Monday, June 25, 2007

The Alien Blakk with Silencio, 8 Weeks Dead, and Revocation [Skybar, Somerville, 6/24/2007]

The post from the show on Friday will be up later; my home internets are acting up, and I can't access the final version of it from work.

The Skybar's closing its musical entertainments, but it's not quite dead yet, and as this show demonstrates, it's far from going quietly. I got down a little after eight, but didn't miss much in terms of music; Revocation kicked ass for the portion that I caught, and I'm seeing them again tonight anyways.

Revocation [6/7]
Anthony later mentioned that they were a little off on this set, which was the impression that I got as well in the half that I saw. However, an off night for Revocation merely brings them down to that "casual awesomeness" level again, and even when the band's grinding it out, they're still capable of just flat stunning the audience. They did "Symbolic" again, which may be becoming a fixture, but the sound came off a little rawer than it was in Worcester. Though not a peak performance, this was still a damn good show, and it's too bad that most of the eventual audience wasn't in the building yet.

8 Weeks Dead [5/7]
In the title of their CD (Projects in the Junkyard), they tip their hat over to Pantera, but this Danbury combo pulls in a wide range of influences from other places to their blend of modern thrash; the death metal bits are the most prominent, but the Iron Maiden elements are no less well-executed. The singer was complaining about his voice being busted, and when he eventually got warmed up, his performance bore him out, but this was still a solid and yeomanlike metal set. They weren't perhaps optimally matched to the bill in sound or technical emphasis, but they did put up a solid set and entertained the metal portion of the crowd. If you can catch them with a more straight-ahead bill at a hall that's going to draw a fair number of people, go see them; even to the handful of people here, they did a good job and impressed.

The Alien Blakk [7/7]
If you'd get into post-metal if only there was more, say, metal in it, this is a band that you need to get into. Without a drummer and heavily driven by acoustic guitars, this band still dazzled over the full course of their set with both intricate musicality and a significant share of raw power. Most of the set was, of course, original, but they also included a tone-perfect cover of "Fade To Black" and a take on "All Along The Watchtower" that stretched on into an awesome instrument-swapping 15-minute jam. I may be slightly prejudiced because the bassist used an electric upright on a couple songs, and that automatically makes a band awesome, but the non-bassists and even the non-scene people in the audience all seemed to agree that what they were doing was pretty incredible. Since they have roots in this area, despite being from Arizona, they'll be back again -- and if their tour's coming through your town later, you need to go the hell out and see them.

I screwed up and got a CD from 8 Weeks Dead before grabbing stuff from The Alien Blakk, and unfortunately they closed up before I got over. The CD I can get from retail, but I'm going to have to order their patch; even though it's screened cloth, this band is too cool not to sew on somewhere.

Silencio [5/7]
The Alien Blakk was the touring band on this gig, and their set was so thoroughly dominating that there were a fair number of people thinking that the show was over, especially since the bar closed shortly after their set. However, Silencio did still get the last spot for their full set, which definitely pleased the throng of new faces who came down to see them. I have the ethnic standing to use the g word to describe this audience, but will refrain from doing so, not only because it's a slur but also because to do so would be disrespectful to the band, who made up in energy what they lacked in cohesiveness. Despite the incessant apologetics of the singer for headlining over The Alien Blakk (and to a lesser degree the other bands on this bill), Silencio put up a frantic and somewhat chaotic set of screaming melodic metal with prominent hard rock bits; the ideas seemed decent, but inconsistently put together, whether for lack of a bassist or because something was weird with the sound. Passion means nothing without the music behind it, just as the most technically excellent set can bore if the band is just turning a crank, but there were enough good elements in Silencio's music to leave the impression that this is a band worth seeing again, maybe in another setting and definitely if they were a member down for this one. However, they're not a band that's going to draw me out on their own, or at least, not yet.

The gig got out right around midnight; not too late but late enough that most of the idiots were off the roads, and I was able to avoid both the cave-in damage in the tunnels and the random tire-spiking debris on 128 coming back. Hopefully the same will hold tonight for the gig at Great Scott -- and hopefully I won't get another damn parking ticket, even if it's a lot better than getting towed and potentially cheaper than paying for parking.

Also, it's now less than 40 days to Wacken, and the orgas have filled me with hope anew. Check out these maps: the campgrounds have been greatly expanded, there is a large no-cars tenting-only area (close to the stages woot woot), and the Party Stage has been realigned to create another main infield. This is going to be so fucking awesome it's not even funny. Wer faehrt mit?!?

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