Thanks to a late-striking production ticket, I missed out on Ipsissimus and Nachzehrer the night before, but the combination of coming off that shift and this show being one stop away on the T meant that it was going to be very difficult to miss out -- or to justify it if I did so.
Fortunately, it was as easy getting in as anticipated; quick hitch on the train over and then literally right across from the station, less than a hundred yards from the steps up out of the parking lot to the venue. This remarkable convenience is probably a major reason we don't see a lot of metal shows here, especially this time of year; access this easy is going to be highly contended for. Despite being laid out kind of weird inside, and the lengths the Livver guys had to go to in setting up to get everything powered, the ease of access makes this one of the better small venues on the North Shore.
A quality set to open things up, of pretty much just the kind of doom metal you'd expect from a band showing up to play a gig at a goth club in Disfear and Rotten Sound shirts -- classic Boston hardcore gone doom, much like we've been hearing from various bands around here since Doomriders, but with, obviously, their own take on the sound, coming out a little grindier than the common reference points might indicate. Solid set, good foundation for the bands to follow.
There's got to be a better description for this band than "Eyescale covering Sabbath", or at least one that anyone reading this is likely to recognize an understand, but this is how they sounded live, that mix of warbling yet still harsh electronics and classic doom grooves. Though this was still, of course, fully qualified metal, the dark-industrial elements took this set the closest to what this place most often has on offer for their Darque Gathering nights. This was probably why there was more floor movement for this band than any of the others -- though not floor movement as we know it. Still, though, there's a place for hawt goth girls dancing, just as much as there is for sweaty dudes slamming into stuff -- and for those who violently disagree, there's some potentially bad news incoming.
The audience thinned out a little while Black Pyramid was setting up; the reason likely being that the last train inbound was leaving at 11:24. Too bad; this band rules, and while I didn't get to stay for all of their set either, this was one of the rare occasions that living up here in the Blight actually worked out to my advantage.
Black Pyramid [6/7]
They had some sound issues at the start, the vocals not cutting through as necessary, but these were smoothed out in short order, and the customary head-fuzzing crunch rapidly cycled up to full power. It was almost physically painful to step out when I did, but the three songs that I did get to see, likely about half their set on the pace that the other bands had set earlier, were simply straight-up class. Those who left earlier than I did missed out; this was a killer performance rounding off a hella good show overall.
I could probably have stayed one song longer, maybe two; I misoverestimated the time needed to get back to the station relative to when the train was coming through, but even this worked out; I was able to avoid some potentially violent drama by coming in when I did, and I also got to sing the Fields to an appreciative audience. These also, like metal shows on gothic nights at a Thai restaurant, are things that can happen in Salem around this time of year.
Next gig, likely Champions tonight, and definitely tomorrow at O'B's for the benefit for Jason from Abacinate.