I left a little later for this than planned, mostly due to hurricanes and laziness forcing a delay in the last writeup, but still made good time out -- the sun being completely down as the seasons run ever on and the days grow persistently shorter -- and got up to Ralph's while Lore was still setting up.
Lore came out with a cool, aggressive set driven by some badass "lead bass", but throughout could not shed the niggling impression that this was not actually a metal band playing. Their version of "heavy alternative" might stand in well with the diverse likes of current Cynic, Tool, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Ehnahre, or Autumn Above, but the style and relative lack of riffs relative to other elements in the music is the kicker in this largely meaningless classification. Still good, and also still heavy, though, and if they come back on, say, a Boarcorpse bill, they'll fit in better than here leading into three melodic doom bands.
Forever's Fallen Grace [5.5/7]
This was an all-new lineup from FFG relative to the last time, and if it wasn't as ballkickingly crazy, it was also a pretty uniform upgrade in sound and style. Though they're still definitely a doom band, the greater and more structured melodics in that style really hearken back to Arcana XXII, about the last band you'd be expecting to be influential here, provided that you were familiar with doomy Namibian power metal bands in the first place. They closed in style, covering Mercyful Fate, but were complete class all the way through.
Forever's Fallen Grace, in addition to the five playing members, also took a while loading up the stage with styrofoam sculptures, many of which were full of dead plants. The reaction from the Dreaded Silence guys, while FFG was setting all this up, was along these lines: "We can't get upstaged like this. We need someone to find us a shrubbery." I thought briefly about getting up a band to write songs about dinosaurs and encumber the stage with all manner of live, green, plants, but rapidly dismissed the idea as impractical. That would involve practicing, getting at least two other people to buy into the "dino metal" concept, and writing songs that would not-suck to a sufficient degree to get shows. The smarter and more adaptive approach would be to mention this idea to Composted at Bobfest or something and help organize the plants if necessary.
Up from Pennsylvania, this combo immediately justified the trip by kicking right into a killer if very short set of classic melodic doom inheriting from Opeth, Katatona, and Daylight Dies, maybe a little bit of Woods or GER for flavor. They did manage to take it in an original direction as well; while they're not completely independent of those influences, the synthesis is definitely original, and promises good things as long as the band can keep it going. The only downer was closing up after five songs; there was probably not a single person in the venue who didn't want them to keep playing, but that's very much all the material they have.
I got a shirt and CD from Worldecay here; I need to follow up and get FFG's record sometime, and Dreaded Silence can wait till their CD release if necessary (their current shirt is cool, but I already have all their recorded material), but I needed to support the touring band, and ended up kind of helping with change in the bargain.
Dreaded Silence [6/7]
The band's recent silence and temporary absence has been to good use; "Ghosts..." apart, this was all new material and all amazing. If Dreaded Silence was from Finland, they'd've never got past Jet Black, Blood Red unsigned, but if the new one is as good on disc as it is live, labels even here will have to pay attention. The music was so new that on one of the songs, Ken needed to go to the "cheat sheet" on his phone for the lyrics, apologizing after the song finished. Of course, the crowd didn't care, one jerk going so far as to yell back "Clip an iPad to the mic stand about it". Music with clean vocals has a lot less room to cover over misremembered lyrics with growls or screams, and the kind of involved, complex texts that you get in this kind of doom are a bigger ask in terms of memorization than lyrics that are more repetitive, so good bands will get cut slack when bringing out new stuff.
On their last song, though, Chris did something that I'm not sure I've ever seen from a local band, which is either telling about the boundaries that metal allows with regard to experimentation, or an even more telling indictment about my inability to pick up time signatures (see also, why I don't play in a band): he counted off in 3 rather than 4 (unless you want to read it as 12/4 in order to be deliberately difficult; yes, it was 4-bar 3/4, but with a 3 feel throughout rather than a triplet 4, and much too slow for that to be realistic), and kept in 3 throughout the song. If your band plays songs in 3, or even 6/8, fire in and give me a smack for not paying attention to other 3-feels, but at least going on the time it felt distinct and different.
For whatever reason, it felt like Dreaded Silence also closed up early, but they closed up regardless, and as the road miles ran on, it was clear that it was about normal; I must just have been less exhausted than normal for whatever reason. Let's hope this also carries forward to Bobfest at the weekend, and I can get the writeups of that turned around a little faster.