With February written off due to sickness, weather, on-call, and getting sent to Canada, and then having to miss Acrassicauda on Monday for reasons of brokeness, it was incumbent to get out to one of the shows going off on this date; I wanted to see Barren Oak out at Metal Thursday as well, but the return of Parasitic was closer and the overall bill slightly more compelling. So it was down in to Boston, and a brief hike over in kit just slightly too hot for the climate; it'll be another month or so before I can wear my warm-weather rig out without a hoodie under it and reliably not freeze on the hike back at 2AM.
Inside, good company, The Exorcist, and shortly after the Bruins wrapped up a 3-1 win over the Sabres that looked a lot closer than it was well into the third period, the bands started up.
Blood of the Gods [5/7]
BotG got things started off with a bang, powering through a kinda-short but still hammering set of their characteristic sludge-punk-infected death metal. They remain pretty much at some point equidistant from both Morne and Entombed, but from show to show over the available sample space, there's been a continuously increasing sense of the band defining something within this style that's identifiably theirs alone. I'm not sure they're quite there yet, but the trajectory so far is uniformly positive, and it's not hard to see them carving out a fairly prominent niche for themselves in the near future. Good stuff any way you cut it.
Blessed Offal [5.5/7]
Blessed Offal also continues to impress, putting out an absolutely graveling set of downtempo brutality flavored with Incantation-style blackened bits, and a few passages really suggestive of early Cianide. The deep and vicious well of early/mid-'90s Midwestern death metal is seldom plumbed around these parts, which makes it that much more of an attraction that Blessed Offal's doing it this well. This set also felt a little short, but I'd put that down more to perceptions than any lack of material.
Parasitic Extirpation [6/7]
This was the real acid test; due to various reasons, I hadn't seen Parasitic with the new lineup yet, and was curious to see how the hell this was going to work out. Major lineup surgery always has its risks, and here was Parasitic Extirpation turning over not only the vocals, but also swapping in Boarcorpse's rhythm section. There was going to be change, definitely, but the character of that change, and how much of Parasitic-as-of-previous-lineup remained, had to wait to actually see the band. The result was promising, but undeniably different. You're going to get that when you bring in Jim and Damon for, really, any rhythm section: like with Johnny Depp on initially-defined straight roles, they're going to bring their own stylistic twists onto the material, and if you don't want that, you get different guys. Parasitic Extirpation is still a slammy NEDM supergroup, but they're not the same supergroup they were in their last phase of activity. That being said, this was a killer set with a minimum amount of bugs needing still shaken out, Malika (as with her other band) was just as brutal and violent as Tim ever was (and more likely to dive in and mix it up with the front row), and the interplay between Jim, Damon, Blue, and Chris is extremely promising for the future. The next Parasitic Extirpation record is probably not going to sound quite like Casketless, but if this sample is an indicator, it's still going to be kickass death metal and well worth waiting for.
I picked up a shirt and what ended up being not Panzerbastard's EP, Keith having sold out of those in the run of the night. It was a pretty easy hike back, but then work, illness, and other bullshit locked things down for most of the next three weeks, leading to this ill-informed diatribe being as late as it is. Next show is Thursday; sometime in the month after that, (likely) a meta announcement.