Monday, June 25, 2012
Scaphism with Blood of the Gods and I Am The Trireme [O'Brien's, Allston, 6/14/2012]
I was still on call for this one, but I geared up carefully and went off hiking in regardless, since 1) I was hoping to pick up some CDs off Alex (Scaphism) for export, and 2) it's very rare that shit will blow up on a Thursday night anyway. The first ended up not panning out, but I got a decent show out of it, and zero phone calls. Despite a late start, I rolled up somewhat before doors, and checked in, back-and-forth, between the start of the NBA finals and the middle of Star Wars while putting down my first beer and waiting for the bands to go on.
I Am The Trireme [5/7]
IATT delivered a pretty decent set here, making up for their cancellation at Bobfest, but the evidence for that is unfortunately pretty thin on the ground. For most if not all of their performance, which was almost entirely pulled from their Pray for Damnation EP, I was, as far as I could tell, the only paying audience member in the building, unless O'Brien's is really aggressive about getting covers out of the girlfriends of band members. This was a shame, because while the band's melodic, evolved take on black metal, hearkening back to Century Media's window into the genre circa 1997, isn't exactly huge in Boston, they delivered some good music in a high-production-value presentation reminiscent of Hessian's similar outing here, for a total effect that those there -- mostly myself, Blood of the Gods and +1s, and the venue staff -- certainly dug, and those who weren't there due to being broke after WDF would probably have dug it as well. They had a couple flubs, but in the main the execution was good despite the empty room, and if/when they come back, it'll hopefully be on a gig with an actual turnout.
I picked up a CD from them later because I support bands; I picked up a shirt off them because $7 is wicked cheap for what was effectively a private show. If the band members happen across this, apologies; people do generally go to shows in Boston, it's just that Six Feet Under sucked all the oxygen and disposable income out of the room the weekend before. (This may have been exacerbated by the fact that both of the remaining bands on this bill also actually played on that fest.)
Blood of the Gods [5.5/7]
As a seeming case in point, Blood of the Gods put up a still good but less diverse set than they had on Sunday; the sound was a little denser, but their performance didn't have quite the same degree of energy in it, and they seemed a little constrained by the set times. If I recall correctly, they got five songs; five long, meaty, content-full songs, but five songs regardless, and the lower absolute numbers available may have restricted the band's range a little. Still, this was a good, solid, set, and as the band continues to develop and improve, they'll see more of the headlining slots needed to show off the range as well as the strength of their music.
The latency between BotG and Scaphism was not quite enough to 'change reels'. The night had started, as mentioned, with Star Wars on the TV over the bar, and we were now just getting into the second act of Empire. This would ultimately prove insufficient to get to the end of the Tatooine arc in Jedi in time for Scaphism to do "Slowly Digesting...", which was a shame....for nerds who exclusively dig synchronicity and pop-culture references as opposed to death metal.
Scaphism also was a little down from the weekend, some of which may have been the by-now-suffocating heat inside, especially on stage, and some of which was probably the accumulation of nicks and knocks, the most prominent being a taped-up finger on Tom's picking hand. Regardless, the band soldiered on and put out a strong and well-finished set that included some of their obligates ("Chainsodomy" and "Slowly Digesting...", mainly), but also showed off a couple tunes off FHR that they didn't play on Sunday and haven't been playing generally. This really shows off how solid the record is -- to a first approximation, pretty much everything on Festering Human Remains is 100% killer -- and also shows that Scaphism isn't content to just stick with the stuff that they know they'll get a good response with, but believes in the rest of their material as well, and has the chops to execute all of it, even under suboptimal conditions. The high temperatures and low general-admittance numbers may have sapped some energy and given this more of a practice-space feel, but on balance, this was a good conclusion to a cool show.
Things being concluded, and Alex unsurprisingly having had more important things to do over the week than finish burning the run of demos he's intending to send across, I beat feet over the bridges, and despite getting back at a decent hour, the weekend was chewed all to pieces with Euros, family stuff, and the monstrous task of finishing the WDF writeup. Hence two further shows transpired before this got published, the largest backlog since the interruption of the Korea trip in 2007.