for more subtle styles of music.