This was the best show I've gotten seriously injured at on this continent. Actually, the seriousness is debatable, because it was only a finger that got broken, and just the end of it, really, but the awesomeness of the performance was not.
I plugged along at work a little too late, at least as I thought, got stuck in traffic due to large portions of 93 being closed, and then managed to hike over to the venue with time to spare regardless. Once inside, I drank some beer, got shit from Raphael and others for cutting off the Sodom backpatch in favor of a DIYed Revocation badge (pics of assembly sequence maybe coming), and waited around a bit occasionally getting quizzed on Euro-festival stuff; pretty much the usual.
After some grousing about "punk rock standard time" (also pretty much the usual), the bands got rolling, and the result was a pretty epic time only a little dinged up by injury.
Deathgod Messiah [5.5/7]
I hadn't seen these guys together before (but, of course, all of the members separately in various local black/thrash bands such as CNV, Deathamphetamine, and Witch Tomb), and the first three bands were backlined with the Martyrvore/Panzerbastard kit, so I was a little confused that it wasn't Martyrvore opening. Once the band actually started, though, the confusion was gone, blown away by a roiling tide of primitive first-wave black metal. Best comparisons are probably to Sarcofago and Hellhammer, but angrier and more focused. Though this was a good set, it also felt kind of short, which is par for the course when a new band shows up (not much material written, and as discussed on Bone Ritual's debut a while back, a general disinclination to play covers), but still hurts. In truth, all the sets this night felt a little short, even Summoning Hate at the end when I was waiting for them to finish so I could go to the doctor; maybe it's just not enough shows lately. Good stuff, and if they had demos I missed them, but a band this good and aggressive is going to show up again on DIY shows, and I'll get another chance.
Witch Tomb [7/7]
You never know with Witch Tomb; some nights you just get a great show, and others you get something completely awesome. This was one of the latter; the band has an excellent history, but this was one of the real true highlights, at least as I've seen so far. They did a lot of stuff old and new, and all with that complete conquering presence that you really only get from a good black metal band at the top of their game. There are a lot of good black metal bands in this area, enough that it's realistic to talk about NEBM as largely or completely independent of USBM as it is today, but when they're putting up a performance like this, it's hard to think of Witch Tomb as anything but the top of that heap. The environment at that '07 outing supporting Watain was maybe a little more special, but the music here was definitely better.
Before these guys started, Seth (Anal Cunt, duh) Putnam had a couple words into the mic lauding the fact that the Boston underground is still going, still producing quality extreme metal and still putting up quality shows like this gig and these bands. Martyrvore basically took it from there, putting out an intense barrage of violent blackened death metal in their expected no-prisoners fashion. I was able to hear more of their set than the last time I caught them -- potentially one of the last times they've played out, but that's really neither here nor there -- due to generally better sound, and the result was a solidly better impression. If you're looking for a quick look into NEBM, you won't do much better than their split with Witch Tomb. As noted, there are a lot of bands from here, but this sort of raw, dirty violence is the dominant strain, and these two bands do it pretty goddamned well.
This show was the end of the line for the cowskull that Martyrvore has had for a while, and brought out corpsepainted. It got slammed into the stage rather hard on numerous occasions, and by the end of their set, Paul had carpeted the stage and front of the floor in bone shrapnel. OH SNAP FORESHADOWING. Another attendee took this Symbolfoto of it sometime before it became completely destroyed; that's no a half-bad desktop background for anyone into DIY metal. I managed to pick up a tooth from it that so far has not been successful as a ritual focus for the Merseburg Charm, but expecting effectiveness out of old Germanic magic is probably asking too much.
Summoning Hate [6/7]
Though I spent about half the set distracted by violent pains in the middle of my right hand, this was still an intense and awesome set from the least black metal band on the bill. Summoning Hate turned in, like usual lately, a nice thick set of pounding thrash-death that sounded a little crisper than the last few times I've seen them, maybe due to the good venue sound. They also got people moving with this music, which is the reason that this score ought to come with that infamous "includes adjustments for injury" tag.
About halfway through Summoning Hate's set, one of their guys got pitched backward in the pit. I stretched out a hand to try and keep him from busting his head open on the edge of one of Martyrvore's cabs, which they'd cleared off the stage after their set but not yet out to their van/truck. This was a partial success; the guy wasn't injured, but his head caught the last digit on my right middle finger right on the fucking edge of the cab, and as it turned out, neatly broke the bone. This hurt like a fucking bastard, but I've gotten banged up before, so with the help of a couple trips to the O'B's bathroom sink to ice it down, I got through the end of the show.
The finger was swelling up and looking bad, and I didn't do any favors on the long walk back to Cambridge by not elevating it and also jimmying the digit around to see if it would bend in a way that wasn't consistent with a single piece of bone between the nail and the first knuckle. I got one of those results, and by the time I got back to my town, the finger was large and purple and worth a trip to the ER rather than just going to the pharmacy next door to my apartment buying some athletic tape.
Since this was kind of a pussy injury as ER cases go -- even in a small town like this, there are issues, like the patient brought in euphemistically described by the EMTs as "significant lower GI bleed" and more candidly by the nursing staff as "gouts of blood pouring from the anus" -- I got to sit around with an icepack for three hours while the doctors took care of the people with real problems, and contemplate the staff, the sounds of other people under heavier treatment, and the bed in the waiting room, and with it the reality that I, like some of the heavier cases, would likely find myself on a similar contraption sometime in the next fifty years, at which point I would stop being an alive human being and turn into a corpse. Pussy injury or no pussy injury, medical gore and forced contemplation of your own mortality is pretty fucking death metal.
In the end, I got what I was after -- a splint and confirmation that the damn finger was broken and I hadn't wasted three hours -- then went home and went to sleep instead of going to work. An outbreak of egregious drunkenness kind of killed off the rest of the weekend, but I'm on the mend now, in fine condition apart from that one damn digit, and will be in prime shape for Revocation's CD release this week.