Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Nocuous with Closed Casket, Scourge, and Necris [Ralph's, Worcester, 4/18/2013]

This is hopelessly late due to work- and terrorism-related stuffs; between one and the other I was nonfunctional for about a week after the show, and then I spent most of the next two weeks in Canada working 12-hour days.  I didn't write anything in that time, so this is going on old impressions and what sketchy information survives.  Turnaround should be faster for any shows between now and Russia, but I can't promise anything.

Necris [5/7]
I hadn't heard Necris before, but came away somewhat favorably impressed.  The ceaseless Infowars-driven lyrical topics will put a lot of people in mind of Vile, but what the band's actually doing musically is a lot more along the lines of Immolation's technical and brutal but melodically-structured death metal, while still flavored with the slammish tropes that you expect out of New Bedford in the wake of Goreality and Anoxia.  Necris isn't at that level quite yet, but they've got decent chops and the potential for further development, so long as they can stay out of the FEMA camps and keep gigging out.

Necris slamming the audience.

Scourge [5/7]
These guys I also hadn't heard before, and for most of their largely pedestrian set I was pretty ok with that.  They improved a little at the end, but Scourge ultimately is the very definition of a replacement-level death metal band, the kind you can pick up on an afternoon's notice to fill a cancellation slot in the same way sports statistics uses the term to talk about street free agents.  They're not bad, really, but there is very little compelling here, and not a lot of promising seeds.

Scourge, filling their slot.

Closed Casket [5/7]
Closed Casket remains as difficult to categorize now as when I've seen them before, though a little more developed in their mix of death metal and classic heavy metal elements.  This was a decent set, if a little too dependent on Alex' bass for a band with four other musicians on stage, but while they've developed, they still haven't really unified their sound enough to present something really coherent.  Clever observers will cite this as a noted criticism of Barren Oak as well, so there may be a common thread there, but Closed Casket is more traditionally-classifiable and a lot more unambiguously metal than the former project, so they have that going for them on a fairly straight-ahead bill.

Closed Casket open up.

With the vocalist actually on stage.

A new mascot for Nocuous, hopefully acquired for less than $3000.

Nocuous [6/7]
This set saw some of the most ridiculous hair-floating ever not captured by DIY digital images (at least mine, check other people's), but also a lot of quality Nocuous material.  It wasn't the best recent Nocuous set, nor the one with the most new stuff, but the fact remains that this is a quality band who are going to put out a quality set any time someone puts a stage and a couple electric fans under them.  The floor also got moving here, in a way that floors seldom have done since Crazy Dan stopped coming in all the time, ending the night on a firmly positive note.

Nocuous step out.

Metal thrashing mad.

As I came north on 95 from the pike, I saw no fewer than 6 police cars heading south.  I suspected that this had something to do with the hunt for the Marathon bombers, whose pictures had just made the 6:00 news in Boston, but did not realize that there had been a running gun/grenade battle between the suspects and the cops all along the north bank of the Charles, or that I would wake up to a fully militarized "Operation DEATH KRISTJAN" Friday morning.  Of course, that situation resolved itself by the end of the day, at which point I was on call -- and constantly getting calls -- and by the time I was done that, I was prepping to go to Canada.  So, four weeks late -- is what it is.