Monday, April 23, 2012

Engorged with Scaphism, Coathanger Abortion, and Demoralizer [Ralph's, Worcester, 4/19/2012]

So after appropriate deliberations and some rather unnecessary construction delays -- it's not as bad as it was five years ago, but warm weather still means that 290 starts turning more or less useless after dark -- I decided on and got out to Ralph's for this one rather than in to Great Scott for Revocation.  Tennessee is farther than Virginia, and Coathanger Abortion relatively less prominent than Cannabis Corpse, so there was a little more attraction in the non-local bands on this one --especially since I ended up missing their Sunday gig via exhaustion and typhoon warnings.

With the roadwork, I ended up in just about 9, well enough time to check out the merch options and such before the bands started playing.

Demoralizer [5/7]
As per last time, but possibly a little sharper, Demoralizer smashed out a short but quality set of crunchy grindcore flavored with prominent death metal elements.  The band seemed to wind down a little as the set went on, but with the energy that's required for their stuff, and the still-visible (ok, only when the bassist had his pants down) damage remaining from Bobfest the previous weekend, this is readily understandable.  This was still a good, solid, set, though, as attested to by the speed at which their few demos disappeared by the end of the night.

In here I did most of my local merch; I planned to get an Engorged shirt to go with the Scaphism shirt/CD tour pack, but ended up not sticking around long enough or not pulling the trigger fast enough.  Oh well; not like this band, having revived, is likely to imminently go away.

Coathanger Abortion [6/7]
Actual reactions after their set: "Wow, I thought Tennessee kind of sucked!" "Apparently, except for Coathanger Abortion!"  Anyone who thinks New England isn't as short-sighted and parochial as anywhere else, if not more so, has not lived here.  Regardless, this was as intimated a balls-out kickass set of grind-tinged brutal death metal; Robby introduced them as "Southern-fried death-grind", but any kind of gimmickry was thankfully absent, the sound filling out, despite the lack of a bassist, in the vein of a more technical Lividity or a less slammy Suffocation.  They played right up to the available limits, and got a good strong reaction from the crowd; hopefully, the same was the case in Boston yesterday.

After ChA wrapped up, I ended up picking up not a shirt (on the double false premise that I'd have to find belt real estate to sling an Engorged shirt through, and that I'd be seeing them again in less than a week), but did get their current record as well as a Lividity CD they had out for distro, one of the guys in the band having filled in for Lividity live on some recent tour.  I also picked up a decent pile of stickers for Ausstrahlung; the intent is to concentrate on New England bands, but good under-recognized music from elsewhere is worth promoting as well, especially when there's a sonic and member tie-in with Lividity, who as noted in the past are huge in east Germany for no single concrete reason.

Scaphism [6/7]
The kickoff show for their current tour, this was a solid, pumping, set with a huge hometown crowd response.  They stuck mostly to the Festering Human Remains material, but did pull in some "newer" stuff...which since it's been in the setlist for the better part of a year, is a lot better described as "wasn't finely tuned enough to make it onto the CD when it was recorded", but whatever.  They "closed" with "Slowly Digesting....", as they tend to do -- and then ended up doing another song about rape afterwards because they had time left, and also because rape and Star Wars, it is the meat and drink of this band.

I had put the hanzi for the arbitrary number pasted next to the band name above on my wrist, and collected the impressions that made the basis of the writeup, before I cut open the pro shrinkwrap on Scaphism's new record, so this is the last observation on the band that is indisputably uncolored by the self-satisfied ego boost of getting into the FHR thankslist (under another alias (hence probably for overseas promotion), don't look for this one).  They'll be back from the road on the 30th, so start looking at the writeup from that show for signs of corruption and observer-compromise.

Engorged [5.5/7]
Wenn Altmeister, aus dieser sicht weniger Meister, mehr alt.  This was still a good set, but as down as I've seen from Engorged since the reunion.  Some of it may be the novelty wearing off, but I don't think so; in this case, they had the difficult task of following a really prime Scaphism set under conditions where their guitar solos weren't cutting through the mix reliably.  They did get people pumped up with "In League With Satan" at the end, but we've had better sets, overall, from Engorged, and likely will again in the future.

Virginal bleeding during Engorged's setup.  The blood and stage dressing was a nice touch, even if it was a little directly reminiscent of Fires of Old.

Engorged also finished up fairly late, as least as far as Metal Thursdays have been ending recently, and there were limits on how far past one in the morning I was going to stick and wait to be able to pick up a shirt.  Another time; in the present I hit the road, got back in time to get to sleep by 3, and would have been able to roll on into the Sunday show if everywhere I went on Saturday (Record Store Day and El Clasico, who knew) had not been dehydratingly full of people.  As it is, Superchrist tomorrow and then probably nicht till Inquisition.

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