Monday, January 23, 2012

Fires of Old with Katahdin, Mythology, and Crypter [Ralph's, Worcester, 1/5/2012]

I got moving out about normal, with a minor delay to gawk at the Bruins kicking the crap out of Calgary in Barca-vs-pub-teams-in-the-cup fashion; it was 5-0 when I left the sub shop at the start of the second period, and 9-0 by the time I got out to Ralph's. The run this team was on, frustrating losses to Vancouver aside, has been just mindblowing.

Beer in, it wasn't too long before the bands started up.

Crypter [4.5/7]
I hadn't seen this band before, though they've been playing out a lot recently, and was concerned that they might be just another thrash-revival band. This fortunately was not the case: Crypter does have a strong revivalist streak, but the world could use more young bands who are thoroughly convinced that Scream Bloody Gore is the best record in the history of ever. The ideas are on the right track, even if the writing and arrangements aren't fully matured yet, and the turn-of-the-century Immortal tone that cut through on their more developed leads made for a nice contrast with the faster and rawer parts. On the evidence of this set, Crypter doesn't quite have it all together yet, but they are frustratingly close, and are going to be damn good when they get themselves shaken out.

There was a bit of longer downtime here while Mythology set up their gear and figured out how to hang their banner off the hardpoints on the Erol Otus-inspired monster backdrop that's become a Metal Thursday regular of late, and I scored some beef jerky and a can of expired, non-reliably nonpoisonous energy drink off Yosh, as did several other people. The beef jerky part, at least; Yosh's jerky is pure class, and most people are too smart to take the free cans of Cocaine.

Mythology [5.5/7]
I'd missed seeing Mythology a couple times here, and was glad to finally be able to not miss a show they were on for stupid reasons. Despite a bit of ring rust, they set out a killer set of Norwegian-inspired black metal with a few Germanic touches, done at a level that wouldn't be greatly out of place from the actual Norwegian second tier (see Keep of Kalessin, Den Saakaldte, etc). The band's currently gearing up to be more active again, which is a good sign not just for more people seeing Mythology, but for how they see them: the slack parts in the set were about 70% down to the band resynching with each other rather than inherent to the music. Good signs.

This is wicked late, but part of the delay is kind of on this band; it took some disciplined recall to work out what their set really was after a solid week of spinning their Impaler record. Why? Look, go listen to "Rebuilding Poenari" and tell me you wouldn't have this stuck in your stereo a week straight.

The whole disc is not quite this good, but it's a lot better than skeptics would expect of a concept album about Dracula by an unsigned black metal band. Definite support.

Katahdin [6/7]
More than the openers who I hadn't heard yet, I'd come out for the last two, and they certainly didn't disappoint. Pure slashing fire, third wave without a hint of hipsterism, and as good a set as I've seen from them so far. They had some major technical difficulties with Kyle blowing a cable or something, but Eric was able to hold down the melodic fort alone, and the set barely took a dip. Straight killer.

In here I did merch, picking up Mythology's Tepes and Impaler records despite the duplication (the first is the demo version of the latter), and not only the new split but also Katahdin's first LP. All of this is highly approved; The Black Hours is about the most diverse BM split you'll hear, and a solid package in the tradition of Black Death.

Fires of Old's mic stand is now almost completely unhandleable, a jagged upright pile of spikes and barbed wire.

Fires of Old [6.5/7]
Maybe it was the slot allowing more time and thus more old stuff, but this set was a lot rawer than I've seen from these guys lately; the ripping Satyriconesque stuff "of old", though still allowing room for the more expansive Primordialisms of "V" and "Majestic Death". Both sides complemented each other, and the result was another completely killer outing that no amount of wannabe critical detachment could keep off that mark. Still excellent, and the sooner they get some recordings done/available again the better.

From there it was back home, with subsequent shows missed to work, on-call, and work drinking; this is done at last, and next was supposed to be Untombed before the football stress and beer consumption made driving in a nonstarter; fortunately, there's no game next weekend and no shortage of tasty shows coming.

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