Monday, July 02, 2012

Summoning Hate with Weregild, Forced Asphyxiation, Splatter Effect, and Soul Annihilation [O'Brien's, Allston, 6/22/2012]

I checked the weather before heading out in the morning, based on info from the gas station the night before, and despite the incoming rain, I loaded up only my lightweight rig.  This, again, was training; I'll have the full-weight rig in Germany, but unless absolutely necessary, I'm probably not going to wear it on the hike across the old inner-German border, and that goes off rain or shine.  It's too easy, in training for these things, to just decide to skip a session because it's raining, or too hot, or whatever, but actually in the field, I need to be able to make that hike in whatever conditions.

The conditions this time around, though, turned out to be pretty optimal.  It was only a light rain by the time I hit the ground, and it was a quick hike over to O'B's in still-melty heat.  This ended up dropping me on the stoop before even the door guy showed up, so I hung about outside for a while in the vain attempt to catch a breeze, and then went in to get my temporary license disrespected and pick up a beer.  This then showed that the prior heel-"cooling" was a mistake: O'Brien's, for the first time ever that I can recall, had functional air conditioning.  We've come a long way from the old days.

Soul Annihilation [5/7]
Though it had been barely two weeks since the last show, Soul Annihilation's shown some definite improvement on this outing, staying generally tighter and in some respects working the delivery of their black-death violence a little better.  The set started to run down about midway through, but this is largely due to the material: a lot of what Soul Annihilation has right now is pretty basic, and this will improve as they continue writing as a full band.  There is a good base of chops and talent here, and enough really good stuff at the start  to easily see their development to continue to improve.

Sean catches the light as Kunjan thrashes out.

Splatter Effect [5/7]
It had been a while longer since I last saw this band, who have also changed it up a little in the intervening, taking a more straightforward line on their mix of NWOSDM and hardcore, bringing it more into line with what the inventors of the alleged NWOAHM in this part of the world were doing in the mid-'90s -- and largely stopped after In Flames broke out stateside.  This was a good performance on the music as well as the history factor, and it's definitely cool that this sound, in whatever permutation, continues to be relevant.

Splatter Effect, focused delivery.

Forced Asphyxiation [5.5/7]
If there was one thing that this performance really emphasized, it is that this band is really getting to the level where they need an actual PA to present their sound: it's not enough to just play out of the cabs and hope everything's balanced.  There was a little bit of chaos at the start as everything got dialed in properly, but the band picked it up after that point, and smashed out a good, solid set that built steadily through to the finish -- and, for what may be the first time, was not mostly about weed.  Those moaning about the end of an era, though, can shut up and clock the band's kickass new "Robocrop" shirt, which I picked up here after running out of belt slots (and also cash) in Worcester.

Ryan lays it down, after recovering.  He fell into, but not over or through, the drumkit, during the second song or so, but recovered his balance and kept playing.  Elite.

Weregild [6/7]
I'm not sure if the band claimed this as their Boston debut, but it was definitely the first time I'd seen them in the city -- and more importantly, another solid push forward in the development of their rock-solid, heavily-Amon-Amarth-influenced evolution of viking death metal.  They've tweaked the lineup a little since last time, but continued in the same general vein without a break, and the result is steadily more impressive, both in the honing of the old material and the steps up in quality and (to a lesser degree) independence of the new stuff.  "Journey Through Musphelheim" remains the best song in Weregild's repetoire, but "Winterlands I Braved" is nearly as good, and if the stuff that the band is working on but not playing out yet continues in this fashion, their eventual demo is going to be must-get -- and it's not out of the question that it might not be complete Amon Amarth worship.  Absolutely immense.

If "We must kill / To Honor Our Dead", then Weregild definitely kills it enough to satisfy the condition.

In here, I went outside for a bit, mostly to unwind my back, as despite the strong turnout the AC was still keeping the temperature kind of in check.  It had cooled off a little outside, but not enough that I didn't get back in, and lined up for Summoning Hate's set, well before time.

Summoning Hate [6/7]
Weregild had set a really high mark, but Summoning Hate, as should really be expected by now, managed to pull out a relentlessly killer set, packed with craft and nuance as well as straight-ahead brutality, and definitely get up to that mark.  Show after show, year after year, Summoning Hate continues to both produce at a high level and continuously tweak and refine their take on largely-traditional brutal death metal, and at this point it is pretty unambiguous that they're just about the best Boston death metal band with no recordings available -- and unfortunately, there's no immediate sign of the second part of that changing.  In the meantime, though, as long as we continue to get killer sets like this, as frequently as the band does play out, we miss less from them not having a CD out.  The rest of the world, not so lucky.

Alex catches the sidelight as the band starts up.

After Summoning Hate closed up, I hung around a bit but still ended up not picking up anything else for export, then beat feet across the bridges.  Between the Euro knockout rounds and then Iron Maiden, not a lot got done in the intervening week, but here this pile of misapprehensions is, backlog cleared, one month away from the last wayfaring.

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