Show Review: Order of the Dead’s Retirement Party

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Photo by Daniel DeLucenay*

We don’t review shows very often, but the bangers we’ve been to in Rochester always seem to bring it out of us. We love our Buffalo scene, but modern Rochester local shows always remind me of how Buffalo was once upon a time, back when we had Showplace and X-Wheelz, etc., and the rooms were packed with members of bands who weren’t playing the show, but were showing their support just the same, various local promoters exercising cross promotion, and avid showgoers with no business agendas alike. Then again, this was a “retirement party” for one of the longer running and fairly reputable death metal bands in the city, so naturally, Rochester wasn’t holding back.

All mixed emotions about the final performance of Order of the Dead aside, this was a great lineup, covering a wide range of the metal spectrum. The show featured power metal, atmospheric black metal, death/thrash and traditional death metal with carefully sprinkled tidbits of melodic death, all in one breath.

It was our second time seeing Gates of Paradox. They’ve mastered the fine art of power metal so expertly, that both the vocals and riffs will have you reliving the glory days of Iron Maiden, Mercyful Fate and Judas Priest in no time, fused with the more modern PM conveyances of bands like Cellador and 3 Inches of Blood.

The Crimson Edge from Oswego, NY were up next, catering to fans of the recent uprising of bands in this area fusing traditional black metal with more post black/atmospheric/ambient sounds. Locally speaking, fans of Enthauptung, Mavradoxa, Ancalagon or Sertraline will be happy with what they are hearing. On a wider scale, fans of Dissection, Ghost Bath or Obsidian Tongue should also appreciate what this band has to offer. It’s also worth noting here that Obsidian Tongue will be performing with Mavradoxa and Ancalagon at Photo City Improv on May 18th. Click here for the event page.

Buffalo’s own Cain took to the stage next and crushed it. The crowd was instantly riled up and there were circle pits and walls of death aplenty. Cain always puts forth maximum effort and manifests instant high energy crowds on a consistent basis. With the amount of time they’ve been a band and the number of shows they’ve played near and far, I’m always impressed with how much sheer life they bring with them to the stage every single time they grace it. In addition to being “tight like a tiger” from start to finish, no band ignites a crowd quite the way Cain does.

Finally, Order of the Dead ascended the stage for what they insist was the last time, however after the 10 years they’ve put in, the number of killer national bands they’ve opened for, the number of tickets they’ve sold, the number of songs they’ve written and so on, would anyone really be surprised if Jody Roberts made a post on Facebook tomorrow that read something like, “Yeah, fuck all you pussies. Thanks for falling for it. Our next show is next month with Cannibal Corpse, Pathology and Flogging Molly.”? Of course not.

Regardless, Rochester knows how to throw a farewell party for the bands they love. I saw so many friendly faces from all over WNY (far too many to name), and plenty of new faces too. The emotion present, especially during the last song was inspiring, but even more so was the unwavering energy and support from the crowd throughout OOTD’s almost 90 minute set. (That’s an estimation. Perhaps Jody or someone else can correct me there.)

And for their last trick, OOTD paired their epic goodbye performance with a CD release show. Of all the things bands typically do when they part ways with the stage, not many put out new albums on the same day. The record is called The Jackals Hold Us CaptiveĀ and it contains some of their heaviest material and most creative riffs to date.

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Order of the Dead WERE (in their “final” form):

Bill Landers – Vocals

Jody Roberts – Guitars

John Malone – Bass

Michael Adams – Drums

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