Monday, March 09, 2009

Summoning Hate with Boarcorpse, Unmen, and Untombed [Ralph's, Worcester, 2/19/2009]

The first Metal Thursday of the year (for me anyway), this one started off a little delayed for me as I took my leave from a work get-together a little later than planned (blame an excessive table delay and accordingly, one too many Pacificos, necessitating a longer dry-out time before hitting the Pike, for that one), but I did arrive in time to catch the end of the first set.

Untombed [5/7]
This is Juan (ex-Summoning Hate)'s new band, and it's great to see him back fronting a band regularly. Untombed came off as a little less developed than SH, but provided a solid performance of trad-brutal death metal, something that often gets lost in the shuffle of slam and technicality in this region. I wish that I'd seen more of them, but even this much was good stuff, and got a killer response.

In the break I picked up a beer and a couple Circque du Carne promos; they weren't playing, but they had a stack of CDs out, and since Boarcorpse is still in the process of putting out their demo, and SH appears to be boldly forging along the super-kvlt path of “be awesome, but have absolutely no merch available for purchase”, there weren't a lot of options here for take-out music.

Unmen [5.5/7]
This was a really cool and interesting band, on tour from Jersey, and doing a style of grind that I hadn't really heard before, one that relied as much on thrash circa 1984 as on the good old basics of Napalm Death. The fusion was compelling as well as brutal, in good contrast to the rest of the bill, and anyone who might have been grumbling about their inclusion either wasn't by the end of the set, or has their head screwed on wrong. A ton of energy and some killer music; if you can catch these guys on the road, do so, whether it's on a punk or metal bill.

From them I scored, afterwards, a CD and their last small patch. Bands, especially grind bands for some reason, are wild about huge patches, but they'd do better cash-wise with them if they could dial the ego back a bit and make more smaller ones and fewer larger. With a big patch, you ask yourself, “do I really like this band enough to make them the focal point of my jacket and take up all that real estate”, while with a small patch, it's more on the lines of “hell yes, DO WANT, I'll find somewhere to stick it, these guys rule”.

Boarcorpse [6/7]
This band has taken it up significantly since the last time I saw them; some of this is the addition of the irrepressible Elliot (The Body Farm, Composted, TYAG) Bayless on guitar, but some of it, certainly, is the development and maturation of the music to the point where someone like Elliot fits in with the ensemble and is pushed by the music as much as he pushes it. A lot of structured chaos and hellishly sick technicality, but still solidly within the song frameworks; this is definitely a band to watch going forward, and to pick up their demo when it comes out. Others have made Cephalic Carnage comparisons; I'm not enough into CC to confirm or deny, but it does certainly appear to be on the right track.

Summoning Hate [6/7]
Things had emptied out a little to this point; a consequence of having a very well-attended Metal Thursday, like this one, is that those non-core people are going to leave around midnight, before the headliners start. All this meant, though, was more room in the pit for Chris (the organizer), the Unmen dudes, and eventually Crazy Dan, to fly in and throw themselves around. This was a really good, maybe even peak, set from Summoning Hate, going full time with crushing thrashing death metal – maybe too crushing for the sound system, which didn't catch up to the band for most of the first song, but just right on pitch for Metal Thursday. Juan guested on a couple songs; the band and he are apparently fine with the lineup SH has going right now, and the conclusion seems to be that if he has the time to sing full-time again, why not have two awesome death metal bands instead of one? The logic convinces, not least because the musical results of this parting of the ways are pretty fucking convincing themselves.

Eventually, though, all good things have to come to an end, and the lights went up and I had to bail, having to work in the morning and such. Four awesome bands, a fairly easy drive back, and a great time thrashing; this is why Metal Thursday keeps going, and keeps drawing from even as far as I've got to go to it.

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