Despite getting stuck in a little late at work and the concern that this would end up packed, I got out in good order and over to Ralph's just about doors. There was a while till the bands started, but with a bill likely to draw this well, better safe than sorry.
Blessed Offal [5.5/7]
While this probably wasn't the best show I've seen from the band, it was probably the best-sounding. The Ralph's sound carried every instrument forward in good balance, really bringing out the blacker elements of their sound, which hasn't come forward as much in the past but was really obvious here. It seemed like they were running out of steam a bit towards the end of the set, but this was a dropoff from 'great' to 'really good'. This band has really established themselves on the last year or so as now one of the legit top Boston death metal bands, and they're only going to keep improving.
Marcus' beat-to-fuck China in front of Impiety's banner captures the dirt-level don't-give-a-fuck-ness of the balance of the bill.
It was about here that I did most of my merch, deciding against the Impiety shirt (in favor of a patch and about the most expensive CD-EP I've ever run across) because it would kick too big a hole in what I had in my wallet. One day, I'm going to remember to get loaded up cashwise before going out to see bands from far away on infrequent tours, but that day was not this time out.
Obsidian Tongue [5.5/7]
This was probably the best set I've seen from this band, as they continue to overcome their limited numbers with creativity and cabinet buildout. There were still a few sticking points that show they don't have all the answers yet, but they were greatly outnumbered by long stretches of the sublime. OT aren't quite yet in the top rank of black metal bands locally -- mostly due to intense competition -- but if any two-piece outfit can get to that level, they will.
Obsidian Tongue jamming with the lights on. Ralph's doesn't always render blue inside.
Having spent less than all my goddamn money on Impiety, I was able to pick up Blessed Offal's CD (having honor, I didn't rip the one that I brought over this summer), and at least pay for an Absu ticket off Nachzehrer, which by the time this is getting written up, is already in the post. Result.
A strong return to form for Nachzehrer, though for the pessimistic, Nachzehrer playing at all, with all the members they had at the start of the month, might alone have qualified for that. Their thrashing black metal set things up well for Impiety, but more importantly was a kickass outing in its own right, and on any other Metal Thursday would have capped off a good and varied night of the contending definitions of NEBM. They justified their relative place on the bill, as much as that ever means at the local level, but in fairness all the locals were pretty close to this level in setting the bar for our guests.
Nachzeher keeping on rolling.
At this point, I was out of money thanks to grabbing a Hollenthon record off Bill Zebub's distro that I wasn't sure even existed, but Bobby, settling an old debt unprompted, set up my last drink of the night, something heavily alcoholic in a tall glass that didn't end up screwing up the drive home. Double result.
Of course, you don't haul over from Singapore (or, ok, well now, Italy), even just Shyaithan alone, to play slapdick shows. The stand-in sidemen held up well, and the result was a kickass and undeniably true Impiety set that justified the late hour, the long haul, and the room packed brimfull of damn near everyone in blackish metal in New England. When bands that don't tour play out, you go, because when they do play, they destroy.
Impiety tuning up.
Shyaithan faces the audience.
After "Blood Ritual Defamation" led into "Torment In Fire" and the deliciously unlistenable tones of Anton Maiden took over the PA, it was time to split, dead skint but rich in music and experience. That part where I had only three bucks in my pocket prevented me from getting out to GWAR on Friday, but even I don't have infinite resources, and after I discovered that I was confused about the openers (I blame the Impaled guys for lying about the band's origin, Creepsylvania != Bulgaria, so obviously Ghoul != Corpse, despite the marginally similar logo, or maybe this is something that only morons get confused about), the Thursday night show was definitely more of an attraction. After the nine billion Halloween shows this coming weekend, next real gig is probably next Thursday....and then like every night in the first week of November, there's a Palladium show. Hello Mayhem, Cynic, Exhumed, and Anthrax (headliners, in that order, Sun thru Tues and Friday), goodbye cash.