November 14th, 2017 – Narcotic Wasteland have been out on their first tour ever performing headlining shows across America and Canada. They came out to Kansas City, MO at The Riot Room and local bands P.G.S.K., Weaponized Decay and Marasmus brought forth great death metal to welcome Narcotic to the small venue. Let’s go over these opening acts real quick before we get into the meat and potatoes of this Narcotic Wasteland recap.
P.G.S.K. is a newer death metal act that has formed from 3 other bands in the area. Their sound is very old school death metal, very groove oriented and the riffs were extremely catchy. The vocalist was energetic and was quite hilarious with his brief banter. Musicianship was tight and very fun to watch. Weaponized Decay blends old school death metal with slam, with hints of black metal sprinkled in. Their sound was good, playing was tight and they were good on stage! Next up was Marasmus, who are one of the best death metal bands in Kansas City, and their playing was wildly professional, tight and extremely heavy. Devon’s vocals and energy on stage were intense, drummer Trynt was absolutely breathtaking , guitarists Brandon and Andy were freaking guitar wizards while bassist Ben thundered in low end and was fun to watch. Marasmus‘ overall musicianship was great to witness and they have always been fun to watch.
Up next was the mighty Narcotic Wasteland, formed by Dallas Toler-Wade, Chris Dupre, Ed Rhone and Phil Cancilla, they come together to create a nice thrash death metal sound with some brutal and technical aspects put in as well. The result has been one of my favorite death metal bands to emerge in recent time. They have 2 full length albums out now and that gave us plenty of good tunes to bang our heads to. (Side note: Ed Rhone was not on tour with them, a young lad filled in for his spot but I did not catch his name. He was an amazing guitarist!) Narcotic Wasteland kicked off their set with “Anthem for the Mentally Scarred”, which is a high intensity ripping track filled with great riffs and fast drumming. They then moved on to play “Alcoholics Religious Fanatics” which is one of my favorite tracks from their first album. This song is brimming with amazing musicianship and is incredibly fast! It was a treat to see them perform this particular track.
Next up they played “Introspective Nightmare” from their new album Delirium Tremens, which is the rip roaring opening track off of that album, with big time thrash and blasts for everyone to enjoy. The band then moved onto “Faces of Meth”, which was their first single off of the new album and honestly one of their catchiest songs yet! After that they moved onto a fan favorite and possibly their biggest single yet: “Keeping Up With The Jones”. This song is great and the band nailed this song note for note! That ending is always awesome but it was great to finally see them crank out that outro with the thick power chords and the guys growling “JOOOONNNESSSSS”.
Then the band proceeded to play my favorite song by them, “The Shackles of Sobriety” off of their first album. The musicianship behind this song and just how utterly insanely good this song was in a live setting was intoxicating. “We Agnostics” was up next and this song is thrashy, fast and fun to bang your head to. The tempo is fast and the energy is blazing when Narcotic Wasteland performs this track! The band gets a brief break as “In Memoriam” plays and the guys jump straight into the the slow, heavy, depressing track “Bleed and Swell”. Then the energy switches big time as Narcotic Wasteland plays the song “Delirium Tremens”, which seemed even faster and heavy in a live setting somehow.
The band then uses this new energy late into their set to perform “Return to the Underground”, which is exactly what Dallas has done and the underground welcomes Narcotic Wasteland. Not only is this track just a bad ass anthem for headbanging, it’s amazingly catchy and METAL! After this song is performed Narcotic shifts gears to one of their more unique and heavy songs from their new album: “Husk”. Bassist Chris Dupre took control of the center stage (he wrote the song) as Dallas moved stage right; Chris’ performance was great! Nailing every note on his bass guitar and screaming in our faces with such venom. God damn that was definitely a highlight of the set for me as that song is brilliantly brutal.
Finishing up their set with “Coastal Killings” and finally “Pharma Culture”, Narcotic Wasteland showed great energy and was radically fun to watch as they performed! No smoke and mirrors, no filters indeed. Production was quite simple, lighting didn’t change much and we just witnessed the band play a really solid setlist of songs. Phil Cancilla’s performance behind the drum kit is exactly what he does on the album. Blasts, fills, grooves and aggression is present from beginning to end. Chris Dupre’s eyes roll back in his head every time he growls in his mic and it’s fucking evil. He throws the down on his bass guitar and was fun to watch. Seeing Dallas Toler-Wade perform is always a treat and it’s not my first time seeing him shred on stage. However, this is my first time seeing him perform these songs and it was rather surreal. His performance is still amazing. His energy has only improved and Narcotic Wasteland was just a great experience. A wonderful night of truly amazing metal from everyone involved.
Narcotic Wasteland is still out on tour until December 9th so if they are coming to your town, GO SEE THEM AND SUPPORT THEM! You do not want to miss this show!
Photos by Ulfhednar Photography