Monday, September 09, 2013
Gorguts with Sexcrement, Nemecide, Scalpel, Untombed, and Necronomichrist [Worcester Palladium, 9/8/2013]
Between Russia, moving to a new apartment, several ill-timed on-call shifts, and a bunch of other stuff, I had not gotten out to a show in a long while. The fact that Gorguts is only just now back "together", combined with this, meant that I was going to have to get down, even though I needed to get on a plane to Canada the next morning. So I figured out my new pike access, threw my jacket in the car, and headed out, ultimately getting in well ahead of doors and having to sit around in the car and chill/overheat for a couple minutes before going up to get my ticket.
At least at doors, this one was severely underattended, and the staff were a little lackadasical getting the full processing done. However, with a minimum of going in circles, I got correctly processed and banded, and picked up a first beer, which was mostly gone before Necronomichrist started, more or less on time.
This is what the upstairs looks like now, at least a month and a half out of Rock and Shock. The "freakshow" vibe is a noted contrast to the previous "dilapidated hole we don't care about" vibe. And, oh yeah, I has a new phone since last time. The photos still suck, but at least they're wider!
It had been a while since I'd seen these guys, and in the interim they've gotten more consistent and more original, but this remains a band heavily inspired, for their best parts, by Hypocrisy's mid-'90s. I really dig this style of death metal, so it's an open question as to whether I give them a break for their more pedestrian stuff for the occasional shadings of The Fourth Dimension breaking through, or whether I hold them to a higher standard because they've shown the ability to write that kind of music, but don't do it often. Regardless, this was a solid opening set from a decent band who may be on the way to getting some more traction. Their new record wasn't out, due to technical hangups somewhere in the pressing process, but I did pick up the promo for it, and am looking forward to being able to listen to it once I get back from this stupid work stand.
Necronomichrist get it going.
It was past seven, so I got my second beer as well as the Necronomichrist promo and a Sexcrement patch. I have no idea where it's going, as the jacket is kind of crowded, but I should have the time this fall to get this stuff stitched up.
I got a little further forward for Untombed, and while they had a couple technical difficulties, both with the stage right guitar setup that seemed to afflict most of the opening bands and with all of the members being able to hear each other, the resulting hammer barrage was worth it. They're putting the finishing touches on their new disc right now, but we got a good chunk of it in this set, and it's sounding goddamned killer, even accounting for the Palladium. There's a little more tech and slam in the mix, really showing off what it's possible to do in this style with an expanded (six-man) lineup. Good stuff -- any time these guys play "Bloodstained World" second, you know they're really high on the material, and that confidence was vindicated here.
Untombed attack full out.
Untombed, with Dave actually in the picture.
It had filled in a little more; while the venue didn't completely fill up at any point, it was getting towards 2/3 capacity here, and it'd stay that way into Gorguts. They finished up at 11, though -- serious questions for anyone who left early and didn't have to be at work at like 7. In this break, rather than beer 3 (timing reasons), I picked up a shirt and promo off Untombed. Again, I can't listen to that CD for a week, but the shirt design is pretty damn cool, albeit with an overly-obscure backpiece. The "XXDM" formulation is obvious, and the "B" at the bottom is probably for Boston, but I'm not sure what the top letter is. The band's membership and main catchment area to date would suggest an "E" for East Boston Death Metal, but it doesn't really look like any "E" I'm familiar with, and I've read a lot of death metal logos in my day.
Seriously guys, what letter is this?
If I recall correctly, Scalpel has significantly changed up the lineup since last time, and they're clearly trying to make some other changes as well, working some more technical parts and more ambitious arrangements into their previous combination of pure slam and pure energy. The arrangements aren't quite there yet, and as a result the technical stuff occasionally loses its way, but there is enough slam, at high enough energy, from Scalpel to make this set a good experience. This band is in the process of changing into something else, but even as they are, this was a pretty sweet 30 or so minutes.
Scalpel get ripping.
I picked up another beer here, and checked again to see if Gorguts had merch out. I was able to get a shirt of Luc, but he was out of CDs at the moment, so I'd have to come back. As luck would have it, going up to the merch deck meant that I got back to the floor in what would be about the perfect position to see Nemecide.
I had seen this band before, and thus had some idea of where to stand to avoid the worst of it. Their sound is polished, and certainly death metal, but them on a Gorguts bill really highlights how this genre has expanded in the last 25 years. There are other Palladium shows they will do better on, and those shows will have fewer old dudes in armored jackets standing in the back trying to decide if the technical difficulties that struck in the middle of their set were bad, because the singer had to substitute his rotten stage banter for the music, or good because for the time being at least, the band wasn't playing.
Minimum safe engagement distance for Nemecide.
It wasn't quite 9 yet, but I picked up my last beer regardless, and went up; I had seen some of the tricks Sexcrement had up their sleeves in the preparation, and regardless, when this band plays, you go up.
Evan wins the "Forever Kvlter Than All" competition for the night. Seriously, if you like this band enough to have their shirt, it's because you bought EVERY death metal album that came out in 1992.
The all-ages environment meant that Adam kept his dick in his pants, and the dancers had to keep their underwear on (and electrical-tape pasties on under their fishnets), but that aside, this was about as good a Sexcrement show as could be expected under the circumstances. The band's absolutely devastating slams supercharged a pit that had been steadily getting more violent since Untombed, and the technical stuff underlying those breakdowns was absolutely on point. This wasn't the best Sexcrement set I've ever seen, but it was pretty damn good -- and probably in the conversation for "best Sexcrement set limited to ciswomen dancers and partial nudity".
The stage setup meant that the dancers had to enter and exit through the crowd before and after, and for costume changes; the crowd was sufficiently pasted that a couple people got a little mouthy, but fortunately not grabby. This remains a general hazard for women in their underwear at death metal shows, but not for women generally; it's progress, I guess.
Luc dodges fanboy questions about his custom.
Colin Marston is ok with his monitor levels. This is why Gorguts is "back"; the band is now 50% composed of Dysrhythmia members, but for the sake of argument, this is "Gorguts" rather than "Luc Lemay and His All-Stars Play Gorguts". Touring bands don't put records out, and this lineup did just release Colored Sands.
I stuck up front for a couple songs, then moved back; this wasn't as incredible a return as, say, Carcass at Wacken, but it was pretty damn quality. The new stuff is good, and the selections of old material that we got were pretty killer as well; the limitations of playing it live and not going out of time or out of tune probably restricted the amount of Obscura stuff to what we got, but this was always going to be the case. The main run of the set crushed all for a good long chunk of time, and they inserted a minimum of egregious time-wasting before attacking into a three-song encore. Then, despite it only being 11, they closed up; Sundays are what they are, after all. Luc gave ceaseless appreesh to those who stuck to the end, but a large chunk of the crowd had unfortunately cleared out by that point. I stuck, and ended up comped issue 2 of the Codex Obscurum by Josh Staples, along with a flyer for their (Abnormality; Sarcomancy is on hiatus, and Josh is amazingly not in any other alive bands at present) gig opening for Morbid Angel's Covenant live set, then went upstairs to grab the records Gorguts had on offer.
Gorguts, back for certain values of "back", and in full flow for all values of "in full flow".
The reader is referred to the previous remarks on issue 1, which I bought with my own hard-earned, for confirmation that any positive reactions to Codex Obscurum are not a result of getting it for free. This is a cool zine and a quality product from quality folks, and worth supporting with your $2/$3/whatever when and wherever you find it.
The new route was good to me on the way back, and I got back home a little after midnight, then hit the hay and in the morning, bashed this out waiting for the plane to Canada. No shows these five days -- the area of Toronto where gigs take place is too far, and all I have are goddamned khakis -- but next weekend, Alcest if I can get in the door, or Internal Bleeding if it isn't cancelled.