Ahoy there, and a merry fuck you! Last time I was at the Middle East, I saw Lights, and being an Indie/Electropop artist, of course there was no pitting, but I wore my Emperor shirt anyway. Y’know. Just in case.
So it had been a while, and Mass Ave is nothing to fuck with. That is one LONG avenue. It extends from normal Boston to Cambridge and once you cross the bridge the address numbers reset, because apparently they seceded and are a completely different city entirely. Yeah. I got a show to review, you putz, and it was free due to the magic of getting there early and having buddies on the backstage crew. It’s all arcane and you could lose an arm trying to do it, so don’t. And all thanks go to a certain Buddy Teifert for putting this shit together somehow. Probably with more magick.
Before I talk about how they performed, I just need to give a swollen thumbs up to bassist/Black Metally vocals guy Jon for wearing a Jesus Is A Cunt shirt. Takes BALLS, man. BALLS.
Scourge blend Thrash, Black, Death, and a smattering of Groove to make a potent brand of metal that’s hard to define, but pretty damn cool. They opened with an instrumental cover of Metallica’s For Whom The Bell Tolls, which kinda got me scared because it could mean one of two things: Scourge is a Metallica cover band or they’re painfully midpaced. Luckily it was neither, so it set a good bar for the rest of the bands. Go listen to the God Is Not Here EP, be fruitful, and multiply.
Nigeria Naegleria are one of Mass’ few Slam bands that Blue hasn’t stuck his dick in yet, but do well despite the lack of ol’ Caterpillar Brows, though to compensate, bassist Jake looked positively Amon Amarthy, having wheaty gold hair, a bushy beard and an Amon Amarth shirt on. Awesome.
The name of the song alone makes it amazing
Named after a brain-eating amoeba that enters through the nose, they’re obviously not a Grunge band. Writing and performing songs with the themes of sex(obv), disease(painfully obv), and senile senior shotgun massacres(not so obv) is not as easy as some might think. Watching their performance(which was short one guitarist), you notice a lot of subtle nuances that you wouldn’t think come with slam. It’s some complex shit, khed. Not to say that it’s über technical, but it’s certainly a few leagues above Wigger Slam. The lyrics are also reportedly more sensible than others in the genre, but I’ll just take their word on that. Being a band of their calibre, the surprisingly lethargic crowd left much to be desired. This is music to kill people to folks, not spectate calmly! I chalked it up to the earliness of the set. Big mistake.
Smite The Righteous
If you’re a regular player of the Genre Guessing Game, you’d almost want to assume Metalcore due to the three+ word rule, but put your half-baked assumptions aside and make way for Technical Death Metal. It won’t go down as the absolute greatest set in history, sure, but they kept it entertaining, tossing out condoms with stickers saying Eat A Fat Penis Kid and a slightly modified STR logo featuring Fetus instead of Rigtheous.
Can’t really say much about their set aside from the fact that there were two vocalists, and one of them had apparently not been a part of the live performance for some time and was forgetting some of his lyrics, which added to the fun of the show where it wouldn’t be quite as fun if Scar Symmetry had done it.
Hope Before The Fall
To be honest, a lively crowd would have made this set a bit more fun. Meh-talcore becomes a bit more exciting when you have an audience that’s not an oil painting. Even a Chelsea Grin performance becomes an experience when there’s a gaggle of dancers. HBTF may have just hit the wrong venue for such a show, because they did play some nice breakdowns, and had some okay choruses, but weren’t mindblowing. I won’t exactly love it if they open up at a future show, but if there’s a more willing group of ruffians, there could very well be aerobics.
Almost forgot about these guys. I’d never heard of them up until I asked them who they were, having not seen their logo anywhere on the flyer. Just a surprise touring act from Minnesota as usual, eh? They were pretty good, but could’ve used a bit more variation between songs. I guess you have to be a fan to differentiate between different songs when it comes to Brutal Death Metal, so I won’t knock ’em, as they did their job well.
Oooh they touch my tra-la-la. Mmmm. My ding-ding-dong. So I guess they can take the “Searching for 2nd guitarist” add-on off their myspace, seeing as ex-Composted weedler Jimmy Roher is now on tapping duty for this bacon flavored bunch. They played Babypaste, Leave It To Cleaver, and stuff I didn’t know, but what really made this set was 1) Watching the sheer technicality, 2)Watching OuchDrummer Jimbo pound away at his kit with a big ol’ goofy smile, and 3) THERE WERE PITS! Granted, it was only me and a couple other guys jovially pushing one another, but it was something, dammit. Like being sex starved and having someone stare at your penis for 5 minutes. It works. Weirdly.
I just got a little distracted by the mathematical theorem and actually paused to read about it briefly, so blah.
Infinite Descent easily had the largest crowd of the night, so I’m guessing the rumors that they don’t play often and this would be their last show weren’t complete speculation. If their business cards(yes, business cards) were to be trusted, they play an epic sort of Progressive Metal. While I didn’t get much of a feel for the Epic part of their performance, they certainly do bring the Prog and the Metal. Think Into Eternity but without the harshness. No 20 minute songs, no ADD time signatures, just an apparent need to keep songs going and explore new territory throughout their course. Further investigation will need to be done, but bassist Phil for some odd reason made a run through the audience, wielding his instrument like a bayoneted musket, staying on the floor for 30 seconds, and running back on stage. I should’ve asked what happened there, but hey, the show went on without a hitch. Or was that a hitch? What is “a hitch” anyway? Oh well, I got myself an inflatable flail out of this. For ye uneducated, it’s a mace on a chain. Expect to be hit by it at the next Palladium show.
Ah, Necronomichrist, the controversialest local band I can think of. Maybe it’s the not-so-Christian friendly lyrical themes, their penchant for barbed wire wreaths and pentagrams made of nails, or the fact that their name is both blasphemous and brings up that no-good H.P. Lovecraft.
This set was a bit of a mixed bag. Necronomichrist plays chilling Blackened Death Metal with the help of keyboards, andwere apparently the only band worthy of a continuous pit, but the downside is that a drunken asshole was the main proponent of said pits. Luckily the security guards caught wind of the shenanigans and ejected him from the venue, allowing everyone to absorb the negative energy created by being super cool.
I really should listen to more Nemecide. The only song I knew was Summon The Hydra-Yeti, which they played first, leaving me to just watch awkwardly for the rest of the set. I enjoyed their performance, and even a rather disobedient guitar cord that kept coming loose while poor little Buddy was trying to play didn’t stop them in their tracks. Mucho energy from Stephen, who had the mannerisms characteristic of a Hardcore vocalist, but it didn’t detract from the Melodic Blackened Death style that Nemecide employs. Must buy Incursion. Someday.
Thy Will Be Done
Sadly TWBD didn’t capitalize on the major lulz that could’ve been earned from them pointing out that they, a Christian band were opening for a band that’s not quite so Christian, but nonetheless, it was a good show. This is a band I’d probably like a lot more if I discovered them 3 years ago as opposed to that night, blending Groove, Thrash, and Metalcore to make entry level Heavy Metal that won’t offend your mother or 15 year old brother. Once again, lack of crowd energy kinda killed what could have potentially been a very fun set, especially since it was near the end of the night and that’s when the crowd is the most souped up. Blame Cambridge once again. J. Costa has a habit of stage banter, but it’s the type that gets a few rounds of applause, and at least he was aware he was munching away at his band’s playing time. I wonder if he still has crumbs in his beard. And what a beard it is!
At last, the créme de la créme, Wily Coyote and the gang storm the stage and demand circle pits right the fuck now. And we, the willing minions, do not refuse the master’s orders. We ran the fuck around! Scott Wily could very well be Satan’s second mouthpiece. Why only second? Because Glen Benton’s the first, of course. Having officially replaced Glen both in studio and on stage, Scott Wily is certainly not fucking around when he asks for pits. Unlike others who may ask for some movement and give up if they see too many folded arms, Scott continues until at least two foolhardy young’uns are out there running track. Blasting through greats like Devoured Elysium, Hammer Down The Nails, and the almighty Dechristianize as the closer, where basically everyone I knew, myself, and Scott Wily’s lady friend jumped on stage to preach the death of the Sky Færie, had a tiny pit, and tried to avoid getting the signature spiked armbands in our faces. It was cool, to say the least.
I really need to stop multitasking while writing these things.