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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
OM NOM NOM NOM
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.