Before going down, I checked RTTP and found out to my disappointment that IWEIPH had cancelled. I'd been looking forward to seeing Rich et al, not least because of his legend, but it can wait. If I went to more shows that leaned more hardcore, I'd probably have seen them by now, and I'll probably see them soon enough anyway. Too bad, but there were still a bunch of good bands on this one.
I got down about on time, but due to the diminished lineup, Cythraul wasn't going on for a while. I had time to go get some Chinese from next door, eat it, and get a second beer by the time they got checked and their axes set up.
I was seriously impressed by this band, despite their lineup issues at this one. This is the second time in a row that a band with female members played the Skybar without a bassist, and the second time in a row that a black metal band played a Boston bar show without their bass player, so there's obviously something going on here below the surface. This left Cythraul with zero female members present, but didn't noticeably diminish the coolness of their sound, which is the part that actually matters. They inherited most from early Emperor and mid-period Immortal without really cloning either, which is definitely a good thing. This was a great performance, which really makes me want to see them again with their full complement -- though this one, featuring Cody from Witch Tomb (not corked up just to go out to the bar) doing guest vocals on a few songs, was definitely something special.
Between sets, I talked with Larissa from Hekseri; I'm constantly humbled when people from bands thank me for coming out and supporting -- I don't thank them nearly enough for putting on good shows, playing kickass music, and being generally awesome. Unfortunately, they've sold out of FDHB, but their demos are being compiled by some microlabel in Singapore, so even if I don't make it to their gig on the 18th or if she gets caught up in other stuff and doesn't end up burning me the demos I don't have yet, I should still be able to get them eventually.
The Accursed [5.5/7]
This was another good set from this band, though somewhat marred by stuff that the band had more or less no control over. I'm referring, of course, to the casino around their sound, which nobody who was at the gig could have missed. Basically, the sound guy gave them a raw deal, then flipped out at them with little provocation. In fairness to the sound dude, it's eminently possible to see how he could have interpreted Jon dropping his (non-functioning) mic as throwing it, but he also shouldn't have flipped out at them over it, and if he'd managed the PA portion of the soundcheck better, he might have found out that the mic in question was dead before the band started and people started getting heated up that things weren't working.
That aside, The Accursed put on a solid set that improved as it went on; the problems were mostly in the first two songs, and mostly coming off the sound issues. Great bands rise up in the face of adversity, and just as an actively hostile soundboard is one of the most adverse conditions that a band can be faced with, the slaughtering performance of "Land of the Dead" that they closed with was little other than the very definition of "rising up", some of the best that I've seen from them. This set as a total experience could have been better, but you can't fault the band's performance.
Dreaded Silence [5/7]
There were a few loose moments, but most of this set was a miracle in progress, because despite the determined efforts of like half the room to get Ken completely wasted, he didn't start forgetting lyrics until the last song. Most of this set was really good, a nice blend of death metal and other elements that recalled the best of the two eras of Sentenced (who they didn't cover) as much as Edge of Sanity (who they did, not omitting the RTTP meme reference ("Dan Swano is an Opeth ripoff")). Despite the alcoholic haze, this was a cool performance in a style that I like, and I'm looking forward to seeing them sometime (like next month) when it isn't Ken's birthday, and he isn't as totally pissed. The drunken abuse will be missed, but the band's got a neat enough sound and good enough execution that it may not be missed much.
Storrow leading into 93 was again wall-to-wall due to tunnel closures; I'm really thinking about just always going back on 128 and the Pike from Boston shows. Next show is also in Somerville, kicking off a month of ten or so gigs, including the first big show at the Palladium in a while....well, except the one last night, but that was obviously disqualified for certain reasons.