The lack of coordination between "appealing Metal Thursday shows" and "weeks I'm not on call" over the last year has left me still not 100 percent sure of how to Ralph's from my current apartment, so for this one I got a little later of a start out than I'd've liked to, but it was clean sailing until the point where MassDOT decided for whatever reason to effectively close the Pike westbound. This added a little delay, but it was only like a mile and a half from the last neckdown to the 290 exit, and I got up to Ralph's about in normal time. It turned out, though, that this was actually with ample time to spare, because Beyond Creation hadn't gotten down from Canada yet, and this show was going to go on with only three bands. There was still some time before Parasitic went on, so I finished my beer, and tried, at least for the time being, to refrain from BUY ALL OF THE DEATH METAL! This would mostly end up happening anyway, but I already have far too many shirts, and need to be better about not buying stuff that's going to immediately head for the discard pile.
Jim goes all-digital on kicks. Since bass drums are among the more cumbersome things a band has to lug around, it makes sense to go smaller (since there's really nothing you're going to be able to do about guitar/bass cabs, the other big offenders), and in a slammy technical context like this where you're going to be using a lot of triggers anyway, it makes even more sense to skip the head damage and just play the trigger out into the PA when you hit it.
Parasitic Extirpation [6.5/7]
On this avalanching sample, Parasitic is completely back -- and likely has been there for a while, given that I haven't seen this band since goddamn forever, shortly after they swapped out 3/5 members. The pretaste we got of their coming EP (slated for sometime this fall) shows the band taking another determined step forward, but the Casketless material filling the bulk of the set was similarly delivered, continuing to pile technicality on relentless technicality, and tuned up and arranged to hit even harder than it does on record. All in all, an excellent set from an excellent band, and hopefully more to come.
Parasitic ripping it up.
With only three bands and a not-super-delayed start, the set changes were quick, aided by partial backlining between Abolishment and King Parrot, and so soon enough the music was going again.
Abolishment of Flesh [6/7]
I hadn't seen this band before, but had been kind of peripherally aware of them, cobilled on western fests/shows with bands from this region that I follow more closely. This was an impressive New England debut; pounding, fairly technical death metal with fewer slams than might be anticipated in these days of Devourment/Insidious Decrepancy-style TXDM, and more of the brutal melodics and riff structures that you'd get from the likes of Immolation or older Hypocrisy. There wasn't as much floor motion as they'd probably have liked, without the familiarity factor of Parasitic or the total insanity that King Parrot would release, but this was still a good, strong set, and it still got a good, strong reception from the audience.
Abolishment as they kick it off.
A little clearer, as Ramon's standing still for the moment to do some vocals.
Reid and some two-handed tapping; between him and Damon, there was a lot of good technical four-string bassplaying going on over the first two bands, which, for bass nerds in the audience, may almost have made up for the lack of Forest Lapointe.
In the second and last break, I got a last beer -- Gansetts are not exactly trippels, and King Parrot was going to play a long set -- and did nearly all of my merch, which ended up less than desired as Parasitic had run out of "Icon of Torment" shirts in sizes larger than Medium, and while I'm not quite as large as I've been in the recent past, getting down to a Medium is probably not going to happen, like, ever. Still, I secured a patch, the King Parrot full-length, and NEARLY ALL OF THE DEATH METAL that Abolishment had along; a good haul that did not leave me completely broke even as it armored up my pockets for the pit to come.
Youngy stares off at the first row as King Parrot sets up.
King Parrot [7/7]
There is high intensity, and then there is King Parrot level. You expect (or ought to) after Blood Duster and The Berzeker (alums of both of whom have been in this band at various points), that Australian grindcore is going to be completely rammed to 11 all the time, but such expectations aren't always delivered, nor delivered to the level that has several members of Demoralizer simultaneously crowdsurfing in a sub-100-capacity venue. This set delivered not only mile-a-minute devastation and high-quality sleaze weirdness, but also the first wall of death I've participated in at Ralph's and probably the most stagediving this venue has ever seen for a single show since, um, it is a bar and not a regular host to youthcrew shows that will have a lot of stagediving in a room this small. It was hell of fun, and nobody got a hospitalization-level injury from a close encounter with one of the steel support poles, making this an unambiguous success. The touring part of this bill is hooking up with Origin (and, hopefully, Beyond Creation) for a run of a couple weeks that may turn out better, generally, than this gig, but this was a fucking amazing set to tie off a class night any way you slice it.
King Parrot set this shit off.
After the lights went on and King Parrot started breaking down their shit, I went back and grabbed one of their shirts -- if you think there's a better catchphrase than "I'm not here to fuck spiders, mate", guess what, you're wrong -- and then headed out, an easy ride with minimal construction that got me home in time to get rested enough that I could bust this out without delay. The weekend is going to be mostly fitba, with the Prem kickoff consuming most of the mornings, but there's also a bizarre-ass matinee black metal show in my home town that I'd like to get up to: bands from France, Denmark, and Wyoming in a bar that my high school friends' cover bands play like three nights a week. We'll see if I can get up for that -- and if it ends up happening, and if it is not absolutely the weirdest thing to occur in said building.