I'd been waiting for this show for quite a while, and by all reports it lived up to its billing for those who stayed for the duration. Unfortunately, much to my chagrin, I had to bail for a decent if ultimately run-of-the-mill party that resulted in a miserable hangover in addition to missing more than half of the bands on the bill.
I got up a bit early despite having to do some other errands on the way, and the gravel lot by the venue was great craic as might be expected, something that continued on throughout the gig because, utterly as expected, cramming 40+ people into Anchors Up on a hot summer night turns the place into a sauna. Much fun was had by all, with the new addition of the wooden fence and gate at the top doubtless contributing. I'll keep an eye peeled for Jesse/Carmine's crew at Wacken this year; it's good to know that even if, as I suspect, this is going to be my last year at that particular fest, there's going to be people from this area carrying the flag forward.
The gig didn't start anywhere nearly as early as planned, but people had a good enough time hanging out waiting for the bands to get in, and Nachzehrer got things rolling soon enough.
They were a little off the pace from the last time I saw them, but some of that can probably be put off to the PA setup, and the rest down to natural variance. Nachzehrer set out a quality performance of hammering black thrash that provoked the most floor movement of the three bands I was able to stay in for: some of that is that the musical style fits it more naturally, but you also have to credit the band for playing well in that style, and also the singer getting out on the floor (as before, so it's not entirely because of the very limited stage area) and getting things going.
After Nachzehrer closed up, I hit the merch table area to see if I could do some financial-supporting, because I was going to skip out before half the bands on the bill played, likely, and was feeling guilty about it. I picked up some Sewer Goddess and Witch Tomb stuff; nobody else had anything out yet, and I had no idea how I'd managed to not buy Crippled Messiah up to this point. Seriously, I go to enough Witch Tomb (and associated bands) gigs; how did that even happen?
I was really interested to see this band, largely because Ryan (aka His Emissary) has a rather distinctive approach to guitar composition that, at least in Ipsissimus, results in an immediately distinct sound....and one that it's difficult to immediately see meshing into a "rock" context. Mesh it did, despite a somewhat weird start that occasionally sounded like Roger Waters fronting a No Prayer For The Dying-era Iron Maiden (seriously, that's what the guitar tone sounded like, though the identification isn't quite as anorakish as it sounds, because I actually like that record and regularly listen to stuff off it). As the set went on, though, the sound got more unified and more rockish, though, as observed elsewhere, anyone using the Motley Crue definition of "sleaze rock" has, to turn a reference appropriately on the band's final song, another thing coming. (No, they did "Never Satisfied", but same band, still counts.) Good stuff, any way you cut it.
It will be interesting to see how this band goes forward, with Ipsissimus coming off hiatus and a "special announcement" in the works that has probably been spoiled for anyone who saw the flyer for that band's gig supporting Destroyer 666 in Providence. I'm not going to add to the spoilage here, just note that anyone, really, should have seen this coming after picking up The Three Secrets of Fatima, and will withhold congratulations until the band makes it official.
In this break, I pawed through a couple distro tables and came up with, among other stuff, a Bestial Mockery record and some tapes from Vault and Revenge, which I need to get a working tape player again in order to use. It's for this reason (and, also, already having the demo on CD) that I didn't get one of Nachzehrer's tapes; also, other people may appreciate having the mag version more than I would, and I owe it to them to give them that chance, in addition to not using the word "Pokemans" in reference to the way they assemble their music collections. Srsly, I buy worn-out Iron Maiden recordings mostly because they say "Harvest" on the back, I'm nobody to judge.
Sewer Goddess [5/7]
I could have cut out before this combo started, but remembering back to January, I was pretty sure that they weren't going to go more than 10 or 20 minutes. Ten minutes was what we got, but it wasn't a completely optimal ten minutes, as I'm sure the band will be the first to agree. The crowd was more up for it than earlier this year; some maybe knowing more what to expect, but others more drawn in by -- at least as I remember by comparison -- a much more accessible set. The hate and spite were still there, but not as much of the deliberately and aggressively unlistenable that is the serious draw to this kind of music. Hence the rating, where the prior performance wasn't; some of this is probably intentional to play this selection in this venue, on this bill, and some of it was probably due to outside factors.
Those there no doubt noticed Paul CNV hopping up on stage at times and communicating with the band, and the negative body language that followed; no bad blood or drama here, though, just the extremely unfortunate reality of the HPD being on the prowl, and the venue ops not wanting their show space closed down. This cut down on, presumably, the selection available as well as the volume: the point of this kind of industrial music is to synthesize something creative and independent out of a lot of very loud and very threatening noises, which happen to be the kind of noises that attract cops, who aren't much for the way of standing still and letting the synthesis form. In a different environment, Sewer Goddess will be less restrained; here, the constraints applied to the sound made it less exhausting, and should have led to a longer set, but that wasn't possible either.
At this point I cut out, missing, regrettably, Martyrvore, Witch Tomb, Cold Northern Vengeance, and Midnight in order to show up at my brother's moving-out party, which ended in the aforementioned miserable hangover (protip: don't pour Irish cream liqueur onto a "base" of cheap industrial-chemicals beer, and especially don't eat uncooked shit ravioli after). Really, really, not sure it was worth it, and I need to make it up to the bands involved at some point in the future. For CNV, the most I can do is a hearty hail; they're leaving for their Euro tour in the near future and won't be getting back till about right when I leave to go over.
I picked up some Darkwor CDs to pass out overseas from the band at this gig; there's still space left, but that as well as time to get stuff into my pack is running short. Next show is Metal Thursday tonight, and after that there will be a calendar of remaining opportunities.