Last week was a big one for shows, so here's some brief reviews:
1. Martyrdom Festival II
I was unable to attend the Thursday pre-show or the Sunday show due to late set times and 7AM work, not to mention feeling fairly beat after Friday and Saturday's multiple hour onslaughts. Both days had good bands on their lineups but standouts for me are as follows:
FRIDAY (*in giant "The Shining" letters)
Decrepitaph- US doomy death metal done simple, done right. If you like Impetigo, Cianide, and old Incantation, you are in for a treat. I am a fan of Elekrokutioner's work in Tombstones, Father Befouled, and Encoffination so it was a treat to see this show. Not to mention it was their last as well. Way to go out with a bang, dudes, I feel privileged and honored to have been a part of it. I caught Elektrokutioner after a band on Saturday, very approachable, to ask for a signature on my Tombstones cd. After granting my request, I asked what projects he was currently working on. His main project is now Ghoulgotha. He was going to get their demo for me, but he couldn't find the guitarist to get the car keys. Oh well! I will try to get it from them on facebook. I would say a thing about the music that's posted but I can't get their player to work.
Morbosidad- US brutal and interesting death/black metal, often with Spanish lyrics. They threw x2 pigs' heads into the crowd, Mayhem-style, and also ripped up and burned part of a bible. So there's that. The pigs' heads became instant mosh-pit favorites and a game of 'capture-the-head' quickly ensued. I did not participate, as I did not know how sanitary those heads indeed were. The live sound was awesome and I felt the vocal delivery was far more intense in person. How Tomas Stench was able to shake and fist bump so many fans without impaling anyone on his impressive forearm spikes remains a mystery.
Kommandant- US political Black Metal that uses Fascist imagery to challenge and satirize the current state of American government and way of life. I have tons of respect for this band and they deserve (and will have!) their own review. The first half of the set was a bit sloppy (for them, which still means very tight), but the second half was well-rehearsed and impressive, though I think that of the three times I've seen them, the first (at Martyrdom Festival I, the second being at MDF 2013) was the best.
Of note, several bands (including and most notably Hellgoat) apparently decided to ritually cut their arms with razors prior to playing.
SATURDAY (*also in giant "The Shining" letters)
Shitfucker- dirty metal punk with a FOAD attitude. 'Nuff said.
Morpheus Descends-a fantastic NY death metal band that through circumstance missed out on being better known. I would call their sound a mix between old Incantation and old Immolation, which is quite a powerhouse! Brutal stuff. They recently reformed and did not disappoint.
Bestial Mockery- dirty, nasty, Swedish Blackened Thrash, great style when done right, as it is here! I was a big fan of their chainsaw. Thankfully they didn't think they were GISM so the chain wasn't actually on it. It did smell an awfully lot like cut grass and shrubberies though, so I guess that tool has seen some use. Members are also in Rawhide (who played Sunday) a fantastic rock n' roll band, which I recommend for Motorhead and punk fans in the metal community. Considering they (Rawhide) have a song about Twin Peaks, how could I NOT like them? Interestingly, I got into both bands independently so it was a bit of a head trip to realize the connection.
2. (Micheal Aston's) Gene Loves Jezebel.
I don't care that they are a glam-goth band and are totally lame and not metal. I like them. Even the Jay Aston stuff (much more pop-oriented). The band was formed by two twin brothers who eventually broke up the band due to disagreements and (long story short) run independent versions of the band. I prefer the stuff that Micheal writes so this was awesome. He still looks pretty good and is a humorous frontman by the way! The crowd was small and pretty mixed age-wise but everybody there was super-stoked so that made for a great show! I mean, come one, they opened with 'Heartache'! They also played 'Cow,' 'Loving You Is The Best Revenge' and closed with 'Desire.' The songs sounded better live than any other version I've heard. This was due not just to the sound production and talent of the musicians, but also due to the band's ability to adjust to the crowd and adjust to maximize crowd participation, anticipation, and enjoyment. My only complaint was that they only played for about 40 minutes.
Okay, forget that this is band is the brainchild of talented painter and co-creator of the Venture Bros. TV show, Doc Hammer. Let's talk about the band. This is a modern goth rock band that sounds like it fell out of the 80's. I hear a fair amount of Joy Division AND New Order, though the band obviously takes quite a bit of influence from the likes of classics like Siouxie, Bauhaus, Southern Death Cult, Echo & the Bunnymen, etc. Very rock oriented, which I like. Doc's vocals are really the centerpiece for me though, some of the melodies are crazy-catchy and mega-melancholic. I definitely hear more of a UK sound (especially in the guitar tone) than an American one which is interesting from a US band.
Thanks for reading, and if you find anything worth checking out here, I hope you support it! Expect regular updates (for real now), I am shooting for x1 massive update/wk.
Be seeing you,
*Review copyright The Samnambulist, 2013*