This is a great idea! Perfect timing if I do say so myself.
I've actually been, for a month or so now, been doing live show reviews for the webzine I run for the record label I run, Lunatic Pandora Webzine. Pretty much every concert I attend, metal or otherwise, I review them all.
Here are the two reviews I have so far.
A Historic Day: Wolves In The Dorm Room
Location: NYU Auditorium
Lineup: Salome, Wolves In The Throne Room, Shrinebuilder
I couldn't have gotten the news at a better time. It's been quite some time since a show (or any Earthly event, for that matter) has impacted me in such a way that I would consider it profoundly life-altering in any degree. So of course last night when I'd initially heard that Wolves In The Throne Room - a black metal act which I fortunately have had the opportunity to catch live once before - were playing a show the next day my interest got peaked. Even more so when the next pieces of the puzzle were laid before me: it was only $5, Salome and Shrinebuilder were also on the bill, and all this was going to go down at NYU.
Yeah, my jaw dropped also.
Someone had the very good fucking idea of taking 3 bands whose music conveys a sort of transcendental quality to it, and you plant them in a well-renowned facility of educational intake, the result being 50 years down the line future CEO's and tycoons and cybernetic organ harvesters will be controlling every aspect of your insignificant lives while spinning black metal and doom metal.
For the record, I spent the majority of the show sitting, cross-legged, closed-eyed, meditating while under the influence of dextromethorphan and cannabis. ;/
Now, on with the show review!
diSEMBOWELMENT would be so proud. They, the accidental grandfathers of death/doom metal initially began with the intent of having some fun, and didn't think much of the fact that they were mixing two extremes of their day: (what we consider) old school death metal, and doom metal. And it was pretty fucking heavy. However, one absolute truth that we all know is that time continues. And in time, trascendence is usually acheived, out with the old, in with the new essentially.
Salome are quite possibly one of my absolute favorite bands from here on out, and surprisingly this is the first time I've ever even heard their music or of them for that matter! This is extreme, sludgey doom that plods along while crushing anything and everything in its path with a lysergic stomp. The riffs were absolutelty devastating; it's hard to believe that such grand, crushing sounds could be acheived with the simple formula of a pick hitting a few strings. If a blind individual were present at the show today, they'd probably think fucking Armageddon arrived.
Ah, another aspect of this band which I must address: The vocals.
I admit it. I was one of those dudes who deep down felt that there would be no chance in hell that a woman would ever manage to pull off some Lord Worm-esque vocals or some Silencer-shrieks, well. I mean, the only female metal vocalists that ever get recognition are Otep and that chick from Arch Enemy, both of whom are quite subpar. So going with that, my views in that area remained pretty consistent throughout high school.
And tonight is where reality just pimpsmacked me, WITH the baby powder.
Check this: some of the most tortured, disparaged, morbid shrieks, slicing through the dark from an undetermined direction. Whoever or whatever is the source of this must be either criminally insane, or decided to listen to Stalaagh and Wormphlegm back-to-back while they were smoking Salvia. Maybe both. All I know, is that Salome's vocalist Kat (who has lent her voice to Agoraphobic Nosebleed) are among one of the fucking best I have heard in a long time. As I'd mentioned earlier, I was in a particularly deep state of psychotropic meditation, so the only time I laid my eyes upon the band themselves happened to be the time that I astral projected briefly. So I only found out that those sickeningly great vocals were from a chick after their set had ended, and goddamn did it make things all the better. I never thought I'd see the day when diSEMBOWELMENT would lose their spot as my absolute favorite band and be tied with a little-known female-fronted sludge/doom trio from Virginia.
SALOME FUCKING WIN!
Check them out now if you haven't already!
WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM
Magnificent, shamanistic soundscapes intricately crafted via time-stretching tremolo picked riffs soaked in everlasting melancholy in a crystal clear stream flowing during Spring and the howls of the sad souls of the Earth.
That is the essence of Wolves In The Throne Room. The band describe their sound as "purifying black metal" or "transformative black metal", titles which could not be more accurate in their descriptions. Being that I was pretty much the only person who decided to break away from the norms of headbanging and moshing, calmly sat through their set and allowed their purifying sounds to wash over me, cleansing me as I sat paralyzed in a shamanistic trance. (The next few parts are all hypothetical... -coughcoughshiftyeyes-) I decided to kick it up a notch by pulling out my trusty one-hitter pipe (lovingly nicknamed Quistis), filled it with some particularly high-grade cannabis which I'd ascertained from a friend while I'd been waiting on line, raised the flame to it, and inhaled profusely. Seconds turned to minutes, turned to days, to years, for the longer I held in this cannabyssmal voidvapor, the more it seemed that the DXM was mercilessly dropkicking my existence, and judging by the intensity that this particularly bleak yet tranquil dirge was encompassing me in, I knew that the next pull would be what many would call 'the point of no return'.
I exhaled, and as the fumes eventually cleared out, so had my mind. I existed, not as myself, but as just... to make it short, I experienced ego death while listening to Wolves In The Throne Room, and I couldn't have been any happier.
The material they played I believe was off both Diadem of 12 Stars as well as Two Hunters. Though I have no complaints, I would have liked to have seen them play through the entirety of their Black Cascade material akin to the show they did at Death By Audio in Brooklyn a year or so back where they played the entire Two Hunters album. As with the previous band, Wolves' sound was particularly rich, full, complete, and definitely fucking loud. I still can't feel my body as I'm typing up this review.
This is music to meditate to in conjunction with hallucinogens, most definitely.
Supergroups. You've heard the term before; it usually entails a few popular musicians coming together to 'collaborate' and effectively become this awesome force which would not have been had the alliance not been made. Up until this point the only "supergroup" I'd really listened to was Twilight (a black metal band which consisted of members from Leviathan, Draugar, Krieg, Nachtmystium, Xasthur, Isis and The Atlas Moth) and continued on with the mentality that most attempts will result in nothing more than bland cheesiness and utter fail, and the idea of a supergroup only sounds good on paper.
For the second time this night, I was proven wrong.
Melvins percussionist Dale Crover, Sleep/Om bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros, St. Vitus/Obsessed vocalist/guitarist Scott "Wino" Weinrich and Neurosis guitarist/vocalist Scott Kelly.
Take out the bongs, kiddos. THIS is truly the epitomy of stoner doom metal. THIS is the only stoner doom you'll ever need. Sludgey riffs interwoven with halcyonic melodies and an ethereal sort of vibe are the only tools these guys utilize to build their aural shrine. Oh, and I'm assuming entheogens. Lots and lots of entheogens. And by alot, I mean a whole football fields worth of psilocybin mushrooms and cannabis and salvia and maybe some DMT too. Stylistically, they are similar to Om the most but have a much more distinct roughness to them, with plenty of headbangable moments arising quite often amongst the meditant soundscapes they create. Get a hold of their debut album ASAP, you won't be dissapointed!!
All in all, this was an extraordinary fucking show. Perfect line-up, perfect sound, awesome people, awesome trip, and a day which should damn well be in the history books. Fuck all this Lady GaGa and Soulja Boy bullshit. This is real music.
Special thanks to Lauren Jackcon, the alleged individual who organized this event from what I could gather. Thank you for turning what would've been an otherwise dull Thursday into one of the most kick-ass nights of the millenia. \m/
Update: Here is another review of the show by my very good friend and soon-to-be writer for the Lunatic Pandora Webzine, Stephen! Much more informative if I do say so myself and another testament as to how fucking amazing this night went: http://anetherealguitaristspath.blogspo ... -room.html
Location: Rockstar Bar (Brooklyn, NY)
Lineup: Backslider, Chainsaw To The Face, Bloodkitt, Communion, The Unmen
"This is Backslider and we're from the ugliest city in America."
And judging from the raw, ugly assaults that these guys dish out, one could have rightfully guessed so. Personified by a clenched fist of hardcore, a punkish pissed off give-no-fuck-about-the-world attitude and just a hint of grind topping it all off, Backslider create music that wouldn't be out of place to accompany a post-apocalyptic citywide riot to. The crowd response started off weak, but 5 audial beatdowns later the floor was, for the most part, packed. Definitely one of the best opening bands I've seen in a while.
Backslider are the anthem for a disgruntled, agitated generation ready to smack you across the face with a tire iron.
CHAINSAW TO THE FACE
This is one of those bands where the name is an accurate representation of their general sound.
The drummer dishes out some furious, blasting death consistently, complimenting the grinding guitar riffs that bring to mind Brutal Truth, all the while setting the stage for the vocalist to unleash his rage towards a world that deserves it. And rage never sounded this good. Midway through their set this journalist was nearly swallowed up into the throes of the rapidly growing pit these guys were invoking, much to my dismay. Surprisingly the bass was a huge benefactor in their sound, managing to stand out just as much as any other instrument. I have to hand it to them, musical competence and feeling were definitely present from each member. Next time these lunatic chainsaw butchers roll into town, you'll be sure to want to join in on the slaughter.
Time for one of my recent all-time favorite bands ... *drumroll*
The excoriation of angels. The disembowelment of god. The complete and utter annihilation of all existence. Take that, Corrupted, Khanate, Wormphlegm, and diSEMBOWELMENT, mix them all together in a melting pot chocked full of the finest cannabis you can find, and you're not even halfway close to describing the devastating monolith that is Bloodkitt. Putting one doom band on a bill with predominately hardcore/grind bands sounds like a terrible idea.
It is not.
Although they only unleashed 2 songs from their arsenal, their mindfuck of an attack lasted nearly 45 minutes. The root of their sound is in time-stretching, sludgey doom metal, but fortunately they aren't one of those bands who restrict their style just because of their root genre. A very good portion of their set consisted of some particularly brutal death not unlike Gorgasm and a hint of black metal, all coming together in a sublime manner where nothing sounds out of place or "odd". It was pretty amusing watching people mosh in super slo-mo however. Their songs sound like they would have been just *perfect* to accompany the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki without a doubt. Check these fuckers out.
Fucking evil. An abhorrent old-school death metal march towards sheer insanity; they take it upon themselves to carry the torch of hatred. Flesh grinding riffs and godkilling black metal-esque vocals are the only psalms in the Church of The Communion. There really seems to be a huge grindcore overtone in this show thus far, without any of the 4 bands being a repeat of the other. In this case, an accurate description of them would be if Antaeus and Last Days Of Humanity joined together. When I came back in from a good bowl of weed I was astonished - the ENTIRE fucking floor were up and about! That itself is a testament to how sick these dudes are. Hell, the end of their set even consisted of a great drum solo beneath some droning, noisy feedback. They're apparently also playing Maryland Death Fest, so be sure to keep an eye and an ear out for them!
A hypersonic swarm of pestilence cloaks the land as the unbridaled, devastating force of the Unmen quartet repeatedly curbstomp your fucking face for the rest of eternity. This is music you go postal to. This is music you'd kick your snobby, arrogant boss in the nuts and toss him out of the 87th floor window to. The band had a great presence; their riffs oozed of nothing less than thrashing grind and grinding thrash. Sodom and Kreator have NOTHING on these guys. Even I ended up going batshit insane in the pit for the first time in the show. This is violence in its purest form, this is how a goddamn warzone sounds like.
P.S. I have never heard a band cover S.O.D.'s "Kill Yourself" as well as brilliantly as these guys.