As is apparently becoming usual now that I've cleared a lot of backlog and reduced my load of busywork, I left too early due to a lack of stuff to stay occupied with in the office, flew over the highways due to a lack of traffic and roadworks (at least on the way out, coming back was another story), and got in well ahead of technical doors, nabbing an early beer downstairs and killing some time while staying out of the way of the bands setting up. Round about 9 I actually headed in, picking up another drink; due to the long drive, I tend to monitor consumption per unit time pretty strictly when I'm out here, which indicates how stupid-early I got in. Maybe I need to start playing KoL again to kill time.
Anyway, the bands loaded in and soon enough got started.
This was apparently their first show ever, and it kinda showed via the lack of material; four songs prepared, total, even if they were pretty good songs. Soundwise, the best description of Ramius is pretty much late-period Death, without the LIMIT BREAK and run through some more modern filters. Their approach to death metal is obviously rooted in said band -- "Omegaton" is substantially cribbed from "Crystal Mountain", which they went on to play immediately after it -- but like most bands just starting out, they don't quite have the chops to handle the whole thing. There's nothing wrong with this, of course -- there's no shame, as a guitarist, in not being Chuck Schuldiner, just as drummers should take no heat for not being Gene Hoglan or bassists for falling short of Steve DiGiorgio -- and it's good to see bands challenging material and styles like this, but they're not quite there yet. Still a good set, despite the limited material and the down tempos on some of "Crystal Mountain", and there's every indication that they'll get better as they gain more experience as a band.
For reference, the band pronounces their name as "RAY-mi-uss" rather than "RAH-mi-oos", probably because unlike their mascot, they're not themselves Lithuanian.
Another set, another great performance from Excrecor. Some people may want a caveat here, that the author is a hardcore Hypocrisy fan and his experiences may not match the mean, but I assert that someone who does not dig Carcass, mid-90s Hypocrisy, and occasional 1997-vintage In Flames digressions hammered into a seamless and originally-developed whole is not someone who is even at death metal shows. They did a couple of new ones here, off the record that's still under development, and if the material they brought out here is a representative indication, that's also going to be a solid fucking record, in the vein of Synchronicity if not better. We may have occasional blank spots in our coverage of the full death metal spectrum in New England, but we've got some really good bands in the range that we cover.
In here I picked up my last beer, and a bottle opener from Necronomichrist. My Coctopus one is still holding up pretty well, but since I already had Excrecor's last record and wasn't up for a shirt, there weren't a whole lot of merch options at this show. Eventually, that opener will break unrepairably, and I'll have a backup on hand.
Summoning Hate [6.5/7]
Between the sound, the volume of material, and the total execution, this was one of the best if not the absolute best set that I've seen from Summoning Hate. This is a pretty significant mark given how many good sets I've seen from this band over the last five years, but this was a nice long set of killer material well-delivered, which also saw one of the few legitimate mosh pits (as distinct from "dudes stand in a circle while Dan thrashes around from wall to wall") I've seen at Metal Thursday lately, and some vicious hardcore dancing on the breakdown at the start of "Decimated". They brought out a new one amid some technical difficulties -- first Juan's guitar cables not working, then Juan and Alex keeping in synch with each other and Chris -- but these weren't enough to suppress the mass coolness of that song, let alone drag down the set as a whole. Simply killer.
Perhaps more significant than how good this set was is that Summoning Hate is apparently writing (more) new material, which suggests the possibility of new recordings sometime in the non-distant future. This band is and has been awesome, but they haven't recorded/released anything since they were going by Downfall, and even that's been out of print for years. This is one of the better death metal bands in Boston, but there's not really a lot of evidence that can be presented for that argument without seeing them live.
The band's a little rebalanced since last time, which has had a definite effect on their sound. By going down to one guitar and bringing the keyboards more forward, they now sound less like Vital Remains b-sides and more like turn-of-the-millennium Hypocrisy covering Vital Remains b-sides. Dumb and snide jokes aside, this was a good solid performance, even if listening to that s/t the whole way out colored my impressions of what the band was working from. Necronomichrist is also working on a new record, and the newer stuff that they did here is a clear step both up and forward from the last CD: it's more developed, a little more technical and better-composed, and at least in this presentation significantly less Vital-influenced. As with, really, all of the bands on here, when they bring that one out eventually, it's definitely going to be one to look out for.
Necronomichrist closed up and/or ran out of material around one, and I beat feet for the exits. After waiting through most of "Until The End" for the windscreen to defrost, I headed out for the highway, and that would've been the end of it if I hadn't run into Milo randomly at the McDonald's at the Natick rest stop. I essentially communicated the above on SH's set, though without the frustrated whining about the lack of recorded material. We'll see what they have for that show on the 15th as regards any more new stuff, or fewer fillips on the on they rolled out tonight; I go on call next weekend, but that O'B's show is worth packing the phone and bending the rules.