Friday, April 12, 2013

Hessian with Axe Ripper, Seax, and Crypter [Ralph's, Worcester, 4/11/2013]

So I finished smashing out Tuesday's writeup, grabbed some grub and watched Seguin pull one back against the Islanders, then hit the road out to Worcester, arriving a little after nominal start, which made for relatively less time standing around answering questions about where the hell I'd been since, basically, the runup to festivals last year.  The Wicked dude had his table out again, but mindful of my shrunken wallet and the need to support touring bands, I held back on actively browsing for stuff, and after picking up Axe Ripper's record, Crypter's drummer finally got in and set up, so the bands were able to get going.

Crypter [5.5/7]
It's been a fairly long time since I last saw Crypter, and the band has further solidified their sound in the interim.  They remain a pretty doctrinaire thrash-revival act, but the black and early-death touches in their sound continue to be more smoothly integrated, and their material continues to get more practiced.  Right now, to continue the old-thrash theme, the band is pretty much where Testament was in about 1985: solid, their best material still unwritten, unsigned, and mostly underage.  They killed it despite the short set here, as usual, and it's going to continue to be cool to watch them develop, which will hopefully include a full-length or another demo, which the band will be able to sell once more of the remaining 80% of the members won't immediately get kicked out of 21+ shows when they're done playing.

Crypter rip it up.

Seax [6/7]
Despite the earlier slot (they were originally slotted to close, but moved back to showcase the bands from further away), Carmine had on his headliner pants for this one, and more importantly Seax dropped a headliner-quality set into the shorter time they were allowed.  Since the last time, they've replaced both their drummer and the second guitar, but without really missing a beat.  The crowd was probably the thickest for them, but maybe not quite thick enough to support Carmine's crowdsurfing efforts -- which fortunately ended with his feet first to hit the floor.  Most of the set, as expected, was pulled from their current record, but we also got a preview of the next one in "Drink, Fuck, and Die"; if this blasting shoutalong anthem is generally indicative of their new material, that new record (timeline "later this year", so nothing definite yet) is going to be a straight-up killer -- maybe too much to expect, but Seax now is faster, crazier, and heavier than when they started, on the same exact material, and it's been a pretty consistent progression.  People can disagree about how seriously to take a spandex-denim-and-leather throwback speed metal band in the year 2013, but you can't argue that the band isn't taking their craft seriously -- or that they don't turn in a seriously killer live show in any opportunity they get.

Seax go metal thrashin' mad.

Eli gets a two-shot with Hell as compensation for blowing his head out.  Technical difficulties were kind of a theme of the night.  As noted, Crypter's drummer got stuck in traffic or something, Eli blew his head out in Seax's second song, Kyle from Axe Ripper broke a string midway through their set, and as will be seen below, Hessian had a bass drum failure somehow.  People covered around -- Seax finished the night with the second guitar through Angus' head, and Hessian in turn picked up Axe Ripper's bass drum -- and notably, none of the bands seemed fazed or adversely affected by all the stuff breaking.  Pro dudes are pro.

Somewhere around here, I picked up the new Hessian shirt and a really, really, killer patch; standards of manufacture on these things, as noted previously, are going nowhere but up.  The problem remains where to put it, but this one is large and commanding enough to take over one of the lower panels on my current warm-weather vest...presuming of course I have any time at all to get through the sewing backlog any time soon.

Axe Ripper [5.5/7]
The locals had left Axe Ripper with a pretty high mark on their first East Coast tour, but the band stepped up and executed to it, pounding down a thick, kickass set of thrashing metal that showed off its roots in both hardcore and southeast Michigan -- Angus called out Kyle's incredible tone during Hessian's set, but it's not just great, it's incredibly specific to the rock/blues heritage of the west end of Lake Erie -- while keeping the revivalist aspects of their sound to a minimum.  Too many thrash-revival bands decide to just pick up specific thrash strands from the early- to mid-'80s and repeat them, but in their execution of modern crossover, Axe Ripper isn't even repeating Cryptic Slaughter, much less the more ploughed-over Bay Area sounds that we generally get from West Coast bands.  The set kind of ran down a little at the end, as the band ran low on separably different material, but the energy stayed relentless throughout, despite the diminished and usually stationary crowd.  This was a good performance, but you couldn't help thinking, in the audience, that this band would have flat killed it if they'd been able to play a little closer to Boston, and/or to a punkier crowd...which would probably have been on offer here if Ancient Power was on the bill.  Regardless, this was a fine set, and hopefully they'll come back and get that next opportunity to play to some people more willing to brew things up.

Axe Ripper smash the crowd.

In here, since I wasn't drinking any more, I browsed the Wicked distro table to kill time, and ended up having to buy Running Wild's latest record.  I wasn't intending to actually spend money on stuff, but new Running Wild is kind of an obligation, and from the song titles and packaging, it looks like Rolf's restarted the band in the line of Gamma Ray rather than Blackbeard, maybe because he's crazy (at least as of 2005, the dude was one of the few monarchists left in Germany willing to go on record in favor of it as a political system) and maybe due to cultural pirate fatigue in the wake of Johnny Depp making the genre viable again.  We'll see how this goes.

Hessian [6.5/7]
The place that Seax is trying to get to, and may be on the verge of reaching with that new material, Hessian has already arrived onto, and they're in the process -- or at least should be -- of consolidating to get to the next level.  I have seen this band, it turns out, a lot less frequently than I thought, but the improvement that was incremental before was pretty dramatic here.  Building off the Old, Wild, and Free stuff but mostly focusing on new material, some of which won't be out till Bachelor of Black Arts drops (seriously, stuff like "Funeral Disco" is why people listen to heavy metal), Hessian completely slaughtered it with a classic sound that remains vital and fresh even while clearly calling back to the NWOBHM and mid-'70s southern rock all over the damn place.  Yes, lights, and yes, smoke machine, but they actually work in this context, and if you care about that stuff while a band this good is playing, there's something wrong with you.  The intention was to close out with "Witch Road" (and give Axe Ripper their bass drum back, so they could head out to the highway), but audience demand got them another song out of the soundboard before the lights went up and Anton Maiden came on to get us to clear out for real.  This was about as good a set as anyone should realistically expect at the DIY level; though working out of Maine does kind of deal the band a rough hand as far as touring and exposure, they've definitely got the chops to take this show on the road and/or break out with wider distribution.  I'll only be surprised if the new record doesn't come with a tour; it falls to people outside New England to be disappointed.

Hessian invade in smoke and fire.

Swapping out bass drums; I'm not sure what happened here, and this is the first time in seven years of fairly intensive showgoing that I can recall a major piece of drum hardware getting swapped out midset.

Salli takes the lead vocal for "Cloven Lady".

With the possibility of more Hessian pretty definitely foreclosed on, I beat feet to avoid hearing more butchery of "The Number of the Beast", and despite having to tank up on caffeine supplies midway, got home in good order with a moderate amount of rain, and was able to cycle quickly and get this out on time.  I have a lot of crap to attend to Saturday through Monday, but should be able to get that tied up in time to see Nocuous before my next on-call stand starts, just in time for NEMHCF.  Oh noes, whatever will I do, being forced to miss this consistently good, smoothly operated, and perpetually relevant festival for work.


Addendum: since I tend to only ever see localish DIY metal bands, rather than folks from other territories or other genres, other bands have probably rolled out stuff like this before, but it doesn't mean that the below thing from Hessian isn't the smartest thing I've seen from a kinda-touring band lately:

This is how Hessian's doing their album teaser sampler, rather than grinding out dozens of two-song CD-Rs. The advantage is simple and obvious: less van weight cutting into gas mileage, less investment if it gets lost or stolen, and you can reload your merch bucket on the road for the price of a tiny thumbdrive and some cardstock at Kinko's.  The disadvantage is that, at least for full releases, folks who pick up a release this way don't have something with the album art on it in their pocket.  That's it -- and the bandcamp package that people will download off this can have the art packed in at as high a resolution as the band desires.  There may be a philosophical argument about technology getting in everywhere and changing the experience, but this is dumb.

CDs are digital technology.  Hell, vinyl is technology, albeit with a different toolset and its own advantages and drawbacks.  The second we get to listen to music without the band having to be there playing it live for us, technology is getting in and changing our experience of the music.  Distro via QR codes on cardstock is a good thing, because it leverages an environment that already exists, and is on its way to being completely pervasive -- in addition to cash like normal, I saw the distro table at this show process a couple credit card payments by normal smartphone -- and makes things easier and more cost-effective for bands.  If the margins on distro go up, prices can go down while bands make more: we get more music per unit dollar, and the bands get more net money per sale, allowing them to do less day-job overtime and more jamming.  The lack of the immediate visual is the only downside in this -- and it's not like you can't put the QR code on the back of a nice 5x7 full-color promo card if you want to go the extra mile.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Absu with Hæthen, Bog of the Infidel, Nachzehrer, and Hræsvelgr [Middle East Upstairs, Cambridge, 4/9/2013]

As noted, I missed out on Living Colour on Friday (and got stuck at work till like 9 on a production ticket anyways, so not much loss), but I clubbed the recalcitrant client I was working with into submission, got stuff organized, and managed to get in to Central just about actual doors.  There was probably a little too much standing-around time, but estimating traffic loads on a midweek relatively-early date in Boston is kind of a crapshoot, and boredom and awkwardness is kind of the price I pay for knowing I'm not going to miss bands.  I got an early start on drinking that would be valuable later, browsed around the Bog/Nachzehrer table after it got set up, and found some decent real estate to watch the first band from as they started, remarkably, about on time.

Hræsvelgr [4.5/7]
A better 'grade' on this set might be "incomplete"; New England is a competitive area for black metal bands and metal bands generally, and these guys probably showed something, in the process of getting booked, that was noteworthy beyond the broad-strokes Inquisition-cloning on display in this set.  Still, though, that no-vocals, drone-heavy Inquisition cloning is what we got, and while the material did improve over the course of the set, it was not strong enough, on the whole, to carry the full runtime with just drums and one guitar.  There are some good ideas here, but Hræsvelgr are going to need better material, better equipment (to break up the drone via some more variety in guitar tone), or just a better ratio of members to empty stagefront in order to improve them and carry them off.  There was some discussion later that they'd been down a member, which hurts any band but especially one that drops from a three-piece to a duo; hopefully, the next time out, they'll be up to their full complement and be able to present their music as intended.

It was probably in this break that I started in on merch and stuff; I did take a couple pictures, but unwilling to throw elbows to get down front -- most of these bands, I have seen and will see in smaller venues where this isn't a problem, and I already did the "see Absu from contact range" thing -- in a large dark room, none of them came out, which is hardly surprising.  No loss; the blurry, too-small pictures included with these writeups generally come out even less essential or useful than the ill-informed and occasionally flat-wrong words that accompany them.

Nachzehrer [5.5/7]
After a while as a four-piece, Nachzehrer are back up to their full historical complement, for a pretty good result, despite the fact that they appear to still be bedding Morgan in at this point.  His style's different from their prior guitarists, so some shakedown's expected, but this has the potential to go in a really cool direction.  This set ran out a good bunch of recent music in a relatively straight-down fashion; some of that's the member change, and some is probably due to the fact that the Nachzehrer guys booked this show under their prod-company avatar, and thus had to avoid getting rofltanked in order to make sure things kept running smoothly.  Regardless, sober(ish) Nachzehrer still has access to the same ripping black-thrash as the more lubricated version, and if this set wasn't as splashy as normal, it was probably a little more locked-in.  Good stuff, and it's going to be really interesting to see how this lineup writes and records going further.

In here I flooded my hat in the bathroom sink for the first time.  I was conscious of the last time I saw black metal bands in here, and while there is no danger of falling asleep to Absu, overheating is definitely a thing.  I should have swapped rigs, since there's nothing to train for this year, but everything's obvious in hindsight.

Bog of the Infidel [5.5/7]
This was also a more straight-ahead performance from Bog than I've seen in the past, and one that resonated with a lot more of the second-wave-German stuff that they have in their arsenal, at least as opposed to what I can recall hearing from them recently.  With both locals that I'd seen before having what felt like a slightly-off night, I started to suspect either the soundboard not dialing each band in exactly (locals for the most part get to take what they're given here), or just me being worn down from the heat.  Regardless, even Bog with an engine governor is good Bog, and good black metal, and as the set went on, more of their better leads cut through, for an impressive end burying "The Corpse of God".

It was probably in this break that I did my main merch, which turned out to be Bog's surprisingly-excellent Live At AS220 -- that Bog of the Infidel is good should surprise no one at this point, but this is a really, really, good live recording, in terms of both consistency and fidelity, made by a black metal band in a DIY club -- a few hemmed, woven Nachzehrer patches (now, to figure out where to put them...), the current Absu tour shirt, and issue #1 of Codex Obscurum, which you should buy at your local DIY show if you're in eastern New England, or at your better-record-store-Andrew-knows-people-at elsewhere.  The staff include most of the smartest-funniest people in eastern-Massachusetts DIY metal, who you've probably heard on record with Panzerbastard/CNV, Composted/TYAG, Dysentery/Parasitic Extirpation, Herugrim, Sexcrement/Neuraxis and a bunch of other bands, and who between them are responsible for almost everything insightful or lulzworthy that has ever been posted on RTTP.  It is definitely worth at least the $2 cover price, and since actual paper zines are both cool and a lot of work, this endeavor deserves support.

Hæthen [5/7]
Hæthen, up from Philadelphia, had the benefit of a slightly better and sharper sound than the bands that preceded them, but seemed to take a step back material-wise.  This was still a good set, but not entirely memorable, especially not leading immediately in to Absu.  They had a little more third-wave in their sound than any of the other openers, which isn't in itself a bad thing, but droning third-wave, as opposed to blastbeating second-wave, needs a lot more support from composition to get to the same levels of immediate audience engagement.  These guys do tour into the northeast fairly often -- I missed them recently with Negura Bunget in Worcester -- so it's quite likely that I'll get another look at their sound sooner rather than later.

Unfortunately, this sample is all I have to go on for the time being.  After putting another bunch of water in my hat, I picked up their current release on cassette and CD, reasoning that I could keep the cassette for neatness and collector value and actually listen to the CD, since I don't have a tape player at present that I trust not to destroy stuff.  This didn't work out; the CD has readability issues which also make it a nice piece of artwork rather than a useful music vector, and I get to go scrounge around the internet to see if someone else has managed to get it to work long enough to rip and package the contents.  Is what it is; this isn't the first DIY release I've had problems getting to scan correctly.

Absu [6.5/7]
While this didn't hit all the highlights of that set at Party.San -- your average club show is better than your average festival, but slam-bang on the rail beats the hell out of nearly everything indoors -- it was longer, it covered more material, and in the end supplied a packed house with a full portion of damn good Absu songs.  The band was locked-in and on-target despite a slightly later arrival to the venue and a limited soundcheck, and the well-tuned sound stacked well with the vicious thrashing aggression of the music to latch onto the audience and keep them held through nearly all of the 68-minute (as announced by Proscriptor, who was in rare form for insane banter and awe-inspiring random screams between songs).  Being satisfied with "Never Blow Out The Eastern Candle", I kind of have a low bar for seeing Absu live these days, but those who need more convincing got theirs on "Stone of Destiny", which saw Proscriptor come out from behind the kit to do lead vocals in a fluffy buff coat, in addition to more damaged-amp-feedback-inspired screaming.  At the end, the lights stayed down, and folk stayed in the room for the potential of an encore, but that was ultimately not forthcoming, the hour being late and Cambridge curfews being what they are.  After 68 minutes of Absu, though, you don't really need an encore, no matter how much you want the onslaught to continue.

After the lights came on, I peeled, collected my ride, and headed north; this one took a little longer to organize due to some work commitments, but hopefully those won't hold back the writeup of tonight's speed/thrash timecapsule.  Will Seax be in spandex?  Will Hessian have more merch with cooter on it?  Only time can tell.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Lore with Atlatl, Mairin and Baliset [Ralph's, Worcester, 4/4/2013]

This was only one of several shows on for this date, for a fairly even mix of quality; yet another argument for the scene around here, at least when everyone brings their A-game at the same time, as among the best in the world.  This one picked up my attention for several reasons, but most of it came down to being on a bit of a prog/djent kick lately (seriously, you will not find a better single dollar to spend on the internet than minimum-pricing Deathmøle's Fear of Black Horses EP) and not having been out to Worcester for a while.  Due to the latter, I mistimed the ride out again, and despite stopping for food, car cleanup, and gas, I still got in well before nominal doors, and got to spend enough time browsing the Wicked Music table to drop entirely more than I probably should have on old Vried and Immolation records.  Eventually, Baliset got set up and ready enough to start playing, and save my wallet any further non-band-related damage.

Baliset [6/7]
I had heard a lot about this band, but not actually seen them live to this point; while they were debatably the least metal of the four on offer, they ran out a strong and incredibly diverse set of heavy-ish progressive-ish material that took as much from Nightingale (or, more likely, Camel, Wishbone Ash, and that band's other 70s-prog points of departure) as it did from Maudlin of the Well.  Despite ranging all over that map, the band managed to keep their songs together and connected most of the way through; to the degree that there was a debit on the performance, it was that Greg's frequent tuning breaks occasionaly confused observers as to whether he was tuning because his backup guitar was broken (since it was), or just because Baliset tends to use like five guitar tunings per song just in normal practice.  It's not Maudlin of the Well by any stretch of the imagination, but Baliset is and remains the best way to see those kinds of ideas brought forward in heavy music around Boston.

Baliset sets up.  I didn't know that Shannon from Avariel was doing live female vocals with Baliset before coming down, but if I had, that would have been an extra inducement.  Without that vocal line, which has been flagged as studio-only in the past, the music would be weirdly empty in a lot of places, and the material gives her a lot more and more consistent opportunities to use her whole range than, oddly, her own band does.

Greg equips an e-bow for an extreme choke-up.

Mairin [5.5/7]
In from Ohio, these guys started strong, complex, and aggressive while simultaneously accessible, then lost their way a little bit going back to their older stuff.  Said older stuff was still pretty good, but less focused and a little more obviously Opeth-cloney, while the newer material has echoes of as if Meade's Army was written for conventional guitars.  (Ok, enough with the Deathmøle, but this is a badass album and thus solid praise.)  The band's going in the right direction, and they're good enough to make a damn good impression on the road as it is, but the best is still to come from these guys.  Very good stuff, and hopefully they'll be back with a full-length.

Lloyd rips it; note that Dan still had his shirt on at this point.

Greg comes up to play his solo from "Inside A View".

In this break, Chris' wife started handing out bacon cupcakes to everyone in the venue.  As terrible an idea as that might sound on the face of it, they turned out damn good; with a denser, drier cake body that was more scone or biscuit weight and a cream-cheese frosting that was less frosting and more cream cheese, the result was a savory rather than sweet confection that balanced, rather than fought with, the crumbled bacon on top.  Bringing weird ideas to successful fruition through smarts and solid planning -- like, say, doing a nearly-all-DIY metal night for closing in on 7 years and 200 consecutive outings -- must run in the family.

Atlatl [5.5/7]
I'm a little uncomfortable putting an arbitrary and usually-wrong number next to this band, because I remain insufficiently convinced that Atlatl is a metal band at all, rather than a mildly-djenty indie/post-rock outfit with occasional harsh vocals.  If they're a metal band, they're about the happiest and most resolution-obsessed member of the genre that I've come across; complex chords all over the place, but they resolve themselves regularly, rather than stirring down into a sea of pulsing tension that requires a breakdown to release.  They made some good music, and put it together into a fun set, but all that is good is not necessarily metal, and the iron maxim remains: neither adding heavy guitars to a piece of music, nor removing them, can change its fundamental character...and the guitars at issue here weren't even really that heavy.  Good stuff, but I'm not sure how many metal bills they'll get on going forward.

Atlatl shaking it up.

Lore [6/7]
On hearing this set, I had to go back and double-check the previous two assessments to make sure that I was still talking about the same band.  A lot can change in a year, and what has changed with Lore is that they have almost completely discarded the Arctopus angle previously evident for a more focused, violent, direct, and live-performance-friendly collision of Atheist and Scatterbrain.  This should be all the explanation required as to why this was a complete badass set, but some people, for whatever reason, need the fusion of free jazz and technical death metal explained to them as a good thing.  Full of densely-knotted brutality, with all three musicians occasionally playing independent lines at once, Lore also allowed their songs to breathe and move with soul, exactly as far as necessary and always within the general structure -- except that one time when they didn't and just did a John Zorn-vs-Jimi Hendrix breakdown.  I've allegedly missed a bunch of Lore gigs out here, but this is as good a place as any to come back in on their development, and it's about time that people more than five blocks from their jamspace started to pay attention.

Lore blasting the audience.

The lights went up about one AM, and I hit the road, still having to work the next morning, and got home about 2:30 after an extensive caffeine assist.  I missed the chance to go see Living Colour with a bunch of the work crew, but as I said when thinking I was putting in for tickets, I'd rather see Scatterbrain or Fishbone from that era and scene, and I damn near as saw Scatterbrain with a side of Atheist last night.  Onward; Absu and pure black madness next Tuesday.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Morgirion with Discordia, Lustrum, and Grue [O'Brien's, Allston, 3/29/2013]

It had been, as I hiked in for this one, an even four months, exactly, since I had been out to a show.  Mostly, this is the fault of bands not touring in the holiday season, and then my own wussiness at driving in weather that might get me killed, but a decent part of it is just plain bad luck: I pulled a lot of on-call shifts in that span that happened to line up with tours, and many other gigs also came during the period where I was filling in for my boss and had to back up whoever was on-call even if it wasn't me.  Whatever the reason, it was warm enough, and my shift had ended earlier in the day, and IT WAS ABOUT GODDAMNED TIME TO SEE SOME GODDAMNED METAL.  I was a little concerned about being out of condition, but that turned out to not be an issue as I got across the bridges to O'Brien's with time to spare.  I got in, decompressed, got a beer, and caught up with some folks, and presently Grue was set up and ready to get going.

Grue [5.5/7]
Since the last time I'd seen them, Grue has replaced 50% of their lineup (apparently amicably, as Dave did show up later for the rest of the show), and also brought in some stage costumes reminiscent of Ashdautas or Wormphlegm.  The hoods and robes stayed on for the whole of the performance, a pretty impressive commitment in the face of steadily building heat, and camouflaged not only the band members but also the musical style to a certain degree.  When you see a two-man black metal combo in costumes these days, most people are going to be thinking third-wave, and while Grue did close that way, with an earlier piece, the bulk of the set was a lot more directly second-wave, driven by drums so single-mindedly focused on blastbeat attack as has been seldom heard since Blastbeats In The North.  This is regression in a good way, and while Grue continues to develop by sliding back in time, they haven't solidified their sound quite yet.  It's coming, though, and what's here in the process is still some really good music.

In the break I stood around outside for a while to try to equalize my temperature down, and also to avoid hocking plague spit on the floor inside.  I'd gotten the Con Crud the previous weekend from the hordes in town and on public transit for PAX, and the hiking around in the middle of the night for this one, as well as the several cans of beer on top of several bottles at work probably pushed my heal date out a while.  Whatever, worth it.

Lustrum [4.5/7]
I hadn't seen this band before, and they were a little under-described; as things went, apparently "sleaze metal" is a valid match for "Black Sabbath playing Show No Mercy".  Maybe this is the case, since (false revelation inc) I don't really listen to Midnight, but in this particular instance, it showed pretty clearly why this band is a side project of the members involved.  The riffs and composition here weren't really strong enough to carry the whole set, despite being cool in places, and restricting the instrumentation to one guitar and drums seemed to cut down on the range and density as well.  It was still decent, but that's about as far as it got.

It was probably in this break that I vented out a lot of stuff about Party.San, Russia, and other topics to Mike Kleptocracy and other surrounding persons; as noted a while back, I'm taking a pass on festivals this year in order to try not to get killed hanging around the Russian Far East, having gotten there from Finland.  The itinerary is not set in absolute stone yet, but I'm definitely going...and definitely not going to see Carcass, Impaled Nazarene, Obscura, Alcest, and Primordial in Schlotheim.  SO MAD.  (On a related note, if you know someone with long-term residence in northeast China, pass their info along, I may need it.)

Discordia [6/7]
Up from New York, Discordia presented an interesting contrast to Grue: rather than being a second-wave band that looks like a third-wave outfit, they were a third-wave band that looks legit like a second-wave or death-metal act.  Free of stereotypical hipster affectation, Discordia just blasted out a strong set of excellent music, obviously influenced by other developments in recent USBM, but never up its own ass about it and still consistently violent as well as stirringly harmonic.  They killed it as strongly as you could expect a touring band to, and if there was a disappointment at all on the night, it's that they didn't set out a merch table or anything.  Sure, it's a way back to NYC, but with a band this good, people will show their appreciation, and the gas to sit on 95/84/90 for three or four hours each way isn't free.  Should they get something out/reissued, or a damned bandcamp at least, definite support.

Morgirion set up, the first band with adequate light for pictures.

Morgirion [6/7]
In a smaller space than last time, Morgirion was no less ceaselessly impressive.  There were stretches where Connor's mic and bass seemed to drop mostly or entirely out of the mix, but this didn't hold the overall effect back much, and at this kind of show, you can get close enough to pick up a good bit of value just from unmiced yelling and raw pick attack.  As intimated, this set was flat awesome, getting up to the high mark laid down by Discordia and justifying the running order beyond just the logistics of getting people back to their respective home bases in some kind of normal order.  The crowd had run down a little by the end, but the band's spirit hadn't, continuing to pump the violence out right to the curfew.  All-around excellent.


It was, though, closer to one than to midnight when this thing broke up, and since I was still sick, I beat feet over the bridges back again.  On arriving at my car, though, I realized that my car key wasn't in its usual pocket....or any of the other ones, as far as I could tell.  After a brief freakout, I got my shit together and started doing a walkover, planning out various scenarios and recovery plans, trying to move slowly enough not to miss anything on either side of River Street, but fast enough to maybe get back to O'Brien's before the staff left, to see if anyone had found it on the floor while sweeping up or something.  Crossing over the river bridge, though, I had to adjust my vest, and remembered that there were pockets in the hoodie under there.  And yes, the key was still in the left one, exactly where I'd stowed it five hours before on getting out of the car.  I turned around, headed back, and mounted up a little after 1:30, feeling super wicked retarded.  I've got to do a lot better job at remembering where I put stuff; the gearlist for Russia is already pushing 100 discrete items, and that's before I do a gear-out, or account for stuff that may be picked up on the way.  Must do better.

That's a ways off, though, and the next metal show is not another four months away: tonight is Baliset, among a huge galaxy of good shows, even with Evil Army getting marooned somewhere west of Buffalo AGAIN, and then Absu early next week.  The circle must keep going on and on.