Lofty Goals//Low Places: Lord Almighty @ The Wreck Center

Metal shows aren’t supposed to smell like perfumed concert halls, they’re supposed to smell like cigarettes and stray kitties. And the piss of the aforementioned stray kitties. Which is why the Wreck Center, which fits that description neatly(?) with its run-down atmosphere and greenhouse qualities is the ideal locale for music made by degenerate fuck-ups for degenerate fuck-ups, at least two or three of whom are rocking Neighborhood shit shirts (local respect woowoo). If you buy your own beer and don’t get drunk enough, at least 5 other people will hand you some backup cans to keep your mana running high. Speaking of high, you’ll also get smoked up at least once or twice. Bad place to be if you’re edge, actually.

 

Far from edge, Norwood’s Deathstate soundchecked with vocalist Dan Roshin drumming —and quite well, may I add— with a nip and a can of PBR. Great way to set the tone for what was to come, as their fusion of elements from The Faceless’ dark carnival tech-death, Cattle Decapitation’s brutal grind grooves, Eyehategod’s evil blues, and some Mike Patton-esque clean vocals made for a musically engaging set that spurred on the first rolly-swivel chair mosh I can remember seeing in my years of going to shows. And the fact that I’ve seen a guy circlepit in a wheelchair —twice— before I’ve seen a rolling-chair throwdown in a space like this is one for my mental record books.

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Following a metallic bastardisation of advanced musical techniques were a roiling, churning sea of heavy sound waves provided by Heptagua, who do the small band/big sound approach with only two members. Try and stop people from throwing down when most of your songs go no faster than glacial melting pace, since sludge is about 80% breakdowns if you’re liberal minded enough.

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As you may guess, it went from hot enough to make you sweat to simply sweaty within minutes. One particularly rowdy attendee couldn’t seem to stop throwing elbows to save his own life, or the lives of those catching them in the chest/face, for that matter, myself included. His other antics included lightly slapping everyone as he circled the pit, and running back and forth like an out of control Pong ball, using the walls and the people standing against them as paddles ad infinitum. I didn’t sense any malice, only stupidity as he failed to realise that some people don’t enjoy being hit even if they’re “asking for it” by being next to the pit. I guess he got the “violence and chaos” he sought, even if it was almost all self-created.

 

I’ll spare you the ongoing drama and just tell you that this guy spent the second half of Heptagua’s set and the whole of INTHESHIT’s set arguing passionately about why he shouldn’t have been ejected from the venue, and sneaking back in through one of the many entrances only to be rebuffed and start the whole process over again. He was finally allowed back in for Lord Almighty, and fortunately did seem to have calmed down, if not just a little bit so he wasn’t attacking people with cameras in their hand or trying to flatten bystanders.

 

Continuing the actual review: INTHESHIT’s schizo grind never fails to get that murderous impulse inside every human to stir, if not fully awaken, because fast and heavy music is the sountrack to murder on par with your least favourite rapper. Vocalist Ian’s guy-trapped-in-a-safe-underwater-rapidly-losing-oxygen style meshes seamlessly with the hardcore on amphetamines drumming of ex-Today Is The Day/Anal Cunt drummer John Gillis, the dual guitar attack of Eric (NSF) and Seth, and the mostly inauduble (but I’m sure it’s also lethal) bass of John Belmonte, also of NSF. A strange soup of tempos that ceaselessly bubbles and threatens to spill over into the part of your mind that enjoys melody, the ease of their demanding performances certainly gives credence to the name of their 2013 EP Born To Kill. Born to blast, more like.

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Closing up shop temporarily in their own camp, Lord Almighty’s brand of progressive black metal hasn’t been active for very long. Their Metal Archives page shows that they formed in 2013, and what year is this? They have thus far only released one EP, though its half-hour running time gave them adequate material with which to flesh out a whole set and cap off this exploration of all things heavy just right. It’s a shame that their ‘back to the woods’ Black Metal is taking a (hopefully) brief hiatus, but if anything, they at least brought a little beauty to the dilapidation. The olfactory profile of the Wreck Center on this night in particular not only was home to the aroma of evaporated perspiration, weed/cigarette smoke, B.O. and fumes of spilt alcohol, but a welcoming and hospitable space for people that like to just get loose with friends and strangers alike when something rockin’ is playing, and that’s good enough for us. Come back soon, Lord Almighty.

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Substance(s) Consumed: 1 nip Jim Beam, at least 3 beers, 1 or 2 bowls. It gets hard to remember these things.

Pics by Zana. She rules: I think she is Nosir Idontlikeit but I can never be certain in this quantum reality.

Third Time’s The Charm: Maryland Deathfest, Thursday and Friday

It finally happened. I had a good, no, GREAT time at Maryland Deathfest. Would’ve been better if I could have seen Garm’s unibrow rustling in concentration, but still, fun. Absolutely free of poorly thought out drinking binges, interpersonal drama, God, and other messy things that prevent you from living like a human, I’m glad to report a success story where I not only saw most of the bands I cared to see, but also was fuckin’ FIERCE in , goddamn. Lookin’ and feelin’ good are only two parts to the complex and variable happening that is America’s biggest metal/hardcore party of the year, but it’s easy to forget that when you’re crying and/or puking, and I’m glad to say I only did the latter once, and it was a party puke making room for more party as opposed to an “I hate myself and will try not to do this again” puke. Awesome. Now let’s talk about some shit.

Thursday

There’s not much to say bandwise about Thursday, because fuck New York traffic. Slapshot got it right, they shouldn’t apologise for that shit. Just take a look at this monstrous eyesore I got treated to at the Port Authority station.

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A motherfucking Cake Boss Café. Reaffirms misanthropy like little else. The icing on this cake of fuck is the presence of televisions airing the damn show to the lobotomised patrons. And don’t get me wrong: my brief sojourn to Times Square allowed me to bear witness to a lot of other unspeakable horrors including a strip club/body sushi bar/steak joint (unholy!) but it pains me to even think of the massive overcrowding and overstylised tomfoolery that is that den of iniquity. It takes 30 minutes to get out of that gods accursed necropolis, even with clear traffic, so avoid at all costs all the time. Now that I’m done bitching about long bus rides (and it was long), I’d like to take a moment to give a HUGE shoutout to a certain Peter Willis for setting me up with a couch to crash on the entire MDF weekend, via couchsurfing.org. Highly recommended if you can’t afford a hotel or just don’t want to deal with one anyway. This guy saved my life, and unfortunately I didn’t think to get a picture with him, but here’s his dresser clandestinely snapped pre-cleanup because he’s a party animal.

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To Baltimore natives, Modelo and Natty Boh are water, and Strong Bow Cider is their apple juice.

So without further ado (and I’m not even sure about the ado), I made my sweet little way to the Ram’s Head, and I must say it’s a tad fancier than I would have thought, being called Ram’s Head. I had in mind a bar shitty enough to be Deathfest material, but that was only the bowels. The outside has a fancy ass fountain with lights that make it look like Vegas or someshit. Too cool, dude. And it’s near the most brutal Holocaust memorial you’ll ever see.

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Isn’t that fucking metal? And not just because it’s cast in iron or whatever, but because it’s a bunch of bodies burning, twisting, writhing, and melting in spiritless agony. Forever. Fuckin’ rad. Boston’s glass tubes full of steam can’t compare.

Appropriately in the mood for Coffins after some rituals near this most blesséd monument to misery, I stepped face-first into the sludge.

The embodiment of dark, slow and heavy, and a direct genetic predecessor to Winter’s death/doom monstrosity, Japan’s Coffins is a contender for one of the most disgustingly oppressive metal bands out there. And they’re actually good at what they do, too. The distortion serves not as a cover-up for being shitty musicians (they aren’t), but creates that foreboding grave-like atmosphere we sick fucks need to feel alive. Now one member heavier after moving Ryo from drums to frontman and getting a new stickman during the making of their punishing new album The Fleshland, they brought out plenty of hits from the hellish Buried Death, my personal favourite (though suspiciously missing “Cadaver Blood”, why?). You’d be amazed at how fast a crowd can get moving even though the music runs like a tank draped in human bodies. Easily one of the more brutal pits of the weekend. Nearly lost my shit —as in my possessions, as you know I went ham— but it was totally worth it. “See you tomorrow”, Bungo or Ryo quipped as they signed off, with a smile.

Following with another hard C to the jaw, Nawlins’ own Crowbar came up to the plate and delivered sorrowful Southern sermons to our congregation of freaks.

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There they were chugging along dutifully onstage, I’m looking at guitarist Matthew Brunson as the blues flowed freely, and suddenly there’s a scrawny-looking guy feeling the fury of Kirk Windstein’s foot to his face. Now everyone’s mind is in “what the fuck?” mode for a moment, and conflicting accounts of the “what” rose faster than weeds outside a shitty project building. Apparently a fan got onstage, got tackled by security into Kirk, which then prompted Kirk’s “what the fuck” mode, and subsequently a violent reaction that was probably not needed, in light of the whole Randy Blythe kerfuffle. Despite this hiccup, however, they finished their set like gentlemen, and all was well. No clue what happened with the guy that undoubtedly still has a shoeprint in his forehead, but I hope that wasn’t the highlight of his weekend. I mean, aside from that, the set went well. I made a man of myself by throwing the shit down during “Cemetery Angels” in a goddamn blue miniskirt. Get on that level, chumps.

Switzerland’s Triptykon was supposed to headline, but due to the sudden and tragic death of band friend and artist, H.R. Giger, and the subsequent scheduling of his funeral, they couldn’t make it, though the MDF XII shirts tell a different story.

Friday

Good Friday indeed! Oh the wonderful tales I could tell you about successfully defeating homophobia by simply walking away from loudmouthed dumbasses, or I could just review bands, which is a better idea, actually.

So, this is the second time I’ve seen New York’s Castevet here at Deathfest, and like their hometown, I’m not sure why it’s considered such a hot item, even though it has elements that I like. I enjoy their post-hardcore tendencies more than their Black Metal ones. Weird, ain’t it? I would have stuck around to hear more of Mgla (who are doing far more interesting Black Metal, straight as a shot of Beefeater), but I wanted to A) familiarise myself with the walk to and from the Baltimore Soundstage, because I would end up going back and forth. A lot. Like, more than a kid at a Gorilla Biscuits show, or someshit. Why do they do this to us instead of using the perfectly good former Sonar Compound for a shitshow, the only attraction being that beers were $3 rather than $6? Fuck logic.

Anyhow, yes, Creative Waste from Saudi Arabia, pretty decent. They’ve got the novelty factor of being one of the only known Grind bands from that country for obvious reasons, though they could stand to be more creative in the years to come. They’ve got potential, however, and it’s sweet they could make it out to the US and do stuff. After a bit of getting wasted, I walked back to check out Ruins Of Beverast, and I honestly found their brand of Teutonic Black Metal a tad dull. I swear one of their songs was repeating the same section over and over and over and over until I finally realised it, and then, as if to fuck with me, suddenly it changed. Is this what it’s like having a bad trip just to snap back into reality and find your loved ones dead? No? Completely off-base? I mean, I like atmosphere and all, but I didn’t come to Baltimore to be lulled to eternal slumber. That’s what got me in trouble the last two years.

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This picture with Fizzle D-Dizzle happened at some point around that time, because Ruins of Beverast is the soundtrack to a selfie break.

Following that was Necros Christos, and I must say, golf claps to having the most evil sounding bands play in the bright Baltimore sun. The irony was lost on nobody, I hope. They were decent enough, I remember, but nothing truly stuck out. Yep, the drought of interest was alive, but luckily Lake ACxDC was nearby to quench my thirst for some hard-hitting PV. Since it was still early in the day and not everyone had warmed up, you can guess that the pit was live, but not entirely lit up. Their caustic mix of standard Powerviolence and wacky fun-loving Grindcore makes for some good Christkillin’ tunes, indeed.

A second helping of Coffins was on the menu, and boy was I hungry for more topsoil.

Legit, Coffins could have played all four days and I’d have no problem with that at all. This time around they played more of their “fast” songs, meaning those with more mid-paced tempos, and even “No Saviour”, featuring some blastbeats, which, in my Coffins listening experience, is quite a rare treat. This, however, only proves that the band is not a one-trick pony, and is capable of devastation at several different speeds. Efficiency is terrifying; just ask the Nazis. Not a band to repeat themselves too much, the only returning tracks were “Evil Infection” and “Altars In Gore”, the latter of which made the dance floor shine. With sweat. And beer.

Turning 30 just last year, Norway’s Taake has never been in the U.S., because playing shows in America is not Black Metal, or something. Hoest even decided to wear a robe rather than go balls-out, which would make more sense, given that the weather’s pretty nice around those parts at this time.


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Controversy about telling someone to “go suck a Muslim” —something Creative Waste would probably not appreciate— and all other bullshit that has lead to people falsely pinning the NS tag on them, Taake is probably one of those bands that you hear about more than actually hear. Having exposed myself to some of their music, I can say with certainty that it is good Norwegian Black Metal, and controversy be damned; those riffs are ice fuckin’ cold, son. I’m not terribly familiar with much of their music aside from the hilariously awesome banjo solo on “Myr” from Noregs Vaapen, but I hope this means that they can come back sometime without me having to pay hundreds of dollars. Also, I saw this dead bird on the sidewalk, and someone had removed it by the time I went back out of the Lot.

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They didn’t take the dog shit, though. Guess that would’ve been gross.

Having to dash in the midst of the fog to catch the almighty Capitalist Casualties was a painful, but necessary decision for me to make. If I even missed a minute of their set, I probably would have missed two or three songs, and that is, I assure you, not entirely an exaggeration.


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Think the singer and bassist don’t look PV enough? Here’s their guitarist:

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Now THAT right there is the face of fastcore.

Blistering, impossible hailstorms of insane start-stop tempos, rapid-fire vocals and scathing guitars that straddle the line between an all-out Thrash attack and condensed hardcore ferocity, and I suppose you’ve noticed that I’m fanboying so hard I can’t even stop using ad-words. I’ll be up front and say Capitalist Casualties was one of the main draws for me this year, alongside Coffins. With a 40 minute timeslot, I estimated that they’d play at least 10 songs that I knew. I overshot it by three or four songs, but still, good enough. The fact that they played “Selfish Parochialism” nullified the fact that they didn’t play “Violence Junkie”, or more from their split with Man Is The Bastard, but I seriously can’t even bitch, because when else am I gonna see Capitalist Casualties on the Beast Coast? Geekin’.

The madness was far from over, as Italy’s grind virtuosos Cripple Bastards were up next to ruin any semblance of a face remaining from the previous assault.

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Ranging in styles from faithful three-chords-and-the-truth punk rock to blasting grind, to fret-melting death metal, Cripple Bastards are certainly not short-sighted in their brutality. I’d know what they talked about if I spoke Italian, but I get the feeling that it falls in line with socio-political vitriol, as grind is wont to do. From Assück to Discordance Axis to early Extreme Noise Terror, grind has many flavours, and Cripple Bastards brings a whole plate of goodness to the genre. Just thinking of Italy makes me hungry because I’m fat. Speaking of fat, I got a free Yeungling from some guy.

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Best 6 bucks never spent.

After my lower back was adequately punished by Punx Aerobics 101, I took yet another long walk (and it got longer every time) back to Edison to catch At The Gates, no big deal.

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Alright, so I lied, pretty big deal. At The Gates is only one of the most legendary Melodic Death Metal bands that actually still plays Melodic Death Metal. Who does that shit anymore? Not In Flames, I can tell you that much, even though I love them to death. But yeah, to see the fucking pit surge during “Terminal Spirit Disease” is like a breath of fresh air for MeloDeath. Some dude even got into the circlepit with a camera in hand, and somehow it didn’t get broken. What a man. He’ll put a baby in me one day. The most pleasant surprise of the set: they actually played “The Beautiful Wound”. Holy shit; I thought I was the only person that cared about that song for some odd reason. Killer doesn’t begin to describe it. With fear, I kiss the burning AWESOME.

Following that with the atmospheric as hell black/death/doom two-piece meal Bölzer made for an odd contrast, but it was pretty chill, despite being given the distinct feeling that I had been launched into empty space.

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Not much I can say about these guys, unfortunately, but they’re good, so check ‘em, if you want. I saw this guy’s jacket, too.

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California’s most likely to be sued for medical malpractice, Impaled, however, was what my ears had their hearts set on at that hour. I intended to catch some of Enthroned, but they took too damn long to set up, and ironically enough, Impaled also were taking ages to set up, and thus started ten or fifteen minutes late. But fuck it, it’s Impaled playing The Dead Shall Dead Remain, in full, with dudes dressed as doctors, Hæmorrhage style, crowdsurfing/moshing in ‘blood’-spattered lab coats and surgeon masks. To add fuel to the spiritual bonfire of Bacchanal celebration, the infamous MDF Party Brigade struck suddenly with a bunch of glowsticks, inflatables, and other goodies, as you can sorta see here.

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One second, it’s just Impaled playing, the next, it looks like someone turned on a garden hose that shoots little plastic things you should never, ever, ever, eat.

I drank with the doctor you see in this picture, he’s pretty chill. I already forgot his name, though, because whiskey. And this little cute alien dude, even though this picture is from Saturday.

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All hail Dollar Tree, for it is America, and America is good.

Then I went and caught some Incantation, and I must say they’re not quite as slow as I expected, since I believe some of their members had been in Disma, and lemme tell ya, that band’s pretty slow. I kinda liked it, but would have preferred if vocalist John McEntee (also known for his work in Mortician and live stints in Immolation) didn’t insist on trying to sound “evil” even though song titles like “Emaciated Holy Figure” do that well enough. Sounded like a damn cartoon goblin. How brutal. Not shittalking, it was just ridiculous, being referred to as “sick fucks” two or three times in a 10 minute span. Good night.

 

Surfing Constellations with Between The Buried And Me @ The Royale

Let me just say first and foremost: I HATE THE ROYALE. I mean, it’s got fine shows (Converge, Title Fight, some shows I didn’t go to so I won’t list them, etc.), and the staff seems nice enough. But by Jove, the dance floor kills me; it’s a monument to fucked architecture and careless nightclub floor planning. Normally I can stand behind a pit, no problem, but it’s quite another thing to have to step down and find a safer locale, or get knocked down, which I’m sure hasn’t happened yet, miraculously. Harshes my mellow big time, bro. This show was sold out too, so you know it was sweaty and all kinds of precarious. Proceed.

Speaking of things I can’t stand, I’m sorry; I just can’t get into Ottawa, Canada’s The Kindred.

Yoinked with respect to Chris Romano, because I’m a thief with honour.

Just look at this picture, and I’ll give you 5 seconds to tell me why you should already be suspicious.

Okay time’s up.

The frontman’s pose; look familiar? Like perhaps that of the frontman of the band THEY WERE OPENING FOR!?!?!?!

Oh.

Shit. Thanks, Chris Martin, for involuntarily helping me illustrate elegantly my point.

Now, I’d be able to overlook this fact if the singer didn’t also have a markedly similar handsome-prog-metal-guy haircut that Tommy Rogers has, and also be in a band that sounds shockingly, nay, appallingly like BtBaM, Protest The Hero, The Contortionist (sans black-hole chuggz). Their main saving grace is that they’re not djent, but I’m still unmoved by their lack of creativity as far as writing songs with a tendency toward intermittency. Also, that “Eyya eyya eyya ehhh!?!” chant during Heritage just kinda annoys me, dunno why. Though I do appreciate that the frontman is willing to jump into the crowd not once, but twice, to bookend the energy level. Charisma ain’t all it takes, though, boys.

On to the part of the show that I paid for; Intronaut. More like IntroNUTS, because I was bustin’ em.

Mind Inversion? Sho u rite.

Heavy as a ten ton rock, smooth as a carven ancient megalith of strange, lucid stone. Intronaut’s ability to capture smooth jazzy sensibilities and fuse them with chunky polyrhythmic battering is universally liked, and that’s a fact. Though if you do dislike Intronaut, please tell me, I’ll just ignore you.

I’m not really huge into Post-Metal but Intronaut is one of those bands alongside perhaps Jesu that I can find myself getting the urge to jam. In fact, I was briefly but fiercely obsessed with their single “Australopithecus” off Prehistoricisms, which is rather ancient now, I suppose, so fitting title. They were genius then, and it seems they still are, even if they’ve dialed back the heavy element considerably and seem to be focusing entirely on clean vocals and expanding their more Gordian Knot/Cynic tendencies. Needless to say, I dig it, and I’ll be giving Habitual Levitations a good hard listen til my ears are burnished into sensibility. Maybe then I’ll quit listening to Papa Roach, because that rots my brain so much I can sometimes scarcely type these worfs.

They had lazers and fog, too, which made me wish I was high as fuck, but maybe then I’d enjoy it too much. I was happy to hear they pulled out “The Literal Black Cloud”, complete with some newly added cleans, because they’re hepcats now.

Giving us a menthol blast of blackened major key warmth was our favourite band to either pretend we’re not hip to the hype of, or suck the dick of unconditionally, or just fold your arms and scoff at while you busily put spikes into your kvlt battle vest. Obviously, you fall into one of these three extremes in a world of no moderation. Deafheaven.

Brooklyn Vegan worships seitan.

If My Bloody Valentine listened to Heretoir, they’d become Deafheaven. If a group of bored indie/punk kids got ahold of some Burzum records, they’d become Deafheaven. If you take acid and stare into a glass of Sex On The Beach while wearing an Oakland Raiders shirt, you will see with stunning clarity the colour scheme of Sunbather. And if you have an internet connexion, you won’t go a day without seeing that name. I suppose they know that their brand of harmonious, uplifting, shoegaze inflected post-black metal isn’t for those who take black metal as seriously as Catholics do, and they’re fine with that. The massive, surging pit is a testament to how stoked everyone is on them, if anything. Though I must say, less arm flailing during blastbeat sections would probably make more sense next time.

It’s amazing; George Clarke actually talked this time. I didn’t know he was capable of being anything other than an überfancy black-shirted black-gloved maestro when in front of 50+ people staring at him. He’s a nice guy, though, trust me. It is blissful.

And now; Between The Buried And Me. Gee, I guess I already posted a picture earlier, huh? Well, I suppose you can scroll up and we’ll pretend I actually have a clue in this life.

I suppose his marks time number 9 or 10 that I’ve seen these guys, and I don’t forsee it ever getting old. Let me not ramble nonsensically and just wonder why there’s a gigantic space bird thematically representing this prog flagship for this tour? I ain’t sure, but all I know is that Dan Briggs went from the most plain looking member to a straight up superhero.

Actually, the whole damn band seems to have just… evolved. Not just musically, because that’s basically a given if you dig their Wishbone Ash meets Cynic meets The Red Chord or whatever wacky triptych of seemingly incompatible music styles means to you. But they’ve all just shifted from dudes to superdudes.

“Selkies: The Endless Obsession” being the highlight of the set, the only party foul was when someone threw a bottle of water (accidentally or not, I’m not sure) at poor ol’ Dustie during “Obfuscation”, which made him stop playing as he checked to see if he would be electrocuted or if the guitar would continue working normally. As you can guess, since this isn’t an R.I.P. Dustie post, he continued playing, albeit with a slight “the fuck was that?” face for a few minutes as he continued to rock into the night. Welcome to Boston; it sucks, sorta. Okay, a lot. But it was a great show, and that’s all that matters, because I’m sentimental like that.

Substance(s) consumed: Sadly only one PBR, courtesy of Mike Gavin, who exists on the internet and apparently, real life. Cheers to that guy, motherfucker!

Fuck it. Rotten Sound at the Cambridge Elk’s Lodge.

I know this is long long overdue but fuck it, that’s my philosophy.

Local crust/d-beat/black metal/Motorhead worship heroes in Panzerbastard are still alive, and this news makes me very happy. I thought they had parted ways to form other bands like Dick Move and Fresh Kill, but they have recently reformed like a very-hard-to-kill-monster and are bringing back the biker bad boy appeal to the Massachusetts Metal/Hardcore scene. So good news, everyone. Sadly I missed Hivesmasher, Soul Remnants, and Boxcutter Facelift, but that’s what happens when there’s shit to be done before a show (which I forgot because it was so long ago, ugh).

Anyhow, Rotten Sound, Finland’s coldest in blastbeaten debauchery have graced this little hole in the floor despite it being almost literally a hole in the floor with couches, brick walls, and a roof. And I’m not so sure if any of these things would survive a powerpacked fist from yours truly unrestrained. I don’t much remember the setlist, but a few cuts from the newest opus, Species At War, were certainly recognisable. On the meantime I was hunting for moments where I could make like a crazed troubadore and recite poetry. With my fists. Of lyrical love.

All was going well until the owner of the venue shouted clandestinely over Kaijo’s declaration of three more bombardments, “You got one more!”. Taking this with a grain of salt, he pressed on with the speed of a tank made of orichalcum, and met a wall made of er… more orichalcum, because the owner of this venue is an idiot. The residents of Central Square will sleep over some faint rumblings in the distance. Believe you, me, I’ve slept through gunshots, sirens, and cats fighting in my back “yard”. Honestly, you think the whiteys in privileged Cambridge can’t deal with a little bit of bass in their foundations?

Before this turns into a rant against idiots (and you don’t want to get started on that nut), I’ll just cap it off by saying that Rotten Sound did well, and I’m looking forward to my next adventure in losing my fuckin’ mind. Onward.

Fizzle presents: Anti-Islamic Black Metal and a report on the disturbing trend of Pizza Thrash

I’d like y’all to give a right’n’rowdy welcome to a new guest contributor, Nick, who chose the alias Fizzle, in case someone puts a fatwa on his head and kills him with a pipin’ hot pizza. He’s written a couple of short (and by short, I mean short) pieces because hey, he’s a nice guy like that and would like to share. Of course, I’ll make it a discussion, all scholarly like. You will learn something, maybe.

Anti Islamic black metal

 

F: In Black metal there is a huge rise in the scene with a Anti-Islamic message. Even in highly populated Muslim countries.

T: Indeed, the goal; to piss everyone off until they find you and megakill you.

F: Bands like Seeds of ibilis, Janaza , and تدنيس (tad-nees) are the driving force of this new trend of black metal attacking Islam.

T: With killer logos to boot. Melechesh is just gonna look like a group of twats in comparison.

F: Even in those countries where there are Islamic extremists you got to have balls to attack a religion like that especially in the Middle East; they would kill you there.

T: Sent to the graveyard and removed from play steaze. Yu-Gi-Oh! references aren’t cool, I know.

F: I personally am glad someone is still using shock factor but honestly in this day in age nothing is shocking.

T: 

Couldn’t resist.

F: Plus the music they are making is fucking killer. It evokes emotion and pissing people off. I love it and hope they keep the black metal scene alive.

T: Ist krieg, shall never die, etc. Jam on my bruthas.

Pizza Thrash

F: Pizza thrash- is a new trend popping up (or at least of what I am now noticing) it is the type of kids that go to the show/concert already drunk!

T: Hey man, with the price of beer at shows and bars, I don’t blame them for a lil’ pre-game.

F: And they are wicked obnoxious talking about bro things like sports and picking up chicks at the concert like seriously I just wanna see some good live performance not be fucking annoyed by babbling retards.

T: You’d be amazed at the play these guys get. It’s like swaggots got ahold of a few Hirax records.

F: They also love Monster; they may even being wearing clothing appeal that has the logo on it.

T: The way some kids think nowadays, they probably think it’s a band. It’s like the Misfits effect in reverse.

F: And they usually wear those stupid snap backs with the flat rim top.

T: Get bent takes on new meaning.

F: They fucking love to crash a good time and probably play beer pong with and play Madden football games.

T: In their defence, while drunk, I bet Madden would be fucken hilarious. Sober, I’d sooner have a hysterectomy.

F: They’re the type of kids that makes me not wanna be part of the same fucking music scene. Usually the rich spoiled kid in white suburbs thinking they’re hardcore and brutal.

T:

DEFENDERS OF THE HATExMOSH.

That was fun, let’s do this again sometime.

Norway is empty and the vikings are here. Nervous Condition, Hivesmasher, and Eluveitie

Distort Til Deaf Gig 63: Nervous Condition, Cauldron, & Stagger @ Trouble Ahead

I’m feeling lazy so I’ll sum up the Nervous Condition show in three sentences, one for each band.

Stagger: Shortest set I’ve ever seen, call it Doomviolence.

Cauldron: Slayer on coke, not to be confused with the Trad Metal revival band from Canada.

Nervous Condition: Shovey womyn-fronted hardcore.

Gutter Choir CD Release (that foiled the end of the world) @ The Great Scott

First I shall start off by saying that Gutter Choir is an absolutely fantastic release by the boys in ‘Smasher. They’ve truly outdone themselves with this record. Despite the production being a tad bit too clean (particularly the less filthy version of “Vomitouch”), it’s explosively technical, yet not afraid to get its claws steeped in gore. Though it does clean up after itself fine. But I’m not here to review the album, as I missed that chance when 2013 rolled around and it would just be silly now. If you like The Red Chord, Discordance Axis, and/or Pig Destroyer (ideally all three), and you haven’t checked these guys yet, you’re fuckin’ up.

Opening this feast was Astronomer, a heavy Hardcore band leaning a bit on spacey post-rock influences that add some much desired atmosphere. If you’re into shit like Northless or Nights Like These’s second album, Sunlight At Secondhand, give ’em a listen-see.

Next up was Vattnet Viskar, whose name and aesthetic scream Norway, but really they’re from Namshaw.

To say Vattnet Viskar are atmospheric would be quite underwhelming. It’s certainly “walk in the woods, but beware of wolves” music, with effects to create the feeling of a wide, oceanic expanse that is at once beautiful to witness, and yet frighteningly reductive of the human ego. It’s a wall of noise (quite possibly one of the louder bands I’ve seen), but moving away from the stage was not an option. Roaring vocals from the abyss, ethereal yet at once material guitars, and gracefully handled drumming all came together to make something quite sublime in nature. It also helps that they’re really down to earth, humble guys, no pretense. For fans of Wolves In The Throne Room (obv.) and those who wish that Alcest had more balls.

After VV were Family, who I must admit I wasn’t a big fan of musically, if not mainly because songs that could have been quick bursts of Mastodon-y rock’n’roll inflected Heavy Metal were drawn out to 5-6 minute territories, and began to grate a bit on the senses. They were energetic, I’ll give ’em that, but condensation is needed.

At last, the coup de gras and world-savers extraordinaire, Hivesmasher, pissing off bees since 2007.

Since their debut album “Ascension Into Dismal Stages”, Hivesmasher’s been a decently large force in the New England Metal/Hardcore scene. I’ve probably seen them around 9 or 10 times, which just goes to show how much work they’ve put into getting themselves out there as a band. Since they’ve been playing setlists comprised largely of songs from Gutter Choir in the years leading up to its release, I say it’s about damn time. Tracks like “Vulture Assassin”, “En Route To Meatland”, and “Send Me To Satan” (sans the half hour of ambient noodling and “Everlong” cover) needed to be heard on record, along with some other sluggers like “Bye Bye Baby” and “Can Of Awesometism”.

Signing with Black Market Activities was certainly a good move, as was attending this here grand opening to proving 2012 nuts wrong. Damn near went deaf, I say, but I already sold my soul to rock’n’roll and may as well also give them my ears.

Eluveitie & Wintersun @ The Royale

I haven’t seen that many dorks in forever. I really haven’t. Go to a Folk Metal show and count guys that look like fauns, it’ll really knock you out. I mean, damn. Lots of ugly mugs.

Opening this heathen’s playground was Germany’s Varg, a pronouncedly anti-racist band, though I suspect this is only because a certain mister Vikerness shares a first name with them. They’re also anti-pedophile child fuckers, which is cool too.

While they may be like Turisas in that they all look like Darth Maul cosplayers with a Nordic touch, they’re a different beast musically. They are “brutal”, you see. They play an accessible form of Black Metal tinged with some Death Metal, no accordions to be found here. Of course, to further this warlike aesthetic, they askled the crowd where the viking warriors are, because “dorks and nerds” would have gotten a slightly weaker turnout of enthusiasm. It wasn’t bad, but it could have used a bit more chunky heaviness, because in order to claim Viking status, you must be rapists, but only of grown-ups.

Up next was Wintersun, in a very TIMEly fashion. Hah. I kill myself.

Always Jari’s more serious outing, since I consider Ensiferum more goofy Viking Metal songs to get drunk and bop people with inflatable Medieval weapons to, Wintersun’s a band that you either enjoy or take a nap to. Boasting long songs that blend Folk, Death, Black, and Power Metal that are mini epics in and of themselves, postponing an album’s release for 6 years, and going on their first ever U.S. tour is the ideal crucible for some excitement among the longhaired and nerdy.

Of course, you’d be quite let down if you had been wanking for years about a full dose of Time, only to find that it’s just one of two installments. Dirty Finns, always finding ways to fuck you over. It’s the same deal as Norther hiring a  new frontman just to die. Can’t win with the Finns.

So anyway, Wintersun’s set was fantastic, verging on bombastic. The band played new stuff that was massive, and oldies but goodies that have been bouncing around for nearly a decade, totalling up to less than 10 songs in all. It seemed so short at the time, since they’re well-crafted enough that you’re not checking your watch and considering buying a gun.

Eluveitie headlined this show, which was an unforseen complication on everyone’s part.

Eluveitie have made a career of sounding like middle-era In Flames  swapped out techno/electronic fiddling in favour of real fiddling, a hurdy gurdy, several flutes, and female voices. While certainly not an intrinsically bad idea (I do enjoy them and had a blast when they played in Worcester a couple years ago), it does have an expiration date, and I smell something sour. On this tour they played Helvetios in full, which explains why many of the songs sounded just like this.

A few songs in I found myself praying for “Inis Mona” or “Of Fire, Wind, & Wisdom”. Anything to break the growing monotony that was setting in as a terminal disease of endless flute solos and Gothenburg riffing. It shouldn’t be an endurance round of “how many songs can we stomach that have the exact same jumpdafuckup riff”, but an actual musical journey, which is one that our Celtic friends have forsaken in place of some fancy shades. The real highlight was when members of Varg sans war paint came onstage, dived a few times, and had a few beers. I see they got more enjoyment out of goofing around than I did idly standing and realizing that Eluveitie has been doing the exact same thing since the demo days.

I suppose it can be blamed on the fact that I’m not as big into Folk Metal as I once was, which was not a great deal back then either. But the days are over where I would sperg out to Korpiklaani or get pumped about possibly seeing Tyr. It’s a greasy horror show of bad teeth and bad hair. Maybe one day I can enjoy it again, but that will require getting smashed, so 6 more months until I dance ’round a campfire to Svartsot!

I’m Not Really A Photographer, But Thanks. Cannibal Corpse at The Met

Once again, I would like to give props to my boi Keith Chachkes for getting me into this here show for free as well, which I spelled wrong in the previous post, but I’m not going through the trouble to edit that. There be spiders. Here be my sweet photo pass/bracelet.

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Local dudes Bog Of The Infidel opened up this shindig, and they play Black Metal. I am unwilling to take pains to elaborate any further, so we shall move on. Hour of Penance play Death Metal of the sacrilegious variety, and are Italian, so I can talk about them more in depth.

Hour Of Penance are one of those bands that I dig, but can’t see where all the massive hype comes from. Personally, I prefer their classier symphonic offshoot, Fleshgod Apocalypse, but even their latest release has taken a dip in quality. Hour Of Penance are good, but since I’m alone in not bristling with excitement at their mere existence, I can’t expect the same in a live setting. They were tight, heavy, and energetic, like their technical brand of Brutal Death Metal should be, so they fulfilled at least that base set of requirements.

HoP delivered as far as getting the crowd pumped up, but the crowd was playing shoulder-tackle tag, so clearly this isn’t my scene. I took the opportunity to perfect some of my dance moves of the non Hardcore variety, so there’s that for productivity.

Up next were ex-Fetus toothgrinders Misery Index, bringing the brutal in a more meaningful fashion.

Baltimore’s Misery Index are angry, and it shows in their music, as well as the types of pits they get. One had to be on the lookout for the odd mosher that didn’t know that intentionally hurting others isn’t how it’s done, viz. a fridge-sized bastard in a Cannibal Corpse tour shirt knocking everyone down, and a guy running around karate chopping to “Traitors” with no regard for those near him. To say nothing of the odd piggybackers going around punching people in the back of the head. Whatevs, I got free beer after.

Misery Index may have had a crowd full of damn fools this time around as opposed to that time in New York, but the music was top-notch, as always. Blasturbating and smashing the patriarchy one anti-Capitalist//pro-Death hymn at a time.

And now for the fun part: Ugly longhaired guys (some drunk) making a mess. Cannibal Corpse themselves and their crowd did splendidly in equal measure.

For this set I headbanged harder than I have in years, and my neck responded with “fuck you”. Even though I’ve seen them before (Summer Slaughter to be exact), I didn’t quite feel the power of simple barbaric Death Metal from so far away. Separated by a barrier and sweaty security guards, to say nothing of the actual distance from the stage, I enjoyed it, but I felt like it was missing something crucial. Now, The Met is a little dive-looking place in Pawtucket (a.k.a. Nowhere) Rhode Island with no barriers, no security to speak of, and the capability to touch band members’ dicks, if such is your game, baby. Being front row to headbang my medulla out just about blew Summer Slaughter’s performance into the forgotten regions of Cybertron. You haven’t lived till you run the risk of knocking head against headstock while seeing a band that’s so well known that everyone who’s anyone at least knows their name.

Indeed, Cannibal Corpse keeps it simple, and they have been for many years, and we love them all the more for it. With song titles like “I Will Kill You”, “Born In A Casket”, “I Cum Blood”, and of course, “Hammer Smashed Face”, you can’t expect anything more than unfiltered audio gore to be blasted from the speakers into the expectant faces of all the moronic headbangers and moshers present.

When doubting the potential intensity of a bunch of screaming Death Metal fans hepped up on goofballs, just know that the Spaniard received a bloody nose during “Elbow Hammer Smashed Nose Face”. A fallen warrior he may be, but spare not your pity or tears, for he gave his nose to the cause of Death Metal-dom. Peace be with ye, fair prince. Even though this was two weeks ago I’m sure it still hurts.

Picture 12

It’s not often that I may be caught working this hard this fast interspersed with my normal amounts of procrastinating and slacking. However, I shall weather the storm and post daily until this decathlon of agony is complete, because you, reader, blew me once and I am extremely grateful. Ugh.