Monday, January 22, 2007

two nights, two shows

Fortunately, it's only snowing now, not over the weekend, and it's not enough that the snow ban lights are on. This means I can stay in and collate two show reviews here instead of having to go drive somewhere, or be worried about moving my car off the street.

Revocation and Deadlikedeath
Caralilly's, Quincy, 1/19/2007

Technically, the bill should be flipped, but Revocation did put this show up, and the two bands here were about equally supported. Two bands on a DIY bill, the order basically doesn't matter.

I got down roughly on time, though before most of the band members got there, despite the usual 93 shenanigans and a couple blocks of walking to get over from the North Quincy T. The venue in question is a nice place, normally a piano bar, but it converts well into a DIY venue. It's a decent place for a local show, and proof that we do have the technical capabilities on the North Shore to host 18+ and 21+ shows...provided that someone gets off their ass and does it. Someone who isn't subject to randomly getting shuttled off to the ends of the earth, just so we're clear on this.

Before the bands got going, I unwittingly provided some opening entertainment by ordering a beer that had to come out of the wrong cooler. Said beer was partially frozen, and detonated on opening, covering the bartender and a fair stretch of the bar in an explosion of beer slush. She was a good sport about it, though, and it gave everyone something to laugh about while the bands were setting up.

Revocation [6/7]
Another show, another casually awesome performance from Revocation. This performance presented more of a relaxed, Bay-Area feel around the more technical or death-influenced parts of their sound, but the set was still unmistakeably in their usual style. Dave brought out some new guitar tricks, Anthony didn't take his shirt off, and a large number of people bought CDs when they finished; I wasn't anticipating this last, because their disc's been out for a while, and Revocation doesn't exactly hide in the forests building their kvlt credits as opposed to doing shows. This band is so good and performs so relatively often that you'd think most people who go to local shows in the Boston area would have Summon The Spawn by now. Regardless, a bunch more people have it now, and well they should.

Deadlikedeath [5/7]
Midway through their set, Murph likened following Revocation to pissing into a wind tunnel, but it wasn't as bad as all that. DLD gave a good performance, more grind than last time I was them either because that's how they're developing, or more likely because I've been listening to more grind lately and know what to listen to. They didn't seem any more or less comfortable in this venue than at the Middle East, but they were definitely a little looser. There were some stops and starts, but mostly just a kickass set. Unfortunately, I couldn't -- or more accurately, didn't -- stick to the end of it for the car-related reasons mentioned above, so I missed probably about 15 or 20 minutes of rockin' and a light fixture getting whacked. Next time, next time; this one, even just what I was able to stay for, was still a cool show and a pretty sweet Friday night.

Hell's Infinite 6 with Baphomet's Horns, Hekseri, Martyrvore, and Witch Tomb
DeeDee's, Quincy, 1/20/2007

After talking a good game about not parking at the T station like last night, I turned around and did it again. This of course was enabled by the fact that this venue is located directly behind the Wollaston Red Line stop (which I know of old), and there was no easier option. It also helped that it shortened the walk in sub-freezing temperatures in a non-insulated kutte. I can do this grim-and-frostbitten-north thing, but it's physically draining to do for too long at a time.

I didn't get in that early, but still got time to sit and regenerate before the bands started. I wouldn't sit down much the rest of the night, not only because there was a minimum of latency between bands, but also because the place filled up gradually throughout the night, to a level that most people probably wouldn't expect for a local black metal show -- provided that people can get over the idea of a local black metal show even happening.

Witch Tomb [5/7]
I was very impressed by this band, despite not hearing much about them going in. Their mix of drone and aggression was the closest that this night would offer to the 'typical' sound of USBM, but different enough to announce how the rest of the show was going to sound. They had a good long set for an opener, which the first three bands would all benefit from, showing off their abilities well.

Martyrvore [5/7]
Another good set, though more pointed and driven, despite being the first of the 40 percent of bands on this bill not to employ a bass player. Black metal by nature is treble-heavy, and the sound worked for both these guys and Hell's Infinite 6, but srsly, we may need to get a union going or something. The singer of this band, at least, is in Cold Northern Vengeance, but unfortunately I haven't listened to the CD I got off him yet, so I can't point to any differences or similarities in sound. Still a good set, plenty abrasive, and the rest of the audience was also into it.

The first two bands here are doing a split sometime in the near future, so something to watch out for.

Hekseri [6/7]
This slot on the bill was about right, and does credit to Megan for putting her own act in the right place while also putting up the show. However, the real story here is the performance that the band put on, a solid set of raw and dirty black metal highlighted by some excellent guitar work. Megan's solo style is clearly rooted in Slayer, but it blends well with the rest of the band's attack, which was at a comparably high level. This was a performance that built up rather than immediately starting and staying awesome, but this shouldn't diminish the quality of the music or its delivery. Very cool, and of course as gimmick-free as expected.

Baphomet's Horns [5/7]
There seemed to be a crowd surge for this band, with more people packing into the floor immediately in front of the stage to see them, then fading back when they finished. They were definitely worth everyone's full attention, providing a cool and fully developed set of nice brutal black metal, though it's always better, from a general scene standpoint, when fans of one band stick around for everyone on the bill. This is of course nothing on the band themselves, who gave a great performance that managed to feel cut off at the end; I'd gladly have watched them go on for another 15 or 20 minutes, but maybe next time. Next time, definitely, I'll get a shirt off them, as their designs are pretty killer, but all I got from them merchwise was their split with Amputator.

I also missed out on Hekseri stuff, but I'm definitely seeing them in like 2 weeks opening for Destruction, so I should be able to make it up at that time.

Hell's Infinite 6 [6/7]
Another ultimately killer set from a cool band, but also one that didn't employ a bassist. The dual guitar sound worked well, and the blending of riffs and feedback/general noise definitely enhanced the experience. Despite two guitarists and one of them wearing a Dissection shirt and a Dissection-derived arm tat, they held mainly to the brutal line that hs dominated the show so far, and did turn out a cool performance that also felt cut off. I'm not sure whether my internal clock starts going off after 23:00 or if it's just different expectations for headliners, but for whatever reason, this band also overcame a slow start to a point where I could have gone for another 15 to 20 once they finally closed up.

I probably could have hung around for a little after, but that would probably mean at least one more beer, and then more time off before driving, and I was again concerned about the Quincy PD booting or absconding with my car. I've got to plan better and/or find different places to park, but these Quincy venues are so convenient to the mass parking lots of our mass transit system that it's difficult to not be lazy and just use them. There's been some post-facto comments about the sound at this show from the bands, but I didn't notice much wrong with it; necro sound is something I've grown accustomed to from black metal, and all of the bands on this bill sounded fine with the sound as it was. Of course, that does mean that they'd all probably come off better with a good sound system, but that's something to look forward to; this show, now in the past, was pretty cool and a definite good experience to look back on.

In other news, I got my ticket for Enslaved off CNV, and several people, including one of the guys from Hirudinea (who was one of several with a better-built kutte than mine there), were rumoring about Rotten Sound playing at some Elks lodge in the area. No idea on the timeline for that one, but if it's north of the MA southern border, I ought to try and get to it; probably going to see them at MDF anyway, but that's pending how much vacation I have to take for Metal Winter Break.

Next show is hopefully going to be on Wednesday -- Godless Rising, Goreality, Downfall, and Mortis Dev down in Somerville -- but I'm fighting a cold right now and don't want to be fucking sneezing all over people. If that fails, I might go up to Metal Church at Mark's on the weekend, but I really don't want to go to a P2P show without getting a ticket off one of the bands. Sure, if I went I'd grout through everyone's merch table, but it'd still feel like I was picking Ravage or RAOV's pocket. Of course, the better step is to simply get rid of P2P shows, but as long as good nationals keep getting booked into them and good locals keep knuckling and playing them, it's going to be a devil's choice. Most likely I'll do the Wednesday show, then take the weekend off to regain my health (there's no way I'll see a better set from Metal Church than I got from the first row at Wacken this year) and hope to corral Ravage's CD releases later.

No comments: