Because Master dropped and I got in on what would have been early for the four-band bill, I can't really read most of the minimal notes I scrawled at the show. Good thing this is going in now rather than three months from now when it's completely forgotten.
It was cool to see these guys again, now realigned into a three-piece and with a different balance than they'd had as a five-piece, while still playing a bunch of the old songs as well as the new ones. As intimated, this is almost a whole different new Deathamphetamine, but this set from them was debatably the best I'd seen since their original vocalist left -- though, truth told, he did come back for a couple of songs in the middle. The influences are still all over the place, but if they can solidify this mix of death, thrash and hardcore into something strong and consistent, they're definitely going to be a band to watch again.
Soul Remnants [5/7]
Though their demo attests that they've been around for a while (and I think maybe as Chopwork for some of that time, I definitely remember that name from flyers a while back), this was the first time I'd actually seen them live. Their punchy old-school death sound was about the best match to the original headliner of the three bands that did end up showing, but at least in the current configuration, they aren't at the overall level of the other locals. Some of this is the weird balance the bill ended up with, but some of it is likely practice; they fuckin' killed it on a cover of At The Gates' "Blinded By Fear", and more time with these members and the same members (recent additions including Colin (Frozen, ex-Cannae) Conway) will probably take the current and future originals up to the same level.
It was probably in this break that Robin filled me -- and probably anyone else he passed in the crowd -- in on the reasons for the cancellation; Paul brought his whole normal Czech band over this time rather than recruiting American sidemen, and one of them got turned back at immigration. So the band went back to the Czech, allegedly without a phone call, and word was passing from hand to hand, night to night, across the country, that Master wasn't playing the next night in the next town either. How it goes....and likely a reinforcing experience for Speckmann in his decision to emigrate to the Czech a few years back.
If the last show was good, this was a definite step up. The band was back at full power, fully flowing, still raw, but all the leads that were there when Alex was in the band back in their right places as well. It's difficult to see how they aren't the next metal band out of Boston at this stage; the only reasons I come up with are kind of contingent on underrating the exposure that Black Pyramid and CNV have gotten thus far. This wasn't a perfect set, but it was about peak for the band as I've seen them so far, and if it's repeated on a regular basis, you're going to also be able to see this band by you sooner rather than later.
On Master: yes, I'm bummed that they cancelled, and yes, I'm not sure that I'd've been down for a Masterless bill coming in on a Wednesday night. But I've got the flyer at least, which I did not get the last time they were around, and when I was discovering this band a decade and more ago, there was no chance that I'd see them at all in the next ten years. Death metal had moved on and Paul'd moved to the Czech. And yet here we are. Universal access to rars of every album ever made means nothing languishes out of print any more, and better scene connectivity means any legitimately good band isn't going to stay forgotten for long. Master are back to stay, and who knows, maybe even back through on tour sometime in the next five years. For now, I have that one set in '08, and the poster from this one with some scribbles on the back.
On the hike back from this one, I got pelted in the back with something. I looked back down behind me to see what it was, barely breaking stride, and saw a nearly full bottle of maple syrup. Sure, it beats the hell out of getting bottled with something frangible, but still, lolwut? Who packs along maple syrup in their van, and who, packing maple syrup in their van obviously because it's a cheap and efficient calorie vector on tours where you aren't earning any money, bungs a day and a half's rations for the whole band at some mook on the sidewalk? Just Say Ok, I guess.
After this I was on call for a whole week and then preoccupied chewing my nails about the situation at Fukushima, so no No Life, which means no accounts of the drama that, likely, everyone reading this thing is well aware of. Only this to be said: as an adopted scion of the North Shore, I could have told everyone in advance that moving part of this fest to Revere would automatically turn it into metal Jersey Shore. This is what happens when things are in Revere, and people who live south of the Route 60 interchange should really be aware of this by now.
Next gig is Woods at Metal Thursday if I don't get killed by drunks on the highway (to or from), and then I need to remember to get Agalloch tickets before dumping all my money at Armageddon Shop north....because there surely won't be enough if I try to do that in reverse order.