In the Nervous Light Of Monday. Circle Takes The Square at the Middle East, Boston

Circle Takes The Square existing in 2013 wasn’t a concept I was entirely in the circle about. But indeed, they’re still alive and screaming; Their aethereal, inhuman beauty as humans magnified by their rage and conviction as expressed in a dithyramb of post-everything expression, with a semi-operatic flair for all the natural drama of reality to boot. What a great way to spend Veteran’s Day.

Yoinked from invisibleoranges.com

Having to take care of some other business outside, I was unable to catch the openers, being melodic sludge act VYGR (though I did enjoy their set at deafheaven), emoviolence supergroup United Nations -ostensibly associated with members of ¬†Converge, All Pigs Must Die, Thursday, and Pianos Become The Teeth, to name a few – and activist/conscientious (I think that’s what they’d call it?) rapper B. Dolan, from Lovecraft Country, Rhode Island. However, the intensity, well-picked (however imperfect) setlist of Circle Takes The Square and the low price (only $14? Yup) made it all more than worth it.

While the explosively epic “Interview At The Ruins” would have been my first choice for an encore rather than “Non-Objective Portrait of Karma”, which I feel ends with a squeak rather than a poetic whisper, the setlist was overall well chosen. My preference of the outing from this jam session was the better tracks from mathcore/emoviolence leaning As The Roots Undo, including “Kill The Switch” and “In The Nervous Light of Sunday”, that have their oddly catchy sections and brutal vitriol enough to inspire thrashing in the space around you. Despite some people aimlessly shoving any bodies unfortunate enough to meet their arbitrary pinball motions, I feel that any acts of violence committed are justified. One must make a great attempt to be elegant about it, however. This isn’t Hatebreed, people.

Tracks from the new album, Decompositions: Volume One, fell largely flat and overblown, but they were still decent pieces of music by a band playing an art form that has many imposters but few stalwart enough to attempt a pure, if not well-produced, version of screamo. The short and heavy “Spirit Narrative”, the unfocused but promising “Enter By The Narrow Gates”, and the caustic “Singing Vengeance Into Being” were highlights, where the remaining songs were highly reminiscent of GlassJaw’s recent release entitled¬†Coloring Book; they build up throughout the track to an unsatisfying climax, failing to truly live up to the energy it could potentially unleash. A slightly more aggressive version of At The Drive-In would be a good way to describe it.

Taking the natural evolution of a band into weirder territories into consideration, CttS has not made an erroneous step forward. After all, in the 8 years since 2004’s As The Roots Undo, they’ve undergone many molecular reshifts, and human attitudes toward things change, including their view towards what kind of band they were in the past. With that being said, let’s hope that skramz or screamo or post-hardcore or whatever you wish to call it, sticks around for as long as people are too sad to stay within the well-defined limits of punk. Go listen to Optimus Prime and cry about the lack of activity in your favourite genre.

Exhausted Minds, Sonic Warfare, Musical Starvation, Polluted Soundwave Problems, Poison Messages. The Eventual Result – DropDead & Brain Killer At The Cambridge Elk’s Lodge

My deary my, what a show. It’s a shame I haven’t already been a frequent patron of the Cambridge Elk’s Lodge, but I didn’t become cool until sometime last year, so take that into consideration before you weigh it to heavily against me. Plenty of wacky pictures were taken, look here if you’re interested. Okay fine, here’s one featuring the Spaniard.

Spearheading the phalanx were local boiz Bloodkrow Butcher, whose name makes one think of a Native American serial killer.

Not much one can say about Bloodkrow Butcher aside from they play fast and furious punk rock. The singer’s mic wasn’t even on, but he could still be heard over it. How do I know it wasn’t on? Elementary, dear Watson: The volume when he was shouting into it and not shouting into it was equal, therefore I know that it wasn’t on at all, but some semblance of words could yet be heard, and that my friends, is punk rock spurred. It’s basic, dirty, and raw. Pogo, skank, etc. Just have fun.

Following BKB were Brain Killer, hometown heroes making this show their last, and leaving with a big bang of noisy energy rivaling the Japanese scene.

I had come back into the Elk’s some minutes after Brain Killer began, having taken a brief sojourn to 7-11 to beat the heat, and also witness some hoodrat drama between the finest ratchet hoes you’ve ever laid eye on, but ask the Spaniard, for he has all the details.

Brain Killer’s ferocity is rivalled only by the beard of one of the vocalists. Yowza, that’s one fine upside-down hair mountain. I can find no pictures, but rest assured, it’s a marvel. This same vocalist is in the band No Sir I Won’t, so you’ll be able to enjoy his live vocal talents for some time to come. The other guy, I can’t say the same about, since I’m not sure if he’s in any other bands. Regardless, it’s a shame to see such a good band go, but at least the crowd didn’t slack in their vicious assault of one another to commemorate the swansong of local legends. If anyone was injured, then perhaps it was a great success.

DropDead, on the other hand, show no signs of slowing down, and with this rare treat, they threw down the gauntlet as the crowd threw down their fists, showing they are here to stay for a long time.

No pictures, because I can’t find a good one. Sue.

Powerviolence/Grind/Crust legends from Lovecraft County, celebrating 23 years of waging war on all that is melodious and unaware of human travesty, thought it good to grace Boston with their malevolence, having not made the journey since that Middle East date with Trap Them, Burning Love, and Converge, the lattermost of whom they released a killer split with. This band is indefatigable, its style is impetruous. It’ll rip out your heart, it’ll eat your children. They’re loud, abraisive, and of course, have an important message, but they’re the type of band that’ll make you actually listen because they’re just that damn good.

It’s a “you had to be there to see it” kind of situation, but the fact that I survived the whirlwind of legs, arms, and haphazardly thrown beer cans without a scratch is none short of miraculous. Some upfront mic-sharing and headbanging does wonders for the next morning, I tell ya what. And one can’t help but notice the impeccable similarity between DropDead’s bassist George and Tom of Draize fame. Must be the wraparound glasses and the chrome dome? I’m getting sidetracked. It was a celebration of pure punk fury. An important message, but without the pretense or insincerity of some modern bands. If you want a band that means what they say, then get behind DropDead. Wear their shirts to your cousin’s funeral.

Therion Is Gay

Converse? With THAT dress? Oh hell no. 

Since I was unable to attend Ghost due to unforseen technicalities of the show selling out variety, I’ll be forced to divert my energy to a post that would be dedicated to them, but is now going to focus on a band that has a long history and is equally visual, though not nearly as spooky. Therion is a band you may not know or care much about, given that they are “Opera Metal”, and are quite unashamed of this fact. However, I’m here to be the lone whippoorwill excitedly chirping whenever I hear a tune by them, and lemme tell ya why.

First off, they used to sound like this:

Damn fine Swedeath of the cask strength variety eh? You’d certainly label them akin to early Tiamat, Entombed, Grave, and all the other bands with spaghetti guitar strings that resembled a large hog’s grunting rather than an instrument. Therion is a band that likes to operate through extremes, and there will be no compromise or middle ground with them, unless it’s Symphony Masses, which displayed some weaker Death Metal influence and the creeping influences of Classical, Prog/Jazz, and bladerblah that has become associated with their name. I’m sure that if you know of Therion, you’re used to hearing things like this

Sweet ambrosia. It begs me to ask, why the hatred of this band? Certainly they have a little something for a lot of different audiences. Power Metal in some of their faster songs, Progressive Metal on any album that isn’t their first two, straight up Death Metal in their first three or four releases, hints of Thrash and Doom scattered here and there, frequent audial homages to traditional Heavy Metal, Psychadelic Rock, and an aesthetically pleasing Gothic flair that only the most closed-minded among you would shun as homosexual and an aberration to all that is manly and Dave Matthews.

Whatever your reason for disliking this band, I certainly hope it’s not because they’re “gay”, since that is a well established fact. Just look at them!

Makes it less fruity, inviting women to your masquerade does not.

Therion may be a bit overblown and get carried away trying to sound huge, but if that’s not the spirit of Metal to you, I think you’ll be fain to seek comfort in the wobbly hi-grav ritualism of dubstep. And with that, I have no clue how I will view this writing tomorrow, but it’ll most likely be the same reaction someone gives H.P. Lovecraft’s cosmic horrors: Mind breaking terror and the realization I am doomed to eternity in eldritch hell. I’m off to bed, and depending on your time zone, you should be too. I think next time I’ll do another Wacky Band thingy, but that’s only if I can come up with at least 5 made-up words. Adieu.