Sunday, September 23, 2007

Finntroll with Frozen, The Accursed, Provocate, Lord Bacon, Morgirion, and Habitual Offendaz [Mark's, Bedford, 9/23/2007]

I left what I thought was a little late, but managed to get up right around doors; we're out of that part of the year where people go to New Hampshire when they don't have to work. There was a fair number of people hanging around carbaring in the parking lot; again, Saturday show, and also, Finntroll, where the zaniness is enhanced by being well-oiled.

Habitual Offendaz [3/7]
To a certian degree these guys deserve sympathy. Unfortunately, none of it has to do with their music. This was a monotonous set of nu-metal boring; I'm not going to say that they were untalented, because they didn't actually play anything wrong, but nothing they did convinced me that they had much in the way of actual ability. Even more than the bands getting ripped off, this is the worst thing about pay-to-play shows: that you get bands that suck and don't match to open for Finntroll. Yecch.

Morgirion [5/7]
Despite the lack of a bass player, they put up a decent set of death metal that varied in its influences from black to doom metal. Unfortunately, the crowd wasn't enormously up for them; part of it was the style, but part of it was probably that they were wicked out of area; they come from Connecticut, and it's difficult that they could have gotten many people from their home ground to buy tickets to a show in New Hampshire. This was a good performance, but unfortunately they didn't have CDs; this, again presented a common strand at this gig.

During their set, there was a low-lvl Photog running around taking pics. He looked about lv 5, but I couldn't tell for sure; he had the blue bandanna, but I don't know when you get the quest for that class token. The body model he was using was familiar to other examples I've seen, but the ponytail was a little longer and the goatee a little sparser; the art department needs to get their ass in gear and do some more variations. Since he was low-lv, though, he couldn't dual-wield or use the flashchuck, so he was doing a bunch of noob things like walk around on the front, and it was pretty obvious that he didn't have enough bag slots to pack the right gear. gb2/ah/, n00b. He was gone, though, by the time the normal purple-decked lv 70 showed up after shooting SBC.

Lord Bacon [7/7]
This band has the largest ratio of actual coolness to name coolness that I have ever seen. You'd never know it from not listening to them, but this band is one to watch out for, following close on the heels of Atheist with aggressive, dense jazz-influenced instrumental technical death metal. This was an absolute technical feast, which I had the privilege of seeing front and center, mostly by accident, and with some comradely good fellowship, which was completely incidental to the music and continued through most of the rest of the show. They're playing again in November; I didn't get a ticket from them, but I'm definitely going to make a point of seeing them next time. Seriously, record something, dudes!

Provocate [4/7]
This is almost the clinical definition of letdown. My ears were on the point of falling off from boredom after one or two songs, and I got the impression that they somehow learned death metal from, like, a correspondance school or something without actually listening to any. It was bizarre in addition to sleep-inducing; they were obviously technically competent, but absolutely incapable of writing interesting songs -- despite being buds with the Lord Bacon guys! SERIOUSLY WHAT THE HELL. Like Habitual Offendaz, they didn't fit the bill, but they sucked less, and at least have the potential to eventually improve.

The Accursed [6/7]
I didn't remember them being this thrash-driven previously, but it was definitely a good thing. They played a bunch of new stuff in addition to the Season of the Scythe material, which is definitely encouraging for any new record; no news on this, but it'll probably be dropping sometime in the next year. They closed with Carcass' "Generation Hexed"; yes, it's Swansong material, but that's still good in itself, and they did a raw and tight version of it that might well have blended in on Heartwork. Good stuff, but things were still improving.

Frozen [6/7]
They sounded a lot less like Evergrey last time, but this one was still really good regardless; John added an uncanny edge to "Ghosts of War" with his camo pants and desert boots -- a sobering and thought-provoking reminder of those in our generation for which these subjects are all too real, both when they're over there and after they get back. This band continues to kick ass, but the crowd was unfortunately a little less for them; they were the only openers not to sell tickets, and this sadly translated into a lot of people staying outside to smoke butts. New Hampshire's state laws are mostly good, but if they keep doods away from seeing Frozen, it's a difficult but bearable sacrifice.

Finntroll [7/7]
The crowd really filled in for them, and they got a hell of an outing. I'd technically seen them before, but this was really the first time I'd seen them seen them; I could have almost stayed home and seen them from closer than last time, which was at Wacken, from half a mile away, and through so much beer that I really don't think my eyes were focusing correctly any more. This time I was on the front rail, incidentally packed in with most of Rohirrim, and got the best of the ensuing outing from Finland's premiere alt-country analogue.

Seriously, they are. Think about it. The roots of the band are in humppaa, and the bass and drums still drive throughout with the folk-polka rhythms, the keys setting up the folkic melody, and then the guitars add the metallic punch that brings them up into modernity for their country. The result, of course, is the ultimate metal bar band, with the attendant guzzling and riotousness that makes for a classic time. Unfortunately, despite the awesome music offered, the other components were lacking. The venue is out in the middle of nowhere, cutting down on the beerconsumption, and more importantly, the security was completely mental, breaking up the least little bit of turbulance and tossing people for breaking into jigs. IDIOTIC. They've always had a no-mosh policy, but the TNT guys took this to absolutely stupid extremes last night, ejecting several people, and allegedly macing some kid. Sooner or later, this is going to backfire on the club, and only because I was right up on the rail did these dumb overreactions not sour an excellent performance by one of the best party bands going in metal.

We should have organized better and just thrown a giant riot-cum-moshpit on their last song; soon enough, someone is going to, and they may well also taze all the security first, which could get heinous. The drive back was okay, but I'd rather have gone into the car with a clean thrashout rather than redshirts fucking people up. Bullshit.

Next week, I'm pretty sure there's no Mark's gig on the slate; Firewind in connection with security bullshit isn't compelling, and there's also two gigs on for next week, so poverty is probably going to be an intervening concern. Next, of course is Municipal Waste (Is Gonna Fuck You Up) at the Palladium. I don't know if this is upstairs of down; upstairs fits better with a thrash-revival lineup with more latitude for pileups and sick pits, but the Waste is probably popular enough to get a good crowd in the downstairs. Regardless, it's time for kutte rivalries and knee injuries and pushing through herds of anklebiters to hit the bar.

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