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.

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Third Time’s The Charm: Maryland Deathfest XII: Saturday & Sunday

Saturday
Ramen is truly some food of the gods level shit. I subsisted on all of Friday and most of Saturday with the aid of four of these magick squares. Only a dollar each at —you guessed it— Dollar Tree. Stock up for the apocalypse. And find this guy.
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Ramen unfortunately couldn’t help Diocletian’s very evil brand of blackened death be more than an okay attempt at the sound of canned hell. Dark, swirling riffs and blasts ringing from bottomless pits is cool, but variety is severely lacking. Entrails, however, came to save my life —or end it, rather?— with their sticky, sweet old school Swedish Death Metal, complete with a logo that looks suspiciously like Entombed’s.
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Ladies.
Spain’s Machetazo brought yet more evil to the fore with their wicked gore/death inflected grind, en Español.
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Hearkening to bands like Regurgitate and fellow countrymen Hæmorrhage, they seem  uninterested in being unique (and with Grind, that’s quite a feat), just brutal, and they’ve certainly succeeded in that regard.
God Macabre, yet another group of old school Swedish Death infantrymen long forgotten, made their first appearance in the U.S. here, and probably was in the top three bands most likely given to old ladies if they asked fest-goers what “concert” they were heading to.
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With only one full length to their name, The Winterlong, you could probably guess the setlist, plus a cover of a Carnage song. Forget which one, but it was damn near heartwarming when vocalist Per Boder smiled in delight when the crowd reacted positively to the name of their fellow deathheads. “I guess they’re not so underrated after all.” You bet’cher ass, bud.
When one thinks of progressive death metal, Florida’s Nocturnus (A.D.) should ideally be what comes to mind alongside acts like Pestilence, Atheist, and Death, though admittedly I hadn’t heard of them until I saw their name on the line-up. Playing their seminal album The Key in full, Nocturnus prove that synths don’t necessarily have to end up sounding cheesy when used alongside brutal music.
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Vocalist/drummer Mike Browning (ex-Morbid Angel) seemed to be having loads of fun blasting and growling simultaqneously for such uplifting tunes as “Standing In Blood”, “Lake Of Fire”, and even a special cover of “Chapel Of Ghouls”, how rad’s that shit, homie? I think they even played a Death cover, but I could just have been imagining it. Setlist.fm isn’t helping my case.
The original Speed Metal Drunks (who’s Municipal Waste?) in Germany’s Tankard were clearly not hammered enough; they could still play their instruments. The crowd was one-upping the fuck out of them, however, with a beer-soaked circlepit despite the blazing sun cooking them through. Songs about zombies, and beer. Party. It’s fun stuff, though not the absolute greatest that thrash, has to offer, nor is it the best that humour has to offer, but these krazy Krauts won’t fail to get a chuckle or headbang out of you.
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Finally taking my non-drunk self to the Soundstage to catch DropDead for my third or fourth helping this Gregorian year, I first caught Sweden’s d-beat heroes in Victims. They play a version of the genre that reminds me of Martyrdöd, with more melody than is normally allowed, and less ear-fucking distortion, though weren’t quite as captivating as I would hope. Had they played it straight Swedish and aped Anti-Cimex or even Finnish contemporaries (all Scandinavians are the same, right?) in Riistetyt and Kieltolaki, I dare say they’d be more what I was seeking. DropDead, however, are consistent in their delivery, combining crust punk, powerviolence, and d-beat cooked the right way; raw and still bloody.
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Between socio-political and generally ‘wake-the-fuck-up’ rants came short but intense bursts of distilled punk fury, very rarely going below speeds safe to drive on the highway. The setlist seems to have changed, as they are including more new material that, while less speedy than the material of old, still has its fangs, yellowed with age but reddened with new blood as they press on. There was a special guest appearance, but I’m not sure if I’m allowed to even mention it, though I will mention that they played a cover of Siege’s “Drop Dead”, and as an extra spiffy bonus, a cover of “It’s Not What It Seems To Be” by fastcore/powerviolence legends Lärm. Sweeeet,
With Nocturno Culto finally bringing his drunk ass to America only to not play in DarkThrone was a disappointment to many, but I suppose Sarke is the next best thing. Who knows, maybe Fenriz’ Red Planet will stop by to play material fromEngangsgrill in a few years.
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At least the crowd hungry to hear one song, any song by DarkThrone got their wish, sorta, since they played a ‘cover’ of “Too Old, Too Cold”. Clearly the case since Nocturno is never seen without a leather jacket. A weird mix of black-ish metal, normal-ish heavy metal, death rock, and whatever else Nocturno deems the right thing to do these days, it was interesting, but c’mon. DarkThrone. Not gonna stop saying it ‘til it happens.
True Norwegian Viking Death Metal warriors in Unleashed were something. Among my main draws to the fest this year, it’d be wrong to say I was disappointed, but underwhelmed is the word I’ll go with since their set was noticeably lacking in the glorious potential they are capable of.
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Having a staggering 11 full-lengths of Nordic praise, and my having only heard 5 or 6 of them in full (not counting the ...Revenge demo), I knew there were gonna naturally be some songs I wouldn’t know well enough to fistpump to. However, the lack of “In Victory Or Defeat”, “Warriors Of Midgard”, and prime material from As Yggdrasil Trembles was distressing. To add to the discomfort, they stretched out some songs by at least two or three minutes (“Death Metal Victory” count: 8+), thus cheating themselves and the audience out of more songs. It sucks that happened, but at least Johnny Hedlund brought out a Viking drinking horn, and the predictable happened. My diagnosis: they were drunk. To Asgaard, their brains flew.
Next up were Dark Angel, who’ve probably got more riffs in a single song than an entire Bolt Thrower album (or two), arrived to show us that indeed, time does not heal, because Thrash is a lifelong disease.
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Now recovered from a spine injury that left him unable to move, much less sing, Ron Rineheart is now back in action, and the L.A. Caffeine Machine is once more abrew. With speeds equal to or greater than that of even the fastest cuts on Sepultura’s Arise, it’s a wonder how Dark Angel never got up to the Big 4 instead of Megadeth, who stopped being Thrash after Killing Is My Business. Oops. They’re as virile and potent as 14-year old sperm after all these years.
Following U.S. fast with U.K. fury were Extinction Of Mankind, who, while not a founding band in crust (having formed in ’92), are as important as acts like Deviated Instinct and Hellbastard when assigning blame to old British guys spreading this filth. Their particular style is that popularised by acts like Misery; slow-churned Thrash infused riffs, barked vocals, and a steady beat to break down the walls of establishment. Naturally, the scent of unwashed dreads is the only perfume to adequately accompany such sounds, what with their LPBaptised In Shit, and all. I saw them again in someone’s basement a few days later, but don’t expect a review of that.
I took a little nap during L.A.’s Excrutiating Terror, who weren’t all that painful, nor scary, to be honest. It was decent grindcore, though not too much of a racket, so I caught a few Zs before heading over to catch the real death metal bastards in Asphyx, because what the fuck is a Schirenc? I’d have liked to have caught “Shrunken And Mummified Bitch” live, but The Church Of Pungent Stench would be a much more sensible name, aye? Or even Pungent Stench A.D., in keeping with what seems to be an MDF tradition? Whatever.
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So, The Netherlands’ Asphyx, fronted by one of the few aside from John Tardy who can audibly sneer while growling, —is this a blonde thing?— Martin van Drunen belted out classics like “M.S. Bismarck” and newer ballistics in “Deathhammer” with equal ease and aggression, and the band are no slobs either.
Come to think of it, Hail of Bullets should play next year. Just a thought.
Sunday
The soreness had began to set in by this time, yet my body had no say in preventing further torture. There was yet more on the plate for this exercise session from hell. Luckily for my muscles, a one-two-three heavy handed slap of stoner/doom in the form of Windhand, Bongripper and Graves At Sea was how the Sabbath day was to begin. Wouldn’t it be hilarious if the former two bands practiced and recorded stoned and played sober?
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Theorising.
My next gym coaches in Misery Index, however, demanded a few proverbial pushups, despite the lack of shade. How cruel of them to play “Traitors” when they know that it’s impossible for me to stand still during such a thing.
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The new track(s) from the newest opus The Killing Gods were business as usual; brutalising politically conscious death/grind the way Misery Index has delivered it to their hometown of Baltimore and the world for 13 lucky years. I’m assuming they all walked home after Deathfest, since they probably live up the street.
Pseudogod, they existed, and Wrathprayer from Chile played Blackened Death Metal that was surprisingly not too generic, though little stuck out in particular from their performance. The wizardly dissonance of Colombia’s (now based in Seattle, WA) Inquisition was much needed following these two noble, if not uninspiring acts.
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Dagon’s trademark croaks take some getting used to if you’re not already into that thing, which I found out some years ago when I first heard “Those Of The Night”. I thought, “How the fuck are these Black Metal vocals? Weak shit, kid”, and fell in with the camp that didn’t enjoy the Popeye With Throat Cancer treatment. However, with time, I came to see them as an integral part of their sound, as important as the spiraling, dark melodies and atmospheres that blanket their deceptively simple aural landscapes. The tastefully militant blasting and appropriately placed groove sections provided by drummer Incubus are done well enough to the point that variety is not of great concern. Dagon even had the foresight to have two mics set up so he wouldn’t simply stand in one place the entire time, and that somehow made it a lot less likely to be bored while watching their ministrations. Clandestinely keeping you titillated since 1989.
A smorgasbord of Louisiana’s most metal featuring members of Goatwhore, Crowbar, and Eyehategod, Soilent Green are an unexpectedly well-done mixture of blues-tinged sludge metal and blasting deathgrind. I’d go so far as to say they’re one of my ‘favourites’ among bands I had gone in not expecting to be good, much less pretty darn good. Makes for good BBQ eating soundtracks. Because, y’know, the South. Following them were the French-Canadian band voted least likely to have anything to do with gore or guts, Gorguts, who are equal parts surrealist staircase-to-nowhere artists and death metal.
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Reanimating “Orphans Of Sickness” from The Erosion Of Sanity (complete with slamdown) and “Inverted” from From Wisdom To Hate, Gorguts shows that they’ve not gone entirely soft on us. That is, if you consider the fact that they’ve run with the avant-garde angle from Obscura onward going ‘soft’. Opening with two songs from Coloured Sands as if to say “now that we’ve got that out the way”, they proceeded to blow some minds the way they have been for a quarter century. Damn, they’re old. Luc Lemay’s cheesy but charming stage banter will tell you that much. Why isn’t he my uncle?
Yet another fuzzy treat for my unaware ears were Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, who got my vote this year for the category of “Why Is This Band Playing Deathfest?” in the same way Anvil did two years ago. Good old fashioned psychedelic doom rock worship aside, they should seriously consider changing their name to Sharp Dressed Man: The Band.
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Sure beats the hell out of Bigelf as far as semi-metal 70s hard rock goes. Just out of curiosity: why do none of these bands ever wear ‘normal’ clothes?
And now came the apex of sadness: Having to abandon the truest Sabbath worshippers in Sweden’s Candlemass after their opening song, “Mirror, Mirror” to go catch Japan’s legally insane grind outfit Unholy Grave at the Soundstage. Mats Levén of Therion fame handling vocals and the fact that I missed “At Gallows’ End” just makes me want to cry forever. Ancient dreams of an alternate reality where this was an easier choice. Almost makes me wonder; was it worth it? I don’t like to ask myself these questions, because regret is an unproductive state of being.
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The misery continued with the U.K.’s masters of the maudlin, My Dying Bride, with frontman Aaron Stainethorpe sporting a newly shaved dome after my only having ever known him with perpetually soggy lachrymose locks.
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Sadly (word choice?), “Deeper Down” and “My Body, A Funeral” didn’t make it onto their setlist, and I’m woefully (word choice?) unacquainted with much of their discography, though “The Dreadful Hours” and “Turn Loose The Swans” rang somewhat familiar. Hymns to never ending grief, complete with the mourning, sobering sound of a violin, though unfortunately (word choice?) no rain to complete the ambiance. If it can rain during Neurosis, Electric Wizard, and even Pelican, why no appropriate weather this year? You sicken me, skies. To compound my consternation, I noticed the beginning sign of an oncoming suckfest; that sensation of having a patch of permanently dry skin at the back of your throat, the messenger of death, the common cold. It only got worse from there.
All sordid business with the Edison Lot now done, I had a hot date with the Soundstage and Ratos de Porão, who play fucking fast.
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Brazil’s Ratos don’t play no bossa nova, fool. It’s balls-to-the-wall with no breaks at all crossover thrash meets the rawer (or rawwwwwwrrrrrr) sounds of 80s hardcore. Think Suicidal Tendencies in their Join The Army days if they took more cues from Charged G.B.H.’s City Baby Attacked By Rats, with thrashcore beats that threaten to become blasts, and you’ve got an approximation of how this beast sounds. Pure energy and speed, but always on the right track, like a studded train full of crusties hitting you with a fist made of metalheads. Someone eventually decided that a trash can would have more fun near the pit, and the result was a lot of beer cans and empty food containers on the floor that was once just covered in beer and sweat.
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Perfect way to cap off the Soundstage skullduggery.
Meanwhile at Ram’s Head the progressive death metal Kiwis in Ulcerate serenaded all present with positive vibration songs such as “Confronting Entropy” and “Clutching Revulsion” from their newest opus Vermis.
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Packed full of enough angular riffs to make your head spin, and heavy enough to make it flatten itself, they and Immolation provided an ideal closing combo for this year’s Maryland Deathfest. Emphasis being on the death, Yonkers’ Immolation packs a firestorm of riffs that haven’t died down in over 28 years as a band. From their debut Dawn Of Possession to their most recent Kingdom Of Conspiracy, all eras were covered as they burnt the fest to ashes.
Post-Deathfest Shenanigans
Yours truly got kicked out of a hotel (rather, kicked himself out) because someone decided smoking a cigarette in the hallway was a good idea. To be fair, I tried to help them by putting it out, but what’s common sense?  Some people just can’t hang, and those people are hotel security. Oops.
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Then on the walk ‘home’ I found some people being obnoxious and singing random metal songs at the top of their lungs on the front porch of a hotel. Naturally I go over and join them. I found some beers and a girl that’s sexually attracted to snakes or someshit, and she stole the inflatable dinosaur that the guy dressed as a doctor during Impaled’s set gave me. Presumably to fuck it.
Then I drank with said doctor and he showed me the horror show that was his hotel bathtub. Thing was a mess of fake blood and empty beer cans. We drank some whiskey for our faces and peaced out. He had a D.R.I. cigarette case, which was rad.
Thrashers, meet your king, passed out on the steps of said hotel at 6 in the morning. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s still hungover to this very day, because that kid was literally drunk the entire weekend. And I saw him a lot (he was in just about every pit at Edison), so you know I’m not bullshitting.
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Then, just in time for me to get onto a cold 4 hour bus to New York and a subsequently cold 4 hour bus to Boston, my cold reaches fruition, and I die in my seat. Somehow I came back to life to write this review, and all I can say after this glorious headbanging, circlepitting, beer drinking, weed smoking, not-drug-doing, skirt-wearing, awkward-socialising weekend is: Fuck the common cold. Maybe I’ll do this again next year.

Good Times, Bad Times, You Know I’ve Had My Dying Fetus at the PVD Social Club

I haven’t been fucked like that in months. I’m sorry, I meant I haven’t been to a show that intense that wasn’t in such close quarters as to render all sensible movement impractical. There we go. I did pop into a free Punk show this sunday but had to leave only two bands deep, so that shall not be written about, as great as Ancient Filth were in a pure burst of Punk energy that threatened the demolition of the Midway. This here is my first time properly slamming it down in probably months, and the pains in my back, chest, arms and neck say “welcome back, faggot.” I almost didn’t make it in, but with some simple math and the fact that I kicked logic out and did the impossible made it all the better on Leap Day Eve.

Last Chance To Reason

Somewhere in a distant land, Powerglove is crying.

Notice how I skipped the random local bands. Right. Anyhow, Last Chance To Reason are a fucken good band, but their lack of keyboards and the vocal effects on their album make them cunts. The atmosphere they had at Metalfest was missing almost in its entirety, and instead of feeling awash in the sound, I was merely being beaten over the head with it. Luckily LCTR are great musicians on their own and their vocalist can still hold a tune even without the Masvidal effects, but it just felt a bit naked without at least some programming in the background. I’m not sure if they’re working to decrease reliance on the effects, but I kinda want them back, please. It’s just not… gamey enough. That being said, they were on point and had a nice flow, pumping out their normal blend of Progressive Metal, airy synths, and Metalcore with relative ease, smashing through boulders like it’s a breeze, you know the dealio. Now to pretend that their vocalist is still a machine and see what happens when they reach Level 3.

Volumes

Play chess in my white T, git crunk in my white T

Whether or not you like Volumes, it’d be a bit mean to say that they’re a shallow band. Sure, they’re doing the whole djentcore thing, but they’re doing it well and with feeling. The crowd certainly seemed to respond well, throwing their hearts and souls at Volumes while they threw theirs back. It was like a big ol’ lovefest but with more sweaty fat men, and we liked it.

Aside from almost having a couple front teeth knocked out by the more energetic partygoers with enormous logs for arms, I’d say their set went without a hitch. Where a lot of bands that rely on chugging riffs would fall apart at the seams —the proof being some of the local bands— Volumes could hold it together through entire songs, and that’s definitely worth mentioning, especially when you wanna get your dance on and need an actual rhythm to back your rompin’ and-a stompin’. Wake the fuck up, but try not to lose an eye while you’re in a Volumes pit, eh?

Job For A Cowboy

I love Jesus, best of all the messiahs!

Goddammit, Job For A Cowboy, you’ve had many years to get this playing live thing correct. If I were one of the Hahdcoah kheds, I’d be a little saddened that they teased with the beginning of Entombment Of A Machine, but it simply became that much more comedic when they gave the proverbial “Fuck you” to the crowd by swithching to Embedded after the high pitched squeal, which Johnny Davy didn’t do —sly devil, probably allowed himself a second to chuckle— but instead let the crowd simply yell ARRRRGH! as if they braced for pain in advance, predicting the bitchslap to come. I do like that song, but tell me this; where the fuck were the leads? Why was the solo 100% improvised (and badly at that)? Hell, why were there no leads in the whole set? Why was the sound so shitty? I’m not even a huge audiophile and I know little to nothing about mixing on a soundboard, but I know diarrhea when I hear it.

I’ll go so far as to say that the rhythm section and Johnny Davy’s steadfast refusal to point back when I pointed at him before their set were the only things done well. The vocals were er… okay, but it’s Job For A Cowboy, so you can’t expect the best of the best. I am sorely disappointed, but since I expect it, it all evens out to a solid meh. Job For A Cowboy stopped being interesting when they decided they were too cool for -core, and just to heap onto the monumental failure they’re carving in ice and the steady downward course their career has taken, they’ve somehow roped in Cephalic Carnage’s bassist to endure this torment alongside them. And he’s doing it all with a straight face. Though nothing is funnier than watching people try to relive JFAC’s glory days by hardcore pitting to their straight up no-bullshit Death Metal material, and from that I gleaned some form of enjoyment and distraction from the ball-peen rhythms to my eardrums that they referred to as guitar. Now I’ll let you go back to your scheduled Black Dahlia Murder copycatting.

Dying Fetus

One of these men is not quite like the others.

These fuckin’ guys. I think I could see them once a month and never get bored of the energy they consistently put out. For only three guys, all of whom being rooted to the spot due to having heavy instrument/vocal duties, they still manage to get a crowd willing to kill at the drop of a dimebag. These are the grand daddies of Deathcore. And by Deathcore I mean Death Metal with Hardcore, not what we call Suicide Silence and Emmure just because we can’t think of a better name for it. The fact that they were A) on such a strange tour with bands that would have a hard time competing with them in terms of impact on the music scene and B) in such a small venue was a bit jarring, but it’s always great to see a band outside of their comfort zone, provided Fetus actually got comfortable playing larger places like the Palladium in Worcester, and to be honest, I wish I could see more bands of their status playing venues this size all the time. Suffocation playing the Crazy Donkey, which is just a few levels up from being a dive, was probably the best I’ve seen them at in all the three times I had seen them. But I digress.

So call me crazy, but Your Treachery Will Die with you has got to be one of the best choices for an opener that they can go with at this point. It’s got everything quintessentially Fetus; groovy Death Metal riffing, challenging technicality, slams, and a love for Hardcore rhythms that’ll get the Metal and Hardcore fans trying to rip each other’s faces off. It just got better from there as slab after slab of aborted offal flew at the crowd in the form of One Shot One Kill, Killing On Adrenaline, Schematics, Shepherd’s Commandment, Opium Of The Masses, Homicidal Retribution, and the all new bruiser From Womb To Waste. How they didn’t already have that song title at the very beginning of their career is a bit of a baffle, but fuckit, they went there.

It would have helped the atmosphere tons if some people knew that Dying Fetus approves more of people throwing the shit down instead of shoving matches akin to how you’d try to take on the rival sect in the elementary school playground, but we powered through, planted our flag in the ground, knocked a few people over, and had a gay old time with the sultry smooth lyricism “Can’t these fuckers leave the shit alone? Always trying to start some stupid shit.” Dying Fetus aren’t there to make you feel comfortable, folks, unless your idea of comfort is in a forest of swinging fists and ducking acrobatic hardcore attacks from all sides, then by all means, please jump in. A couple of ways that the set would have been even better would be if they had actually played Grotesque Impalement —as unlikely as it was, as that release is encrusted in layers of neolithic waste— and if they finally played Kill Your Mother/Rape Your Dog. Only an extra minute, and it’s easily one of the least Technical song in Fetus’ entire discography with the exception of their cover of Next Step Up’s Bringing Back The Glory. But you get what you pay for, and I’d probably need to pay at least 30 for that. Though no admission price guarantees an unofficial meet’n’greet with John Gallagher. Stoners beware, he might ask to bum weed off you.

More like Kill Your Dealer/Steal His Hash.

Despise Women, Love Whores. EyeHateGod at Club Lido/Wonderland Ballroom

Damn, the dudes were out of control by the time this ended. Too bad I couldn’t see the aftermath, but I’m guessing this place will start enforcing a drink minimum and put up “No Hardcore Moshing” signs. Thanks NOLAners!

Fresh Kill

Cry more, milk drinker!

Fresh Kill is what AndrewBastard fools around with when bored with PanzerBastard. And I gotta say, I think PB is a bit prettier, but I can see why he also likes doing this thing. It’s kinda grindy, kinda… I forget, but it’s grindy. Maybe some Death Metal was in there too somewhere. Vocals I wasn’t too crazy about, but they had a nice thick sound that I didn’t entirely dislike.

Raw Radar War

“So I clotheslined him, like this!”

I admire the guys’ intensity, but I literally nodded off during their set a few times. Call it exhaustion, whatever.

Livver

NUH

Now here’s a band I wish I could’ve fallen asleep for.  Livver are boring as a soul patch on a glass of milk, and insist upon themselves at every turn similar to such a facial growth on a faceless object. I don’t even know what kind of style these guys were going for, but I’ll just call it Groovebore. Groove rhythms with an attempt here and there at Thrash and -Core, and it’s about as bland as it sounds. Bereft of melody, catchy rhythms, or even somewhat good sound, there were no redeeming qualities to this set in my eyes. The bass was holding the guitar’s head underwater so it blubbered sheepishly, and the drummer packed no punch at fuckin’ all. I’m gonna stop before I get mad.

Tombs

I Can Hear Neither Of You, Yet I Still Wilt Inside

Tombs is known for sounding like their name describes: Massive, cavernous, and dank.

Combining the rawness of Black Metal, the intensity of Hardcore, and the sheer heaviness of Doom/Sludge, Tombs is definitely not a band you can mosh to, but with as great a formula as they have nailed down, it hardly matters. That and I still seem to have difficulty knowing the songs, though Vermillion did stick out as familiar, and I think they intentionally screwed with one song’s riffs so that it sounded a bit different. Or I’m just paranoid. Either way, it was great to see that they have recruited another guitarist, adding yet another layer of shimmering yet dense anti-matter to their compound of heavy.

The only crowd action you’ll see at a Tombs gig is the occasional drunk guy who’s a little too enthusiastic, and maybe Irish, but you weren’t expecting to get laid anyway, were you?

Doomriders

Well the sign behind me doesn’t show a joint, so I’m still in the right!

Reminds me a lot of The Proselyte, who I saw not too long ago, and are also local boys. Doomrydaz plays a hearty blend of Stoner/Sludge/Groove Metal with a nice helping of Punk, and seem to like skateboards.  Apparently the crowd does too, because once that word was mentioned, the circlepit didn’t quiet down until the song was over.

Holy hell, skaters love their Rock’n’Roll. Aside from the set seeming to drag on for an eternity due to impatience and a shortage of time in which to enjoy EyeHateGod, it was quite fun and full of energy, a nice shot in the arm after Livver had personally sucked all the fun out of Revere as a whole.

EyeDateMaude

Dey don’t call it da Green Room fa nuttin’!

Fuck, now I know why people get so excited to see EyeHateGod. Not just because they’re a legendary Sludge band in the same league as Buzzov*en, Weedeater, and most recently Thou, but they will get you fucked up in no damn time because they’re encouraging your ass to go haywire. If only, if only it hadn’t taken them so damn long to set up, though someone did make a Seth Putnam related wisecrack which made it all worthwhile, but still, only getting to enjoy 20 minutes of EyeHateGod felt like buying a timeshare.

There was a full fledged exchange of blows to the face, some hardcore throwing down, and I was offered a piggyback ride form a guy who liked my Pig Destroyer shirt. Sadly, I was sober, and a few sips of beer and minimal exposure to haze from the Green Room did nothing to change that. Sucks not being a lightweight at times. Definitely must get listened on more eyeDon’tLikeJesus’Dad, since I’ve been bouncing around the NOLA Sludge greats and still haven’t made full-body contact with the titans. Hell, I’ve listened to more Death Doom, which EHG is directly responsible for than them themselves. Fufufufbbgf.

Up next, another foray into dirty beer soaked basements full of men wearing vans, flannels, and hats, presented by Ramlord, Condensed Flesh, and Ancient Filth. Pigs go home.