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HydroDrone
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:31 am
Posts: 135
Location: New Zealand
PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:09 am 
 

I'm going to see uncle acid tomorrow and i'm so bloody excited. Seeing Cut you down live will be such a treat. Can't wait.

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Goodly Hah
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 4:46 am
Posts: 68
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:09 pm 
 

Turisas + Starkill + Shrapnel @ The Waterfront, Norwich, 21/2/14

Shrapnel (UK)
A very solid local neo-thrash act that had a few of the hometown fans out. Nothing remotely new, but good fun, and they played a few epic-length songs that displayed a decent amount of technical chops. The vocalist also did a good job, with a very nice raspy thrash shout. The guitar solos definitely had that Kerry King random-notes vibe, but they sounded a bit more composed and technical while still sounding unhinged. There were a few problems with the sound, with the guitars and bass sounding a bit muddy (the drums sounded perfect, oddly enough) and the vocalist being a bit buried at times, but nothing major. They had a lot in the way of stage presence as well, even though they didn't talk to the audience too much, and looked very excited and happy to be there. Not a bad way to start off.

Starkill
These guys are one of my personal favourite new melodeath acts, and they put on what has to be the best set I've seen from an opening band in a while. There were a few problems with the mixing, so the symphonic keys that gave their album a lot of flavour were rendered barely audible except when the guitars stopped. Actually, I didn't mind that so much - it created kind of a different experience, the album sounding a bit more refined and technical and the live sound being a bit more brutal. Parker Jameson's growls sounded even better (and a whole lot more ferocious) live than they did on the album, and the solos and drumming were totally on point. A lot of the time, these guys put Children of Bodom to shame in the soloing stakes. They had awesome stage presence, moving around a lot and displaying tons of energy (smiling the whole time!), and their stage banter really got the crowd into the music. I went to the merch table and bought their CD afterwards, and chatted with the band a bit - nice guys. I thought this was going to be a case of the opening band upstaging the headliner, considering that I didn't really like Turisas2013...

Turisas
...only to be instantly proven wrong, as soon as they started out with "Ten More Miles". The material from Turisas2013 turns out to work a lot better live, which I did think would be the case when listening to the album, thanks to the simpler and more rocking vibe that made it sound flat on CD sounding a lot more energetic live. Anyway, Turisas have played at the Waterfront quite a few times, and the energy displayed by the people who'd obviously seen them there before was infectious. They were singing along to every word, and before long, so was I. Warlord's a true pro at stage banter and presence, and he definitely knows how to work a crowd - the mosh pit was amazing. His vocals were pretty much pitch-perfect, although his harsh vocals have been getting a bit weaker lately, and they fixed a few of the problems the opening bands had with the mix - everything was totally clear and distinguishable, and sounded loud and powerful as hell. The drum sound in particular was amazing, sounding huge and booming without ever overshadowing the rest of the instruments - I was doubtful about Jaakko Jakku after hearing their last album, but he can definitely handle the old material. The addition of "Rex Regi Rebellis" and "Miklagard Overture" to the setlist was also a great move, displaying some of Turisas' more epic side, which Warlord said they only really got the chance to display during headlining gigs. By the time they closed out with "Rasputin", I was grinning ear to ear. I would have liked to hear more from The Varangian Way (yeah, "Miklagard Overture" is great, but the only other thing they played from it was the obvious "Holmgard and Beyond"), but otherwise, no complaints from me. Absolutely fantastic night.
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Oxenkiller
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:42 am
Posts: 1299
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:13 am 
 

Bands: MINOT, GAYTHEIST, EAGLE TWIN, UZALA, SUB ROSA

Date/Venue: March 21, Neurolux, Boise Idaho

Sorry to openers Minot, Cerberus Rex and one other band, who played early on I missed you guys. There are literally hundreds of bands here in town this weekend. No exaggeration, there is this big music fest going on here and multiple shows are going on everywhere downtown at various venues all weekend long. You walk around downtown and it looks like the place has been invaded by dudes with thick rimmed glasses, beards and beenies0 in other words, the type of people who would have been scared away by this show which was probably too metal for them. Because I didn't wanna pay the $200 bucks or whatever for the total full access festival pass, I figured I'd just pay the $20 to see the one show I really wanted, i.e. this one.

Gaythiest (ha ha, what a name) played what could be described as heavy grunge rock. Some good riffs here and there, all pretty decent stuff, good, but not outstanding. Id never heard of this band before but unlike, say, Sub Rosa, I probably wouldn't care less either way if I didn't hear them again. They were decent, but not mind blowing.

Eagle Twin were next and they were louder and heavier than Gaythiest was. They're a two piece from (I think) Salt Lake City and though they were okay, my impression was that they could definitely have used another instrument to compliment their sound. As it was, the guitarist appeared to be playing through a bass amp cranked to 11, and it made it sound great, but at times, it seemed the riffs alone weren't enough to hold my interest- they needed more "counterpoint" to the riffs, so to speak. The music could be described as some kind of stoner/sludge metal with a few groove/Sabbath-ish riffs, and while some of the riffs were good, overall, much like Gaythiest, the set didn't exactly blow me away either. definitely loud and heavy though. The drummer went through like 3 sticks just bashing out the caveman style sludge riffs.

Uzala was the one band I'd been waiting to see for months. Although they are a local band, their live shows are few and far between, sadly. It is hard to describe how good this band is. I seriously could have listened to them all night long. Beautiful, devastating, mind melting and heavy metal in the most epic, sweeping, glorious way. If you're not familiar with this band then, well first of all, go check em out on youtube... but I would describe them as classic epic metal without all the speed or cheeziness, and with a female vocalist who sings "clean" melodically as opposed to the modern day screeching a la Arch Enemy's stable of vocalists. Darcy's voice was exquisite, pitch perfect, and the band as a whole were tight and all credit to the sound guy for making it all work perfectly. And, they just, plain and simple, have great riffs and great songs. They played about 6 or 7 songs, 4 of which were their new album, along with two classics from their first one- and that made it better as I was not familiar with the new record, so it was new to me. But after hearing their set, I immediately went and bought it from them. What can I say, everything they played was brilliant. Darcy and Chad were both on guitar but Darcy's was tuned lower, to substitute for lack of a bassplayer.

I'd never heard of headliners Sub Rosa before. Apparently they were also from Salt Lake City- nothing against that place but it certainly isn't the type of city people associate with a strong music scene. But then again, people would probably say that about where I live. Obviously there are plenty of good bands from there. So...never heard of this band, listened to them play, now I'm glad I've heard of 'em- because they were good. Frickin' heavy as fuck, powerful, moving, epic down tempo metal with a wall of electrified string instruments to pulverize you into the ground. I love the way the band was able to blend their dynamics from quiet, melodic to crushing, and not lose the flow of the song or make the transitions sound too "Forced." They're a five piece, with two guitars, a violin, a bass player and drummer and like Uzala, are a "co-ed "band with only the bass and drummer being dudes. I dunno, they totally melted my mind, and my ears are still ringing, and it's a dang good feeling. I love being pleasantly surprised and discovering bands like this. The only minor thing, and this is not an uncommon problem I have seen with live bands by the way, is that I wish the vocals were a bit louder as the guitars drowned them out, whereas Uzala did not have this problem. Nonetheless, Sub Rosa just nailed it with their performance. I suspect a lot of bearded, beanie wearing treefort people were likewise converted by this band (if it wasn't too heavy for them, that is.)

On a final note, local dark ambient/doom band Wolvserpent were apparently supposed to play at one point but couldn't find a rehearsal space to prepare for the show, so instead their guitarist just spun some old metal records over the PA after the bands ended. Great night of heavy, epic Dooommmm...

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Metantoine
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Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:00 pm
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Location: Québec
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:29 pm 
 

Dopethrone, Zaum, Greys & Mountain Dust @Turbo Haus, March 22nd 2014

Spring supposedly arrived one day prior to this gig but the weather in Montréal didn't seemed to notice as it was snowing and it was still pretty cold. It was my first time at this Turbo Haus venue and it was quite enjoyable even if I was on my own for the evening. This nice place is located near the Bell Centre, home of the Montréal Canadiens, the best hockey team ever. The location is kind of secretive, I knew the address but turns out the building is huge and has many rooms, mostly rehearsal spaces. I've encountered a dude who told me the door number for this haus. The gig was supposed to start at 20:00 but the promoters were waiting for the second band to show up so it started a bit late.

The venue was very nice, the white walls are all richly decorated with esoterical and weird black drawings and it has a small bar with cheap beer. The crowd was good, maybe 80/100 people .
Turbo Haus on Facebook

At around 21:00, Mountain Dust started their set, all dressed in checkered shirts, these English dudes from Montréal are playing a pleasing sort of stoner rock with vintage and blues influences. Heavy on the organ and lap slide guitar, their bass was also quite loud. The guitar wasn't as present as much hence their affiliation to rock instead of metal even though it's still heavier live than on their sole studio recording I've found. They had some vocals isues but the venue is to blame for that, the singer had a nice southern, garage approach fitting their sound. Pretty cool band, I'll be waiting for their debut full length. I think the slide guitar and keyboard approach of the band is refreshing, I rarely think it's a good thing for the keys to be the focus of the music but for Mountain Dust, it works.

7,5 on 10

The second band were Greys from Toronto, never heard of them before and I didn't do any research before the gig since it's fun to have surprises sometimes. After a trek in the US including some gigs at the popular South by Southwest festival in Texas, they were back in their own country. The four guys all look like clean cut kids straight from a nice suburbia but their music isn't bad, it's simply not a band that fits on this bill. They play some sort of fast, heavy, noisy post hardcore with good hooks. Their vocals were underwhelming though, a mix of classic emo screams and punk rock, they were a bit weak. They were ok, I guess, it's not a genre I'm interested in besides At the Drive-In. They'll release their debut album this summer if you're interested in that kind of music. I think gigs with three bands are the best ones, they were the one that wasn't needed for this evening.

6/10

I know someone linked to the Swedish label I Hate records and he really wanted me to see Zaum, a band from Moncton, New Brunswick that the label recently signed and report how good was their show before the band trek the European continent with Ocean Chief. Simply by looking at the two dudes, you know it's gonna be heavy as fuck. The bassist/singer Kyle McDonald would automatically be a dwarf if we were doing some LARPing, he has a thick body and the enormous beard to go with it. The drummer, Chris Lewis looks like a bald viking ready to destroy two or three Christian abbeys.

Their stage setup was quite extraordinary and considering it was only their third gig ever, they already know how to truly move the crowd. They had a smoke machine, some lights (mostly red) and at least ten candles with their nice logo printed on them placed everywhere on the stage. They played three songs (their upcoming album has 4) and their set was around forty minutes. It was very atmospheric with a dreamy ambiance. I liked how the drummer was facing the bassist/vocalist, there's no need for guitars, suckers! Their sound is some sort of doom/stoner deeply inspired by Om, that's cool since it's a band whose music is rarely influencing newcomers. Zaum is heavier than Al Cisneros' band though, their bass licks are dirtier and there's a mix of harsh and clean vocals. Very good band and the crowd liked the performance.

8,5 on 10

Dopethrone closed the evening with their nasty sort of doom/stoner metal. They played many songs from this album like "Devil's Dandruff". Their mix of sludgey Eyehategod influences plus Electric Wizard heavy doom riffs is enjoyable albeit a bit samey after around forty minutes. Vincent Houde is a cool frontman with dreads flowing around and a mighty talent for riffing and soloing. The chemistry with his two friends is also apparent, they deliver intense material and they're used to do it. Their songs about drugs (from weed to heroin) and guns are pretty dope! I missed the last few songs, maybe 1 or 2, no idea as I was pretty sick and my cold mixed with beer made me a bit dizzy. I know I'm not a metal warrior, tell your moms. I got their last album "III" for five bucks before their set, good price for sure, I was able to spend the rest of my 20 bucks bill on beer

8 on 10

A great evening with cool bands for dirt cheap is what we got here, that's what metal and rock is all about. Finding cool, unknown places to see bands while people are too busy talking how bad the weather is.
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Misfit74
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:23 am
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 1:21 am 
 

Not so much a review but I have to say that having seen Tool twice in 2002 and again just a month or so ago: Tool remains one of the best concerts I've ever attended. If you ever get a chance...
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Alsandair
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 2:00 pm
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Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:23 am 
 

Metal Alliance (1349, Goatwhore, Behemoth):

1349:

I watched about 4 songs before deciding this would be a good time to get some food. As I mentioned earlier, I had hoped their live show would bring out the best in their material which I previously found underwhelming, but alas. There was a stand in drummer for Frost who was competent enough, but looked bored as hell. Ravn was trying I guess, but it sounded like his voice was gone from the very beginning. Rather weak croaking for the most part. Not much to say about the guitarist/bassist. They played fine, the music is just really uninspiring. While a bit harsh, I am amused by brainsmasher's words from his review of 'Revelations':

"The song writing on here is flaccid and underwhelming, but the riffing is just downright boring. There are several riffs on here that make me think I'm standing in guitar center watching some dork fuck around on an Epiphone."

So I tried, but was getting too much secondhand embarrassment to stay for more than half. If nothing else watching these guys gave me hope for one day having my own nationally touring black metal band, because it's not that hard apparently.

Goatwhore:

Alrighty. This is what I'm talking about! Hadn't heard these guys before, but had been told a couple of times that they were good. It's true! Tight playing, fun riffage, great vocals, catchy tunes. All the members were enthusiastic onstage, and the vocalist kept us engaged and energized. Couldn't help but headbang. I get the impression that this band is best enjoyed live, but I suppose I should listen to the albums a bit before saying anything.

Behemoth:

Listened to Demigod when it came out and the surrounding releases a bit, but lost interest pretty quick. Regained interest with The Satanist. I had decently high expectations for this performance despite my mixed appreciation for the studio work. My expectations were definitely surpassed! They performed with great energy, and more importantly I think managed to convey that Behemoth aesthetic that for me is a bit hard to describe. Greek or Roman warriors who are all about thelemic mysticism?

The music is brutal, precise, and commanding but the experience is ritualistic nonetheless. Their image of course plays a large part in this. For the encore they even added the masks you can see in their current picture here on MA or in the 'Blow Your Trumpets' video (it was great). They key here is that like many great bands, Behemoth presented a complete vision. The music was great, their performance was inspired and full of energy, and they wrapped it up with a matching image.

Nergal's recent trials inevitably add a bit of gravitas to the experience. In between songs I recall him roaring, "SO HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE ALIVE!?!?" \m/

So despite the hideous fact the I missed almost all of Inquisition (who I have at least seen before and will see very soon), it was a memorable show. I will fix my typos later.

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Jimmy Calhoun
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:29 pm
Posts: 459
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:04 pm 
 

Godflesh last night at the DNA Lounge (S.F.) was an awesome experience. Unbelievably loud and heavy, and they played all the hits - "Like Rats," "Christbait Rising," "Mothra," "Pure," though to my disappointment they left out "Slavestate." A packed house, everybody way into it, and Broadrick and Green haven't lost any of their energy or aggression over the last 20 years. I was originally supposed to see these guys way back in November, but due to visa issues they couldn't get into the U.S. The wait was well worth it though - maybe the only chance I'll ever get to see this legendary band, and they fucking killed it.

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colin040
Metal freak

Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:00 pm
Posts: 4554
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:59 pm 
 

Came back from Toxik, Metal Church and this Dutch generic thrash metal that was kinda bored to listen to.

The generic thrash metal band (not on this site incase people wonder) was loud but not really fun. Some of their songs had okay-ish riffs. I guess their highlight was a Kreator cover ''Tormentor''....unfortunately this one was ruined by melodic death metal vocals. I left to get some water and once I got back I heard shrieks so piercing and explosive sounding that I knew Toxik had started. From what I had heard their studio material didn't really do much for me but I enjoyed listening to them this evening. The singer nailed his high notes (I swear, had I not known better than I thought this guy was in his 20's or so despite looking like a 40+ year old dude) and their guitarist blew me away with flashy, yet precise guitar solos.

Then Metal Church played. I wondered how their new singer would handle their classics but he was actually quite good. He reminded me a bit of David Wayne actually and while his screaming (mostly in between songs) came off a bit exaggerated he seemed to be fun of energy. I wish the band had played more Mike Howe material as only Fake Healer and Badlands got played but in the end I enjoyed hearing these tunes. The new tunes, which were just 2 if I remember correctly was decent but not great.

I'm glad I went to see these bands as were fun to hear. Especially Toxik were a cool surprise.

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Exigence
Age: 28 (Wait, what?!)

Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2005 2:42 pm
Posts: 859
Location: New Orleans
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:59 am 
 

Made the trek to Houston to see Sabaton. Had to endure The Scourge and ReVamp. Which was fine, the venue (Scout Bar) was fairly open so we grabbed a table by the bar and bided our time. Sabaton killed it as I'd expect, the crowd was into it and the whole place probably got past 90 degrees. It was fairly pungent by the end.

I think some band called Iced Earth played after. No idea. We left immediately and went downtown.

Flying to Los Angeles to catch Sabaton again on Friday in Hollywood! Woo hoo!
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Jabawock
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2005 8:31 pm
Posts: 61
Location: Belgium
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 12:03 pm 
 

Just discovered the existence of this topic, so I'll post a small review of my latest gig:

Dragged into Sunlight + Hessian @Brussels

This lineup wasn't really my thing on paper, but I went since is was close to home and some friends were going as well....

Hessian: some kind of black metal influenced post hardcore? I'm not really too knowledgeable about these genre tags, but anyway, it's mostly rooted in hardcore (and they're not on M-A so that confirms it). While I generally don't like hardcore I did enjoy their set; it was in fact very aggressive, with frequent blast beats, and overall the music had lots of energy. The riffing and vocals were rather standard and uninteresting, but the drumming alone was worth seeing. That guy is a real master, one of the best drummers I have seen recently... In fact during the first song the guitar and bass were set too low, but I didn't even care, i could watch that guy playing alone it would still be worthwhile ^^ He was hitting hard and fast, but with great control and precision, you could see he has huge skills... Anyway, in my opinion that drummer really makes the band.

Dragged into Sunlight: Blackened Death/Doom according to the archives. I checked them out on cd before but didn't really like it, and the live set confirmed my opinion. It was definitely less generic this time, with more slower, heavier parts. It definitely sounded heavy, especially the guitar, which was a big plus. I really enjoyed some of the slower, almost drone-like parts, because the sound was just right. However for the most part it wasn't my thing, and I didn't catch in on the atmosphere they were trying to produce. Despite the promising genre tag I senses significant hardcore influences in their sound, but maybe it's by association with the previous band.
To their credit they did take stage appearance into consideration, with some candles on stage and all musicians with their backs facing the audience and hoods on. But still it didn't do much for me, really....
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Jimmy Calhoun
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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 10:50 pm 
 

Opinions are a funny thing, because I love DIS and consider 'Hatred for Mankind' one of the best metal releases of the last several years. Huh.

Hessian, I should give a listen to. I do generally like blackened hardcore - Hierophant's 'Great Mother, Holy Monster' from 2013 was one of the 10-12 best albums I listened to in a year glutted with really good releases.

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Jabawock
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2005 8:31 pm
Posts: 61
Location: Belgium
PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 5:11 am 
 

Jimmy Calhoun wrote:
Opinions are a funny thing, because I love DIS and consider 'Hatred for Mankind' one of the best metal releases of the last several years. Huh.


Yeah, I know they've been getting lots of good praise, and it's definitely quality music they're making, but yeah, personal preferences and stuff ^^
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Metantoine
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Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:00 pm
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 10:28 pm 
 

Live Review: Ulcerate/Phobocosm/Chthe'ilist @Katacombes in Montréal, May 12th 2014

Chthe'ilist

The up and coming death metal from the Montréal south shore were back at the Katacombes after their impressive first gig at the first edition of Wings of Metal last year. They still don't have a bassist even though they're looking for one, kind of a shame that there's nobody who can join them, I would if I was a musician! Nonetheless, it's no biggie when there's two talented lead guitarists!

Their thirty minute set killed everyone, the crowd was already numerous for the openers and that's always cool. Their crushing death metal sound is pretty damn good, it's technical without being showy, shallow and noodly (like their drummer's main death metal band Beyond Creation). After their great demo (try to pronounce the title), they're gonna release a full length (when? No idea, but soon) and I know they're shopping for a label and have many prestigious options (Profound Lore? Dark Descent? Roadrunner?).

Their stage presence was intense, mostly due to their energetic and talented session singer (Laurent Bellemare from Tribunal). The two guitarists had a good chemistery going on, they like the same stuff and it shows.

Alongside the second opener of this evening, they're the future of the Québec death metal scene, they're evolving with extrinsic influences (mostly from Finland, they covered a Demilich song) instead of praising at the altars of bands like Gorguts or Kataklysm.

A band to follow, for sure. Guided by Tougas, a shy and quiet talented promising young man, Chthe'ilist is destined to great deeds.

8,5/10



Phobocosm

With their debut full length scheduled to be released this Autumn by Dark Descent Records, Phobocosm are slowly making a name for themselves not only locally but internationally. The Montréal quartet played their, I believe, fifth gig tonight. I was lucky to see their first one back in 2012 when they opened for Adversarial.

Their brand of ultra dark death metal kills, it's midpaced, dirty but with a perfect and professional guitar tone. The drummer was also a beast behind his kit. I believe they only had one the first time I've seen them, the leader and composer Samuel Dufour formely of Towards Darkness and Vengeful but now, they have 2 guitarists and it's adding a layer of evil atmosphere that's most welcome. Their songs are long, heavy and their sound inspired by the likes of Incantation and fellow cavernous death metal bands is distinct in the Québec scene. Maybe they're not quite original in the grand scheme of things but they sure know how to write somber catchy hooks and that's all that matters

Just like most of the Dark Descent roster, Phobocosm is quality stuff. Simply waiting for their debut album Deprived to come out so they can receive their due praise.

8/10


Ulcerate

Since Inter Arma dropped off the tour for some dates, Ulcerate were able to play a longer set to compensate! The New Zealand power dissonant trio offered almost eighty minute to the enthusiastic crowd. I've missed their first Montréal gig two years so it was a first time for me and I quite enjoyed the experience. I'm really not a fan of the technical death metal genre but Ulcerate is one of the exceptions since they don't rely on showy acrobatics and instead are subtle about the whole thing. I had no idea how well their atmospheric style would be transposed to a live setting since they're only three musicians but I was pleasantly surprised.

I think it works quite well since the guitars aren't quite the focus of their music, Jaime Saint Merat (drums, artwork...) is the obvious core of the entity. He's perhaps the best drummer in modern death metal, he destroys all competition. It seems that everything is build around his drumming to create a death metal harmonic monster. The three members are all bald weird looking dudes, it's like they meld together to form a six arms being completely overwhelming his opponents with his earnest formula.

The songs from their latest album Vermis were really good live, even tough The Destroyers of All is perhaps my favorite release of theirs, it's harder to replicate these songs live since they're so intricate. Vermis, on the other hand, feels a bit like a more concise, maybe simplified version of TdoA. They're live friendlier and it's apparent throughout the set. They finished the evening with Everything is Fire though and that's probably their best song so it was an ideal choice.

Even though I missed the sixth game of the Montréal/Boston series, the Habs won so all is well! The dissonant pulse emanating the Katacombes helped the team defeat the Bruins!

9/10

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Subrick
Metal freak

Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 7:27 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 4:02 am 
 

So yeah, Ghost ruled. Their live show is otherworldly in every way, from the performances to the mix to the stage show to Papa's interactions with the crowd, it's just incredible. The highlight of the night was when Papa saw a little girl on her dad's shoulders holding a sign saying it was her birthday and lead the crowd in singing Happy Birthday to her.

Also, King Dude was magnificent. Anybody who likes Murder by Death should check them out.
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Alsandair
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 2:00 pm
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Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 1:27 pm 
 

Yeah I saw Ghost in Raleigh and it was great, an improvement from when I saw them at Deathfest I feel. The mix, visuals, performance, were all spot on. Made me revisit/appreciate the studio work a bit more.

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Metantoine
The XVI, dominar to over 258714 subjects

Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:00 pm
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Location: Québec
PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 5:23 pm 
 

Pictures here: http://metantoinemagicalrealm.blogspot. ... th_27.html

Hooded Menace, Beast Within & Oath
Another great gig at Montréal's best metal venue, the Katacombes on Saint-Laurent. On this rainy spring night, I wore my usual attire and arrived early even though the place is quite known for never starting their gigs on time. I was wrong this time and I was glad to be since I managed to watch much of the set of the headliner, I missed the last track sadly but making my way back safe and sound mattered to me, that's not very metal, I'm aware! The crowd was a bit sparse but considering the gig was on a Monday, it was a good, dedicated one. Thanks to Black Dot for this great gig, Hooded Menace are probably back in Finland but I hope they enjoyed their short stay in Québec and North America.

9:30 to 10:00
Oath (not the most original name around...) from Sherbrooke started the evening. As far as I know, it was their first gig in the Quebec metropolis and they ripped the city a new asshole. The quartet plays a sort of primal, aggressive death metal with some grindcore, brutal death and even some sleazy doomy parts! They only have one guitarist but it doesn't matter at all since their music is not technical, it's greasy and it has no leads. It's instead relying on a heavy, crushing bass presence to make things interesting. The singer has a good stage presence and his vocals are deep & cavernous, they seemed to lack a bit of power though but it was perhaps due to the mix. They only have a two songs rehearsal demo digitally released for seven bucks on Bandcamp but due to the terrible sound quality, it's not worth hearing! I'm expecting a strong debut release from these guys, they were a good surprise to start the evening.

7,5/10


10:15 to approximately 11:00
Beast Within were the second opener and I was glad to see them since I've missed their set at the latest Wings of Metal (I was too busy filling my stomach with tasty dumplings since the Katacombes are located near the Chinese area of Montréal!). The quintet is composed of seasoned metal musicians (Thesyre, Utlagr, Akitsa...) so you know it's gonna be tight and professional. Alongside the two songs from their solid first EP released by Sepulchral back in March, they played three new ones and it was a damn good set. Their main inspiration is certainly Celtic Frost, the band has this sort of proto black metal vibe going on mixed with a lot of crushing groovy death/doom/thrash. The new songs were especially a bit more doomy than Adversity/Servitude and their two guitar attack crushed the crowd. Eric Syre is a good frontman and delivers a mix of semi raspy/gritty vocals. Interesting band with the right influences and the right, massive sound. I can't wait to hear a full length from these guys. Most of 'em had cool beards too so that's definitely a plus!

8,5/10

11:20 to approximately 12:30+
Hooded Menace only played three gigs in North America during this “tour” including the Maryland Death Fest so I guess I must warmly thank them their choice to visit Montreal. Some people (Tanya Kim and Kevin Campbell) who wrote a lot of lyrics for them were attended the gig. Probably the reason my city was picked! Anyway, I was pretty damn happy to see them and I've been expecting this concert for months since Hooded Menace are perhaps my favourite doom/death band. The quartet (two lead guitars!) wasted no time and opened with the title track from their three albums (Fulfill the Curse, Never Cross the Dead and Effigies of Evil) in chronological order! We were served eleven songs with a good diversity, three songs from each full length, “The Haunted Ossuary” from their excellent split with Coffins and a nine minutes song from their latest EP called “Chasm of the Wraith". My highlight of their set was certainly “Crumbling Insanity”, this song is so melodic and crushing at the same time that you want to pummel the ground while crying.

Lasse Pyykkö who usually do everything (the new EP features a full band for the first time)except the drums in the studio “only” plays the lead guitar live and he fucking destroys, the vocals are performed by Markus Makkonen and he's pretty much perfect at the deep, old school type of death growls. Their crushing riffs intertwined with mournful, intricate leads truly works live. The crowd was getting pretty small towards the end but the die hard metalheads present were enjoying themselves quite a lot, there was a small but fun pit and the band really enjoyed itself. Their sound was one of the best I've ever encountered at the Katacombes perhaps due to the SUNN O))) amp and the Gibson flying Vs!

9,5/10

Setlist:
Fulfill the Curse
Never Cross the Dead
Effigies of Evil
The Love Song of Gotho, Hunchback of the Morgue
Chasm of the Wraith
Beauty and the Feast
The House of Hammer
Curses Scribed in Gore
Crumbling Insanity
Night of the Deathcult
The Haunted Ossuary
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Razakel
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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 6:46 pm 
 

That sounds awesome, Tony. A couple of friends of mine went to that gig and said it was great. I fuckin' love Hooded Menace and hope to see them at some point.

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cankeredroot
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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 12:11 am 
 

Delirium – Church – Forced to Rot – The Dark and Bleak – Coathanger Abortion: an Overwhelmingly Positive Experience

Bernie’s, Columbus, Ohio
5/17/14

(from theyawningchasm.com)

“I’d like to see a small mosh pit.”

Bernie’s Bagels – perhaps the most odiferous of Columbus’s institutions. It is a subterranean bar/bagel shop/music venue that always smells like a state park pit toilet but whose importance as a venue cannot be overstated. It exists literally underground – just by being there, no matter what kind of music, you have shown where your affinities lay. You have to be in the know, you have to want to go there, you are happy to go there, and this is why I went by myself two weekends ago.

Bernie’s non-descript doorway opens to a graffiti-covered stairwell that in turn opens to a lunch counter and booths and tables. Fliers with the evening’s schedule were taped all over the venue and said the show wouldn’t start until 9. I was there at 7:30, as the Walgreens 5x7 photo fliers said the doors opened at 7. No matter – time flew by as I watched band members run in and out on desperate pre-show errands and confused college students huddle in a corner of the bar as a form of nervous self-preservation. The substantial wait was worth it, as it turned out to be one of the best shows I’ve been to in years.

Each member of the opening band appeared to be no more than fifteen years old. Delirium were all seventeen (though one kid ruefully owned up to being sixteen) but looked years younger. They played a sort of noodly metalcore, the kind that could be assumed from their high school-shag haircuts and pattern-print t-shirts. Yes, it’s probably be the case that I’m old and think everybody under twenty-five looks the same, but their youthfulness worked in their favor when it came to surprising the crowd with their incredible musical abilities. The first few seconds of their first song proved the larger point that high school bands today are so much better than high school bands when I was younger. I feel that the bar has been raised because metalcore is predominantly a teenage phenomenon and with it has come an overall enheavying of what’s palatable to mainstream ears – kids today learn arpeggios and syncopated double-bass patterns where kids back in the day learned some shitty Nirvana riff and were considered the epitome of greatness.

Delirium’s talent was evident as soon as they started playing: arpeggios, sweeps, scales, and weird tapping occurred with such gratuity that it made me chuckle. It wasn’t like the music of Viraemia or Monumental Torment (intended to baffle you with otherworldly musicianship/brutality) but the product of a band replacing traditional riffing with a lot of little guitar tricks, as if they have no experience with the former because they started out learning only the latter. It was interesting to see that you can transmit the same level of nuance with a series of untraditional guitar playing as you can with chords or riffs. Their abilities, from vocalist to drummer, were impressive enough to gain the approval of the old metalheads in attendance, a notoriously stodgy crowd. (Years ago a gray-haired metalhead wearing an empatched vest over his leather jacket told my friend to take off his flap-eared winter hat because it was an embarrassment to metal. “Did you even know that guy?” “No.”)

Delirium were clearly having fun and were really excited that people were enjoying them. They were playing like pros while still not quite being able to pose and headbang as confidently as their older brethren. The friends that came with them were excited as well, obviously having as good a time on the road trip as they were at the concert specifically. Delirium: a band of friends having fun and being friends and stunned at how fun being a band can be. Hold on to it my young friends! Soon you’ll have to put up with the flakiness and mercurial personalities of adult musicians.

Delirium stuck around for the duration of the show and moshed and cheered for every band that followed. Every compliment they received was repeated among themselves with wide smiles and disbelief. The older dudes in the other bands had to feel like they were the coolest people on Earth for being so revered by the next generation. Delirium’s bass player was overheard telling his mom that no, no he wasn’t ready to leave - the headbanging must continue!
The show was put on by Jonathyn Arthurs, a 17-year old theistic Satanist who performs under the moniker The Dark and Bleak. He also books shows and shoots promo photos as Crystal Moonlight Studios. TDAB will be discussed later, but suffice it to say that like Delirium’s set, the whole affair had the charming naiveté of an excited kid – the fliers with set times were posted everywhere (“set times are approximate”) as were signs noting that

“Neither Crystal Moonlight Studios or Bernies Distillery are responsible for any injuries or stolen/missing property. Any damages made to the venue or any of the bands equipment is YOUR responsibility and you will be required to pay for the damages within a short period of time. Please stick around for all the bands and just have a good time.”

The enthusiastic professionalism of the signs aside, this professionally-run ship did make for smooth sailing. The show was a little ahead of schedule and nothing appeared to have been broken at the end of the night.

Assorted parents and grandparents were in attendance – what did they think of the name Coathanger Abortion? The name Coathanger Abortion was even conspicuously absent from the illuminated dry-erase board that lists the evening’s bands. Coathanger have been a band since 2000 and have toured extensively since then, so you also had to wonder what they thought of everything, the parents and teenage bands and the promise of a one-man black metalish band playing right before them. It is brutal death metal so it’s always going to be a little weird, but still.

After Delirium was a band from Columbus, and they were unfortunately called Church. The vocalist noted that the band can be found online at facebook.com/notyourmomschurch, leading me wonder if the whole point of the name was to be able to make that joke. They were all metaled out - wallet chains, beards, sleeveless shirts, etc. - and played beer-drinking metalhead-metal, a fist-pumping force one or two steps heavier than Lamb of God. They actually sound a lot like the bands on underground metal comps from the late 90s/early 00s and reminded me of Deceased, if Deceased were actually good. (I recently re-listened to Blueprints for Madness and it is fucking terrible. [Aside from ‘the Triangle,’ which is a killer song with cool lyrics about the Bermuda Triangle.])

Church is good but the tepidity of their moniker carried over to their song titles: “False Redemption,” “The Lack of God,” “Sheep to the Slaughter,” etc. etc. I want to hear stuff like “The Vault of Ancient Bone & Poison Saliva” and “Genesis of Putrescence” - how is one supposed to lead the charge against moronic religious bullshit when your battle hymns aren’t particularly inspiring? But their bassist is a towering dude who looks like Peter Stormare from Fargo and we all know that guy didn’t need to be a wordsmith, so whatever. But the band was good enough. Delirium loved them and the power of their set made a dad shout something between songs. “What did you say?” his companion asked. “I don’t know – I just wanted to yell!”

Forced to Rot was like Church, but tighter and with better equipment, and they too played no-frills underground Metal. They were a little more brutal overall than the previous band, as they opted for guttural vocals instead of throaty old-school roars. Like Church is one step heavier than Lamb of God, Forced to Rot is one step heavier than Church.

Aside from having a really cool name, Forced to Rot were fantastic. Watching them play made me re-appreciate x100 why metal is cool: it’s unparalleled musicianship, you get enveloped by sound, and there are parts so universally good that you headbang involuntarily. Plus seeing a bunch of long hairs headbanging in unison is super sick regardless of what kind of music you normally listen to.

But it is always awkward when only one guy in a band is wearing corpsepaint. One and only one member of Forced to Rot had his face painted like a skull. I guess my feeling is that it is kind of goofy and a little bit distracting, but if it helps him get in the zone, who cares…? I’m personally taken out of the zone when I look up and see not a misanthropic ghoul but a guy who just really wanted to wear corpsepaint. But it’s not really his fault - how many times has a band’s corpsepaint looked genuinely creepy in high-contrast album art only to lost its entire forest-dwelling mystique when you see the band live and you realize it’s just a bunch of sweaty men dripping white paint down the front of their distended tank-tops? (This wasn’t the case here; no sloppy paint, it was just kind of out of place.)

But again, who fucking cares? It was a metal show – it’s not often you get to unabashedly celebrate this thing of ours with a bunch of people who totally get it. Forced to Rot’s vocalist got it and definitely appreciated it. All night he was positive and happy. Between songs he made a point to complement each one of the bands. “Delirium – if I played guitar like that I’d have no fucking fingers left! Church – give it up for the only kind of church I enjoy!” It wasn’t just the music that made this show great – it was cool to see that this thing, the metal scene, an international subculture, a thing that few people inside and outside of metal really understand the value of, continues to exist on its own terms with camaraderie and insouciance.

The singer was positive through the end of their killer set:

This is the last song. It’s time to go crazy. But more importantly, it’s time to have some fun. If that means committing mass murder, then so be it. If it means getting yourself hard and jacking off in the mosh pit, do it! If it means…oh, whatever, just play the fucking song!

The Dark and the Bleak is apparently somewhat of an institution in Columbus. It is the solo project of the aforementioned Jonathyn Arthurs, a young man who epitomizes the idea that working hard will bring success. According to the collection of flyers on his Facebook page, he has played everything from high school battles of the bands to a Used Kids Monday Matinee to the Obetz Zucchinifest, where he opened for Bret Michaels. I can’t imagine how crazy the last show must have been – the Dark and Bleak, in Obetz, at the Zucchinifest, wearing a black leather trench coat and face paint, on stage playing shredding metal by himself, to people who are there to see Bret Michaels. But I was admittedly skeptical - how many trenchcoat and nail polish-wearing teenagers really have decent solo projects? What is the likelihood that a band with a plain font logo will actually rule?

He explained his MO during his set at Bernie’s: “Some of you may be wondering, ‘why is he up here by himself?’ And the answer is because I promote independency. You all have the power within you to reach your dreams. You know that fear you feel? Take that and turn it into motivation!

Right on, man! I like this message not only for its general application but because it allows him to fearlessly do what he does. But I got nervous for him when I heard him sound-checking his mp3 drum tracks. It was a Casio-keyboardian 4/4 beat, and he was being really particular about it. He walked around the stage, then out in front of it, then smiled and shrugged at the sound guy. He introduced himself, thanked everyone for being there, and started playing. And it was fucking KILLER. I was stunned at how good it was. He was shredding as well as any of the known one-man death metal bands that routinely play festivals and put out records. There was conveniently a brick on stage, and this allowed him to stand with one knee bent, a position taken to maximize brutality. (He reportedly sometimes brings his own fan, for maximum hair enblowment.)

Goddammit, though. I hate to say it, but the second song he played confirmed my initial fears. The song starts with bells that sound like a sample from the ‘Home Alone’ soundtrack, and is followed by a metal-voiced recitation of poetry over mid-paced melodic metal. The stylistic change completely caught me off guard. It’s the kind of metal that people who like metal without getting too hooked by a specific subgenre listen to; the midpaced triplet-driven song is a staple on metal albums, and I guess he wanted to make a contribution of his own. It was well-played and the title “Masquerade” implies an important reiteration of seeing through society’s bullshit, but the gothic flavor nonetheless killed the momentum of the first excoriating attack.

Fortunately the next song he played was more like the first. He said that he wrote the song in 2008. This means he wrote it when he was around eleven: “This next song is about pollution. But first, I’m going to take this [leather trenchcoat] off – this thing is ridiculous!”

He laughed as he said this. He seemed at home on the stage but was humble and appreciative and very polite. His modesty throughout the night was endearing. “I have one more song before we get to the real talent.” Pointing at the kids in Delirium: “I’d like to see a small mosh pit.” More than half his set was ripping death metal, and I was continually impressed and was able to look past a long solo that was only incidentally in tune. This kid rules. Support him in doing what he’s doing: leading a metal life because it’s satisfying on the deepest possible level. (And according to a recent Facebook post, there are “64 things left to finish in terms of recording the new album. But with 3 things or more getting done each day it should be done in great time.”)

Coathanger Abortion was sitting quietly in a corner of Bernie’s. They were manifestly brutal death metal dudes – Gutrot shirts, camo shorts, hawking the requisite color-logo-with-gruesome-white-art shirts almost mandatory in BDM. Stylistically, I knew I would be really into them - they are on Comatose Records and will be touring with Devangelic and Lust of Decay this summer – but I couldn’t help but be annoyed by their name. Don’t get me wrong, I really like Disgorged Foetus and Nailshitter, and that Scatorgy record is great; it’s not baroque grossness that’s the issue but the kind of grossness their the name implies: the kind of really, genuinely eerily violent and misogynist brutal death metal that makes you realize that maybe some people involved with this musick really are terrible assholes and not just dudes trying to outdo each other with scenes of zombie and medical violence. Lividity, Incestuous, Female Nose Breaker - dudes who seem to take pride in being as fucked up as they can as a supremely juvenile form of revenge against women they probably routinely creep out. I was prepared for Coathanger to say something ultra-degrading between songs but they totally did not. They have a song called ‘Leaves,’ about smoking weed, and they have a song ‘Mall Monster,’ whose lyrics are the following:

Now as darkness falls over me, sitting at the hotel waiting to leave
Just waiting to get this night over
Down on your knees
Crawling toward a break
I can't escape from this place that I hate
I can't wait to leave this place in the morning
I can't wait any longer
Waiting for dawn
Mall monster. Muzak insanity, its driving me crazy
Mall monster. Glaring at security cops
Seeing constant pop culture
Yuppie fashions under surveillance
Surrounded by a mass of idiots
Money blowing fools
Dollar signs are everywhere
Pick me, buy me, I am what you want
Food court terrorizer strolls by you
Cover your children's eyes
The mall monster has consumed you
Shit on sale


I admittedly passed on their album “Dying Breed” because of the band’s name, but now realize I was totally remiss in doing so. As a review on Encyclopaedia Metallum goes, “Within the grotesque heap of muck known as modern brutal death metal there are some albums floating around out there that no one has and know one [sic] even knows about that are insanely sick.” (Seriously, get this album. It’s really, really good.)

I like brutal death metal way more than I like regular metal, so the pleasure I derived from watching Forced to Rot play was multiplied tenfold when Coathanger started playing. I was entranced watching everyone in the band go about their business. They are so tight and the riffs are so patently interesting that the brutality almost took second stage to the joy of watching the songs unfold. Almost but not quite, since the fact that it was brutal death metal made everything that much more enjoyable. The drummer was absolutely incredible (and sports killer sideburns), the guitar players were astounding, and the vocals were awesome grunts that sounded like someone was turning on and off a faucet running with the sound of inhuman roars echoing through a drain. (And it wasn’t even the regular vocalist – the bass player handled vocals since the vocalist couldn’t do the tour.)

And within watching Coathanger Abortion play is the essence of Bernie’s – it’s not your mom’s church but an even higher and much more genuine form of affirmation. You feel proud of what you are into; you can’t believe you are witnessing something so powerful – on a small stage in a dank basement in a random city on a random evening, something is going on unlike anything else on earth. You are moved to headbang, to smile hugely in appreciation of an insane riff or Neolithic mosh, to celebrate it all with thirty other people, the number not a poor turnout but a hush-hush klatch that makes the evident secrecy that much more profound. Thank you Jonathyn Arthurs/the Dark and Bleak/Crystal Moonlight Productions for setting up the show – it was totally fucking sick.

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Metantoine
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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 12:21 am 
 

Razakel wrote:
That sounds awesome, Tony. A couple of friends of mine went to that gig and said it was great. I fuckin' love Hooded Menace and hope to see them at some point.

Haha next time tell them I'm a cool guy, a friend of a friend is a friend!

cankeredroot, I've moved your live review here.
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Goatfangs
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 4:15 am 
 

Mournful Congregation with Prosanctus Inferi, Begrime Exemious and Extermination Angel

May contain traces of spelling errors because I am up at 4 in the mourning right now.

The two hour drive to Baltimore was absolutely worth it, solely for the headlining act Mournful Congregation, a band I've been wanting to see for seven years now and finally had the chance to do so. Two hours is nothing, compared to how far they have traveled just to perform about five times in the Northeast United States

First up was Extermination Angel, a decent death metal band that played death metal and was good at it so I give them an 84/100.

Next was Prosanctus Inferi who was very intriguing because they had an album and LP out with some really freaky album art. So freaky that when I stare at the CD right this minute my mind in its infinite state of completely fucking tired hallucinates all of those fucking jaws snapping and everything moving and OH FUCK I'M HAVING A METAL INDUCED BAD TRIP okay I put the CD down now but PI was really good, reminded me of Incantation and had very unique riffs. Simple, dark, effective. 85/100

Begrime Exemious was a band that never mentioned the Exemious part so they just called themselves Begrime the whole night probably because it was easier. Being from Canada, they were Canadian. They also played death metal, making it three bands in a row that played not-funeral-doom. But that's okay, since it was still entertaining and fast paced which kept everyone from falling asleep prematurely. That was the one problem with the Esoteric show, all of the previous bands were also doom, so it seemed to drag on until Esoteric started then it was fucking awesome. But tonight was really awesome through until Mournful Congregation. Oh, and I'd give Begrime an 82/100.

Mournful Congregation was next and I stood up front like a giddy doom metal fan seeing his favorite band for the first time. They absolutely delivered on the promise I imagined them to make in my head before the show that they would sound massive by incorporating three guitarists that made them sound really fucking massive. So massive that there was a really fat guy behind me and he seemed very light in mass compared to Mournful Congregation's guitar sound. They started off their set with Mother - Water, The Great Sea Wept. Fantastic song and damn near perfectly flawless without any missed notes. And because I listen to Mournful Congregation religiously at times, I know every fucking note in every fucking song they ever did. So when they played The Waterless Streams next I noticed about two missed notes but they were completely forgivable because it was a fucking awesome rendition of that monster of a song. Next up was Slow March to the Burial which was crushing to hear live, I think my ears are ringing just because of it. Next they did a new song, Silence of the Passed, but not entirely perfectly. I still enjoyed it a whole fucking lot and didn't care. Finally, they finished up their set (which was over an hour long) with the epic The Monad of Creation. They had some difficulty with this one, there were moments when they were off time, and the first solo was totally messed up, but otherwise it was a great performance. Overall I'd say they did a 94/100.

Then I drove home because there was no more bands. I'm realy tired. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
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analog_winter
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 6:53 pm 
 

Pygmy Lush, Thou/The Body collab, Vilkacis, and Jail Solidarity @ The Pinch in Washington, DC. July 3rd.

First up were Jail Solidarity, and I only caught part of their set from the back of the room as I wasn't particularly interested in them. Described as noise rock on the flyer they put on a pretty decent set,t here were some cool bass grooves, but all in all I wasn't hugely into it. Maybe a 5 or 6/10.

Next, were the mighty Vilkacis (featuring Mike of Fell Voices, Ruin Lust, Vorde, etc) from New York. Now for a while I've maintained the opinion that these guys are the best black metal act in America, and this set absolutely confirmed it. What a vicious & intense performance. They only played 3 songs for a total of about 20 minutes but it was one of the best sets I've ever seen, of any genre. They opened with "Freezing Hell", the opener on their debut EP, played a new song in the middle, and closed with the incredible "Blood Dream in the Fever of War." Total annihilation. The riffs were on point and they played at such a frenzied pace it bordered on chaos at times but in just the right way. The drummer was unrelenting, using only a single bass drum, snare, hi-hat, and 2 cymbals (looked like 2 rides but he was using on like a crash), furiously playing blast beats and simple 4/4 beats at breakneck speeds to propel the band forward. This is primal, violent, and melodic black metal at its best. 11/10.

Next up were Thou and The Body doing their collaborative set (though on the flyer they were slated to go after Pygmy Lush). Together, these two bands sounded utterly massive. I don't know what they were tuned to, but their guitars were incredibly low, heavy, and noisy, to the point where there was a constant bass rumble that you could feel in your whole body. It was too much for the venue to handle though as they tripped the circuit breaker twice, cutting short two of their songs. It was quite the experience. They played some songs off of the collaborative EP they released earlier this year, as well as 2 covers. The entire set was crushing, it was something that really has to be heard/felt, as words or video don't really do it justice. 10/10.

Finally Pygmy Lush played, and their brand of punk rock/hardcore made for a decent end of the night, however, they weren't nearly as good as Vilkacis or Thou + The Body. Some songs were pretty fun, others I didn't really care for as much, and I was still trying to process the devastation of the last two sets. Probably a 6.5/10.
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joncheetham88
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:59 pm 
 

I reviewed Under the Black Sun. TL;DR, it was good, in the woods, there was beer, hot sun and killer bands.

Under The Black Sun Part XVII: In The Woods Outside Berlin, 3-5 July, 2014
Helenauer Weg 3, Bornicke, Bernau (outside Berlin)

To mark our return to Berlin Under the Black Sun's 2014 installment was practically a no-brainer, not least because it would finally give me the chance to catch Mgła, a band that for the past two years has become one of my all-time favourite black metal acts, live at last after missing them playing Prague on two occasions. The thick, old woods around Bernau (a town on the train line out of Berlin) are a seriously good place to host a line-up of black metal war hordes at night, and while acts like Erebus Enthroned and Darkmoon Warrior don't really suit the jolly beaming of the sun through lively green branches, the environment was truly great. Walking over to the main stage on the second day, just as sun began to set, with the strains of Poland's Deus Mortem aching through the trees, literally humming between the boughs, was an experience like no other

The set-up itself was mighty impressive, with a variety of food vans and drink stalls set up, with the Odin honey beer particularly favoured by the wife and I. Generously, the organisers allowed attendees to bring their own beer as well. There was quite a few merch booths up with most of what you could want for, from the truest Hell's Headbangers vinyls to lavish Agonia digipaks and all the rest, not to mention I came across a couple of real neat grabs at Under Cover Records' booth. Dried horse shit, dead branches and dessicated mud scraped enjoyably under our boots, and blokes in festival t-shirts sat on the ground around a log shed during the earlier bands at the camp stage area, adding to the feeling of the festival having been just planted spontaneously in a woodland. Were this a line-up with stuff like Horna, Behexen and Taake instead of a mix of brutality and melody, it would have been the closest you could get to actually experiencing live music inside a bloody '90s black metal album cover.

Highlights:
Demonical seem to be getting quite a bit of love in the underground with their latest record, and although I don't have a copy everything they played for the part of the set I saw, both familiar and unfamiliar, sounded terrific. Great, grooving low-end sound and punishing leads, with the energy and muscle live death metal needs and deserves.

Mgła were nothing less than stunning. Along with Black Witchery I would say they are the best extreme metal act I have seen live, truly a transcendental, pseudo-religious experience. Going on more than an hour after they were scheduled meant it was about 1am, and naturally by the time the opening trill of 'Further Down the Nest I' sounded it was pitch black, the trees looming faintly in the green light from the stage, the band obscured in shadows, dry ice and their customary hoods. Although I reckon the bottom end stuff, the bass drum, bass guitar, was a bit loud in the setup during this festival, drowning some of the treble so important to M's music, the sound was otherwise perfect and the band's performance flawless. No need for gimmicks, showboating or much communion with their worshipers - they simply stood there and performed a series of songs that, had they been written in the '90s, would be considered genre-defining. By the time the immortal, unforgettable opening to 'With Hearts Towards None VII' began, I was rapt, and would have stood through another three hours of that single song if I had the chance. Perfect.

Mgła is difficult to top. Erebus Enthroned were a worthy next band to see though when we got back to the camp stage the next day, after the vaguely pompous sound of The Great Old Ones died away. This is one band that really comes into its own live. The vicious, thrashing riffs in 'Crucible of Vitriol', the powerhouse they call a drummer, the mix of arcane guitar leads and pummeling blasts that defines the material on their debut, the rabid and possessed-seeming expostulations of their frontman, and the all-consuming might of the ingeniously written and structured epic that closed out the set, 'Temple Under Hell'. Fucking solid. You must see this band if you like Dark Funeral and Watain, 'cause they are better than either of those bands are now.

The surprise highlight of the festival was the long-running Countess. I've reviewed them on here before, but I was nowhere near prepared for just how good their plodding, retro black metal anthems would be onstage. Since I spoke to him last, Orlok has gathered around himself a cohort of live musicians more than capable of bringing his mostly one-man materials to life. 'I am the Infidel', 'Trumpets of Dawn', 'Call of the Ancient Pantheon' and 'City of Satan' became arresting, majestic, epic black metal in their hands, with live drums and bass guitar transforming the basic rhythms of the recent CDs into a hulking, well-paced progression. And the guitar solos were incredible. Catchy, awesome and irreligious heavy metal far more glistening and rocking than anything else at the festival, but totally worth seeing and an absolute treat to stand right up front for with a beer and smokes in the sun. Fucking good memories.

Well that was about it since we had to head back to Berlin for some stuff that night. I would recommend this festival. However I would also recommend you camp, as we missed Nunslaughter in our bid to catch the last train out of Bernau on Thursday (made it with one fucking minute to spare no less) as I was not fortunate enough to be off work the next day. Which was a bastard, although it was great to catch up with those utter gents at their merch stand. So yeah, since there's a really nice pub nearby with a (thank fucking fuck) clean toilet and Warsteiner for sale, not to mention pools to trail the old feet in, I would say it would be awesome to camp there one day. Just tricky to maneuver around work and all the other demanding crap that currently comprises our lives.

And another thing:
My goodness there are a lot of fucking Inquisition shirts around these days! Last time I was in Berlin, at Nuclear War Now! Festival Watain was all the rage, but it seems they've fallen from favour as I barely saw one single Watain shirt or patch, but the Inquisition logo was everywhere I looked. I wonder how long before they get replaced.
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analog_winter
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 3:15 pm 
 

Ash Borer, Hell, Coffin Dust, Battlemaster, and Unsacred @ Strange Matter in Richmond, VA. July 9th.

Unsacred were the first band to go on, and I had seen them before when they opened for Bastard Sapling. I definitely liked them better the first time around. Pretty good blackened hardcore, but most of the songs just felt the same to me, and although they played with a ton of energy I just wasn't feeling it last night. Solid set, but I could have enjoyed it more. 6/10.

Battlemaster were up next, and they were pretty awesome. Their singer described themselves as "quirky black/thrash," which was pretty on point. These guys have some serious chops. The riffs were on point and the drumming was awesome. This was a fast, fun, and totally energetic set. I would definitely like to see these guys again, although it wasn't the kind of stuff I could see myself listening to a lot on my own. Their music is definitely best suited to a live environment. 8/10.

Coffin Dust were the first of the out of town bands to play, and they played a decent set of old school death metal with a fair amount of d-beats. This should have been something I liked but, I found myself not being that into it. The riffs just didn't grab me that much. But they did play with a lot of energy and their vocalist was pretty funny in between songs. 6/10.

Now to the bands that I really wanted to see. Of the headliners, Hell was up first, a band I never thought I'd have the chance to see live given how limited their performances were earlier in the life of the band. Their set was utterly crushing. Around 40 minutes of some of the best sludge/drone/doom being made now. The highlight was seeing them play "Mourn" from III. That song utterly floored me, as the studio version is great, but seeing it live was unbelievable. Vocal duties were split among the guitarist, MSW who is the main creative force behind the project, and the drummer, ALN, who does vocals for the earlier material, and his screams are practically inhuman. Total extreme doom devastation. 10/10.

To close out the night were Ash Borer, whose return to the east coast I have been eagerly waiting on for 3 years since I missed them on their last excursion to this side of the country. They proceeded to play one of the best black metal sets I've ever seen, totally living up to my expectations, especially since they played some material from the self-titled full length (since I don't really love anything they've put out since then). Everything about their performance was on point. It was a full-on black metal assault played with intensity and ferocity. The ambient interludes provided a calm between the unrelenting storms of black metal that make up the majority of their music. 9.5/10 just because they didn't play either of my 2 favorite songs of theirs, but an absolutely great performance nonetheless.

Total support to Ash Borer & Hell on their full US tour. Go see them if you have the chance, as they both put on a stunning performance.
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RepulsiveVenom
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2014 3:56 am
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Location: Australia
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 3:16 am 
 

Anyone seen Cannibal Corpse recently? They're coming here in AUS and I last saw them in '06. Contemplating going to go see them. Any feedback would be appreciated.
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cameronwoods
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Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2014 5:41 am
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 5:45 am 
 

Yea, any latest updates about Cannibal Corpse and has anyone read Bible Of Butchery?


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Metantoine
The XVI, dominar to over 258714 subjects

Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:00 pm
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Location: Québec
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 3:33 pm 
 

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Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats + Danava / September 27th 2014 @Bar Le Ritz in Montréal

It was already my third show at the brand new Bar Le Ritz PDB, the new name and identity of the Il Motore and the venue was completely full like it was last week for the trendy post black metal of Deafheaven. This time, the crowd wasn't as hip, I was in my element with the psych rock and doom metal on the menu but let's not forget the excellent beer the bar is now selling (Trou du Diable is the shit, I've picked La Morsure and its 6,5% attack.) I like the new disposition of the stage (now located at the back of the venue) and the colorful walls reminding me of Lego blocks are giving the venue a joyful feel not thoroughly disconnected from the offerings of the two bands of this abnormally warm late September week end.

21:00 to 10:00
Danava (from Portland, Oregon... maybe they're friends with Witch Mountain, a band I've catched at this same venue 2 weeks ago) opened the gig with their super heavy blend of psychedelic hard rock. The two guitars attack led by mainman Dusty Sparkles (is that his real name? I hope so) was contagious and got a good reception from the crowd (who, in my opinion, was widely unfamiliar with the Americans except a few connoisseurs.) Their Thin Lizzy inspired approach sounded fresh even though they're (fortunately) far from being a modern band. Borderline metal, Danava fits (even though they were formed earlier) with the recent vintage rock revival led by the likes of Graveyard or Kadavar and like these Europeans, they rock hard and loud. Great band and a nice discovery for many.

Highlight: “Longdance” from their self titled debut album.

10:20 to 11:40
The Brits of Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats were next and man, I really like gigs with only two bands (we all know that three is the optimal maximum.) There's a tendency to just add too many groups to a lineup and sometimes it's unbearable because they don't all fit with each others. It's not the case here, both bands possess deep psychedelic roots and even though Uncle Acid mix that stuff with a huge dose of doom metal, they can crossover many musical dimensions. Blending the classicism of Cathedral inclined doom with a fondness for 1960s psychedelic rock, their sound is as interesting as their B series movie inspired persona. Bikes, hot girls in leather and short jeans, haunted house, the whole shtick indeed. Too bad I need to pay for my university semester since their merch was pretty impressive!

Their almost 80 minutes set encompassed their 3 albums with the clear highlights being the cuts from Blood Lust (“Death's Door”, “I'll Cut You Down” or “13 Candles”) but also the excellent opener of 2013's Mind Control “Mt. Abraxas” which also served as the opener for their set followed by “Mind Crawler” . I cheated a bit before their gig by checking their setlists online but nothing could have prepared me for the surprising cover of Neil Young and Crazy Horse's “Down by the River”! A dude in the crowd was wearing a Neil Young shirt, it was probably a sign sent by the rock gods, who knows?

The stage was strangely decorated by three TVs all playing the same show (white noise), well this was different and cool! The band was energetic and played a perfect mix of catchy numbers and slower doomy songs. Their sound was uber loud and the high pitched Beatleseque vocals of band leader Uncle Acid were rightfully placed in the mix and the harmonies of the other guitarist and bassist were complimenting them wonderfully. Nothing was sloppy, their playing was super tight and their slick, classy hippie appearance made me regret cutting my long mane of hair last year! The end of the encore ("Devil's Work") was a bit tedious but that's probably because I was sweating like an ogre who needed some fresh air.

Perhaps my best show of 2014 and I've seen more than 50 bands this summer! I'm pretty sure the acid coven liked their first time in Canada since it was a sold out gig with a very enthusiastic crowd, you could say that their first foray into North America after their gig at the Maryland Death Fest was eagerly awaited and they unsurprisingly delivered the goods.

p.s: hopefully they'll play a bigger venue next time, the show was sold out in less than a week and despite the overactive air conditioning, it was hellishly hot in there! Thanks to Evenko and Ondes Chocs for the review opportunity.

Anyway, time to spin Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere on vinyl, see y'all later!

Pictures here: http://metantoinemagicalrealm.blogspot. ... anava.html
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