I got out of work a little later than expected, but still managed to make it over to the venue in good time. It's one of the virtues of a late start; among the others, that I avoided watching most of a particularly slapdick and hopeless Bruins opening loss. Rage at hockey players mailing it in gradually boiled off, more people got in, and presently the bands started.
Oneiric Realm [5.5/7]
The changes from July are probably down to time as much as a different presentation; the band's continued to develop, and if there's less third-wave in their sound, it's been to make more room for early-90s Enslaved and mid-90s Twin Obscenity. The resulting sound made for a really good blend, and the Emperor cover ("Curse Ye All Men", reminding most of those in attendance "oh yeah, IX Equilibrium was a pretty good record after all, what the hell did I do with my copy?") was pretty well delivered as well; maybe a little less tight than their originals, but probably less badly than the band slagged it as. Weirdo yelling about lack of grimness aside, this was a good solid set from a band that we'll hopefully be seeing more of.
In the set break, I got flyers from Nachzehrer promoting a gig with Black Anvil and from Dysentery promoting Defeated Sanity. Both are in the must-catch list; Triumvirate is a killer record and the support is solid on the first count, and I've been kicking myself for most of the last three years for missing Defeated Sanity the last time they came around. For Boston people, if you don't know where "Gay Gardens" is for the DF gig, ask someone in one of the bands on the bill; it's not like Blue isn't all-present at DIY shows in this area or anything.
Sarcomancy's also improved since that gig; more material and more firm development along the lines of a more lyric turn-of-the-century Immortal make for a hell of a headline set. Josh's bass technique is pitch-perfect in this context, complex but never dominatingly technical, lyrical enough to drive the songs and interesting enough internally to make bassists nerd out over it as demonstrated in the last sentence. I wasn't able to pick up a demo off the band; either they'd moved them all during the hockey game before I showed up, or they just decided not to set up, and I missed asking, but it's definitely one to watch out for.
The turnout on this gig was a little light relative to past Born of Fire instances; this may be due to neither of the bands really being established on their own yet, probably a lot more than the no-evidence hypothesis of the show being on the same night as day 1 of NEMHF. Looking at the bands that played Thursday night, it will be readily apparent that there was about zero overlap between the target audience for that bill and a DIY black metal show.
Heading out was a quick hike back, and I didn't get syrupbottled this time; all the better for a quick regeneration to get ready to go out to Worcester on Saturday, as NEMHF, like a decaying fission product, flashed briefly into an interesting state.