This got delayed as a result of finally getting the tour report together; here it is, though.
I punched straight out of work again for this one, and got over in good order, time enough to get in, get some beer, and browse the tables. Despite the very large selection on offer from Sevared (Pat was accompanying the bands around on Visions of the Night's US tour), I wanted to make sure that I supported the bands, and didn't miss records from either of the touring acts. Sapremia didn't have anything new out (Lou mentioned during the set that they were working on a new one), so at that point I just vultured up VotN's catalog.
I hadn't seen this band before, but they rolled out a decent if occasionally pedestrian set of tech-death that was probably hurt more by the soundboard than it needed to be. It took a couple songs for the bass to really start popping, and maybe a song and a half after that for both guitars to really cut through when they needed to, but the material was good enough, and though they're young, these people definitely have chops. The singer was a little disappointed and unnecessarily butthurt about the lack of moshing, to the point of diving into the crowd to try and get things going...which was to no avail. Seriously, you're a tech-death band playing first at a Metal Thursday with Composted headlining the bill. It'd be a hell of a lot more noteworthy if people were hitting each other in that situation, lack of movement is really no reflection on either the band or the audience's reaction to them.
Formless didn't have any merch out, so, making sure that I'd have the cash to grab a Sapremia shirt later, I looted the Sevared table (picking up stuff from Jack Slater, One Master, Vomepotro, and a couple others), and, much like the last time I relieved Pat of his stock, I got a couple free discs in the bargain....including a 9th Plague record that I think I got freebied last year too. Anyone want that one?
Visions of the Night [5.5/7]
This is the first time I've seen a touring band apologize for the state of their lineup. However, most bands would have packed it in and headed back to Canada with their entire rhythm section out of commission. VotN soldiered on, though, getting some drum tracks programmed in about the time it took Lou from Sapremia to learn bass parts for the songs involved, and put up a good if necessarily somewhat limited set that came a lot more from the band's death metal side than the black metal touches they occasionally show on record. If the band want to assert that they're a black/death band for whatever reason, fine; what we got here was a solid and pretty pure death metal set, maybe due to the drum machine, but probably because of the way the actual material's written.
Full credit to the band for soldiering on; hopefully, they'll be back with a lineup containing more of their permanent members.
Next up, these Jerseyites, who smashed out a solid set of unrepentant old-school powertrio death metal. We got a bit of new material that's going to be going on the new one, and a good selection of older stuff, including a few tracks older than some people in the room. What you get, though, when a band's been around since '92, still going strong, ....and there's a few underage people in the room thanks to being in the openers. They also had some member rotation; I'm pretty sure that they had another guitarist the last time I saw them, in addition to Justin sitting in on drums for the tour, but this didn't affect the sound to any great degree: still a good death metal band putting in a good shift of death metal.
In here I picked up a Sapremia shirt off Lou, who opined in the process that he didn't know how I was able to take the upstairs heat at Ralph's in a full-sleeve kutte. Us on the floor have it a lot easier and less melting than the bands on stage, who are both directly under the lights and moving around more, but probably the most significant factor is that I'd been living in the thing for most of two weeks, including the crucible of Wacken this year. You get used to it, somehow.
Mark wasn't able to secure a banana suit for this gig (probably for the best, the only banana costume I know of in the greater Peabody area was last seen being worn in the rain while riding a stolen bike with no seat on it, but that's a story for another day), and Composted didn't play any Obituary material (a source of much hilarity; not Obituary, but that they weren't playing any, which is kind of a had to be there thing), but they did roll out a high-test performance of mentalist slam-death that made more than a few converts. A lot of the set was off the new one, including the debut of "SIDS In The City", a nice short song containing exactly five riffs, four of which are punch-yourself-in-the-face quality slams. People, of course, went completely bananas, though with Composted closing out a Metal Thursday, that's more the rule than the exception. That next recording, if I recall correctly, is supposed to be split with Boarcorpse and Scaphism (aka Oor Raep Band); certain devastation to follow whenever that one drops, for sure.
After Composted closed up, I beat feet; I was in the middle of a crush for work that has resulted in this feeling a hell of a lot more than two weeks late. Next show is another Midway black metal matinee....and hopefully that'll get fucking writ up before the leaves start to change.