I ended up missing out on the moved Eyehategod show on the Tuesday before this, mostly due to work commitments, but also due to a troublesome trend; if you look back at the two previous shows written up here, you'll notice that the dates involved are also the dates on which the Celtics lost in the Finals. Nights on which I had to sit home, they won. I clearly SHOULD have gone down to the Cambridge Elks for that gig, then, because the Celts ended up losing that night (indicating that I wasn't the jinx), and it was by all reports amazing, but I did still have work stuff to deal with that would have made it difficult.
The upshot of all of this is that if the Celtics were still going to fuck it up while I was sitting home, I had no excuse for not going out to a good show and ignoring the basketball. I was going out to this one anyway, but ignoring the game, as well as the buildup via going right from work, turned out to be the adaptive path. The last I saw, the score was in the single digits, and then coming out, I was on a lingering doom metal contact high and not bothered. I got in with decent timing, and it wasn't too long before Orim started things off.
The first of four bands on this bill that I hadn't seen yet, these guys started a little shaky, but solidified, presenting a solid if somewhat derivative set of good old USHM roughly along the lines of Ravage. Orim had a little more in the way of Iron Maiden in the vocals, and a little more reliance on low-ended riffing to set up their songs, but clearly are coming out of the same American tradition, which is cool and more than a little impressive when you consider that the great balance of new ideas in power/traditional metal has been coming out of Europe over the last 15 years. They didn't have anything recorded yet, but will allegedly have a demo out in the near future; something to watch out for, even if only to see how this band, which is either relatively new or has been extremely insular in western MA for the last five years, develops this sound.
Though these guys have cut down to a power trio from the five-piece listed on their current CD, they haven't cut down the sound much if any; this was a full-throated set of roaring metal building on about equal parts archetypal/stereotypical stoner doom and USHM in the Manowar-inherited-via-Slough-Feg style that (IMNSHO) we don't see enough of in this kind of music. The material, even more than the performance, seemed to get stronger as the set went on, so it's going to be interesting to see how these guys develop, and how they sound on record with the current lineup.
In addition to their self-titled record, I also picked up a bunch of matchbox-sized Wizardry promo cards to take overseas. With a month or so still to go before I ship out, New York is nearly as well represented in the grab bag of stuffs as New England; that's liable to change going forward, though, and it's certainly not like the bands aren't eminently deserving of the exposure.
Wow. Just unreal. To the extent that "doomcore" actually exists, this band are in the first echelon. There was a lot of hardcore in this mind-blowing set, but at least as much doom metal; this may be me just having watched the DVD that came with Deaf To Our Prayers again, but the total experience here was like nothing so much as if Heaven Shall Burn grew up filling their heads with Southern Lord's roster rather than Regain. A complete full immersion of thrashing doom, this also saw the most floor motion of the night; maybe not up to the very high standards of peak Metal Thursday moshing, but this was a doom metal night, and the crowd was both slightly different and less disposed to hit one another than on that'd be in for a more death/thrash/whatevercore bill.
These guys didn't end up having anything recorded available, so I got a shirt instead, and felt bad about the difficulty they went through digging out something in XL. More relevantly, people need to start paying more attention to Vermont, and to do more to bring bands out of there; there's a significant amount of good music, even just going on random gigs from the past year or so, that has developed in relative isolation because the state happens to not be strongly connected to the coastal belt. The major population centers are further north even than Maine, and the road network sucks with regard to getting people to Manchester, Worcester, Springfield, and Albany. It'd be more natural to play out more in Montreal, and from there the other populated parts of Canada, but someone put a national border and a language barrier in the way. Vaporizer's been putting some decent runs of dates together, so they may be over this hurdle, but people interested in interesting new metal bands might be well advised to check out the land of hippies and maple syrup.
Faces of Bayon [6/7]
This is pretty much letter-perfect as to what I want to hear, personally, when I listen to doom metal: fewer Sabbath structures and more of the pounding low end death metal at glacial tempos a la Cathedral's first album. By far the slowest and heaviest band of the night, this resulted in less floor motion, but built into a punishing set of moderately epic proportions that put a convincing capstone on a solid, well-rounded night of diverse perspectives on doom. Pure quality; their coming gig with Sin of Angels, no slouches in the dirty-and-excruciatingly-slow department themselves, will be a molten glass deathmarch of the first order.
Things eventually closed up, and people found out that the basketball game had gone the wrong way, but that was immaterial; this was a stellar show and a free and easy drive back, no matter how dead I ended up being the next day, which contributed to the lateness of this writeup. The last one should be done shortly, and then the one from either Abnormality or Hivesmasher, depending on how that coinflip goes, this weekend.