Note, any italicized text with -Ed. next to it are my own insertions. Of course, you’d know that if you read any magazine or online review site more legit than mine. We’re getting somewhere. Now this is getting to be a long note, so I’ll cut immediately to the part where the white guy talks about rock’n’roll.
Occupation Domination Tour Review
While it’s cool that the Occupation Domination Tour came to Namshaw, did they really have to pick the one town that’s more Masshole-ish than pure fucking Namshaw? Keene is a college town, which means it contains an abundance of jocks who like doing keg stands to LMFAO better than drinking bourbon shirtless, in a shitty kitchen, with Hank 3’s “Gettin’ Drunk and Fallin’ Down” playing in the background. That being said, the Railroad Tavern is a pretty cool venue, featuring no stage, and Dio on the stereo in between sets.
Oh yeah, I’m gonna give bands numerical scores for this review ‘cuz I feel like it.
I don’t know who the first local band was, and I don’t really care all that much because all I heard from the showroom were breakdowns coupled with crappy growls, so I decided to go buy cheap Chinese food. I respect this choice greatly. -Ed.
Upon my return, Zombie Fighter, a local thrash revival outfit was playing. I’ve actually shared the stage with this band, and they’re a great bunch of dudes. While their music is fun-but-unremarkable, they play with a fierce energy that makes you wanna throw on your ratty pair of Reebok high-tops and do keg stands to LMFAO. I kid. Bottom line is this: Zombie Fighter ain’t ever gonna make it to the big leagues unless they show some innovation, but there’s no reason to skip ‘em if they’re on the bill at a show you’re attending. After all, who doesn’t like the ‘80s? I don’t even want to meet the bastard who doesn’t. -Ed. 7.5/10
Conforza, the final local band, put on a set of pretty solid deathcore with some cool leads and sub-par vocals. There’s not much else to say. If you like deathcore, there’s no real good reason why you wouldn’t like this, especially since below-average vocalists run rampant in the genre (Mitch Lucker, anyone?).6/10
Face of Ruin were apparently only playing a few dates on the Occupation Domination tour, and I had never heard of them before, but they put on a solid set of solid death metal solidly. The band kinda just stood there playing, and the singer looked like a trollbeast, but the music was good, if generic, and the solos were great. I thought about picking up their EP, but decided I’d rather buy McDonald’s for lunch the next day. 7/10
Next up was the first band on the entire tour, crossovery thrash band Battlecross. I had heard of these dudes, but never actually listened to their music, because I spotted their cd in an F.Y.E. and thought the cover art sucked. Well, apparently there’s some truth to the phrase “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, because Battlecross kicked fucking arse. They gotta be hiding illegal energy supplements in their van, because they bounced and thrashed across the floor like a bunch of meth-addled bumblebees. The audience was visibly unconvinced at the beginning of the set, given that Battlecross was the only thrash band on the tour (excluding local openers), but over the course of the first three songs, the band slowly won over the entire room, and for me at least, emerged as a rising star in the metal scene; definitely one to keep your eye on. 8/10
Rings of Saturn, on the other hand, despite being over-the-top fun on record, were absolutely hideous live. I was looking forward to a tight, fun filled set of endless arpeggios and breakdowns, but what I got was a sloppy, depressing set of arpeggios and breakdowns. The new singer apparently has a secret love for Suicide Silence (again: Mitch Lucker, anyone?), unlike the previous one, who commanded you to listen with a mix of powerful gutturals and unsettling shrieks. The drums were so sloppy it hurt. If you can’t play gravity blasts, don’t write them into your songs. If you can’t play simple fills, look for a new fucking profession. The bass was non-existent, as even though the bassist was present, he just didn’t play, which crippled the heaviness factor, since Rings of Saturn sticks to high strings unless they’re playing a breakdown. The thing is, none of this would matter if we were talking about a crust punk, grindcore, or even crossover thrash band. But this is technical death metal, and you gotta be on your game. If you ain’t, get the fuck out tha ring! Fucken told ’em! -Ed. 4/10
It’s a damn good thing Aborted was on next, because Rings of Saturn’s set was about as much fun as the Jonestown Massacre. It’s pretty difficult for me to review an Aborted show objectively, since they’re one of my favorite bands, so I won’t: this is unabashed worship prose, that might as well be penned in my fucking cum. Please don’t, you’ll get the servers all sticky. -Ed. Aborted is an amazing deathgrind band that crushes anvils between its metaphorical fingers. This is a band so heavy your eardrums will explode upon hearing one note. The Belgian psychos kicked off their set with the title track from their newest LP, Global Flatline, but they played shit from Engineering the Dead, Goremageddon: The Saw and Carnage Done, and Slaugher and Apparatus: A Methodical Overture too. Their samples weren’t working, but that’s aiight; the crowd just shouted ‘em anyway. “I WILL FUCKING RAPE YOUR SOUL!”. They did, dude. They did. Perfect 10. Jizztastic. 10/10
Technical brutal death metal (I know, over the top genre classification, whatever, fuck you) hippies Decrepit Birth were on next, and their set was fairly predictable until the end, when they busted out a spot on cover of Death’s “Crystal Mountain”. That didn’t really matter, since even though material differs wildly album to album in this band’s canon, it all comes across well live, and Bill Robinson is a great frontman whose dreadlocks make him look kind of like a hippie metal octopus when he headbangs. I was hoping to hear “Solar Impulse”, but I didn’t. It’s cool though, man, let’s just smoke a big bowl ‘o herb and throw on some brutal death metal, maaaaaan. A departure towards the sun (Ignite the bong coil) -Ed. This was just an average set for Decrepit Birth, but that’s better than most of their peers anyway. Man. 8.5/10
California vegetarian deathgrinders Cattle Decapitation are one of the most innovative forces in metal today, combining texturally/sonically different soundscapes to create a genre I have coined Cattle Rock, since I’m that fucking creative. Seriously though: during their 35-40 minute set, one could hear traces of the obvious death metal and grindcore, but also (less obviously) post rock, doom metal, black metal, and slam. None of these styles are portrayed separately like a spazzcore band such as Iwrestledabearonce would do–they are all integrated seamlessly into the rock-solid deathgrind foundation, creating a sickeningly evil vortex of sound, native only to Cattle Decapitation’s members’ twisted brains. That they played shit spanning from their not-yet-released new record (It has since been released, this review was written when it actually happened, ya see. -Ed), Monolith of Inhumanity, all the way back to their Metal Blade debut, To Serve Man, is just a bonus (though “Chunk Blower” kicked arseface). 9/10
Honestly, I’m not as much of a fan of headliners Origin as some of the other bands on the tour, but I’ll be damned if the tech-deathsters didn’t win me over. They played a Composted-style set of silliness, involving a Wheel of Fortune-inspired set wheel that had slots for everything from songs to orders for chicks to show their tittayz. And even though I didn’t know most of the material that well, they won me over via sheer force. It didn’t even matter that drunk non-metalheads came into the pit just to fuck with people and throw them on the ground (said assholes ran into trouble with security and wound up getting kicked out). There’s a reason this band can headline national tours. When your shitty band can command a room this well, you can too. 8.5/10, but only because I’m not all that familiar with Origin.
If you weren’t at this show, you missed out on an incredible night of metal goodness, and one band so bad, they made maximum security inmates thankful they weren’t present. Fuckheads.
Redneck from Hell