Midweek shows suck. Well, more accurately, it sucks that shows are put on midweek, and it would suck if a midweek show, once attended, was not so awesome that you don't care that it's on a Wednesday. This show, quite obviously, did not suck, but I definitely would rather have caught it on the weekend for external reasons.
Though it was a little more difficult parking with the factory behind the venue still working, not leaving huge swaths of sidewalk open for cars, I got in without a hitch a little before Mortis Dev went on. I probably could have taken a little more time and got some Chinese food before going in, but I misestimated their ability to be open later midweek and didn't. Instead, I went in, started drinking, and pawed through the distro table while the bands were setting up. Jeff gave me a 20-percent discount on the crazy stack of CDs I pulled out -- sue me, I'm a sucker for anything on Wild Rags -- and also sold me on a plainly awesome Godless Rising patch, which is one of the most well-finished that I've ever seen, especially from so underground a band. Of course, it's the top patch on his kutte, so he's going to be sure that it kicks some serious ass from the design and manufacturing standpoints. Contrast this with Celtic Frost's M.O. of "screenprint something, overcharge for it, and show no signs of caring at any point in the process".
While I was buying the patch, Mortis Deveia started up; this was unexpected because the band was down to a four-piece, and I like most people was anticipating that they wouldn't start until all of the band was there.
Mortis Deveia [5/7]
The bassist had to work or something, leaving the band as a four-piece with little low end. They still did a good set, mostly because the rest of the band is awesome enough to pull such off, even when the number of paying audience members is still in the single digits. The absence of the bass was definitely felt, though, because without the low end solidifying the song, Mortis Deveia transforms easily into the Henry Khiev Show, and as sick as he is on guitar, the band works better when they're playing as a band, not as sidemen. Still a good performance, though not their best. They'll have other chances to establish themselves more strongly in the Boston area, and they definitely moved a lot of demos, which are now in a new pressing with a tracklisting and a larger spiffy logo. The old demos are now collectible, but still have Mortis Deveia on them, making it unlikely that anyone who currently has one will want to part with it.
I've heard a lot of good things about this band, and was somewhat surprised that they were going on second, instead of Downfall. Of course, bills don't have to make sense; the bands just have to rock. And rock Goreality certainly did, laying out one of the strongest brutal death sets that I've ever seen, and quite possibly the strongest at the local level. The technicality never overwhelmed the groove, and the songs moved and roared into one another in an organic and epic fashion. The other bands on the bill also kicked ass, but Goreality's set, at least to someone who hadn't seen them before, was something else and something special. This was the same kind of feeling that I got seeing Suffocation at the Palladium a few months back: the promise of brutal death metal fulfilled, in this monolith of sky-filling sound that acquires beauty and wonder by disregarding everything except its own existence. Awesome.
I should have nailed them to the wall and got a shirt as well as their split with Clitorture (which I did get from Jeff), but it was at this time that I unsuccessfully attempted to get Chinese. I'm slotted to see them again here in April, though, so I can nab it then.
And just like that, it was time for Boston's favorite local South American death metal band. Yes, it sounds odd, but only in that this band is based out of the Bay State, not that they're a bunch of Latin guys who play thrashy brutal death. They had a single false start on a song, but otherwise more or less destroyed, putting out a killer set and getting the developing crowd involved. Of course, people had been up and thrashing as soon as people who weren't in bands got to the venue, but Downfall drew a lot of people in, and the craziness from them carried over into Godless Rising's set. I need to get a demo from these guys as well, but they didn't appear to have anything out; have to watch out in the future.
Godless Rising [6/7]
Though to a certain degree Goreality stole this show, Godless Rising went a long way towards taking it all back with their set here. As a NWOBHM freak and semi-professional snark, it's easy for me to think of this band as "Gruslin/Flynn Vital Remains", but that's not exactly the case. They played no Vital covers, and a ton of new (yet-unreleased) material, which strongly establishes this band as doing something independent and self-sufficient. Sure, the concept of fast brutal death metal with a melodic finish inherits from Vital's early work as much as the current lineup of Vital does, but this music is being developed in a different direction, with different priorities. It was a great set, and I'm sure that everyone else there also wished that they could have gone on longer, but they did play right up to the venue's cutoff.
Before leaving I nabbed a shirt (can't have my characters buying their merch if I don't as well) to evangelize them around some, then pulled to make sure that I got home in time to sleep some before work. Closures of 93 did not help in this regard, but I got around and back in one piece, having done 3 shows on one tank of gas. Work being so close rocks.
I'm currently mulling over a compilation project to make my yearly pilgrimage to Wacken more useful for other people, but that's waiting on getting the tickets and flight set, then doing a check on what space I have available in my pack. More info later if I end up deciding it's feasible.