I'd been ground down from the trip and subsequent re-integration into work to go out to the Worcester iteration of this non-release release show, but with another week gone by and whatever I was too sick from at the weekend to do much of anything cleared, it was in to Boston for this go-round. My timing was a little off, partly from ring rust and partly from the slightly earlier start -- Born of Fire shows are usually two-band with little chance of music before ten, but there was a third band on this date -- but that of course didn't matter much, with beer, Dead Snow, and good company whiling the time down until Intheshit was ready to blast through their set.
Of course, the band promptly flipped that assumption by playing a more extended, varied, and meaty set still built around, though no longer solely composed of, fast, blasting grindcore. Intheshit's no longer a stopwatch grind band, where the set is a battle between the length of the available material and the band members' stamina and ability to execute, and the slower and occasionally doomier parts do well to set up the straight-ahead violence. When called upon, like at the end of the set, they can still do up three songs in two minutes, but their performance is no longer solely predicated on doing that. I don't see this band as often as I'm able to, but with this kind of development, and the promise of more in the future, that's definitely something I need to get fixed.
I'm not sure that I can properly rate hardcore; if you go to more hardcore shows than metal gigs and don't trust a guy with Ensiferum and Tourniquet patches on his rig to properly understand a band like this, feel free to toss out the arbitrary number. That aside, this was a good, enjoyable set of punk-flavored hxc with some rockier elements; not quite up my alley, but a good change of pace, a good performance, and a necessary complement to the other opener given the headliners and how this gig was inevitably going to draw. I may not go out to see them on my own hook, or encounter them too often since I don't see many pure hardcore or punk shows, but they'll be worth the watch next time I encounter them on a more metal/grind/Bobfest bill.
Worth mentioning in here is that O'Brien's was full up nearly to capacity, despite being a Thursday night so close to the holidays. You'd expect this, having a release show with good support for a killer, well-liked band who draw from both metalheads and punks, but it's also always good to see expectations being met. The only expectation that wasn't met was that Panzerbastard would actually have material available for sale, this being a release show, but pressers, what are you gonna do? They'll eventually have the record available, and we, oh horrors, will just have to go see Panzerbastard again to pick it up. Somehow, Boston will deal.
Lack of new recordings aside, PB completely killed it, pretty much as expected. The Motorhead-cribbing-Hellhammer ethos remains intact, rolling forward in a spiky ball of tarry sludge with rusting metal spikes sticking out of it, the new stuff that people didn't all immediately know how to yell along to blending right in with the older stuff that they did. It felt a little short at the end, but this is probably due more to me losing track of time than anything else; this was a thoroughly crushing set that covered most everything you could expect from the band. Keith may have chopped off his hair, but he's lost none of his fire, as the aftermath below shows:
Absolute fucking carnage. The only way.
After gawking at the carcass of Keith's bass as above, I beat feet for the bridge; it was only a little early, and I still had work and holiday crap to get through. This last hogged up most of the intervening week; this being out, though, I now get the chance to dare the Pike out to Scaphism.