Suffocation and Belphegor October 26, 2019 @ Gas Monkey Bar and Grill, Dallas

Just four months after devastating North America on the Devastation Across the Nation summer tour, Austria’s Belphegor returned to North America for a co-headlining tour package with New York’s Suffocation. The month long trek tagged as the Relentless Onslaught US Tour which is still in its first week includes support from Abiotic and Necronomicon.

With a day off already in the bag for travel following opening night in Illinois, the tour saw its second show in full swing on a chilly Saturday night at the Gas Monkey Bar and Grill in Dallas.

Cylinder shaped portable propane heaters were strategically positioned on the front outdoor stage corners to generate warmth prior to Necronomicon taking the stage for their short but powerful set. The chilly air was more like spring like temperatures for the Canadian trio who sported corpse paint, lengthy black leather outfits and large leather boot strapped spikes.

Necronomicon guitarist Rob the Witch
Photo by Brian McLean

Devastation Across the Nation tour mates Abiotic followed Necronomicon to deliver their short but tight set as well. Both bands were allotted the same amount of stage time which allowed the Miami and Montreal based metal bands to prepped and primed the crowd for Belphegor and Suffocation.

Chilly weather didn’t phase Belphegor as the Austrians sporting black leather vests took to the stage amid an ocean of blue lights. The stage setup was consistent with their prior visit.  Microphone stands were wrapped in bones, candles and incense were burning, metal steps led to the stacks and inverted crosses flanked each side of the stage and the logo was fully illuminated on the LED screen behind the band.

With arms crossed behind their backs in military form, the band stepped forward and proceeded to devastate their loyal following of troopers with a battery of songs. The hour long set which was similar to their previous Dallas outing featured blasphemous anthems such “Sanctus Diaboli Confidimus,” “Swinefever – Regent of Pigs,” “Hell’s Ambassador,” “Lucifer Incestus,” “Baphomet,” show closer “Bondage Goat Zombie” and others.

This time around, lone founding member, vocalist and guitarist Helmuth utilized the edge of the stage many times as he mesmerized those securely positioned on the barricade. In return, much appreciation was given back to Belphegor on stage. It’s obvious the Dallas / Fort Worth contingent of Belphegor fans holds high respect for the Austrian blacked death metal band.

Helmuth utilizing the edge of the stage
Photo by Brian McLean

Belphegor’s set was night two of the final tour for the band’s 2017 release titled Totenritual. Once the tour concludes, the band will eventually retreat to the studio for a 2020 summer release.

The technical issues that Suffocation guitarist Terrance Hobbs and vocalist Ricky Meyers experienced within the first few songs didn’t derail the band’s performance. Once addressed and taken care of without stoppage, Suffocation powered forward like a locomotive with their brand of technical death metal.

Suffocation guitarist Terrance Hobbs
Photo by Brian McLean

Fans experienced a brutal 13-song set that included the opener “Catatonia,” fan favorite “Funeral Inception,” “Clarity Through Deprivation,” “Bleeding the Spawn,” “Thrones of Blood” and the set ender “Infecting the Crypts.”

Suffocation bassist Derek Boyer
Photo by Brian McLean

Even though the four bands have been on the road for less than a week for this tour, the night of metal Dallas experienced is only a prelude for the cities waiting. The momentum for the Relentless Onslaught US Tour is just starting to build.