Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Morgirion with Shabti and Nachzehrer [Midway Cafe, Jamaica Plain, 12/19/2009]

Much like the last time I was down to this place for a matinee show, this was a good gig featuring killer black metal, good attendance, and a lot of beer. Unfortunately, because I got up too early in the morning to hack on some other stuff before class, it accidentally also ended up featuring me falling asleep on the train home and waking up in Rowley, then calling around to find someone awake and in shape to drive while hiking back towards somewhere to get picked up. That wasn't the most entertaining bit of business in the world, but while it's a significant contribution to why this writeup is late, it doesn't have anything to do with the show proper.

After getting out of my last class of the year, I hopped the trains over, still nervous about missing Nachzehrer due to previous experience, but despite rolling up about 4:30, nobody'd started playing yet. I went next door to get a horrible rubbery cheeseburger and some more-or-less decent fries (got to learn some Spanish to try and gull some decent food out of this place) and wait nervously to get burned again. Fortunately, didn't happen; unfortunately, this was because Bog of the Infidel, who were supposed to be headlining, dropped off, but I got to wolf down my takeaway, get in and processed, and put a beer or two down before Nachzehrer started up.

Nachzehrer [5.5/7]
This was their first show, and they came out all guns blazing. It's about as might be expected, from members of Unholy Goatfucker and Razormaze with an 26 Beers stalwart sitting in on the drums, but any time a band's playing their first show ever, there's usually some slack to be cut. In this case, not needed; they trailed off a little at the end, but played absolutely everything they had written (and a cover besides) over those five songs, and set the crowd going with true straight-up black thrash, which is rarer than you might expect around these parts. Someone's got to bridge the divide between the thrash revivalists and the dirty black metal hordes in Boston, and while the lineup difficulties and commitments in other active bands might make it difficult for Nachzehrer to take this full-time, it's a start, and good music at least; we'll see how this develops.

Shabti [6/7]
Shabti came down from Maine again, and again gave a stonnering performance, mixing black metal structures with tech-death elements. Sure, try to write it off to more beer, a closer environment, the band playing directly out of their cabs rather than through a PA, more time rehearsing since, whatever, but the fact remains that this was a definite step up from their set at Ralph's, and, as then, people living south of the Piscataqua should start recognizing that this is a really good band, who you need to see if and when they come around.

I think I got a CD off them, either after their set or at the end of the night; maybe it was off Morgirion, I was kind of drunk at the time and haven't gone through that bag since due to work commitments. Regardless, if I didn't, I need to get after these guys for recorded material the next time they show up remotely local and hope other people haven't looted them out of demos yet.

Morgirion [6/7]
Morgirion continues to impress; this time around, they finally had a bass player in the fold through Connor pulling double duty on bass and keys. Of course, he still had only his normal complement of arms, so this was bass or keys, not bass and keys, but the resulting performance was still on a high level all around. This band is also continuing to get better, so that while the leading lights of NEBM might not have been on this bill, those who were there got a definite earful of the wave behind them. We had an embarassment of riches three years ago, and it's only gotten better since.

Unfortunately, the crowd thinned out over the course of the evening, to the point where after Morgirion's set the place was dead empty. I hadn't been keeping track of time, so this more than anything else was the critical clue that Bog, who had been announced as headliners, weren't going to be showing up. Oh well. After some drunken bantering, it was for nowt except to hike back to the T to the train, and then inadvertently fall asleep going through Chelsea and wake up three towns too far north. For a killer, free-drinking, seven-dollar show, though, there has to be some karmic comeuppance at some point, and the hike back wasn't that awful, especially getting picked up barely an hour into it.

Next gig is uncertain; I want to go to Razormaze's tour kickoff, but that's on a Wednesday at Great Scott and I'm on call that week. Maybe worth chancing it, but we'll see how things shake out. This is, though, probably the last of the year absent some local stuff that may or may not qualify next week; that'll make only 25 gigs this year and 4 festivals, which is kind of disappointing. Of course, it says something when seeing north of 200 sets still qualifies as "need to get out more", but last year was 34 and 3 (ok, maybe I didn't get enough of NEDF to qualify and it's more like 35 and 2) and Boston is still Boston. We'll see about 2010; hopefully, I can make more local gigs, write more intelligently about them, and promote the northeast US better and more coherently at Party.San and whichever of Summer Breeze or Wacken ends up in the other slot.

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