I should lead this with my original Cryptic Warning demo, but I can't be arsed to dig it out of the seven four-foot-deep piles of CDs to be kept still in my closet. Note that these are different from the four similar piles to be "dissolved"; going to shows, especially good ones like this, generally results in you owning too many records.
I got down a bit early, but in a bit late for this one; I was meeting up with my brother, and his train got in a total of 45 minutes late, which turned out to be just time enough to hike past the remnants of drunks and scalpers around Fenway and over to the venue to catch Scaphism's last song.
This was reason to be burned up about the delay; from what little I saw of Scaphism, they were pretty damn cool, a chunking, worthy, death-grind band that is likely to be getting up to a higher profile in the future. So far, they've mostly been playing out in the Worcester area, but this was, at least from the limited sample that I can attest to, quite the class set for a Boston debut.
The band finishing nearly as soon as we got in the door, I ordered my brother off to the bar for drinks and picked up Existence Is Futile, kind of the whole reason for coming down. I also showed Dave the DIY patch rework of their (apparently according to Blue) Relapse-only shirt design, which got about the whoa-dude reaction I was anticipating. This vest is still far from finished, and with colder weather coming on, it's likely to get worn out less over the coming months, but if they never get a backpatch version of the Empire of the Obscene cover out, this is a pretty good start.
Razormaze also put a record out a couple weeks ago, but I missed the show due to some combination of other shit going on, on-call status, and if I recall correctly, the gig being at Great Scott's, which is a pain to get to from my usual car-caching places. Effectively, this was the premiere for me of the new stuff on The True Speed of Steel, and damn if it didn't make a good impression. There was a lot of Slave To The Maze stuff in the set still, but better delivered, even if Dave's guitar wasn't always cutting through the mix on the solos from where I was standing. They've improved significantly since I saw them last, and though they're still working on the great challenge of thrash revival, to do something materially different with the music that their audience can't get from just breaking out their old Testament records again, they're playing good music, which is reason enough to check them out and thrash along on a show like this.
As should be noted, I had a limited range of options on where to stand and how much to thrash at this gig, as it took place less than a week after I broke my finger, which was still of course taped and splinted up and sensitive to damage. Someone with less commitment might have stayed home with his arm in a sling like I was directed to do, but that's not how we do it in Boston.
Unlike the bands bookending them, Sexcrement do not have a new record out currently, but it's in the works; we got a lot of new material in this one, and as expected, well up to the standard of the old: titles built around groanworthy sex puns, lyrics that will probably read smart even if Adam's gurgling is otherwise unintelligible, and tons on tons of unidentifiable-fluid-dripping death metal. This iteration of the band has been nonstop solid, and the coming EP and full-length are definitely to watch out for. Had this been a normal show, this would have been a definite headline-worthy set, but in this instance, the normal cliches about satisfaction level don't apply: no matter how good Sexcrement was, nobody was leaving this place without their fill of Revocation.
They say a prophet is unknown in his home country. Well, maybe for prophets, but thrash metal bands don't work that way; Church was full at this point and practically everyone piled up towards the stage to knock heads with the band, and Revocation responded by laying out a top-class set of technical thrash-death fusion. They did a good measure of stuff from the new record -- "Anthem of the Betrayed" has "VIDEO SINGLE LOL" printed on it in large letters, and "Across Forests And Fjords" sounds even more immense than on record, even if Dave has difficulties channeling Johan Hegg long enough to introduce it without cracking a joke -- and also some fanservice for the few who've been there since they were in high school (c.f. "Snakestrike"), but also a lot of stuff, particularly at the end of the set, off Empire.... In a way, this was kind of weird, since you'd think, on a release show, a band would close with something off the new one, but when you think about it rationally, it makes perfect sense. Empire of the Obscene is a frickin awesome record, and if the major labels had had their shit together last year, this party would have happened then to push a mostly-gray-covered record instead of a yellow one. Existence... is a kickass record on its own, and will definitely have legs, but I would be more surprised if Relapse doesn't reissue Empire... in the next year or two than if they do.
The set seemed just a little cut off at the end thanks to the mandatory 12:00 curfew that allows Church to continue to do shows without the old ladies in their neighborhood calling the BPD on them, but it was tremendous all the same. Unfortunately, this was the first and last show of the week; I'd gotten unexpectedly switched to on-call the week before and thus couldn't get out to Worcester for Summoning Hate. Next one is probably Parasitic Extirpation at O'Brien's; after that, I need to check and get my shit in order. Not just going to shows; it's looking slightly more likely that the older Coelem demos will get re-translated, and then, who knows, maybe reissued.