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Live Report: The Black Dahlia Murder, Obscura, and More at Santos Party House, New York, March 20

Chris Krovatin is the author of the young-adult novels Heavy Metal & You and Venomous, as well as's “Final Six” blog. The latter book was the inspiration for Deadlocke, a one-shot published by Dark Horse Comics.

On Saturday, I went to the Black Dahlia Murder (left), who played with Obsura, Augury, and Hatesphere. Here’s what happened:

First heartening sight of the evening: A dense line of metalheads stretching around the block.


Interesting color palette: There’s so much more purple and pink and neon green than at most death metal shows. The Black Dahlia Murder use so much of that shit on their shirts.

Creeping feeling: I’m one of the old people here.

A little about Santos Party House: Owned and operated by Andrew W.K., this venue is a little slice of New York dive-ass party bar heaven.

Very similar venues: The old L’Amours in Bay Ridge, or even CBGB.

Exception to this rule: The giant heart-shaped disco ball in the middle of the ceiling.

First up for the night: Hatesphere from Denmark.

Overall sound: Imagine Testament and Soilwork roll up on you and kick your ass in a grocery store parking lot.

Sight to behold: A steady and decent circle pit upheld throughout Hatesphere. It’s good to see these kids can get a decent mosh on.

Price of a Santos Ale: $5. Not bad!

Thoughts on Santos Ale: Not…bad.

Cool guy to talk to by the merch tables: Trevor Strnad of the Black Dahlia Murder. Nicest guy ever.

The Black Dahlia Murder is everywhere: They just chill in the crowd and outside, talking to fans and watching the music. That’s pretty old-school. Young Metallica would do that.

Young Metallica: That’s right, I said it.

Favorite concertgoers of the night: The 20-something couple with the two little boys in matching Ride the Lightning shirts.

Next up: Augury from Montreal.

Overall sound: Cynic gets in a streetfight with Beneath the Massacre. Into Eternity films the whole thing.

Best song banter from Augury frontman Patrick Loisel: “Do you ever feel like the people on top are teaching us to be little monkeys, and sending us to be butchered?”

Interesting thought: Do they butcher monkeys in Canada?

Drawback to intimate size of Santos Party House: Damn, it is hot. I’m sweating like a pig.

Third of the night: Obscura from Germany.

Overall sound: Jazzy thrash with a Voivod meets Carnal Forge kind of vibe to it. Really fun to bang your head to.

Audience response: Overwhelmingly positive.

Badass instrument of the night: The guitar on Obscura frontman Steffen Kummerer. It looks like a piece of shrapnel from a blown-up shadow.

Awesome show-off moment of the night: Obscura drummer Hannes Grossman playing a kick-ass five-minute drum solo.

Obnoxious sight: Obscura officially setting off the cue for skinny fucks to start doing some karate moves.


Who’s shoe is this: Someone missing a shoe?

And finally: The Black Dahlia Murder.

Hails: Black valor’s on our side.

Best pre-song banter by Black Dahlia Murder frontman Trevor Strnad: “Hey, how many bloodsuckers out there in the audience? Now, I know some of you aren’t down with that since Twilight, right…well, this is a song about Castlevania.”

Bummer of every Black Dahlia Murder show: They never play the outro of “Miasma.” I love that shit.

Number of decent photos taken by this reporter: Zero, because there’s nowhere safe to stand, because, JESUS, THE WHOLE CROWD’S A MOSH PIT!

Well, hot damn: This is actually pretty fun. These young’uns know how to dance.

Aw, what the Hell: Dive in.

Five minutes later: I’m bruised and beaten and drenched in sweat and my arm hurts from pumping my fist, but the whole place is pandemonium and I’m screaming the lyrics to “Everything Went Black” at some Italian kid, and damn it, I feel like I could kick God in the balls, and life is pure.

Overall decision: The kids are all right.

Just watch all the bright colors: A black Darkthrone shirt never hurt anyone.

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