The following occured on May 23rd, but time is relative when intoxication and sleep are your hobbies.
Gee, isn’t it oodles of fun when your gang of metal ruffians goes to a predominantly hardcore show and gets jumped by asshole skinheads for simply attending? Despite this happening, and one of my buddies actually getting his head split open as a result of said asshole skinheads, The Contortionist rocked it. Due to the circumstances surrounding the show, I’m only reviewing a few of the local bands, since much of my night was devoted to dealing with some real mofuckas. Also, the bands I’m skipping are all generic djent-core and sound exactly the same, so whatever.
Don’t worry too much about the missing bands, as they mostly sucked anyway.
As Tyrants Fall is one of two local openers I will be reviewing. This band was the eye of the storm: a bright, shining, not completely-horrible band in an ocean of two-stepping and arm-flailing. The band plays technical death metal on the verge of being technical deathcore. I didn’t hear anything that I remembered afterwards, but in the moment the guitar lines and vocals were fun. The problem is that following the eye comes more storm. The bass was inaudible, and the drummer was honestly really out of sync with the rest of the band. It may have been an off day for him, as he’s very tight on the band’s demo, but I can’t praise him here since he was just so off his game at the show. Truth be told, most of the audience didn’t react to the band since they were more metal than hardcore, and there were only really one or two parts per song for the sillies to hop around and pretend to throw bowling balls. Alright, I guess.
This band is like if you mashed together Necrophagist, Emmure, and GG Allin: Technical guitars, lots of breakdowns, and sloppy as fuck. 5.5/10
Pathogenic wins most improved award from me. This band just keeps on getting better and better every time I see them. They canned the clean singer, which is HUGE. I hope with heavy corn syrup. -Ed. That guy murdered every song he popped up on, he had no stage presence, and running the risk of being mean, kinda looked like a Godzilla-sized crying baby every time he opened his mouth to pop out a few notes. Even better, the material seems to have been altered, and old songs flow better than ever, while the new songs have a distinct Death-gone-djent feel, which is frankly, pretty cool. They have a commanding presence onstage, and their technical prowess would probably make your mother squirt. I can’t believe this is the same band I saw at Black Xmas 2 years ago. Just unbelievable.
If Pathogenic continues in the direction they’re headed, they will achieve something big. 8/10
The first band on the touring bill was Your Memorial, and while the music they played wasn’t my style (technical/melodic/djenty hardcore), they were entertaining in their own right. I’m sensing a theme here. -Ed. The guitars had some interesting parts amidst TONS of beatdowns, and the drums were fun, if not spectacular. The singer actually surprised me by being solid as fuck. Let’s face it: good vocalists are as easy to find in the modern hardcore scene as a diamond in my shit after a week-long Popeye’s binge. Note to self: Eat more Popeye’s, invest in a sifter. -Ed. This guy, for whatever reason though, pulled off a style that was halfway in-between hardcore and death metal that was more hateful and vitriolic than 90% of vocalists in the scene. However, here is where I go into full-on rage mode. It is becoming seriously tiring to see bands get up on stage and give big ups to their deity of choice. I do not give a fuck. It’s getting ridiculous how many of these bands stop their set to go on a preachy rant about how awesome religion is. To all bands that do this: Good for you, you like God. You know why your music sucks? Because you think your worship lyrics are more important than the music they’re set to. I have never found a religious band that doesn’t suffer from this. They stop acting as musicians, and instead begin to play pastor. After they finish their fucking sermon, the fans all cheer and hug or some shit, claiming “those dudes are so brave; it’s so hard to say that if you play heavy music.” No, it’s not. It’s not fucking brave, it’s not fucking cool; if you think that, then stick your penis in a toaster oven. Kirk Windstein is religious, and he doesn’t pull that kinda shit. Crowbar puts music first. And they’re awesome. Your Memorial doesn’t, and as a result they are a generic and faceless metalcore band with some potential. Start thinking as a musician, not a preacher, and you might get somewhere.
As much as I hate what this band stands for (putting religion before music), they played alright, and DID have potential. They are technically competent. They can’t write a song to save their lives. The vocalist is good. The bassist is inaudible. I like and hate this band in about equal amounts, so I should give them a 5, but that feels a little low, so we’ll call it a 6 on the fucking silly 1-to-10 scale. There you have it. 6/10
The Plot In You was fairly tight. Honestly, if I was blind, besides the fucking stupid, whiny, off-key, emo singing bits, you could have told me Your Memorial was still on and I probably would have believed you. This is boring, generic metalcore. And if it’s called something else now, I’m still going to call it metalcore because that’s what it sounds like: a singer who is halfway between metal and hardcore, guitars that alternate between hardcore breakdowns and two-step riffs, and metal At the Gates-style rip-offs. Drums are technical and tight, but generally boring. I really enjoyed nothing about this band. As mentioned before: Basically sounds like Your Memorial with one or two distinguishing factors (stupid singing bits and a weak shout). Also pregnancy. -Ed. You could say they get bonus points for not stopping the set to talk about God, but I’m not gonna reward them for NOT doing something. Also, fuck the stupid hatemoshing fans that were targeting metalheads (these fucks actually targeted a dude on fucking crutches. Disgusting.). This band sucks.
I kind of hate this band. Actually, I totally do. 3/10
Now, up to this point, it may seem like the show was a waste of time and money, given that the one band that scored higher than a 6 had just played at Metalfest, a show that I was at. Actually, The Contortionist did too, but they got timefucked. 20 minutes for a prog metal band? Come on. The Contortionist really do something special and unique to themselves, though. If power had went out after the first song, it would have been worth the 14 dollar price of admission. I’m an occasional reader of Decibel magazine (the only major metal publication worth a damn), and during a review for The Breathing Process’ last album (I don’t remember the actual reviewer, but if I did he would get a shout out for being way better than I fucking am) they said something very wise, that I completely agree with as both a musician and a listener. I can’t recall the exact wording because I’m a useless drunk, but it was along the lines of “There comes a time in every band’s career where they evolve from playing a genre of music to playing music.” The Contortionist has only one full length album, and they have done that. Their song choices were fairly obvious, but frankly it didn’t matter. This band PLAYS. They know what the fuck they’re doing, and they command a fucking stage. The new material sounds amazing, by the way, even though it completely stumped fans of The Plot In You, who stood around looking puzzled. Almost all the other bands onstage sorta just sleepwalked through their sets. The Contortionist actually looked confident as fuck and proud. And why not? The songs they play are expertly crafted with the utmost care–you know they put effort into this shit, whereas, The Plot In You, for instance, just kinda throws notes together. This is getting long-winded though, so I’m going to wrap up: This band deserves to be on a bill with bands they actually fit with (let’s say The Faceless, Cynic, Animals as Leaders, Between the Buried and Me–something like that). They deserve to play to people that care about the music as much as them. This band is going somewhere big, and if they don’t, it’s the result of people being idiots. No fault of their own. Amazing.
Come on. Fucking DUH. 9.5/10
Oh yeah, sorry for not being silly enough in the Contortionist portion of this review. I guess I’m a douchebag. Go fuck yourself. Already there. -Ed.
–Redneck from Hell