Friday, June 01, 2012
Summoning Hate with Untombed, Scalpel, Soul Remnants, and Forced Asphyxiation [O'Brien's, Allston, 5/18/2012]
Again I had the day off, and misread the start times on this Covan benefit, which led to me getting in about an hour ahead of the start, which I spent leaning against the outside wall, trying to shed heat. It worked only intermediately well, and I was glad to be able to get in and at least get a beer waiting for the bands to start. O'Brien's is seldom cool inside, but with most of the crowd not in yet, it wasn't in full sauna form.
Forced Asphyxiation [5.5/7]
For those keeping score, perhaps in anticipation of the CL final the next day, this one finished Weed 3:2 Other Stuff ("Weed" is still obviously the home team for this band, trolololol). For those more interested in how the band was actually playing than on counting the prevalence of lyrical subjects, this was another strong, sharply-finished set in line with how they've been playing lately: strong, brutal, non-slamming death metal that on this exposure came off as highly reminiscent of 1992-vintage Hypocrisy. This gig, both the bands that played and those that didn't (Parasitic were initially on, but had to cancel, and Malika despite organizing it didn't book her main band), shows that Forced aren't quite at the apex of NEDM yet, but the development and raw power manifested in this performance are carrying them in that direction. Straight killer.
Forced inflicting some "Blunt Forced Trauma" on the audience.
Soul Remnants [5.5/7]
This set saw some progression from Soul Remnants as well, which was somewhat unexpected; their new stuff, from the record that they're currently working on, remains significantly inspired by At The Gates as per their older material, but weaves in a few new twists as well. The band is still in the process of setting themselves apart both from their influences and from other bands drawing on those springs, but the separation is definitely coming, and that new record, when they finish it, is definitely going to be one to watch out for. Here, they acquitted themselves well despite being both the most melodic of the five bands and the farthest, influence-composition-wise, from Decapitated on offer, getting the now-swollen crowd around and moving down front.
Mitch roaring away.
This gig was intentionally booked to bring together as many strands of NEDM as possible, and if this is New England, there has to be a slam representative. Scalpel filled the role admirably, and with a fair degree of originality, working slam content through more traditional death metal structures. Their brand of slam isn't the most fully-developed yet, but this is a really young band, and if they can continue to develop this style further, they're going to be one to look out for.
Scalpel flat smashes it.
Two important lineup notes from this: first, Untombed has changed members again, and is now even closer to having all members having once played in Summoning Hate. Second, it may look on first glance like they've gone away from that "goal" by changing vocalists, as Dave, in a job-related shock horror move, has cut off his famous dreads. Take a moment of silence if you like, we're not going anywhere.
The hair amputation fortunately didn't affect the music at all; Untombed have done better sets than this, but this one was cleanly balanced despite pulling in a variety of directions, slamming and grooving by turns, for a total effect probably as strong as I've seen from the band since they went to two full-time vocalists. "Bloodstained World" was an especially violent standout here, but this whole set was damn impressive, even following on what had been a pretty damn impressive gig to this point.
The lighting is so bad that the only thing you can see in this alleged picture of Untombed is the reflection off Dave's cueball.
Summoning Hate [6/7]
Having traveled through most of the available styles of New England death metal, Summoning Hate brought things back around to where they started, closing out the night with a long, strong set of traditional brutality flavored with more and better-presented melodics than I can recall hearing from the band in a while. As with Untombed, this wasn't quite an all-time high, but it was a killer set that put a fitting capstone on a killer gig, to what was still at that point a packed house.
Milo introduces "Infierno de Dante".
At the end, though, Summoning Hate finished up, and I picked up a shirt off Untombed -- if you see a design from this band that you like, get it bought, their production runs appear to be wicked small, and they will run out of your size -- as well as some stickers for export, and incidentally another copy of their demo, before heading back across the bridges. As the night before, the extract from there was pretty simple, and despite the hole I'd ended up putting in my foot, I was in decent shape for the Morne show the next night. Then the CL final went to extra time, and then to penalties, and I got back home too late and too blasted to drive in. After that, work and family commitments delayed this writeup and caused me to miss Negura Bunget and then Sexcrement; there's some bookkeeping coming, and then hopefully I can get back out to some damned shows.